My co-author and I delivered the electronic files yesterday for Real World Adobe GoLive 6, a 900-page opus for intermediate to advanced users of the program, or those that want to reach that status in life. The last three months have been an increasingly intense focus on the book as we wrote tens of thousands of words, tested features, double-checked our conclusions, and laid out the book. We work as book packagers, creating the entire work from start to finish with input from our publisher, Peachpit Press, which has ultimate responsibility for the title. But we hire a copy editor, indexer, artists, etc., and deliver a final result.
We hooked our star to GoLive a few years ago, and this is the third edition of the book. Do I want to spend so much intellectual energy on a single software product? Yes and no. It's worthwhile, as we know the program so well, and we're in the revision stage. In this release, Adobe added substantial database/scripting language integration, so you can write PHP-based queries to MySQL through graphical drag-and-drop (or JSP or ASP, etc.). I learned quite a lot about database management and scripting (including PHP, which I had barely touched before) which will benefit my overall approach to things.
The no part of yes and no is that I've put out a lot of energy in a small space. Perhaps I should be writing books a la Cluetrain Manifesto, or even books of broader utility. Still, I do what I can do well, and this was a good deal all around. My co-author, Jeff, is a fine writer and collaborator, and the book is something I'm very proud about. Occasionally, readers email us and tell us how our book did change their life -- a new job, a raise, a better Web site -- and that's truly what it's all about. It's a living, but at the end of the day, you want to make sure you did something to help people, not just produce prose.