MPLS for Cisco Networks – technical editor in, color pages out!

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.

Firstly no matter how low you price it there will be people in a certain certification forum who will still ask for copies for free. You would think that with it being priced reasonably people would be more inclined to purchase it, but there are still some people who want everything for free.

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!

So firstly the good news. I got an email a little while ago from someone who had bought my book and he said (in a nice way) that it had a couple of run on sentences and a few bits of train of thought in it, and would I like him to do some technical editing. Some might have thought this to be a bit cheeky, but in no way was it phrased like a sales pitch, and he has a good history in teaching and in networking. I thought it would make a lot of sense. Hopefully he can polish off my book, and together we can create something a little larger than me just working by myself. His name is Beau, and hopefully we’ll do a little introduction for him later.

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.


  1. Soufiane Adil May 14, 2014
  2. Giorgio Pierbattisti May 15, 2014
  3. Stuart Fordham May 15, 2014
  4. Stuart Fordham May 15, 2014
  5. Stuart Fordham September 7, 2014
  6. Anonymous September 10, 2014