Friday, June 01, 2007

A little about my book...

I apologize for this brief digression from the normal flow of the blog, but I've been receiving certain comments of late from several venues, and I thought I would address them all at once...

Many times, in forums (forii??) or email, someone will see me say "...as I mentioned in my book..." or "...as detailed in my book..." and I've received comments that some folks have been turned off by that. Okay, I can go with that, as I dislike sales pitches myself. So why do I say something like that?

The first conclusion that many seem to come to is that I'm trying to get you to purchase my book to line my pockets. Don't take this personally...but that is not only the first and most popular reaction, but also the most naive and uneducated one, as well. The folks who feel that way have not written a book and do not know what goes into writing such a book. Further, they have no idea how little an author makes on the sale of a book.

So why do it? Well, I wrote both of my books (first one and second one) as references...I had a lot of information to share, and I wanted to put it all in one place, and thought that it would be a good idea to do so in a manner that would make it available to others.

Now, I could post this stuff on the Internet for free, couldn't I? Rather constantly rewriting the same thing over and over again into emails and posts, I could cut-n-paste it, or simply post it on the Internet and constantly repost the link. But that gets pretty tiresome...so why not put it into a book? Another benefit of having it in a book is that there is a certain amount of credibility to the material...after all, it has to be tech edited and reviewed. My first book had three tech reviewers (some more engaged than others)...my second one started with one, and ultimately had two. Look at who tech edited my second book, and also look at the names of folks who are acknowledged as having made contributions that were important to the development of the book...doesn't that give the material a bit more credibility than posting it to the Internet?

So the next time you see me say those words, and think to yourself, "man, I wish this guy would just shut up about his book!!", try thinking instead that there maybe something useful in that book or on the DVD...Troy Larson thought so.

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

Sir,
Most published authors refer to the title of the book, not 'my book', in the body of a publication. Then the title and author are cited at the end, in the bibliography. This makes your work look like it was done by an educated professional.

Keydet89 said...

Thanks for your comment, anonymous.

Mark McKinnon said...

Anonymous,

Most people who have been reading Harlan's blog already know the title of Harlan's book. When he refers to it as 'my book' we automatically put the title in that spot when we read it.

Now for the crack about proper citing, think this is a blog, what is a blog but running commentary/news on certain topics, it is not that formal. If you look at the tagged words in the blog you will see that they do reference other sites, people, etc.., it is just not in the formal way people who only write papers are used to, but the way a blog uses references. The references are still there and best of all they are hyperlinked so you can go to exactly what he is referencing and look at it.

For the people who are turned off by harlan's references to 'his book' in the blog. All he is doing is providing more reference material that he put together in the book for you to go look at if you want. Now I am not sure why you would not want to read his book if you are reading his blog. I have not gotten the book yet but if it is anything like the first one then I know it will be excellent and a great reference to have.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of books, I really hope you write your Perl security book since I'm just starting to learn Perl myself, and am looking forward to using it to help look for signs of intrusions. I'm not there yet, but hopefully your book will help me get there.

Keydet89 said...

Mark,

Thanks for the comments. Sometimes it helps to have these things re-written using different words, by different people...

Anonymous II,

I'm working on some ideas for the "Perl Scripting for Forensic Professionals" book...a slight change in the title from what the publisher posted on Amazon due to not being able to get co-authors onboard.

I'm going to throw this out there...I did it with my second book and didn't get a great deal of response...what would YOU like to or expect to see in a book of that title? What would you expect to see in such a book that isn't available in "Windows Forensic Analysis"?

Anonymous said...

Don't sweat it. You do good work, as anyone who has read your first book and this blog can tell. I wouldn't want to constantly repeat/repost myself all over the place either. In fact, to me it seems that when you reference "my book" you just end up giving the readers more information and greater insight regarding the topic you're discussing. Everyone wins! Much appreciated. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Harlan,

I'm focusing on detection and response, so personally I'd like it to cover that more so than dead analysis. However, as long as it's written so novice programmers can understand it, you have useful programs, and include the code you talk about on CD, I'm sure I'll get something out of it.

Keydet89 said...

Anonymous,

I'm focusing on detection and response...

Okay, great. Now, a book about Perl scripting is exactly that...a book about how to use a tool to perform certain tasks. Windows Forensic Analysis provides a great deal of code, not only as Perl scripts but also as compiled, standalone EXEs.

How have these tools not met your needs?

...as long as it's written so novice programmers can understand it, you have useful programs, and include the code you talk about on CD, I'm sure I'll get something out of it.

That's what I was shooting for in WFA...again, how can I do that better?

Andrew said...

Don't worry Harlan...you're not even coming close to the number of "as I said in my book" references that Richard Bejtlich makes :)

Richard Bejtlich said...

Andrew,

I cite my books for the same reason Harlan does. It's shorthand for not having to repeat a bunch of related material.

It's definitely not to sell books. Neither of us are driving Porsches financed by royalties!

Anonymous said...

Keep the books coming and don't shut up about them.

Your first book is one of my reference books.

Im sure your second will be too.

-secret_squirrel

Claus Valca said...

See how dense I am (or brainwashed by too many years in front of the mass-media)...I didn't even really notice it until you just pointed it out.

I actually like the fact that you refer to it in context. Provides a nice friendly way of pointing out what additional content is available in your tomes, but your posts seem to stand well on their own merits.

Keep the tips and perspectives on forensics coming!

Keydet89 said...

Thanks for the comments!

Keydet89 said...

Richard,

Dude you're so right! Forget the Porsche...I can't even feed my horse on the royalties! ;-)