This is a follow up post on what Jonathan announced yesterday - Camel in Action is complete.
This is what Manning told us in an email on December 9th 2010.
Yes, we're done. More importantly, you're done! Congratulations!!
Lets see if I can dig out some numbers for this project.
First mail: 2009-02-15
Last mail: 2010-12-09
Mail threads: 572 (this is not total number of mails, just number of individual conversations)
MEAP updates: 9
Manuscript completed in: 13 months
Production phase: 5 months
Bestseller: 10th spot all time bestseller 2010 (the book is frequent in top 10 bestseller of the week)
So it all started in start of February 2009, when Hadrian contacted me about this book project. Hadrian responded to Manning on 2009-02-15 which you may say its where the ball started to roll about this project. Hadrian and I had to come up with a book plan later, and all what follows to get the a book project started. Three weeks later we had external people review our book proposal, which provided great feedback.
Manning decided to move forward and on the 2009-03-24 they opened up discussing a contract.
I signed the contract on the 2009-04-02.
We got started on a bumpy ride with the project. It took almost 6 weeks after we where supposed to get started before I finally had cleared my path and was ready to really dig in. So on 2009-07-04 I started OpenOffice and started to dig in.
Hadrian didn't seem to be able to find time to work on the project, so after a while it was clear we needed help, and then Jonathan came aboard. The book project was back on track and we and Manning had regained or trust that we could make this happen.
Jonathan was on a roll from the very start and he crafted a really great chapter 2. A month later we had our deadline to deliver 4 chapters for the MEAP to go online. On the 2009-10-22 the Camel in Action book was up for sale at Manning. The first goal of our contract was fulfilled.
Then there is a long period with just hard work. I spend nearly all my weekends writing on the book. Some weekend I was able to spend 2 x 8 hours. Others just a couple of hours. I found that I was most productive on the weekends when I could get started in the morning. During weekdays, after work, you would not be able to work as much. Those days was best spent doing polishing, review and the likes.
We wrote and developed the chapters until mid July 2010 where we delivered the final manuscript. That means we handed over 14 chapters. The appendixes would be written thereafter. During the MEAP period we posted 9 updates. I think this is great for our readers, that they would get frequent updates of the book, along as its being written.
We got in talks with Martin Krasser about him being a guest author for a new appendix about Akka and Camel. We are both admires and think the Akka project is really cool. And having Martin write this would be the best as he is in fact committer on both projects and coded the Camel integration in Akka. Yes as a reader you get the information is from the source. Later this month this appendix will be given free at the Manning website. So keep an eye when that happens.
So after 4 - 5 months of being in whats known as the product phase (copy editing, type setting etc.), the book is done.
I recently spoke to Manning about how the sale of the book is going. They are very pleased with the book. We have sold 1807 copies (2010-12-05) from MEAP. This number is only sales from the Manning website. Whatever Amazon have sold is not included. They haven't disclosed that figure to us yet. The book is at the press currently, and Manning have ordered about 4500 for the first print (hardcopies). So all together that is a good sign there is a strong interrest in Camel in the community.
And if you wonder if the book is any good? Then this quote from the Camel father (James Strachan) says it all "I highlight recommend this book. It kicks ass!"
Wonder what would be my next project :)