Coming Soon: a new Book on ArchiMate

I have been pretty silent for a while on this blog. The reason is that I decided to put my experiences in an educational book instead of a blog. I started working on this early this year. Most of it was written during the summer holidays. The book is now almost finished.

My initial idea was to create an iBook for the iPad. The underlying idea was that this would enable to me to create an interactive book. But during the summer it became clear that there were fundamental problems with getting the larger views to be readable. Apple’s iBooks Author translates every image (including perfect PDF vector images) to a pretty low resolution PNG and these were unreadable when diagrams are larger. Trying to get around this by creating HTML5 widgets with SVG images failed too, as iBooks refuses to display SVG images (though Safari can do it). The conclusion was; iBooks Author is not ready for this and I had to return to paper and forget about the interaction. Given the large number of (sometimes large) diagrams I had to go for a decent layout program (besides, I do not trust MS Word) that would remain vector-based until the final PDF is produced. I tried Apple Pages, but that was not doable because it is terribly limited at cross references, numbering, etc. I tried many other applications, none of which were any good.

In the end, I decided to buy a professional layout application and have ended up trying and buying Adobe Indesign CS6. Learning that and getting things right took again some time. But now I can say the book is almost ready. With most chapters (almost) done, there are roughly 100 A4 (sorry, US) pages and more than 150 diagrams, some quite complex.

One of the other reasons to use iBooks was that it would enable me to offer my book for sale at a pretty low price so it would easily come in the hands of many readers. I was thinking about something like €8.99 for the book. But a printed book requires a serious publisher to get distribution right. And it becomes pretty expensive. A book like this with a limited number of copies would easily cost readers around €50. And it would take a lot of time to find and deal with a good publisher. Given that there is no way to get this cheaply in your hands, I have decided to offer it as ‘shareware’ in PDF. You will need to print and bind it yourself and I’ll offer a way to donate for every copy you print as a private person, but it’s shareware, so you pay if you want.

I’ll allow someone else to print and distribute commercially or for business use it if they want, but in that case, I will expect that the distributor pays me an agreed amount per copy. I haven;t made my mind up in terms of specifics.

The book will contain roughly the following chapters:

  • ArchiMate Basics
  • Style & Patterns
  • Model Use & Maintenance
  • Advanced Patterns
  • Discussing ArchiMate
  • Tooling

The title of the book will be Mastering ArchiMate. More soon on this blog.

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11 Responses to Coming Soon: a new Book on ArchiMate

  1. Have you tried Leanpub?

    • gctwnl says:

      No, I did not know about it.

      I like the royalty arrangement, but I strongly suspect it won’t fit my markup needs. I normally work in TeX and Markdown (the markup language for LeanPub) is very lean but therefore also ver restricted. I suspect (without trying, but I’m not switching now) that Markdown won’t be able to handle my image needs. What I wanted to do I cannot even do in TeX, so my suspicion is, “let alone Markdown”.

      I looked at a few examples, and they are image-poor and the images are all pixel-based (though pretty high res). The one-column layout is nice for eBooks, but not for A4-sized print (PDF).

  2. It can be usable to kickstart a project for making your (long awaited) book into i*,A*,W* environments. To find a company to prepare this material to be published in interactive manner could be backed by varios readers in linkedin groups.

  3. gctwnl says:

    The book is almost done. I’ll publish it (PFD, free download) immediately after the Barcelona Conference of The Open Group, 24-26 October.

  4. Jean-Baptiste says:

    Hi, I’ve followed your blog for several months. It allowed me to better use archimate so I’m looking forward to read your book.

  5. Jean-Baptiste says:

    By the way, did you think using online platfoms like lulu or thebookedition to distribute a paper version for those who wants one. It could allow you to define a minimum price (less than 50$ for sure). I’m saying that because I will probably need a paper version that will always stand on my desk…

    • gctwnl says:

      I did not look at that yet. thebookedition seems all-french (and my french is basic). The Dutch version of lulu doesn’t have all the info, the US version gives me directions to create my book in Letter format etc. or it will not be accepted (if I understand matters correctly). I registered on lulu, and as I did not find all the information I need, tried to ask a question which ended in an error message from lulu. I did notice that lulu production prices alone will be around €25 for each copy (because it is 130 A4 pages full color and they ask €0.15 per page for color (maybe more for A4) + €5) ), that is without distribution cost, lulu fee (20% of final price) and any profit for me. So it will definitely not be cheap, I think €50 (so >= $65) at least per copy.

      I am going to print 50 or so in our local print shop for distribution in the office. These will be bound by a ‘ring’ on the spine so they can be easily left lying open, or completely folded back. I might set up a distribution for these if there is demand. The only thing I think is a pity is that the book for now will not end up in Amazon (where many people do a search).

      I have no idea what the demand for this book will be and if there will be many who want to pay for a paper edition. If it is successful, I might going to look into a paper distribution for a second edition.

  6. gctwnl says:

    I have put up a page for the book on my own web site. www (dot) rna (dot) nl. No direct link in this story as the site is behind a 4Mbps uplink, which is not fast enough for a lot of traffic…

  7. Jean-Baptiste says:

    Hi,

    You can use issuu.com (here a sample book: http://issuu.com/jbsarrodie/docs/tout_est_relatif) instead of slideshare.net.

    Regarding lulu, here ise the link to the calc: http://www.lulu.com/calculators/bookCalc.php?cid=publish_book (it ends with a 35$ production cost per book). As I did a similar search som time ago, here are some similar services: http://www.bod.com/price-calculation.html and http://www.shopmybook.com/en/calculate-book-price

    For your information, some services like lulu allow to sell the book in paper AND electronic. I’m also almost sure that you can sell it through google play in PDF format…

    Regards

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