Done editing Object-oriented Programming in R

I just finished editing Object-oriented Programming in R. You can get the finished version on Leanpub. I have also uploaded it to Amazon and iBooks, but it takes a day or three for them to review new books before they put them up, so you can’t get them there yet.

With the editing to take care of, I haven’t done much writing on Meta-programming in R, but I am making a little progress. I will be done with the next chapter this week for sure.

An interesting thing is happening at Amazon right now. They have integrated print-on-demand with the kindle publishing, so in principle I can publish the books as paperbacks as well as ebooks. I don’t know how much control I would have of the layout there, though. I would prefer to make my PDF versions into physical copies over having someone translate the ePub version into text. I might look into it once I’m done with Meta-programming if there is an interested in it, though. With the cost of starting new books on Leanpub, and the time it will take me to get that collect in royalties for the existing books, I won’t be starting a new book in a couple of months, so this is a project I can play with in the mean time.

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Okay, so I talked with the acquisition editor at Apress yesterday. The cover of my data science book apparently exist, but I haven’t seen it yet. I look forward to seeing it.

We also talked future books. They are interested in my R programming books. I thought they would want to combine them into a longer book, but they are actually interested in shorter books on focused areas, which fits perfectly with the books I’m writing.

We haven’t mad any deals yet, but I think we can. I would love to see my programming books in print.

Slow writing day

This has been a day of procrastination. I did manage to finish the first chapter of Meta-programming in R and put it on Leanpub. You can get it there for free for now; when I finish the next chapter I will put the price at $0.99 + VAT, so get it fast if you want it for free (you will get all updates as I finish more chapters for free, then, as well).

I also got started on chapter two, but I didn’t get as much done as I had hoped.

The day started pretty well when I saw that I had gotten a review of Functional Programming in R on Amazon.

There is only one review, so if you liked the book, please review it there or on Goodreads. And whoever you are, if you take the time to review one of my books, get in contact with me and I will get you a voucher for other books so you can get those for free. I would really love the feedback and I would love to hear what people think about them.

I also saw that you can now pre-order my data science book, Beginning Data Science in R. That is the book I previously named Introduction to Data Science and Statistical Programming in R and sold to Apress. If you already have the earlier version, I will warn you that there is nothing new in Beginning Data Science in R. A little more editing, but that is all. It will be a physical book, though, so you might like to have that.

I was told the book would probably be in press by March, but Amazon says July. I haven’t gotten any official launch date yet, so I don’t know. I’m excited about getting the book in print, though.

So, after seeing that in the morning, I was well motivated to write. I finished chapter one of Meta-programming before noon. Then I had a phone interview with some students doing a project on human evolution (after a short phone call discussing rodent problems with Kasper Munch, whom I had asked to identify the mouse or rat I had caught at home a few days ago — it is a rat, in his biologist opinion. I thought so as well, judging by its size).

Then I had lunch and was ready to start on chapter two. Instead, I got sidetracked playing with Canvas. I started playing around with making some banners, like the top image here, and when I looked up from the computer it was already evening. Granted, evenings come early in this country, at this time of year, but still.

Not satisfied with wasting time on a single website I also played around with Trello. I saw on Twitter that it was just bought by Atlassian which got me thinking about it. I played around with it a while back to try it out on a coding project, but never really saw the point. I find that GitHub has all the project management functionality I need. But I figured I could try it out for organising my writing.

I’ve just kept all my notes in plain text files so far, but I will give Trello a try.

So I pretty much wasted my day playing on the web. I can excuse it with this week being my vacation, but I had hoped to get more writing done. Tomorrow won’t be better for my writing; I have ordered a new computer that should be delivered tomorrow and I will probably spent hours configuring it.

Still, with any luck I will have the next chapter in Meta-programming done before the weekend. Then I will try to get some editing done on Object-oriented Programming in R over the weekend, before I have to go back to work on Monday.

I don’t know how quickly I can finish Meta-programming once I’m back to work. I don’t want to work too hard in the evenings, but I think I can get it done in a handful of weeks. After that, I will take a little break from the R books. I need to get some more money from Leanpub on my Paypal so I can pay for another book there before I start on a new book. Right now I am at $0.50 and I need $124 for another book. And there is a 45 day delay from people buying a book till I get royalties, because people can regret their purchase and give the book back for that long.

I might add chapters to the existing books in that time, or I might get back to writing on my Dr. Scient. thesis that has been abandoned for a year by now. It is something I’ve been writing on, on and off, for a handful of years by now, but I still tell myself that I will eventually get it done, and maybe this time around I will.

That is not something I plan to publish, but if people are interested I will put the source code and a PDF on GitHub.

Anyway, now it is time to make lunch, so I am done with writing for today.

Book homepage and mailing list

I made a homepage for my books today to collect links to them in one place. Not that this is strictly necessary right now where all of them are at Leanpub where they link to each other, but soon there will also be the Apress book and then it will be nice with a page collecting them.

I also configured a mailing list for news about my books. Again, that is also something that is already at Leanpub but I want my own for exactly the same reasons that I want my own page with my books.

I’m not planning to send out a lot of emails on this list. My day to day musings have a happy enough life on the blog and that is the appropriate place for those. I will probably send a mail when finish and publish a book and one when I start a new project. The latter are good to get if you want my books cheap. I usually give them away at first on Leanpub and then start charging later. If you get them early, you also get all the updates, so you can get books for free or dirt cheap if you get them quickly.

I might also use the mailing list to poll on topics to write about. I have a long list of things I am considering and could use some feedback on that.

Speaking of new projects, I am slowing making progress on Meta-programming in R. I will have the first chapter finished tomorrow, I think, and probably the second during the week.

Once the first chapter is done, I will make it available (for free) on Leanpub. (Once the second chapter is done I will charge you a buck and when I’m all done I might charge you two. I need money for my lavish lifestyle. Or, actually, to pay the charge for the next book after this one).

I am still debating with myself what to include in the book. In the first chapter it is all about manipulating functions; getting their components from a function object, changing formal parameters or function bodies, stuff like that. The second chapter will be about evaluating expressions and how you can evaluate them in different context than the standard function evaluation. The third chapter will then be about manipulation of expressions with substitutions and such. After that, I am not sure what to include.

If I can’t think of something after three chapters, it might make it a shorter book — and then make it cheaper, of course — or I might add a chapter or two on embedded domain specific languages. That is something I have on my list of things to write about in any case, and that might also be hard to fill a whole book about. I don’t know. I will give it a good think over the next couple of days.

Facebook page for my books

There is not really a lot of interaction on Leanpub and I desperately would love to get feedback on my books, especially while they are still only e-books that can easily be fixed if there are problems in them, so I have made a Facebook page for that.

I haven’t tried doing that before, so I have no idea if it works or if you will be able to go there and comment on anything, but if you can, and if you manage to follow it, I will use it to announce new books or changes to the existing ones.

Don’t worry, I don’t plan to do a lot of spamming there.