My second book entitled “MPLS for Cisco Networks” is coming along really well. I have had some very good feedback for my first book “BGP for Cisco Networks” so I am really encouraged that people are finding it a worthwhile read.
Self publishing CCIE books and pricing
I have learnt a few things from writing my first book, mainly about pricing.
Secondly price does matter. Publishing on Kindle is a pretty good way (not saying that it’s foolproof) to make sure that it doesn’t end up being shared for free across the globe, so my intellectual property is fairly well secured, plus as the kindle app is available on pretty much everything it can reach a very wide audience. Kindle allows me to be flexible on price, and overheads are low. That said the print version does just as well as the mobi version. Reading on a tablet is great, but there is nothing like holding a physical book, but pricing a printed book can be tricky – which I’ll explain in a moment.
Anyway, back to the subject in hand, I am not digressing (much) as there is a purpose to all of this.
A technical editor!
On to the less good news – it’s not bad news, but it’s a little gripe more than anything.
MPLS for Cisco Networks in black and white
One of the feedbacks that I received was that it would have been nice to have color pages. I totally agree with this, especially as the next book has different areas referred to by colors of Red, White and Blue, rather than say Company A, Company B etc. This looks great so far, but something will be a little lost in translation to black and white print.
So what are the options? Well, the printed version which is priced at a mere $14.99 does not make much in profit. Once Createspace/Amazon have taken their cut, I get about $5, there is also a holding tax of 30% on top of that because I am a UK resident, so really its not looking like I can retire any time soon, I am doing this because I wanted to write a book and do something creative that people would find beneficial, money is not the primary objective. Nonetheless, if I wanted to create a 250 page book at $14.99 in black and white then we are looking at $5 royalty. If we switch to color print then I would actually owe Createspace over $9. So to make the same royalty of $5 the book would have to cost over $39! This goes against the whole idea of making the books affordable.
I am not Cisco, I can’t release a book at ridiculous prices – such as the kindle only CCIE v5 Route and Switch Configuration Practice Labs at $50+, or the official v5 certification guide at $99. Don’t get me wrong, I am not knocking these books as they are really good, and well worth the investment, I just don’t see why they have to be so expensive. The exam is expensive enough, so there needs to be a break in expenditure somewhere. Which is why I priced my books at what I think is a reasonable level.
So sadly color print will not be an option. There will be color diagrams available on the website under the CCIE books menu when its released, probably in PDF or jpg, or both. If anyone has any recommendations then I am all ears.