Thursday, June 28, 2012
Publishing DFIR Materials
At the recent SANS DFIR Summit, Corey Harrell, Christopher Witter and I had a chance to chat with someone from Syngress Publishing, who proposed a new business model for DFIR materials to us, and I wanted to get a feel for how others felt about it.
Right now, for a new author, it can take a long time to get material out into a book format. My first book took about a year to write, and then 3 1/2 months to get through printing. Some authors don't get beyond the initial couple of chapters before walking away from the project. Writing a book can be a daunting, and often overwhelming project, and even if it is finished, it can take a year or more before any of the information appears in the public.
The new model takes a different approach. Instead of full books, authors will write "modules", 30 - 120 page packages of what might be part of a book, but stand alone in and of themselves. If you've see WFAT 3/e, you'll see that there are several of chapters in the book that could be provided in this manner, perhaps with some additional work. These modules would be provided much quicker, going through the same review process but being shorter, would be available in a much quicker time frame. Initially, they would be available in electronic format, (hopefully) at a reduced price. This way, if you were waiting for WFAT 3/e to come out because you were interested in chapters 3 and 5, you wouldn't have to wait a full year or more for the materials. Instead, you would have access to them in a much quicker time frame, and then as other modules came available, you would be able to combine the modules into print material.
This model reduces the time in which material is available, reduces the cost-of-entry for the material, and takes a great deal of burden off of the author, as well. Rather than being engaged in a project that is a year long, the author might be engaged for only 2 months at a time. Technical reviews would be much quicker, as would the overall final review before going to "printing". This model also allows for updates...if you purchase a module, there will be an update model available for you to get the latest and greatest version of the module.
From a topics perspective, look at it this way...take one chapter from WFAT 3/e, perhaps expand it a bit with some applicable screen captures or other applicable material, and consider that a module.
Given all of this, I wanted to get some feel from the community at large as to (a) how you feel about this approach, (b) what topics you might like to see covered, and (c) who might be interested in providing this material. Feel free to comment here, or email me at keydet89 at yahoo dot com.