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Sue, why is your book

 
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thinner than other Struts books ? Is it enough to master the topic ? Then why other authers make the books thicker ? To get more money ?
I prefer thinner book because there are too many things to learn, no time for thick book. But I have bad experience for thin books because they are not clear enough.
 
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My problem with thin books has been actually a prime example of bad expectations management on my behalf
I always looked for The Book for learning a new technology from head to heel. Then I realised that it's just not working--there are few authors who manage to put just the right amount of information into a limited set of pages. Since I figured that out, I've been happy to buy a couple of books per tech. One (thin) for learning the concepts, one (thick) for a technical reference.
However, Sue's book doesn't sound like a bird's eye introduction so that kinda makes me wonder as well about "what's the deal with only 150 pages?"
For comparison (Amazon.com info):
Struts in Action, 664 pages
Struts Kick Start, 504 pages
Mastering Jakarta Struts, 360 pages
Professional Struts Applications, 318 pages
Programming Jakarta Struts, 462 pages
 
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Well this could be an answer that gets me into trouble...both with publishers and other authors...but hey you asked .
My book is part of a 'Practical Guide' Series that are a set of books very focused on the topic. Mine in particular, is focused on real world developers who have a project and/or product to get out the door, and need to come up to speed on Struts very quickly. There is also an intentional limit on the page count for the series. For those that haven't authored, trust me, it is MUCH harder to write short, concise, and to the point than it is to drone on about a topic. I had to make some very real and hard choices about the topics. In my preface, I clearly state that I'm following the 80/20 rule. 80% of what you'll need to get your application built is contained between the covers while the other 20% I give advanced feature pointers and solutions to some of them. Building a sample application that follows the book gives the reader a chance to actually work with the code while they read about it to learn.
From what I can gather from some of the book comments, people seem to think thin=beginner, so they get in over their head because they don't have the proper background. From one of the reader comments on Amazon.com:
'With a sub-price tag, it's hard to justify spending 2 and 3 times the amount on another book. If you need a true practical guide, this is it'
To answer the ‘why aren’t there more thin books’ question…the answer is simple. Publishers can’t charge $39-$79 dollars a book if a book is only 150 pages. Notice the $19.95 price tag on mine. Lower price tag also means that the author doesn’t make as much. So if it takes the same amount of time to write a 150 book as it does to write a 550 page book (and it does I can tell you from first hand experience) why would an author do so? Personal preference I suppose. First and foremost, I’m an engineer. I’ve spent a good amount of time in this industry and I know when I need to learn a new technology I don’t need (or want) a 100 page tutorial on why a JVM is platform independent. I write my books for actual engineers who have work to do. Not for the sake of taking down a lot of trees unnecessarily. I’d rather have a solid group of readers that get a large benefit from my books then a huge amount of readers who shove the book on a shelf to gather dust.
I definitely put my book head to head (and dollar for dollar) with any of the other Struts books out there and leave it up to the readers to determine if the extra 400 pages was worth their time and money .
Sue
 
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All of my favaorite tech books have an example that is followed through out the entire book. So at the end of the book, you have a working application of some sort to show for your study.
I can't wait to get your book.
 
Lasse Koskela
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Sue, I'm sold. I'll mentally put your book above the others on my shopping list (with the reservation that there probably will be new titles coming out before I get to really start Struts'ing)
 
If we don't do the shopping, we won't have anything for dinner. And I've invited this tiny ad:
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