Last year my Write the Docs talk in Budapest concluded that publishers are the worst. I said they lure suckers in with chump change, then make large profits off their endless toil.
But just a few weeks later I started a new project with my publisher, Packt. It wasn’t a book this time, it was a d3.js video course.
Because why not. I’ve never made a video course before, but have strong opinions on why they suck. And trying out new media is fun.
If I can make a course that doesn’t need skimming and doesn’t make you watch at 1.5x speed, I’ve won. I basically want to make a course that I would want to watch.
Well, here we are. Ten months later and the scripts portion is done. Deadlines have long since whooshed by, my editors have given up on keeping a schedule, and I think that officially we are 6 months behind the original estimate.
They wanted to publish the course in October. It’s February and I haven’t started recording.
Maybe I did dawdle. Just over 310 hours have gone into the writing of the scripts. An average of just an hour and a bit a day.
Writing my d3.js book, Data Visualization with d3.js, the overall average ended up the same. But disregard the months of downtime between revisions, I invested three times as much daily effort into the book.
I mean, let’s be real here. Writing this video course I was so lazy and in such creative despair, that one time a higher up editor sent me an email saying “So err, dude, we haven’t heard from you in like two months. Are you alive?”
Yeah. That bad.
But I got it the fuck done! The scripts are finished. They are 32,000 words long, and they are good. I think.
As much time has gone just into writing the scripts as it did into the book start to publish. I’ll be damned if I get another stinging review like this one:
the content is weak and looks more like a me too, rushed approach.
Seriously, screw you guy. That hurt. It was my first book and I slaved over that stupid thing for a year. Cut me some slack here!
As for the scripts, my editor is encouraging:
There isn’t much feedback, the reviewers like the scripts as is(Can’t say that I am surprised, your scripts were brilliant!)
But there is an estimated 220 minutes of material there. Three and a half hours. They asked for two hours … oops.
Now I just hope my video recording and editing skills will be up to snuff. If this comes out as good as it looks in my head, it’s going to be awesome.
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