Here at Juniper Books we publish over a dozen new titles every year. They range from advanced to beginning network engineering, from lab books to posters. This past week we published another Second Edition to a very popular book, This Week: Hardening Junos Devices, Second Edition, by John Weidley, a resident engineer working in the Washington D.C. area. The new book is available in all the Day One locations: J-Net, iTunes, Amazon, and the print vendor Vervante.com.
Most people are used to seeing Second Editions, but for a publishing program it marks the sign of not only longevity (you’ve survived), but also maturity (you are popular). Why? Because Second Editions are very hard to create. Don’t let anyone tell you different. This Week: Hardening Junos Devices, Second Edition adds about 30 pages of new material, plus it updates the rest of the book to Junos 12.3. (Most professional publishers won’t publish a Second Edition with less than 30% new material.) There’s also new illustrations and a new Checklist/Poster at the back of the book for helping administrators check off their device hardening process. The difficulty in any Second Edition is keeping the 70% that doesn’t change from being altered. It’s like painting your living room without moving the furniture. Bookbuilding is much easier done when everything is new: you paint the room first and then move the furniture in.
John Weidley did an admirable job, working on three successive drafts. The first draft incorporated the obvious changes, and then some style changes worked themselves in, in which we had to update into the rest of the book. The second and third drafts would delete some things, replace some other things, but the rest of the book that referenced those sections had to be updated, too. For example, if you delete a Figure, all the Figure numbering had to updated, and all the references to all those Figures had to be updated -- which any good software program can do automatically but they still have to be proofed and checked by human editors for inevitable human errors.
Note, too, that for a book to reach Second Edition status (popular enough to justify the work and effort) means you also have to convince the early adopters to go back an re-adopt the Second Edition. You have to give them a reason to update something they have, or have read, AND you have do the presentation of it well enough to attract new readers. This Week: Hardening Junos Devices, was downloaded over 20,000 times since 2011. And this Second Edition should attract as many of those as possible to update their book with the new Second Edition, while being the go-to book for a whole new generation of network engineers.
The Day One library has a few Second Editions, and one Third Edition (Configuring EX Series Switches). Juniper Books has several Second Editions being worked on today, including The MX Series from O’Reilly/Juniper (David Roy is working with Doug Hanks and Harry Reynolds on the updating). QoS-Enabled Networks (Wiley) by Miguel Barreiros and Peter Lundqvist will publish its Second Edition in December/January 2015-6 timeframe.
As any library ages one of the first signs of a mature, and successful program, is the coming of the Second Edition. Welcome John Weidley to an exclusive club. You’ve weathered the First and Second Edition of your great new book.