Wednesday, November 21, 2012

I Wrote An eBook In A Week

Update: you can see at least 30 testimonials for this book in my favorited tweets on Twitter.

I had a random thought the other day:

I actually did write it. You can buy it if you want.

The funny thing is I wasn't actually serious when I tweeted that. The "I should write that" part was really just a knee-jerk reaction. Whenever I'm complaining about the non-availability of something, I think about the Gandhi quote "you must be the change you wish to see" (which he might not have even ever said).

But I got two responses instantly saying they'd buy the book if it existed, and I had some free time, so I decided to do it. I tweeted the thought on the 14th of November. I wrote up my outline the next day and finished writing this afternoon. (I told myself I had to wrap it up because tomorrow's Thanksgiving.) Then I spent a few hours formatting it and adding pictures (including a tiny original comic strip) and now I guess I'm done.

Despite the rushed schedule -- from random idea to fully-fledged, 95-page ebook in a week -- I think this is one of the best products I've ever done. It's certainly got a fantastic amount of technical detail.

I did change one thing, though. It's not a book about how DHH gets OOP wrong, but it works anyway. It's a book about how Rails gets OOP wrong, but it works anyway. (And what that implies about getting OOP right in the first place.) I've really started to believe that it's important to differentiate more in Ruby discussions between ideas and the people who have them. Also, Rails is more than just one person.

In a sense, this book represents more than just my opinion, too, because it also quotes a lot of blogs, and synthesizes opinions from many Rails developers I respect. So in the spirit of the holiday, I think I'll give a free copy to everybody I quoted, as a gesture of thanks. I'm going to deal with that later, though, because I'm tired from all the writing, and it's a bunch of different people.

If you like my rants, for instance my rant about Rails going off the rails, you'll probably like this book too, but it's definitely less ranty and much more serious than most of my blog posts. Also, while there are definitely things to criticize in Rails, there are fantastic things to praise as well, and this book is ultimately much more about the things to praise. A true Rails hater would not actually get a lot of enjoyment out of it.

Cost is $37, in thanks to 37Signals, since Rails massively improved my career. 100% refund policy: any complaints for any reason, up to and including "I stubbed my toe," full refund, easy peasy.

Tomorrow's a holiday but I may find time to blog more about the book; if not, then Friday. For now, here's a free 10-page excerpt covering most of the major themes. I hope you like it.

PS: I actually wrote the ebook in 5 days. I didn't do any writing on the first Wednesday, beyond the tweet, and I took a break on either Sunday or Monday, I forget which.

Update! If I quoted you in this book, please don't buy this ebook, as I'm giving away free copies to everyone I quoted as a thank you. Since you basically won't know if I quoted you or not until you read the book, here are some names:
  • Bryan Helmkamp
  • David Bryant Copeland
  • Xavier Shay
  • Piotr Solnica
  • Steve Klabnik
  • James Golick
  • Jim Gay
  • James Hague
  • Martin Fowler
  • Steve Freeman
  • Nat Pryce
  • Brandon Keepers
  • Robert C. Martin (aka 'Uncle Bob')
  • Michael Feathers
  • Corey Haines
  • Gary Bernhardt
  • Adam Keys
  • Jack Herrington
I'm going to get in touch with people and offer them their free copies via email and/or Twitter, but today's a big holiday in the US, so it won't be right away in every case.