2 Dec

The crossroads – tech book publisher or indie?

So my friends know that I’m risk-tolerant. In fact you could say that I’m risk-ignorant. I don’t usually give the risk of a venture much thought. That’s changing a bit as I get older, but still mostly there.

That’s translated into me traveling and living all over the world. Into starting and running my own businesses, and doing consulting.

With that in mind, I now have a dilemma. I’ve committed myself to producing a “book.” Really what I’ve committed to is producing a whole whack of content: tutorials and code. It could be put into the shape of a book, or it could be something else. At the end of my labors, I’ll either have a book or I’ll have a product, or both.

To give some context – this started as an idea for a book about Unreal Engine 4 internals. Was going to be something like “Extending Unreal Engine 4” – lots of stuff about creating custom editors, asset types, plugins, etc.

I’m still going to focus on that, but since it’s hard to just make toy versions of anything that serious in Unreal 4 and have it be useful, I changed the focus – extend Unreal Engine 4 to make it into a useful tactical RPG engine. I’ve got some good ideas there, and I think it’ll make a good product or book.

So here’s where the crossroads comes in.

If I go the traditional route, I’ll find some publisher like O’Reilly and give them a book proposal. I’ll bust my ass for 6-12 months and at the end I’ve got a fantastic calling card for getting consulting work in UE4.

The other way is riskier – try to monetize a product from this work. Either using the Epic marketplace or my own site, or both.

I’m very inclined to go the risky way of course. But I’d like some opinions.

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