Business of book writing: repurposing content with Michael Raithel


I travel to many conferences throughout the year, and I’ve heard a lot of keynote speeches. Many of them stick with me for a few hours. But one speech I heard three years ago stuck with me for weeks. And then I heard it again at a regional conference. I thought to myself, “This could make a really good book, I should talk to the presenter about it.”

Well before I had a chance to approach him, he came to me. Michael Raithel, author of two popular SAS Press books, wanted to talk about turning his presentation into a book…my job of recruiting was just made infinitely easier!

How to Become a Top SAS ProgrammerTo my delight, the SAS reviewers saw things the same way as I. We decided Michael must turn his wildly successful speech into a book. But we were in unchartered territory…how would a live presentation go over as a book? Well, you’re about to see. Michael’s book How to Become a Top SAS Programmer will be available soon!

Now that he’s almost finished with it, I wanted to ask Michael, “What made you decide to turn a ‘tried-and-true’ keynote presentation into a book?” Here’s his response, in his own words:

“You are talking about my SAS Global Forum 2010 lunchtime keynote speech, “It’s Not Easy Being a SAS Programmer.”  During that humorous presentation, I was able to share some of the challenges, insights, and anecdotes of being a SAS programmer with over 600 SAS professionals.  The speech was a big hit and is one of the highlights of my career.

Having used SAS for over 25 years, it is easy for me to connect with the issues programmers face when building their careers programming with SAS. Even before the presentation, I had been jotting down ideas for my new book, How to Become a Top SAS Programmer. I found that many of the insights and ideas expressed in my keynote presentation were already on paper in the outline I had for the new book.  As the outline morphed into a book, I was able to use whole passages from the speech; much to my delight.”


About Author

Shelley Sessoms

Community Manager

Shelley Sessoms is a Sr. Digital Marketing Specialist in the Customer Engagement Marketing division at SAS. She manages several communities on the SAS Support Communities and also curates the SAS Learning Report and SUGA Download newsletters.. During her 20 years at SAS, she has written numerous customer-facing communications, as well as helped close to 100 employees and customers become authors through the SAS Press program.

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1 Comment

  1. Michael A. Raithel on


    Thank you again for recognizing the merit in my proposal and bringing it to the SAS reviewers.

    I hope that other potential authors who read this will follow up with you with their own book proposals!

    ----Michael A. Raithel

    ----Michael A. Raithel

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