I have at last found a viable workflow to produce e-books of my various books and blogposts, via Leanpub.
There’s one significant constraint in this form of publishing: Leanpub uses Markdown text-files for input, which is a fair bit more limited in its formatting than my books normally use. But that constraint fits well with the very tight limitations of .MOBI (Kindle) files – the cause of so many of my conversion-nightmares prior to finding Leanpub – and it also works well with automated import and conversion of blog-posts, which is something I’ve needed for a very long time.
Leanpub also presents e-books as a ‘package deal’, with EPUB, MOBI (aka AZW, for Kindle) and portrait-formatted PDF formats all included in the one price. They also support an automated means to sell via Apple iBooks (for iPad etc) and Amazon (for Kindle), but doing that costs a fair bit and it’s a much lower royalty, so I’ll only be able to do that for books for which there’s a sizeable demand. For everything else, Leanpub is simple enough and cheap enough to make it worthwhile to publish a lot more of my material that way.
A key theme at Leanpub is publish early, publish often. If you buy a book, you not only get all three file-formats, but you also maintain access to all future updates – Leanpub send you an email to let you know whenever a new update is available.
See my home-page at leanpub.com/u/tetradian for the current status of each item – published or in-development – and, if published, the current content.
I’ll be doing three types of e-book publications: books, practice-notes, and anthologies of posts from the weblogs.
Books (Tetradian Enterprise Architecture series)
These are straightforward e-book versions of my existing books, though in some cases with additional content from the blogs. The aim is that these should also move out to Amazon (for Kindle) and probably Apple (for iBooks). Once published, the content should not change – in other words, the same as for a conventional printed book.
Pricing will be a lot less than for the respective printed book.
Already published on Leanpub:
- The enterprise as story - same as for the printed book
- Mapping the enterprise - with an additional appendix on the simplified notation for Enterprise Canvas
- Everyday enterprise-architecture - same as for the printed book
Conversion from Word is not all that simple: each book takes a few days to get ready for publication, so it’ll be a few weeks before all of the existing books are up there. My current priority-order for conversion of the other published Tetradian EA books is:
- The service-oriented enterprise - with some additional notes linking it to Enterprise Canvas
- Doing enterprise-architecture
- Bridging the silos - with some additional notes on working with TOGAF 9.1 and Archimate 2.0
- Real enterprise-architecture
- Power and response-ability
- SEMPER & SCORE
Please let me know if you need my to change that sequence.
(I’ll probably also do all of the books in the other series at some stage, but it’s not so much of a priority.)
Practice-notes (Tetradian EA Practice series)
These will be ‘mini-books’ – typically about half the length of my usual books – that cover a specific topic focused on some practical theme. The content will be based on existing weblog-posts, but will usually be edited quite a bit to make a more consistent structure and story, and there’ll also be a new introduction-chapter to set the context in each case.
These will be updated occasionally, to keep in line with developments in practice, but also to keep the number of updates sent to Apple or Amazon down to a practicable level.
Pricing should be around half that of the full-length e-books.
Titles already in plan include:
- Using SCAN for sensemaking – about sensemaking and decision-making for enterprise-architecture with my SCAN framework
- Modelling with Enterprise Canvas – the simplified notation for Enterprise Canvas, plus model-development methods such as the ‘This’ game
- Backbone and edge - about the architecture trade-offs between slow-changing core and fast-changing edge, waterfall versus agile, and governance to match
- From business-model to real-world practice - conversion from Business Model Canvas to Enterprise Canvas, customer-journey mapping and implementation-layer models such as UML and BPMN
- Modelling service-content - how to use the expanded Zachman-type taxonomy from Enterprise Canvas for whole-of-enterprise modelling
- Whole-of-enterprise architecture - how and why to extend enterprise-architecture beyond its conventional focus on IT
Again, let me know if you want me to add other themes or to change that priority-order – and keep an eye out on my Leanpub page as to when new Practice Notes e-books will be coming out.
Weblog-anthologies (Tetradian EA Topics series)
These will be straightforward anthologies from the Tetradian and Sidewise blogs – the kind of publishing for which Leanpub was initially designed. There’ll be a very simple introduction-chapter, and some minimal clean-up editing, but otherwise each chapter will essentially be the same as on the weblog.
(Note that, for obvious reasons of cross-reference and cross-linking and the like, some blog-posts will appear in more than one anthology.)
The main purpose here is to sort the many posts on enterprise-architecture and related themes (more than 500 posts so far…) into a more usable form, and in a format that’s convenient for offline reading on Kindle and the like.
These will be updated quite often, whenever a suitable set of blog-posts come along – and because of the frequent updates, will probably not go to Amazon’s Kindle-store or Apple’s iBookstore. (You would do a simple file-import to your reader-device instead.) Perhaps the key point is that once you’ve bought the anthology-book, you’ll continue to get all of those updates for free.
Pricing will be minimal – it’s mainly to cover my time for conversion and clean-up. But the price for each book will rise slowly as the amount of content increases – so the earlier you buy the book, the better the deal you’ll get.
Some key topics already identified include:
- Tools and toolsets – including all the discussion around metamodels and the like
- ‘Really Big Picture’ enterprise-architecture – applying EA principles to themes such as economics, sustainability and society as a whole
- The architecture of management – rethinking management and the like from an EA systems-thinking lens
- Story and narrative in enterprise-architecture – the underlying themes behind The enterprise as story
Again let me know if there’s any specific theme upon which you’d like me to develop an anthology.