With the end finally in sight for Windows Phone Book, I’ve started thinking a bit about what comes next. Sure, I’ve got a lot of work to do on the current book, on both the writing and publishing sides, but I want to keep moving forward. And since I’m hoping to charge for the next book, I’m curious which topics are of the most interest to actual readers.
To be clear, any future book(s) will be super inexpensive, hopefully in the $1 to $2 range. The goal here is to completely subvert the traditional publishing process but do so in a way that is both affordable to readers and yet could pay for the time I actually spend on the book, assuming enough people pay for it. I’m also particularly interested in writing about products that will be updated regularly so I can update the book to keep it current.
We’ll see how that goes. For now, however, what I can control is the subject of the next book. And here are some topics I’m mulling over.
Outlook.com. This is one that’s been floating around in the background for a while now. In fact, when Microsoft first briefed me about Outlook.com last year, I thought it would be a good topic for a book. This would include Outlook.com email, contacts, and calendar as well as SkyDrive.
Office 365 Home Premium (+ Outlook.com book content). If I did do an Outlook.com book, Office 365 Home Premium might be a logical successor, since I could pull in most of the Outlook.com content and make this one a (much) bigger superset. The problem with this topic is that it’s huge: It would essentially evolve into a book about Office, which is a very big topic. So that’s a bit unsettling.
Office 365 Small Business/Small Business Premium. On the business side of the Office 365 equation, something about the small business versions of Office 365 would also be very interesting to me: First, something about the hosted Exchange, SharePoint and Lync offerings in Office 365 Small Business and then the Office stuff (Small Business Premium). As with the other Office 365 book, however, this is a daunting topic that would take a lot of time to cover adequately.
Windows 8.1. This one is perhaps the most interesting, but it may also be the most problematic. As you may know, Rafael and I wrote “Windows 8 Secrets” for Wiley, and they’ve contacted us to see whether it makes sense doing some kind of follow-up for Windows 8.1 (perhaps a short e-book-based delta guide). That’s one possibility. I’ve spoken to Rafael about this and assuming there’s no legal issue with us writing another Windows 8 book that competes with “Windows 8 Secrets,” we’d consider doing a from-scratch complete book about Windows 8 plus Windows 8.1 So that’s the other possibility: A full-length book about Windows that could be updated as new releases arrive in the future.
Surface (Surface RT and Pro). On the outlier side of the equation, I would consider doing a guide to Surface that would include both Surface RT and Pro, and be updated over time as new updates and accessories appear. (And perhaps that 8-inch Surface Mini, though I’m not sure that’s really the same kind of device.) This could be sly way to write a book about Windows 8.x/RT without infringing directly on “Windows 8 Secrets,” I guess.
Surface Pro. Alternatively, if I were going to write a book about just one of the Surface devices, I’d focus on Surface Pro.
So that’s where my head is at. Let me know what you think, which topic(s) are the most interesting, or even if there’s something else that makes more sense to you.