A little off topic today. I'm developing a complex. I've been involved with two books that are no longer getting published. The first book is Mastering Autodesk Revit Structure 2010 (Wiley/Sybex). I did the technical editing for it. The following year (and version of Revit) Wiley chose not to continue publishing it. The sales were too slight to justify the effort and expense unfortunately.
That could mean structural engineers are too smart for it, or just weren't interested in a book, or that the authors, editors and publisher didn't do a good enough job marketing it, or that it just wasn't very good. The authors were no slouches, the material was solid, the publisher has a little bit of experience so it seems to me that the only possible conclusion is me....that I'm a book jinx!
The second book is Introducing Autodesk Revit Architecture 2012 (also Wiley/Sybex). I contributed four chapters to the 2011 and 2012 editions. The sales were too slight for this one too, the 2012 edition (2011 year). Same story as the other book, I've jinxed another book! It did take me longer to "kill" this one though. I wrote the foreword for the 2010 version and then contributed to 2011 and 2012.
If I try to deflect some blame I think Wiley's product offering for Revit Architecture is a bit crowded now. They offer Mastering Autodesk Revit 2013, Autodesk Revit 2013 Essentials and Autodesk Revit Architecture: No Experience Required. I don't see a 2013 version for "No Experience..." yet so I'm not sure there is one right now.
In this case (for Revit Architecture) it may just be that the strongest books survived. Can't deny that the Read/Vandezande/Krygiel team plus their supporting cast of specialty chapters and authors make a pretty formidable product!
Books that "expire" to some degree every 12 months because of new versions of Revit generates a cycle of create/sell that only leaves a very short window to sell before the next one needs to be ready. Frankly I'm amazed that any get published at all.
Feel like living dangerously? Like testing theories? Ask me to help with your book! It might be the best way to stop being an author. ;)