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My Publishing Journey

As I pushed Curmudgeon: How to Succeed as an Industry Analyst over the publishing line in late July, I was asked to present to members of Detroit Working Writers, the oldest writing group in the US, on my publishing journey. The event was very well received, but it was not recorded, so I recorded a private session below.

If you want to learn about the ins and outs of indie publishing I teach the lessons learned from each of my books.

Surviving Cyberwar. My only traditionally published book.

UP and to the RIGHT. My first indie-published book, still selling after eight years, and seeing a bump thanks to Curmudgeon.

There Will Be Cyberwar. My Masters Dissertation from King’s College London turned into a book.

Secure Cloud Transformation: The CIO’s Journey. By far my most widely distributed book with 35,000 copies world wide.

Security Yearbook 2020: A History and Directory of the IT Security Industry. The culmination of ten years of research. Purchase right here.

Stiennon On Security: Collected Essays. During lock-down I decided to compile ten years’ worth of columns from Forbes. Read Ben Rothke’s review.

And finally, Curmudgeon: How to Succeed as an Industry Analyst. It includes contributions from six veteran industry analysts.

Now my calendar is freed up to begin writing Security Yearbook 2021!

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Production complete of Security Yearbook 2020

You could argue that IT-Harvest has been in the book publishing business since 2012 when it published UP and to the RIGHT: Strategy and Tactics of Analyst Influence. But that, and our other books, were published via Create Space (now transitioned to Kindle Direct Publishing). It’s a different matter entirely to contract with a printer to produce books in volume. But the cost is dramatically lower. About one third the cost of Print on Demand.

For Security Yearbook 2020 we had visibility into potential sales. Secure Cloud Transformation has already sold 30,000+ copies. So, why not cut out the Print on Demand middleman and sell direct?

The process is similar: write a good book, format the interior, create a great cover, and submit files. But this time the files went to a printer, Sheridan Books, in Chelsea, Michigan. You may be surprised to learn that the Ann Arbor, Michigan, area is the epicenter of book printers in North America.

But, instead of a digital press, the files are converted to sets of pages that are etched onto aluminum plates on a giant laser printer pictures below. The flexible plates are wrapped around cylinders that print the pages at high speed. This is called off-set printing. The paper is sliced and cut and assembled into signatures that are sewn down the middle. Those are collated and bound together and then the hard covers are added.

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Finally, the books were packed in boxes and shipped to Fulex, the fulfillment warehouse in Warren, Michigan.

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Now for the next steps. Create an online shop to sell the books directly. That is hosted here at it-harvest.com.

Security Yearbook 2020 is already available for pre-order on Amazon.

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If you are coming to the RSA Conference in San Francisco at the end of the month you can find copies all over. Check out Where to Find Stiennon at RSAC 2020.