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Kickstart Learning Perl 6 from brian d foy and O'Reilly Media.
Kickstart Learning Perl 6 from brian d foy and O'Reilly Media.
Kickstart Learning Perl 6 from brian d foy and O'Reilly Media.
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Learning Perl 6, the Nutshell Book from O'Reilly Media miniatura de video del proyecto
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Learning Perl 6, the Nutshell Book from O'Reilly Media

40.404 $

563

FUNDED! Let's try to get 2,000 backers now!

Perl 6, a new language based on Perl 5, released its first user release on Christmas 2015 after a decade and a half of development. I was there when the project started, dropped in and out over that time, and now it's time for a book for regular people.

Me at the Alpine Perl Workshop, with the Perl 6 mascot, Camelia, in the foreground
Me at the Alpine Perl Workshop, with the Perl 6 mascot, Camelia, in the foreground

A short history of my Perl books

A long time ago I started teaching Perl, which led me to helping Randal Schwartz and Tom Phoenix update Learning Perl to its fourth edition. That book was based on the very popular courses we were teaching all over the world, and we still think that's one of the reasons it has stood the test of time. Since then, I've continually updated that book to keep up with Perl. Just this summer O'Reilly Media published its seventh edition covering up to Perl v5.24 (the current version). This book continues to sell quite well (and I continue to teach that class).

 

Some of my books
Some of my books

 

After I finished the fourth edition of Learning Perl, I turned my attention to Learning Perl Objects, References, and Modules. You probably don't recognize that book because we re-titled it Intermediate Perl. As with Learning Perl, this book is based on a class of the same name. Those two books contain most of the Perl knowledge that most practitioners will use.

After that, O'Reilly Media and I got together to publish Mastering Perl. We wanted to provide a book that covered the things I kept bringing up in classes but didn't have a place in Learning Perl or Intermediate Perl. We also had the editorial goal of not covering material that was adequately covered in any other book, even if I was not the author. It's still a solid book.

Somewhere in there, Josh McAdams and I updated Effective Perl Programming, written by Joseph Hall and published by Addison-Wesley. The roots of Intermediate Perl come from Joseph, who also worked as a Perl trainer. I think his original, first edition is still one of the finest Perl books ever written.

Eventually I got to work on the granddaddy of Perl books, Programming Perl, fourth edition. Tom Christiansen and I updated this book after a ten year quiescence.

My next book is about Perl 6

I've thought that my next book was about Perl 6 since about 2000. I was in the room when the cabal came up with the idea of a replacement for Perl 5 that would make the internals easier to extend and steal the latest ideas from emerging languages. For a while, Perl 6 had a rocky path with expanding requirements far beyond the language itself. I think I started the book three times and put it on hold three times as the language changed drastically.

A Perl 6 class I taught in 2007
A Perl 6 class I taught in 2007

 

But, now it's time for Learning Perl 6.  Perl 6 had its first stable release at Christmas 2015, and it works. I want to write this book, and I want to you to make it possible.

Learning Perl 6 mocked-up cover
Learning Perl 6 mocked-up cover

 

How publishing normally works

Normally, meaning ten years ago, publishers took a bet on a topic and an author. They gave the author a little money, assigned an editor, and hoped that a book showed up. They published the book, promoted it, and hoped people bought it. They did this over and over again hoping one book, maybe a Harry Potter or Hunger Games, made enough money to cover all the books that made none. If the book didn't sell, the author didn't do so well.

I've already published several books. I know how to do it that way. However, I think publishing isn't going to stay that way. This time I want to try something different. I want a direct gauge of the market before I start work.

Why don't you self-publish?

It's a fair question. Someone asked that no /r/perl, and here's what I wrote:

O'Reilly brings an excellent editorial staff, copyeditors, indexers, marketers, and an impressive catalog of other books that will surround Learning Perl 6. O'Reilly has the right connections with the online book sellers and distributors. If something is wrong with the book description in Amazon, for instance, I know O'Reilly has a person who knows a person. When someone wants the foreign language rights to the book, they deal with that and get me a pretty good deal. They deal with the Library of Congress and several other such bodies to register my copyright. They have lots of beneficial relationships by virtue of their size and focus. They know everything that needs to happen and they have systems in place that make it almost automatic. They have a pretty good royalty tracking system where I get paid monthly instead of semi-annually. They deal with all that accounting. And, I know they are going to pay my royalties. 

