Writing

How I Plan My Books

The thing about writing advice is that I don’t want to give it. Partly because I only have one book out so far, and partly because I think the process is probably different for everyone. What I do know though is that when I started writing my first book, I looked around for ages trying to find ideas.

I’d never been much of planner when it came to essays or books or papers. I was much more of a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants type. But last year was tumultuous and I needed some kind of plan or the book would never have been written. So I thought I’d show it to you in case it’s of use.  Continue reading “How I Plan My Books”

Writing

Finding Time To Write Your Book

I’ve been thinking a bit recently about all the things I do with my life. Starting the ‘How Do You Fit It All In?‘ series has made me realise how changeable my weeks are, even within the themed routine I set myself.

It’s been interesting as well to work out how to get back into doing everything after taking almost a year off work. I wasn’t completely idle, of course, but 2017 was a lot less productive work-wise than most of my years. And yet still I managed to publish a book.

So if you want to write a book, where do you find the time?  Continue reading “Finding Time To Write Your Book”

Weekly Round-Ups

How Do You Fit It All In? #5

The fifth instalment in a series in which I answer the ongoing question “How do you fit it all in?”, which people ask me when I tell them what I do. Continue reading “How Do You Fit It All In? #5”

Writing

Drafting A Query Letter To A Publisher

The “Hello please buy my book” letter is one of the most nervewracking things you’re going to have to write. But you do have to do it, unless you want to go the self-publishing route, because otherwise your book’s going to linger in your archives for so long that it’ll end up being out of date.

One of the most annoying things when you’re trying to get your book published is how vague a lot of the advice is. “Find a publisher, send a query letter, get a book deal.” Um, yeah. I know. But, like, how?

Now I’m not saying I’ve got this all figured out, but I have one published book under my belt so far, and the query letter I sent to a publisher didn’t get a negative response (though they did ask for a little more detail, but that’s in the outline rather than the email itself… more on outlines in a future post).

So here’s the text of the email I sent them, with details redacted but otherwise intact.  Continue reading “Drafting A Query Letter To A Publisher”

Books, digital forensics, Writing

Finding A Publisher For Your Book

In January 2017, I got an email from a publisher. They asked if I wanted to write a book about digital forensics. I said no. They asked again. I said no again. They kept asking more and more nicely, and offering me more and more things in exchange. I kept saying no. I wasn’t trying to negotiate a higher price, I just really didn’t want to write a digital forensics textbook.

In the end I said yes if I could have a co-author. I found Oleg Skulkin via Twitter, and we signed contracts and started writing a book together. Eventually, Windows Forensics Cookbook was born.

Unfortunately everything didn’t go quite how I’d expected.  Continue reading “Finding A Publisher For Your Book”

Books

2017 Reflections: Books – Non-Fiction

Following on from yesterday’s best fiction post, here are the best non-fiction books I read this year. (Note that not all of these were published this year, that’s just when I read them.)

The following are abridged reviews; where there’s a longer version on the blog, I’ve linked to it.

Continue reading “2017 Reflections: Books – Non-Fiction”

Personal

A realisation and some significant changes

Today I came to a realisation that can be summed up in a sentence that sounds fairly simple, but has taken me an embarrassingly long time to grasp:

Just because you’re good at something, that doesn’t mean you have to do it.

Continue reading “A realisation and some significant changes”