About a year ago, I experienced a very proud moment. I published my second book, SQL Server Wait Stats, also acting as its primary author. It has been a long journey since then. The book received a generally great response and it has been widely accepted in the Community ever since its release. It was actually a first-of-its-kind book written to concentrate on the subject of Wait Stats and Performance. The book was based from my month-long blog series about the same subject, SQL Server Wait Stats. Today’s the first anniversary of the book, and lots of things come to my mind. Let me share a few here.
A very common question I receive is why I wrote a 30 day series on Wait Stats. There were two reasons behind this series:
1) I have been working with SQL Server for a long time now and have troubleshoot more than hundreds of SQL servers which are related to performance tuning. It was a great experience and it taught me a lot of new things. I always documented my experience. After a while I found that I was able to rely completely on my own notes when I had to troubleshoot any server. It is right then that I decided to document my experience for the Community.
2) While working with Wait Stats, there were a few things which I thought I knew well enough since they were working. However, there was always a fear in the back of mind about what happens if what I believed was incorrect and I was on the wrong path all the time. There was only one way to get my belief validated -put it out in front of all the Community with my understanding and request further help to improve my understanding. And it worked – it worked beautifully. I received plenty of conversations, emails and comments. I refined my content based on the various conversations with others and made my understanding more relevant and accurate.
I guess that these two are the major reasons for beginning my journey on writing Wait Stats blog series.
After writing a blog series there was a good amount of request from my readers saying that I should convert the series into an eBook or a hardcopy. They said that reading the blog posts is great, but it does not give a comprehensive understanding of the subject as much as a book does. The most common feedback from users who were beginning to study the subject was that they prefer to read all about Wait Stats in a structured method. After receiving the same feedbacks for more than 4 months, I decided to write a book based on the blog posts. When I envisioned the book, I wanted to make sure that this book would address the Wait Stats concepts from the fundamentals and fill the gaps on the blog posts I wrote earlier.
I must acknowledge my co-author Rick Morelan for his unconditional support in writing this book. I had already authored one book before I published this book. The experience to write the book was out of the world. Writing blog posts are much much easier than writing books. The efforts it takes to write a book is 100 times more even though the content is ready. I could have not done it myself if it wasn’t for the tremendous support of my co-author as well as my editor’s team. We spend days and days researching and discussing various concepts that were to be covered in the book. When we were in doubt, we reached out to experts to improve the content, and also did a practical reproduction of the scenarios to validate the concepts and claims. After 3 months of continuous hard work, we were able to get this book published into the Community.
Well, we had to select any day to publish the books. When the book was completed in the last week of August, we felt very glad. Every time my books are published, I feel the same joy which I had when my daughter was born. The feeling of holding a new book on my hand feels (almost) the same as holding newborn baby. I was excited. For me, September 1st was (and has always been) the luckiest day of my life.
My daughter Shaivi was born on September 1st. Since then, every September first has been a special day for me, and has always taken me to the next step in life. I believe anything and everything I do on September 1st is turning out to be successful and blessed.
Rick and I had finished a book in the last week of August. We sent it to the publisher (printer) and asked him to publish the book as soon as possible. We did not decide on any date as we wanted the book to get out as fast as it can. Interestingly, the publisher/printer selected September 1st for publishing the book. Because it was published on 1st September, I got a feeling that this book would reach the next level.
We were done with book. We had no budget left for marketing. Rick and I had a long conversation about how to spread the word for the book so it can reach as many people as it can. While we were talking about marketing Rick come up with the idea that we should hire the most beautiful girl around who acknowledges our book and genuinely cares for the book.
I am a father and the most beautiful girl for me is my daughter. This was not a difficult task for me. Rick had given me the task to find the most beautiful girl and I just could not think of anyone else than my own daughter. I still do not know what Rick thought about this idea but I had already made up my mind. You can see the detailed blog post here.
We had lots of fun moments along this book. Actually, we have given away more books to people for free than we have sold them. We went through book signing events, contests, and just plain give away events when we found out that more people could benefit from this book. There was never an intention to make money and get rich. We just wanted to see more and more people learning about this new concept and learn from it. Today when I look back at the earnings in dollars, there’s nothing much really. However, the best reward we received has been the relentless satisfaction and love of community. The amount of emails, conversations we have received for this book is over thousands as of the moment.
We had fun writing this book; it was indeed a very satisfying journey. I have earned lots of friends while learning and exploring.
The book is one year old, but the content is still very relevant when it comes to performance tuning. It is available at various online book stores. If you have read the book, please let me know what you think of it.
Reference: Pinal Dave (http://blog.SQLAuthority.com)