Don Jones

Tech | Career | Musings

If you’re a regular reader, then you know that The DSC Book has been up for sale for a while now. As of this morning, the price went up a bit – the book is more than halfway “complete” (more on that in a moment), and so the initial early-bird pricing is going away. And I’ll be forthright and state right here that the price will go up again when the main body of the book is done, which I expect in a couple of months or so. That’ll make for an expensive book, given the length.

But this isn’t like any book you’ve bought in the past.

The reason I’m self-publishing this book, and more specifically doing it through LeanPub, is that the book won’t ever be done. As the technology evolves, I can update and re-publish the book. If you’ve allowed LeanPub to send you notification emails, you’ll get one each time I revise it. And my plan is to continue to revise it.

We’re in what I call Phase 1 right now. The goal of Phase 1 is to document the core functionality of DSC. The examples, right now, tend to be brief, and focused more on structure. If you’re already a competent PowerShell coder, then the current examples are probably all you need to do your thang in your own environment.

Once all the core functionality is documented, though, Phase 2 begins. And Phase 2 will last pretty much forever. It’s when I’ll be going back and adding more examples, including an entire case study that I’ve created. I’ll be adding – and revising, as the state of the industry evolves – practices and techniques. As people run into problems, I’ll add those to the text. As Microsoft changes the product, I’ll run through and add those changes. So while this may eventually be an $80 book of under 40,000 words, it’s the last time you’ll have to buy it. I don’t anticipate a “second edition;” I anticipate this being a lifelong work. Until and unless Microsoft changes DSC so drastically that a rewrite is needed, I’d much rather just keep revising this one book, potentially for years to come.

So tell a friend. Tell a colleague. Tell your local user group, mention it in your blog. I’m trying to do something different, that casts off the way books have traditionally been done, because DSC evolves to frequently that the old publishing models just don’t work. With this new approach, I can hopefully be more responsive and agile, and help bring you the information you need more quickly. You can feed me comments, typos, and new information, which I can incorporate almost immediately. While it might not be perfection (there’s no easy way in an EPUB, for example, to see “what’s new”), we’ll get it as close as we can together (I’m going to add a changelog chapter once Phase 1 is complete).

I deeply appreciate everyone who’s supported the project so far. To give you some scope of what that means, as of this morning we’ve sold just under 100 copies of the book. As LeanPub very clearly shows you, that’s under $3500 in income (you don’t write books to get rich, trust me). So every sale is hugely appreciated in terms of making this financially palatable to @PSHDonsBoss. And the feedback I’ve received has been incredibly helpful, so please keep it coming (you can drop a comment right here, and I include my email address in the new-revision email notifications).

Again – thank you. And now, back to writing.

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