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The Scary DBA

I have twenty+ years experience in IT. That time was spent in technical support, development and database administration. I work forRed Gate Software as a Product Evangelist. I write articles for publication at SQL Server Central, Simple-Talk, PASS Book Reviews and SQL Server Standard. I have published two books, ”Understanding SQL Server Execution Plans” and “SQL Server 2008 Query Performance Tuning Distilled.” I’m one of the founding officers of the Southern New England SQL Server Users Group and its current president. I also work on part-time, short-term, off-site consulting contracts. In 2009 and 2010 I was awarded as a Microsoft SQL Server MVP. In the past I’ve been called rough, intimidating and scary. To which I usually reply, “Good.” You can contact me through grant -at- scarydba dot kom (unobfuscate as necessary).

Free Stuff and a SQL Server Standard Update


Great news. We’ve managed to get one article all the way through the process. We’ll have our first publication out within a couple of weeks. We might even get a second out at the PASS Summit. We’re working through the final details on contracts, author payments and the layout of the magazine, including cover art. That brings up a question. The intent is to publish high quality articles by great authors (and believe me, we’ve got exactly that coming down the pike). In order to reflect this, instead of just an HTML layout, we’re going with Adobe Acrobat so that we can get that magazine feel, but online. My question… We’re trying to decide what to do with cover art. Our options are:

  1. Some type of stylish picture, say, stamps or coins, or maybe pictures of tables to show off the idea of a database’s tables… you know art
  2. A picture of the author. Personally, I wouldn’t wish my own photograph on someone at the scale we’re looking at and I’m pretty sure others won’t either, but it’s a possibility. It’d look a bit like the Wrox books.
  3. Just plain old, boring, text. I really don’t like this idea. I don’t think it’s in keeping with the idea of a “magazine” even though we’re doing it all online. Still, it’s an option
  4. Something I haven’t thought of

I’m putting the question out. Do you like those Reilly books that have some non-sequitor line drawing on them? How about the Simple-Talk books, all of which (and I didn’t know this until this morning and I have a book published by these guys) have a picture of a gate, for Red-Gate? Simple books like Apress with an abstract graphic & some text?

I’m fishing for ideas here. We’ve got a few days. Mind you, I’ll make a decision with or without your comments, but I’d really like to hear what people think. If we use your idea (assuming it’s not just “I like #1″) I’ll ship you out a copy of my performance tuning book. If we pick one of our own ideas, I’ll randomly draw from one of the commenters. Either way, you’ve got a shot at the book.

Oh, and while I have you reading, I still need more abstracts. We have to feed the beast.

Comments

Posted by K. Brian Kelley on 3 October 2009

#1 or art like the Reilly books.

Posted by Patrick LeBlanc on 3 October 2009

Grant maybe you go base the cover on the article(s).  Provide graphics and artwork that represent the contents of the articles(s).

Posted by Steve Jones on 5 October 2009

I like graphics, however I'm not sure you need to tightly tie the images to the articles. Or are you looking at a standard graphic for all issues?

I'd get users to submit photos, just randomly pick the one that strikes you that month. There are some good photographers in the SQL community, like Pat Wright, Paul Randal. I'll send some of horses :)

I'm not big on the author photos. You can use them in the articles, a small one, but not on the cover.

Posted by Grant Fritchey on 5 October 2009

The basic graphics we have. The title logo & stuff like that. We just wanted to add a bit of pizzazz to the "cover." It's all electronic anyway, but the goal was to have a rotating graphic, maybe or maybe not, tied to the article.

I'm largely against having author photo's on the cover just because I'd really hate to put my own up there, that large. It'll be good for scaring kids, but not for promoting the magazine, PASS or myself.

Thanks for the input guys. So far it's looking like coins (that kind of thing) or community pictures, at least based on the feedback I'm getting.

Thanks again.

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