Writing and Self Publishing My First Book: Keeping Software Soft

I recently self published my first book: Keeping Software Soft.

To do this I used Leanpub to “Publish early, publish often”. The idea behind this is that you can write a book in increments and publish in-progress versions as you add new content. For example, you could publish a new version of your eBook every time you add a new chapter.

You write your book manuscript using Markdown which is a plain text formatting style allowing the specification of headers, lists, etc.

When you publish a new version, Leanpub takes this Markdown and produces 3 eBook formats: PDF, EPUB, and MOBI.

Readers of you book can download any or all of these DRM free formats.

Once your book is complete, you can upload these formats to other distribution channels such as Amazon Kindle and NOOK& iBookstore via a service such as Lulu.

Check out my book Keeping Software Soft on either the Leanpub storefront or the Amazon Kindle store. (iBookstore and NOOK distribution are currently pending via Lulu)



An Update on Keeping Software Soft

I’m writing my first ever book calling Keeping Software Soft.

I just published 3 new chapters:

  • Technical Debt
  • Software Craftsmanship, Professionalism, and Personal Development
  • What Programmers Want and What Your Manager Should Understand

The book is about 85% complete, there are a few more chapters to write and I might replace some of them with other topics.

Once the final few chapters are written the entire manuscript will be proofread and modified by myself before further final proofing by others.

Once the final version is complete it will be available via Leanpub, Amazon kindle, and iBooks. It is hoped than the final version will be complete by mid-year.

I’d like to say a personal thankyou to all the earlier supporters who have been buying the in-progress versions.



Lean Publishing and Keeping Software Soft

Today I released the first iteration of my first ever book via Leanpub.com.

To use the word iteration with the word book seems odd, traditionally books are written in their entirety, go through some reviews and editors and eventually get published into the world. Then at some point some errata is released on the publishers website, followed sometime later by a second edition.

Lean publishing turns this on its head and says that the book can be written bit-by-bit with the readers able to contribute by providing feedback about what they like and don’t like so far and what they’d like to see in a final version. This is great as the author(s) can make a book that better suits the people that will be reading it. Readers that buy an in-progress version get free updates as the book progresses.

My book is called Keeping Software Soft, it is based on the premise that software should be easy to change. It’s aimed primarily at apprentice and journeyman software developers and contains my distilled experiences (so far...) after 12+ years of commercial software development. The book provides practical guidance on how to keep software as soft as we can.

It’s currently about 20% complete, and you can buy it today and get free updates as new chapters are released.

Find out more about the Lean Publishing Manifesto here.