[nycbug-talk] getting published (fwd)

Brown, James Jim JBrown
Mon Sep 27 11:48:20 EDT 2004

(Top posting alert...)


Let me add another thanks for giving some pointers into the 
mystical world of 'getting published'!

There are probably a lot of folks (like me) who would like to
write more and publish a few things but don't have the answer
to that first question-  "How do I get started?".

Best Regards,
Jim B.

-----Original Message-----
From: talk-bounces at lists.nycbug.org
To: NYC Bug List
Sent: 9/26/04 4:52 PM
Subject: [nycbug-talk] getting published (fwd)

Oops, forgot to send to the list :-)

On Sun, 26 Sep 2004, Isaac Levy wrote:

> Dru, I gotta give it to ya'- I'm really delighted that you took time
out of 
> your week (sounded hectic) to make sure you expressed the following

Thanks, Ike. I was starting to wonder if in my zeal in responding to a
worth of messages I was starting to monopolize the list...

> So how do we get hooked up with these publications?  To be honest,
most of 
> what I read either is in the BSD communities, or is in places where
> totally contextually inappropriate to talk tech.
> I guess one place I personally could write would be somewhere in my
> community, or perhaps around the Python world.  How-to's and tutorials
> best practices using BSD's would be fun to write...

Yes, that's definitely a good start: looking around your own area of
And, many of us have the gift of gab and don't have to necessarily talk 
technical. If you're the type of person who could write a glossy
white paper, or fact sheet, BSD needs you!

Now, if you're interested in writing a techie article, the 2 easiest
places to 
get into are O'Reilly's onlamp site and SysAdmin.

For O'Reilly:

Start by perusing the "Onlamp Subjects" on the left sidebar at
Pick the subject you're most proficient at, go to that particular
devcenter and 
skim through the existing articles so you have an idea what's already
written about. If you see something you're good at that hasn't already
covered (or hasn't been covered within the last 2 years), send an
article idea 
to chromatic at oreilly.com. Tell him I suggested you contribute an
article. If 
you get a contract, keep in the back of your mind as you write the
article that 
you're a BSD user. If there are particular reasons why you do what
writing about in BSD, say so.

For SysAdmin:

Start with the call for papers at:


All isn't lost if there isn't a particular call for what you're
interested in 
writing about. Send your proposal to Rikki Endsley, mentioned on that

For both of the above, the article doesn't have to be about BSD. But
sneak it 
in where it's appropriate :-) Prime example, for those who have picked
Richard Bejtlich's latest book, is how often BSD is mentioned and
praised in a 
book that has nothing to do with BSD.

Those of you who are bloggers, you probably already mention BSD in some
of your 
blogs. Use your blog as an opportunity to amass some well written
pieces, some 
technical, some philosophical, some political. Along the way you'll
develop a 
writing style. When you do approach a mag who asks for a writing sample,
them to some of your quality pieces.

As for the other mags, most have regular columnists and don't accept
_However_, most give the emails for their columnists and some do have
call for 
papers. Check out the website of the mag you're
interested in. See if they're interested in interviewing you for an

What would be a cool idea is to organize a media campaign. Even an aim
of one
article per month in a major mag would be a good start. For example, if
mag A 
was doing an article on migrating to open source, we'd want to see BSD 
represented. Now, this idea is an advocacy issue and would probably
25-35 hours a month of volunteer effort on some person's part to do the 
research and to approach the mags. It would also warrant a list of who
wants to 
be interviewed and what their area of expertise is. Yes, it's work but
it would 
be a great shot in the arm for BSD exposure.


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