On Sun, 04 Sep 2005 17:06:56 -0500 Eric P <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
> Exactly.  Where are all the English Gimp 2.x books?  I think I've seen 2
> French books so far, and that's it.

FWIW, I'm working on another GIMP book, tentatively titled The Artist's
Guide to GIMP Effects.  It's essentially a followup to my first book,
The Artist's Guide to the GIMP.  I think the publication date is early
next year - publisher is No Starch Press.  It will be full color, glossy
print if all things go as planned.  The text is still in development but
should be ready before years end.

The book is not a reference guide, I.E. it's not a "you'll find filter X
in menu Y" book.  It's completely tutorial based, with multiple sections
of multiple tutorials each.  There will be sections on Type,
Print/Advertising, Web, and UI Design, among others.

I'm writing from a stable 2.2 point of view so some menus and a bit of
functionality might change.  I'll probably add a web site for errata
that lists menu differences, though I'm not focused on that right now.
I'm just focused on getting the text completed.  Changes in
functionality probably won't hurt it much.  Changes in menu structures
will need errata updates unless I can catch them before I work on a
particular section.

> I count ~8 Gimp 1.x books on Amazon... I wonder if they didn't make any
> money.

One of mine did well, the other not so well.  There wasn't a really big
desktop Linux market at the time 1.2 rolled out (and GIMP existed only
marginally on non-Unix platforms for awhile) and ~8 books pretty much
saturated that market.  The market is bigger now, but at least some of
that spreads into the Windows and Mac market.  It's unclear (at least to
me) if that means better sales for these kinds of books or not.  

> It's a shame as the 2.x series just blows heaps and chunks over 1.x.
> And it's nicer to look at as well... would make for a nice looking (and
> useful) book.

Some of the Windows users are not so happy about the UI (I was forwarded
a comment from a reader to my GIMP column in Linux Format about this) so
it's not clear to me how to address their concerns from the point of
view of documentation like a tutorial book.  I've pretty much punted on
the issue at this point, taking the view that following the product as
designed will address the largest market segment with the best
information possible.  

And michael chang <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> added:
> Maybe the publishers think that GIMP 2.x books are redundant.  Or
> maybe they're waiting for GIMP 2.4 or GIMP 3 before releasing more
> books.  The development processes have been going quite quickly,
> whereas publishing a book takes quite some time (by the time books for
> 2.2 are completed, 2.4, with it's revamped menus will probably be out,
> maybe?).

That is a problem.  I've been following the GIMP release cycles since
0.59 (or was it 0.54 - I've lost track after all these years) and they
don't have a set pattern.  For 1.2 it wasn't too difficult because 1.2
had a very long shelf life.  But 2.x moves much more quickly.  And a
work like mine takes nearly a year when mixed with a day job and day-to-
day responsibilites of being a father and husband (and dog owner), not
to mention writing for two magazines.

So it's just a matter of timing.  Sometimes you get it right.  Sometimes
you don't.  The best compromise I can make is to try and remove too many
version specific tips and try to talk about using GIMP from a higher
level.  But then that leaves out some specifics that makes it more
difficult for converts from other applications to easily migrate.  

Writing is harder work that it might seem.  :-)

And woc <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> added:
> Questions about where the Gimp will be in a year or two are probably
> very significant to publishers.  For example, will GimpShop=20
> be updated to support 2.4, or not?

I'm not sure if any authors are working on GimpShop texts.  I, for one,
don't write about it because it's not canonical.  When/if the GIMP
developers adopt it or the GimpShop developer integrates it with the
baseline in GIMP then I can cover it.  For now, I have to leave it as a

And Olivier Lecarme" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> added:
> In my opinion, writing a full-fledged book about Gimp is a major effort
> for the author, and publishing it with proper color illustrations is a
> major effort for the publisher.

The other problem with a full-fledged GIMP book is that there is an
online, free publication - the GUM - that a publisher has to compete
with.  Writing the GIMP Bible (ie a full users guide from top to bottom)
is a lot of work and it's questionable if it's worth it if there is a
competing document available for free.  

You could add to the GUM (a worthy effort, by the way, since the GUM
could always use some updates) or the online/builtin documentation and
then try publishing that as GPL.  It's just difficult to convince
publishers it will make back printing and marketing costs when it's also
available for free download.  Don't get me wrong - you *can* do this.
Look at how well O'Reilly does with it's texts.  But a GPL'd GUM is a
*lot* of work for print publication.

An alternative is to focus a GPL'd text on some smaller aspect of GIMP,
like one of the builtin scripting languages, a set of specific filters
or maybe using GIMP in a particular industry.  At least that way you're
not competing directly with the GUM and have a better chance on
recouping costs (plus paying a few salaries along the way) even when the
text is also freely downloadable.

>From my point of view, I try to avoid talking about GIMP as the end
topic and rather talk about doing real work with GIMP as just one of
your tools.  It's useful to talk about a hammer for the sake of the
hammer, but it's more useful to talk about how to build a house, which
oh-by-the-way needs that particular hammer.

Michael J. Hammel                               The Graphics Muse 
[EMAIL PROTECTED]                      http://www.graphics-muse.com
Inoculatte: To take coffee intravenously when you are running late.

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