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I'm writing, designing, and publishing a book about the art and craft of interaction design. Handmade outline for $20; pre-order the book for $40!
I'm writing, designing, and publishing a book about the art and craft of interaction design. Handmade outline for $20; pre-order the book for $40!
I'm writing, designing, and publishing a book about the art and craft of interaction design. Handmade outline for $20; pre-order the book for $40!
258 backers pledged $12,206 to help bring this project to life.

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The home stretch of the second-to-last stretch.

I haven't written here in a while, and there is a reason for that: Cadence & Slang is almost ready to print. I have spent the past several months keeping my head down and working on it as much as time allows.

The manuscript is entirely finished, but it is not done with being edited, and the illustrations are still forthcoming. Because you're morbidly curious, here is how the book is being written and edited:

  1. I write a chapter.

  2. I go through two passes of editing by myself.

  3. My loving grammar nazi girlfriend rips it apart.

  4. I send it to some really smart friends. They rip it apart, and send back feedback.

  5. I type the feedback up and make sure everything looks consistent and nice.

  6. One more edit pass on my part.

As publishing goes, this is pretty unorthodox. My colleagues' edits basically function as suggestions. As it's gone so far, I incorporate about 80% of my edits unchanged, tweak another 15%, and discard the last 5%. Ultimately this process eliminates the chance of fighting with people that may not have the same ideas as I do for how the book will turn out, and it brings more of the "self-" to "self-publishing." Hopefully it won't turn out like crap, because then everybody wins.

So here's where we are: five of the seven chapters are up to #5. The other two are up to #3, but they are the shortest chapters, and they'll likely hit #5 by this Friday. I'm going to work on #6 all this week; I'm spending the next nine days working exclusively on the book. I hope to send it off to the printer by Labor Day, but that may slip by a couple of weeks. All of this means we're still on track to have it finished and ready by the end of 2010.

The idea of saying "it'll be out in three months" rather than "it'll be out at the end of 2010" is freaking me out a little, and the idea of saying "I'm almost done with Cadence & Slang" is freaking me out a lot. I've worked on this, exclusively and nonstop, for almost two years, and I have no idea what I'll be doing afterward. (Well, other than celebrating.) There's a certain imminence to it that I don't quite know how to reconcile with the fact that I still have to work on it. I'm pretty sure the finished product is going to be ridiculously cathartic.

Once it's out, I want to have a release party for Cadence & Slang somewhere in Chicago, which means you should keep the entire months of November and December open until further notice. Thanks.

Finally, some random administrivia:

  • I'm going to be in San Francisco over Labor Day weekend. I hear there are, like, five or six tech companies there, so maybe a backer lives in the area. Maybe. Want to meet up? Let me know.

  • I'm going to be in DC on October 07 and 08. You can meet me anywhere you'd like, as long as it's Churchkey.

  • If you're interested in starting a Kickstarter project yourself, or if you're curious about how the process went for another self-publisher, fellow Kickstarterer Craig Mod has written a pretty fantastic post about the process. Makes for nice bedtime reading.

Final check for your name, and how printing's gone.

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Did I spell your name correctly?


For backers only. If you're a backer of this project, please log in to read this post.

SXSW post-mortem, and C&S Flickr group.

SXSW was awesome. I met about thirty backers, a couple of project creators, and several administrators of Kickstarter itself. I crashed with one backer who was generous enough to offer her room, and received the best business card of the entire conference from another, who walked around taking Polaroids:

Thanks to everyone who tracked me down over the course of SXSW. I know I promised handshakes in my backer gifts, but I'm pretty sure I gave more hugs than handshakes. To which I say:

It was my first-ever SXSW, and I heard quite a few folks talk about how large it had become. