About Manning

Focus

We publish computer books for professionals--programmers, system administrators, designers, architects, managers and others. Our key people work from their own offices across the US, all communicating with the center in Greenwich, CT, and with each other and our authors by email, Web, phone and mail.

We think of our authors as the most valuable part of our business. We respect our readers and consider their interests and preferences every working day. Manning is a small, personal, old-world publisher where an author's opinion is sought and a reader's message is answered.

Manning's focus is on computing titles at professional levels. We care about the quality of our books. We work with our authors to coax out of them the best writing they can produce. We consult with technical experts on book proposals and manuscripts, and we may use as many as two dozen reviewers in various stages of preparing a manuscript. The abilities of each author are nurtured to encourage him or her to write a first-rate book.

Our books are designed without gimmicks. Their main goal is elegance and readability--we feel the two are often the same. Our covers are understated, decorated with pictures of worldwide regional dress habits of two hundred years ago. Many of our books come with online reader support: authors answer the questions of their readers in our Web-based Author Online discussion forums.

History: Distant


Lee Fitzpatrick

Marjan Bace
When we started doing business under the Manning name in 1990, we were a very different company. What we are now is the end result of an evolutionary process in which accidental events played as big a role, or bigger, as planning and foresight.

Manning started when the two current partners, Marjan Bace and Lee Fitzpatrick, joined to form a book packaging business. Packaging is a recognized support function in the publishing business--a kind of combined literary-agenting plus book production. Packagers start from a book idea; they find and sign the author; and they produce the final book--all for a bigger house whose sole name appears on the covers.

From the outset we did business with most of the established technical publishers as well as with the IEEE Computer Society Press. Our scope included all of engineering and computing. An early success was the publication of a materials science series of a dozen specialized tomes; it included the large Encyclopedia of Materials Characterization with over 50 contributors. But soon we began to see computing topics as the liveliest and most interesting of them all.

History: Focus On Computing

It was inevitable that Manning would be drawn to an area as exciting and fast-moving as the computer industry. Computing soon became the focus of Manning's publishing. Manning's first customer for a computer book was Addison Wesley. AW's fine reputation in the industry helped open doors at other leading commercial houses, a number of whom became Manning customers.

In 1992 Manning produced the first authoritative book on the Internet technologies, The Internet System Handbook, edited by Dan Lynch (then head and owner of the Interop conference series) and Marshall Rose. The cast of characters who wrote chapters in the book--Vint Cerf, the recently deceased Jon Postel, and other original developers of the technologies underlying the Internet--have set it apart from all books on this topic. The Internet System Handbook, published under the Addison Wesley imprint, is considered a classic. It is still in print.

Personnel

Michael Stephens

Michael Stephens

MICHAEL STEPHENS is Manning's Associate Publisher. Mike has 15 years of experience in technical publishing, having served as Associate Publisher and Editorial Director with The Cobb Group/Ziff-Davis and as Associate Publisher at Pearson Education prior to joining Manning. Mike holds a Masters of Arts and Teaching, which helps when training new authors, and a BA in Religious Studies, which comes in handy when all else fails. If he's not nudging authors for proposals or chapters, Mike spends his time playing the guitar and trying to stay a step ahead of his three daughters.
Mary Piergies

Mary Piergies

MARY PIERGIES is Manning's Director of Production. A Manning veteran of over a decade, she manages the process that starts with raw manuscripts and ends with polished books. She is the keeper of marketing and publishing schedules for Manning's books as well as of the content of Manning's website. Mary previously worked in banking - she finds many similarities between the work requirements in banking and the detail-oriented needs of book production.

Independence

By early 1994 Manning was ready for independence. The first books under the Manning imprint were published in July. They were distributed to the book trade by the PTR division of Prentice Hall. Immediately, Manning was faced with the competitive realities of computer book publishing. The main title of summer 1994, Graphics File Formats, which had been under development for a year and a half, appeared just a month or so ahead of O'Reilly's Encyclopedia of Graphics File Formats. Despite such direct competition, this title has been a great success.

Since then Manning has published on various computer subjects and has attracted some leading computer scientists to its ranks of authors. Working With Objects was written by Trygve Reenskaug, inventor of the MVC concept, widely recognized as central to OO computing. Adele Goldberg co-edited Visual Object Oriented Programming; Adele is considered the inventor of Smalltalk and has contributed widely to contemporary computer science. Ted Lewis, who has been the IEEE Computer and IEEE Software Editor-in-Chief, has written several titles for Manning. Cornell University professor Ken Birman wrote Building Secure and Reliable Network Applications. Ken is also an entrepreneur who built and sold a successful networking software company.

Manning has also had the luck to discover first rate young authors--like the group led by Merlin Hughes that wrote our bestselling Java Network Programming, and the group led by John Mitchell that put together in record time our highly readable account of Java for managers, Making Sense of Java.

Implementing SAP R/3 by Nancy Bancroft was the first book to be published in the US about the leading business software suite by the German company SAP. This has become the leading title for managers and team members in companies that are implementing R/3. Manning also published Implementing PeopleSoft Financials by Early Stephens, the first book about PeopleSoft on the market. The Awesome Power of Direct3D/DirectX by Peter Kovach is an authoritative and comprehensive source on Microsoft's Direct3D programming environment for 3-dimensional graphics--one of our better selling titles.

To Authors

If you are interested in writing a book or simply want to know more about what it takes and how you can begin the process, send a message to writeforus[at]manningpublications [dot] com. We will respond shortly.