I've struck up a conversation with a publisher to proceed with my PowerShell book. They're helping me tweak the ToC (thanks for your comments!) further and so forth, but in the meantime there's a key bit of information I need to try. The goal of the book is to have every chapter be consumable in about one hour (so you can do it during lunch while you're at work, of course) - including both reading the book, and viewing an accompanying video.
II need some volunteers, so that I can get a good cross-section of people to tell me how long it takes them to read the chapter and watch the video. So if you're interested in helping, here's what you need to do:
First of all, check the date. If you're reading this after September 30, 2010, don't bother - the experiment is over :).
drop an e-mail to me. Put BOOK READER in the subject line - don't put anything else in the subject. That'll make sure your e-mail goes into the right folder
. The included PDF contains complete instructions - it'll probably take you less than an hour to complete (according to the statistics I've found, it should take most people 20-40 minutes, and I'll extrapolate a full hour's worth of reading from these results). A URL is included at the end of the PDF for submitting your results; I need your results by the end of September 2010, for them to be useful.
All you have to do is read it, either on-screen or printed - your call. Now, this won't necessarily be a final chapter from the book - but it'll be useful nonetheless. It won't be tech edited or even copy-edited, so you'll have to put up with whatever errors I sneak in, but I'll try and minimize them.
By preference, I'd like you to try reading it in a single sitting, rather than spreading it out over multiple sessions. Track your start and end times carefully - knowing how long it takes you to read the chapter is the whole point of the exercise.
Once I know how long a chapter folks can read in an hour, I can start working on the real chapters in earnest - and there will be a way for you to access those as I'm writing them and provide your feedback and suggestions for making them better.
So, if you're interested, jump on it!
[UPDATE] Someone here at the office suggested that I offer you guys a prize for your help - and I'm happy to. I happen to be decommissioning a 2nd-generation Amazon Kindle, and I'll put it up for raffle. You'll see entry instructions when you finish reading the sample chapter and submit your results.