Mayan book

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AlliCaspar
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Mayan book

Post by AlliCaspar » Thu Jun 06, 2019 6:15 pm

Hi Roberto. I saw mention of a planned book about Mayan. What is the timeline for the book release? What is the target audience?
Thanks!

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rosarior
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Re: Mayan book

Post by rosarior » Fri Jun 07, 2019 4:09 am

Hello,

thanks for the interest. There is no timeline yet, it is just barely more than outline with some pages at this moment. I'm basing the outline of the existing documentation and the material I've been building for on-site training we've been doing.

I'm not sure the demand is there for a printed manual or book about Mayan. As for the target audience, the outline has beginner topics (document types, source), as well as advanced topics (workflows, indexing), and other things like operations and API. Putting everything into a single book would be too much but on the other hand the idea of doing 3 or 4 different books gives me shivers :)

It is too early to give you more details, this is practically in the planning stage.

Any feedback is welcome, even if it just a +1 to let me know there is interest :)

Thank you.

AlliCaspar
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Joined: Thu Jun 06, 2019 6:11 pm

Re: Mayan book

Post by AlliCaspar » Fri Jun 07, 2019 5:07 am

Mr. Roberto, you underestimate yourself!

It looks to me as if you yourself still have not realized what you've started. Mayan-EDMS is one of the few worthwhile contenders in the hegemonical market of document management. This is a market that is solely dominated by vendor lock-in schemes, predatory sales tactics, overpriced products, and outdated software monoliths. There is little innovation because the few "competitors" don't actually compete with each other and the whole product landscape has remained virtually stagnated for the last 30 years. It is cash cow for the industry leaders.

What you've built is one of the most powerful tools to break free and give back individuals and organizations control of their documents!

That's nothing to sneeze at.

I'm a technical writer and will happy to give you some pointers:

- Don't think, just write. Set yourself a goal of just one line. Then a paragraph. Then a page. Start small and make a habit of writing a bit as frequently as possible.

- Don't try to sound professional or eloquent. Imagine you are explaining Mayan-EDMS to a friend who is interested, but is new to the software. You can polish the wording later on, or give it to an editor which will do it for you. Talk in active second person, remember you are talking to your audience this is not a fantasy story. "To create a X you must first do Y using the menu Z". Passive voice just wastes time, words, and is harder to follow. Don't do "Use the menu Z after you've done Y to accomplish X".

- Only after you've written a few pages will you take a pause and work on an outline. Working on outlines early on will make the creation of the book look like trying to climb the Everest with just a pick-ax.

- When you've done the outline and have had a taste of what it takes to write a few pages, then you work on your writing schedule. Now you know how much time and mental energy it takes you to write a page. This is your basic working unit when writing a book. The outline will give you the estimated total count of pages, divide that by the number of pages you feel you can write per week and that will give you your deadline.

- Give yourself a deadline. The pressure will help you not put off writing when you don't feel like it.

- Inspiration will come at some unexpected times. Carry a small notepad with you and write down a reminder for the idea you just had. Don't attempt to "write" using a small travel notepad. These are just to avoid the section idea you just had, from evaporating until you get yourself in front of the computer.

- Don't think about a title, cover art, or any of that. It will distract you from writing. Of those, the title is of vital importance followed by the cover illustration, but they must be dealt with later in the process.

- Don't worry about the perfect use of language. First and foremost technical books should be about technical information of the topic they cover. They are not meant to be literary masterpieces that elevate the use of the language they are written in. Get the technical aspects correct, that is paramount. Proper use of the common language, that comes second. I myself am not a native English speaker, that doesn't stop people from buying and appreciating my books. Spell and grammar checkers will help you with the most basic errors. A human editor will take care of what remains.

- There are specialized book writing tools. Don't use them. Write in the simplest text editor you feel comfortable with. The important thing is to be able to write a lot with the least amount of effort. Don't worry about formatting or styling. If you want to mark a block of text just designate special character for that.

- Write as a single stream of consciousness. Don't pause to read what you've written.

- Write a lot even if it is repeating the same with different words. You can always edit later. It is always better to write more than you think you will need.

- When it comes to audiences for technical books, split the content. If you feel there is not enough content for individual editions, then, by all means, do a unified book. But, don't worry or even try to bridge the chapters or parts that are meant for the different audiences. They, by definitions, are not really connected by content, only by purpose.

Finally, just write it. 83% of people feel they have a book in them waiting to be written. If you publish it, sure there will be critics, and even trolls (these are not exclusive to internet forums), but unless it is truly and empirically terrible technical book (I've seen extremely few of these in my life), people will buy it. They will buy it and they will read it, they will learn something from it, and they will thank you for it.

stevemgrimes
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Re: Mayan book

Post by stevemgrimes » Mon Jun 10, 2019 5:00 pm

+1 - very interested!

I'm curious - it seems to me that you probably have quite a few advanced users out there who might be willing to pitch in. What about setting this up as a Wiki and allow those users (the advanced ones, who would be interested) to contribute content of their own knowledge and experience with the product? Make it a collaboration and get it going!
Steve Grimes
Business Systems Analyst
Inland Regional Center
San Bernardino, CA

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rosarior
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Re: Mayan book

Post by rosarior » Wed Jun 12, 2019 5:57 am

Those are some great tips, thank you!

Any suggestion to a crowdfunding website dedicated to technical books or any other method to finance the publishing?

@stevemgrimes There is a open Wiki at wiki.mayan-edms.com. It is going to be retired due to a lack of participation in the past year. The information in the Wiki has become outdated and a source of confusion. We much rather keep everything in a single place like docs.mayan-edms.com even if it is in a format (rST) that is less popular than the Wiki's markup language.

briboe
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Re: Mayan book

Post by briboe » Tue Aug 20, 2019 2:39 pm

+1 - very interested

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rosarior
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Re: Mayan book

Post by rosarior » Tue Aug 20, 2019 8:00 pm

The pre-release version of the book "Exploring Mayan EDMS" available now at a discounted price!
book_cover.jpg
book_cover.jpg (59.96 KiB) Viewed 235 times
Limited quantities at first as this is my time using the Sellfy sales platform.

The pre-release version is pretty much the final book, the only things missing is some chapters regarding minor features like message of the day.

Buyers of the pre-release will get the full version for free when it is ready.

The link is https://sellfy.com/p/um2fkx/

passing_mode
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Re: Mayan book

Post by passing_mode » Thu Aug 22, 2019 7:11 pm

I love Mayan but the learning curve always puts me off. Glad this is being addressed! +1

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rosarior
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Re: Mayan book

Post by rosarior » Fri Sep 06, 2019 10:16 pm

Thank for the feedback. I've been collecting the input and will be working on the final version of the book soon.

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