« SOAP stands for what? | Main | Book Review: Ant The Definitive Guide »

My very first book review was published by Slashdot

It was a pleasant surprise to see my very first book review published at Slashdot!

The overall process of submitting and getting published was quite an experience. It started with me submitting the review draft day before yesterday. The submission process itself was quite smooth, although I did get the impression that Slashdot gets a lot of submissions than it could possibly publish.

So, I was pleasantly surprized to got a mail from one of the editors, Tim Lord, known as timothy, the very next day. It had some high quality feedback on improving the review as well as fair amount of lambasting that I hadn't read the Slashdot book review guidelines (which, BTW, was true!). Couple of email exchanges later, I had a fairly good idea of what was expected in a Slashdot book review. There wasn't anything new that isn't already covered in the review guidelines, but the guidelines are no match for the direct coaching in the context of a specific work.

Happy that I had the attention of Slashdot, I reworked the whole review and submitted it again yesterday night. The final version that appeared at Slashdot had some more editorial adjustments.

You can see what difference the editorial coaching made by comparing my original draft with the one that got published.

The intensity of the interaction and the quality of feedback amazed me -- it was much more detailed and substantial than those editorial comments I got on draft chapters of my book or other publications. Tim kept telling me that I should say *what and why* about the book than just saying *it is great*. No wonder Slashdot reviews are generally read much better (than reviews at other places).

I am still somewhat mystified about why Tim spent as much time with me as he did, especially considering the high volume of review submissions they get. Though I do have some plausible explanations: I perhaps had a few sentences that caught his attention:

  • "Using a Hole-Hawg for the job of a homeowners drill can have deleterious effect on productivity by causing serious harm to the health of the inexperienced operator." Just identifying a tool for a task is not enough. You should also be able to match the demands of the task to the characteristics of the tool and your ability to handle the tool.
  • What this book does is to create the right context, introduce the appropriate topics, and generate sufficient motivation to explore further. Fair enough. In fact, I believe this is the best approach for any book in this "Google era" -- the book should tell what you should look for and let Google do the rest.

This, coupled with the credibility due to author status, might have influenced him. Or that is what I think.


This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on April 20, 2005 11:15 PM.

The previous post in this blog was SOAP stands for what?.

The next post in this blog is Book Review: Ant The Definitive Guide.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

Powered by
Movable Type 3.33