I also get to use Atlas, their real time layout and publishing system, and all of my tools are already built around that since I've published my other books through them. 

It's not that a publisher pays to publish a book. A publisher and author reach an arrangement where one side risks some resources and the other side risks some time hoping for future profit. Many publishers give an advance (something I don't think I've ever taken) which is actually just future royalties. An author who takes an advance won't see royalties until they "earn out", which means their royalties on future sales equals the amount of the advance. Many authors do take an advance and never earn out, which means the publishers lose a little bit of money. Pay too small an advance and the writer might not deliver because they have to work on something else to pay the bills. Pay too large an advance and you lose a lot of money. 

This works because the publishers don't know what will work and what won't. They have to make a bet. So, I'm removing that risk for the publisher. It's a book that I want to write and they'd like to publish. However, there are lots of books they'd like to publish. I've given them a bit more reason to commit to mine. I've gamed the system a little so some other book proposal is behind mine instead of in front of it. And, from that, I think I got one of the best editors working with me. 

But, I had an idea of testing the market by crowdfunding, which I can count as pre-orders. I'm curious if this would work. I'm doing it because I have that hacker curiosity about exploring this system. This isn't a safe thing to do. I'm extremely vulnerable: this could flop big time. This could be an epic fail. It's way out of my comfort zone, but sometimes you need to do that. I've had a lot of successes in my career, so something scary and uncertain like this seems to a good thing right now. 

Books are expensive for authors too. I've often told people that you don't make money writing a book, but you can make money writing ten books. I know Learning Perl 6 isn't going to get me the same sales as some of my other books, but I want to write it. I'm compelled to write it because that's the way I am. Getting some money from the community in return for future services (so, I'm stealing from future work a bit for time now) can give me space to focus on this project. If enough people in the community thinks its worth it, good for me. If it flops, nobody is out anything. 

As for you, a potential backer, you should only think about if the value I'm offering you (whatever that might be) is enough for you. Do you want the book? Do you think I can write the book and deliver it? Do you think you'll like what I write? If that value proposition makes sense to you, you can participate. If it doesn't, you might hope that enough other people participate so you get the book later (my first backer, Sinan, might call that a free rider problem ;). 

Going a bit further, there are several people who want other people to have to book, so there are higher reward levels for that.

Riesgos y desafíos

I've been here before and this is my third stab at a Perl 6 book. The two previous attempts failed when the Perl 6 project stalled. I'm not one of the core developers and I don't have control over the technologies, so I'm a bit constrained by their decisions.

Perl 6, now released, has a certain commitment to its users. The language has stabilized quite a bit. I don't have the same problems that plagued previous efforts.

I'll develop this semi-publicly, with monthly releases for backers at the appropriate rewards levels. That should help the book respond to minor changes in the language and ecosystem. I won't be able to rewrite the book every month to respond to drastic changes in Perl 6 world, though.

Other people have attempted Perl 6 books, and most have failed. I think that's mostly because they were first time authors. You know my reputation and bibliography. I won't have those same problems.

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    Thanks for all the fish!

    I might be interested in Perl 6, but you've helped me in the past and I want to help get your backer count to 2,000.

    Tell all of your friends to give $1!

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    Good luck to you!

    I don't have much, but here's a little to help out to say thanks for everything you've already done for Perl!

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    Gimme the final e-version! (Late bird)

    Give me the e-book when you're done. You missed out on the early bird reward, but your extra $10 help feed several scripts and programs!

    But hey, close to this reward is the $50 reward to get monthly draft releases!

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    Gimme some early e-versions!

    Let me see monthly drafts of the book before its finished, and give me the final ebook when it's done. If you decide to comment on the early versions, I'll list you as a contributor.

