Monday, September 22, 2014

The Four Stages of Doneness

People have been asking me when Effective Modern C++ will be done. (My wife is among them, and our dog has been giving me funny looks, too.) For my earlier books, the "when will you be done" question was easy to answer, because my deliverable was camera-ready PDF. A book was done when I sent in the final PDF.

For EMC++, I've decided that it makes sense to break "done" down into four stages:
  • Done, Stage 1, is when I send in a "final" manuscript for typesetting.
  • Done, Stage 2, is when I submit information to be used for preparing the index.
  • Done, Stage 3, is when I approve the typeset versions of the book.
  • The final stage of doneness is when I approve the index. At that point, the book is ready for publication.
We're currently in the middle of Stage 3. O'Reilly send me their initial cut of PDF and digital files (i.e., epub and Kindle-compatible mobi) for the manuscript I submitted at Stage 1. The process of my revising these files is known as QC1. I've sent back my QC1 comments, and I expect to get QC2 files in a few days. QC1 didn't include the index, but the QC1 index is supposed to show up in my inbox any time now.

In the meantime, work on the book's cover is moving along, and above you can see what I expect to be the final front cover image. We're also honing in on the text to go on the back of the book. O'Reilly's marketing department and I have gone through four iterations so far. It's not easy to describe in ~250 words what a ~300-page technical book is about and why you absolutely positively must buy it, but we're doing our best :-).

I continue to expect the book to be available in October.

I'll keep you posted on the book's progress. Nobody wants this book to be fully done more than I do, but it's important that it be not just done, but done well. The final two stages of doneness will help ensure that that's the case. When it comes out, it will be the first book I've written that was designed to render well on both paper and digital devices. If you consume it digitally, it should look as good (and be as useful) regardless of whether you prefer portrait or landscape, color or monochome, and large or small fonts. The only formatting assumption I make is that I can fit 64 monospaced characters on a line, so some code examples could get a bit whacked out on small cell phones, but other than that, my goal is that EMC++ should look good and convey useful information no matter how you read it.


Tuesday, September 9, 2014

CppCon Hair Poll

During my talk at CppCon yesterday, I decided to liven things up by asking the audience to answer a question that comes up often: who does my hair style make me look like? People volunteer answers to this question--which, until now, I've never asked--on a surprisingly frequent basis.
I wasn't able to show the results of the poll in real time, because I didn't realize that if I got more than 100 responses, I'd have to pay to see the data. Serves me right for forgetting the fine print I'm sure I agreed to when I started with SurveyMonkey.

I've now ransomed the data, and the final results (when CppCon ended) are as follows:

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

50% Off Effective Modern C++ Ebook

From now through September 9, O'Reilly's running a sale: all EBooks are 50% off, including the Early Release version of Effective Modern C++.  (Buying the early release version also gets you a copy of the final digital edition when it comes out, which is slated to be in about a month.)

My book is currently at the top of the O'Reilly Best Seller List (okay, it's not so much at the top as in the upper left corner, but I choose to interpret that in the best possible light), so if you've been thinking of buying the digital version of the book, this is a great way to help keep EMC++ #1 while making sure that O'Reilly and I don't make much money off of it  :-)