Ben Langhinrichs

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Let's make a deal

Tue 14 Dec 2010, 07:26 AM

by Ben Langhinrichs
All this furor about books, and I feel like I need to do something more active than ask questions. So, here's the deal. Come up with a specific proposal for a book, and post it on IdeaJam with a subject such as Book Proposal: title.  Explain the concept in the body, and ask people to vote it up or down. It must be a book you would buy for a fair price (say $25), or one you think you could legitimately convince your customer to buy. It must be distinct enough to be doable in about a hundred pages or so.  In other words, no Lotus Notes Programming Bible or Everything on Earth There is to Know About Quickr.  A good place to look might be at the kinds of topics chosen for Lotusphere, as they are discrete units.  A how-to on setting up and configuring a server, or a security topic on How to Properly Secure Connections, or a developer topic such as Building an XPage from Step 1 to Step Done. That sort of thing.

Then, post back here with a link. If possible, post the idea on your blog. See what the community reaction is.

If any ideas are even moderately popular, I'll see what I can do about turning out a book on the topic. I may not write it myself, as there are plenty of subject experts smarter than I am and better versed on the particular topics, but I'll strongarm some subject matter expert and edit it or get somebody to edit it, and get it out as an eBook.  You'll get an acknowledgement in the book, if we turn one out.

As a sweetener, if you suggest a reasonable idea (and I will be judge), I'll give you 10% off the cost of a server license for any product we sell. $750 off a CoexLinks license. $800 off an iFidelity Gateway license. $250 off a Midas server license. $500 off a CoexEdit license.  Just for making a solid proposal, even if we never turn it into a book.

I'm tired of talk. Let's see some action.

Copyright © 2010 Genii Software Ltd.

What has been said:

954.1. Nathan T. Freeman
(12/14/2010 01:29 PM)

100 pages of eBook for $25? Maybe it's just me, but that sounds kind of extravagant. Perhaps the target price should be more in the $10 range?

954.2. Ben Langhinrichs
(12/14/2010 02:01 PM)

Perhaps I should clarify. I didn't mean that would be the price. I talked with a couple of people before making this offer, and the price I bandied about was $10, possibly $15. But just to push back a bit, people go to Lotusphere and spend well over $2000, and are lucky to get to 15 sessions, which would be well over $130 a session, so it hardly seems extravagant to spend $25 on a book clarifying those steps in writing. Similarly, some may be well over 100 pages, but I don't want to see 450 page proposals.

In any case, the price will be lower than $25, but if even the person proposing the book wouldn't spend $25 on it, it isn't likely to fly.

954.3. Dave Harris
(14/12/2010 19:27)

Interesting exercise, Ben, let's hope it works.

With the burgeoning requirements for WAS/DB underneath the non-Domino Lotus products, this is the sort of book I'd like to see, explaining how DB2 and WAS manage HA and replication to Domino admins: Deploying WAS in a Domino Enterprise

954.4. Brian Benz
(12/14/2010 07:46 PM)

I think $25 is reasonable. It will help offset the BitTorrent version losses....:)

954.5. Ben Langhinrichs
(12/14/2010 08:01 PM)

No author is likely to get rich off this, but they may get their names out there more (marketing). With that in mind, while I might take some steps to avoid theft, it will also be an understood part of the equation. Fortunately for the author, if not for me, even people who steal it will learn that the author is an expert who might be worth hiring or listening to at Lotusphere or whatever.

954.6. Brian Benz
(12/14/2010 11:26 PM)

Ah the Naivete :)

Ugly truth: Tech books will not help you market your expertise to customers. the guy you really want to talk to is the one who is paying the guy you're talking to. And the guy you're talking to won't introduce you unless there's something in it for him.

Factor that into the equation too :).

954.7. Ben Langhinrichs
(12/15/2010 03:18 AM)

The best way of have seen it work is when the person who bought the book (call him Ryan) wants to bring the person who wrote it (call her Tricia) in for some project. When the boss (call him Bruno) asks how they can be sure Tricia is the right person to hire, Sandy can tell Bruno that Tricia wrote the book on the subject. Since bosses always want to believe that earlier decisions were good decisions, the decision to buy the book for ten bucks may help the decision to hire Tricia for $60/hour.

I've seen that at work, but it takes some effort on Tricia's part, and some luck as well.

954.8. Andrew Davie
(16/12/2010 08:49)

I guess what I really want is a cookbook of things that should be easy to do in xpages/XPiNC, but isn't.


Get the http URL for a server using XPiNC.

Wordwrap multiline edit controls.

Add the sessionId to code generated XPiNC URLs, and state which URL commands are available from XPiNC.

How to create Java functions inside the .nsf and call them from SSJS.

I hear that a textbook for xpages will be out in Jan, but I'm not sure any of the above will be covered.

954.9. Amanda Bauman
(12/16/2010 03:08 PM)

Hi Ben,

Are you interested in submitting the final book proposal to IBMPress?

954.10. Ben Langhinrichs
(12/16/2010 03:17 PM)

@Amanda - Thanks for stopping by. I think I may just handle it myself, but I'll keep the offer in mind.

954.11. Ellice Diane Uffer
(12/16/2010 04:00 PM)


If you are interested in writing an IBM Press book - please contact me. We are looking to expand our portfolio in this area.

954.12. mike woolsey
(02/05/2011 03:26 PM)

Here's another vote for "what can I get out of xpage: ?

Also, some documentation would be helpful of the new XML /JSON returns that're supporting XPages. Sometimes I just want to filter data coming back from a core control "a certain way", but it's kind of arcane to do that right now. Might be a useful feature for Domino Designer?