I’ve just written a new LiveCode book. It explores the best practices used by seasoned LiveCode developers from around the world and also how to apply insights from the MVC pattern into that platform. Along the book you work through a simple address book application while learning all the tips and tricks from our community.
The book is available for GBP 15 and can be purchased with the button below, or you can read more and learn about the unique bundle I am offering.
Read more for learning about the bundle and also about the experience of writing another book.
I am also offering a one of a kind bundle for this book.
The Book + Network Tracer + DB Lib + AAG Tools
A bundle of the LiveCode Advanced Application Architecture Book, Network Tracer, AAG | Tools plugin collection and DBLib for the discounted price of GBP 100, this is 30% off the normal price. You can get all the plugins from The newest LiveCode book, plus the most developer friendly database library, plus the new Network Tracer together and “AAG | Tools” in this bundle. To take advantage of this bundle, use the buy now button below:
The first 50 people who buy that bundle will also get a one hour one-on-one call with me to discuss anything LiveCode. Get the book, learn more about LiveCode and also schedule a call with me. I’ll help you out in your LiveCode project! PS: The calls will be scheduled between November 2018 and March 2019, first come, first served.
About the experience of writing another book
I’ve missed writing books. It is something I really love doing, I think books are one of my passions. I love reading them, buying them, talking about them and also creating them. The last book I released before this one was about three years ago and all this time, I was thinking, I need to write another one. I have multiple field notes journals filled with book ideas and prompts. I am believing to think that I can actually work myself through them. Maybe this will be my therapy to help me cope with the London winter.
This book started its life circa 2013 when I gave a talk about this very topic during the LiveCode conference. I was amazed at the positive response from that talk. Be aware that I was already a seasoned speaker at LiveCode conferences at that time, my first one was in 2004 (IIRC), so the kind of positive feedback I received kinda flabbergasted me. While I was pondering why, I came to the realization that even though my other talks were usually well received (or at least normal), they were all about specific topics such as databases, or web development, or game development, this talk was the first generic talk I gave at that conference, the first one that provided actionable content for everyone.
At that time, I thought it was a good idea to write a book. I can’t really recall the date I started writing this book but it was many many years ago and I wrote about 80% of it really really fast. Then I sat on it for like, 3 years, doing other things with my life. This week I decided that having an almost finished book in a drawer was a waste of good material and went ahead and finished it.
This was the minimum set of book content that I considered necessary for the book to be useful. I plan to expand it with monthly releases as there are still a lot of good content to share but I couldn’t keep delaying release forever. These days, with digital publishing and automated platforms such as Leanpub and SendOwl it is very easy to get started. So far, I’ve written all my books using Leanpub even though they are not the only place where I distribute them. I also distribute them here on my site and plan in the near future to add the book to maybe Amazon.
Writing using Leanpub
There are alternatives to Leanpub out there. You could roll your own using pandoc or use scrivener (which is the best book writing app ever), but nothing comes as easy as Leanpub because it covers more than writing the book, it also covers distribution and that alone is a good reason to use their services. This is my third book at Leanpub, they never failed me.
Writing using their system is very easy, you have a really nice dashboard to configure and customize every single thing related to your book and metadata about the book distribution so that they can generate a really nice landing for your book. They also offer flexible pricing and you as an author can set both the minimum price for the book and the suggested price. The reader will see a slides going from the minimum price up to 500 dollars and starting at your suggested value thus allowing them to change how much they want to pay (not unlike Humble Bundle does).
The easiest way to work with them is in “Dropbox mode” which created a shared folder in your Dropbox with the files. You edit your book as a collection of Markdown files and use their web dashboard to generate previews and publish. It is all very straight forward and simple. Reducing friction in book generation and distribution frees a ton of time work on what matters which is the content, of course.
Like other publishers, Leanpub (which is not a publisher but a service) allows you not only to release your book using their service but also update the book as you revise and expand the material. At that moment, they take care of sending all the notifications to previous customers, of having the new files up for download, of automating all that tedious task into something that is safe and reliable. This means that it is very comfortable for me to release early versions of the book because I know I will be able to update it as I rework the material based on readers feedback. This experience lead to more powerful and useful books because no longer are the books static material, but a conversation between authors and readers who through their fast interaction serendipitously converge into providing better content as time goes by.
When they changed their business model, I was kinda bummed. It is very nice to be a freeloader, I was publishing open source books for free anyway. Still, I can totally understand the need to change that. I can see how this was important and how making their business sustainable helps all of us in the long run. I am glad that I stayed at the platform, I don’t have any regret. I might code some other book generator in the future but thats because I love working on book readers and generators. I wrote maybe four epub readers already, and some generators, so if you see me shipping something like that in the future, it is not because I don’t like Leanpub, it is mostly because I like books too much and enjoy reinventing the wheel.
Still, being able to work on local plain-text files on my hard drive, push a button, and have a book on sale is very empowering. I wish more people took into their mind to write books. There is a lot of knowledge stored inside peoples memories, lots of good stories, all those deserve to be shared. If you’re unsure about your skills, don’t worry, start a blog and practice. By blogging you’ll learn that the internet can be a much better place than what those siloed social networks show you. Come back to the blogosphere, produce content, and when ready, produce books! Also, Leanpub can import blog content and generate books from blog content, wink, wink!
In summary, I believe it was only because I reduced the friction for writing and shipping content by relying on Leanpub that I was able to ship this book, and it is really looking good.