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    The Coming Soon Butterfly T-shirt

    We'll send you the Learning Perl 6 Coming Soon limited-edition T shirt. We'll have to wait until the updates to show you what we're thinking for that.

    Note that shipping physical items outside the US is very expensive and I've never had luck finding small run producers elsewhere.

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    Print book only, fulfilled by O'Reilly

    Get the print book when it's out. This is a pre-sale version. You're paying a bit over the future retail price to help make this book a reality.

    Incluye:
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    Get the T-shirt and the monthly e-book

    Get the T-Shirt and the monthly drafts of the e-book.

    There is an additional charge for shipping the t-shirt, and it's a bit expensive outside the US. I wish it weren't so.

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    Print and e-book, fulfilled by O'Reilly

    Get the print and ebooks book when they're out. These are a pre-sale versions. You're paying a bit over the future retail prices to help make this book a reality.

    Incluye:
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    It's Christmas

    You want the e-book, and you know that in a different base this number is very special to Perl 6's history.

    You'll get one of the first six printed, dead tree versions of the book, numbered and signed by the author.

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    Early drafts, print, and e-book

    You'll get the monthly releases, then the final products in both e-book and physical book forms.

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    UNIVERSAL is Mu

    You want the ebook but also appreciate the fine structure construct and it's connection to Perl 6. You're a generous person who gives because you want others to have the book too.

    You'll get a signed copy of the print book when O'Reilly releases it.

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    Old School Llama, 7th Edition & T-Shirt

    I didn't think the signed copies of Learning Perl 6 would sell out, and certainly not this quickly!

    I just got the first copies of Learning Perl, 7th Edition. This is the existing book that covers Perl 5 (up to v5.24 with one small v5.26 adjustment).

    I'll sign and number seven copies and send them out. I know you all already bought your new Llama books.

    Along with that you'll get the monthly drafts of Learning Perl 6.

    Check the shipping rates! This is a tangible item and international shipping is expensive.

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    Sponsor an article on Perltricks.com

    Perlticks.com has offered to allow three sponsored content posts for this campaign. I'll write a Perl 6 article similar to other Perltricks posts. You'll get to advertise around that.

    Perltricks promotes its articles in many places you'll reach a Perl audience. This is much more than "We'll mention you". We're quite enthusiastic and effusive about these things!

    You get to support Perltricks and Perl 6 with a single reward.

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    One day class in New York City

    A one day Perl 6 workshop in New York City for your company.

    You'll receive the e-book at whatever state it is in at the time of class delivery.

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    Corporate benefactor

    Your company makes a lot of money with Perl and you want to give a little back. I'll dedicate a blog post to you to show you a little love.

    I'll send you ten copies of the book once it's on paper.

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    Come tell me about it!

    One day of on-site Perl 5 training anywhere in the United States or Canada and one day of Perl 6 training workshop. This is the reward that would really help develop the book as I present the class to a live audience with immediate feedback.

    You'll receive the e-book at whatever state it is in at the time of class delivery.

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    Fly to Europe to tell me about it!

    One day of on-site Perl 5 training in Europe (or close to) and one day of Perl 6 training workshop. This is the reward that would really help develop the book as I present the class to a live audience with immediate feedback.

    You'll receive the e-book at whatever state it is in at the time of class delivery.

    I will try to consolidate classes in Europe to a single trip so most of your money does not end up with airlines and hotels.

    And, if you're in Australia, sorry, you already have Damian Conway. He's better than me anyway. Seriously, I'm sure he'd love to teach a class for you.

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    Gimme some of that ol' Perl 5

    Two days of on-site Perl 5 training (Mastering Perl or Effective Perl Programming) anywhere in the United States and Canada and one day of Perl 6 training workshop.

    The Perl 5 training is solid, and I'm developing the Perl 6 side. This is the reward that would really help develop the book as I present the class to a live audience with immediate feedback.

    If you want one of the four day classes (Learning Perl or Intermediate Perl) or something across an ocean from North America, we can figure something out. ($10,000 is the Kickstarter limit)

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Período de financiamiento

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