A few months ago I enjoyed a pleasant dinner with Marjan Bace, Grand Poobah[1] at Manning Publications, the company that printed the book you now hold in your hands.[2] Eventually the conversation turned to Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Journey as it might apply to nonfiction, technical books. The basic concept is that a Hero is called to Action, encounters various Forces arrayed against Him (or Her); Defeats them; wards off Temptation; is Transformed by the journey; and eventually returns Home Triumphant.[3] Some publishing companies strongly recommend that their books follow that model, with the reader as hero.

1 His actual title is Publisher.

2 In print form, on a tablet, or whatever.

3 In case you don’t want to read the original ...

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