While last time I focused on the initial contact with the publishing company (just referred to as "Packt" from now on), this issue is about the process of putting together an outline proposal and coming up with things to write about in the first place. As from this point on in the process Udo was involved with everything, I will be referring to "us" and write "we" most of the time from now on.
The Publisher's Expectations
The only thing we knew about the books would-be content was a chapter template for Packt's cookbook series as well as the general description provided by Sarah earlier:
As I'm sure everyone is aware, MySQL is a relational database management system. Administrators of MySQL will be tasked with things such as maintaining the database, tuning the server, managing users etc etc.
This cookbook will have all the MySQL recipes an administrator could dream of, spanning from creating tables to managing views, from improving performance to securing the database, from using monitoring tools to using storage engines. DBAs of all levels will be catered for with recipes of varying difficulty, allowing the reader to administer MySQL to their hearts' content.
Before actually beginning the outlining process there were a few more emails sent back and forth, mostly questions on our part, for example whether we should include programming related materials or tool descriptions in addition to more "real" database themes, what spectrum of experience to expect from potential readers and so on.