Despite the drunken monkey knife fight of an experience that the reworking of Joomla! for Dummies turned out to be, I just tonight started work on Drupal for Dummies: Second Edition. Call me a fool, call me short-sighted. Slap my thighs and call me Susan, but I have a good feeling about this experience.
With Joomla! for Dummies, I had no idea of what I was getting into. The original text had a number of issues that I had not been aware of before taking the project on. Add to this the fact that as I updated the text, the developers working on Joomla! 1.6 were also busy updating their venerable CMS. This forced me to rework the book a number of times over the course of a few months in order to ensure that it was in step with the changes that the developers were making. I fear that there may still be a number of errors in there that I hadn’t the time to correct. To my readers, you have my humble apologies for this. It’s also worth mentioning that Joomla! for Dummies was my first project for Wiley Publishing. They’re a good bunch to work for, but I’ll tell you, the learning curve for their editorial system is deadly. This jacked the stress level surrounding the project up considerably. In total, the book took close to eight months to complete, which was a far cry from the six weeks that were discussed in my original contract. My hat is off to the editorial staff at Wiley for working with me and understanding all of the technical obstacles that I encountered as I worked on the project. To this day, I’m not sure how I feel about Joomla! for Dummies. There’s a lot of my blood in those pages, much of which, I’d have rather not parted with. On the other hand, it represents my first published book-length work. That’s got to count for something, right?
With Drupal for Dummies, I feel I have a lot going for me. For starters, I’ll be co-authoring the book with my good friend the talented Lynn Beighley. Not only is her code monkey kung-fu far stronger than mine, she also wrote the first edition of the book herself. It feels very good to know that I’m working with someone that I respect and trust… on a project first written by someone that I respect and trust. There’s also the fact that I’m a little older and significantly wiser where writing for Wiley is concerned. Having overcome the massive roadblock of learning their in-house editorial templates, I feel that I’ll be able to churn out pages at a much faster pace this time around.
As I progress through the book, I’ll try and remember to jot down some of my thoughts surrounding the experience here. You might not want to hear anything about it, but I think it’d be keen to be able to look back a few years from now and reflect on the project.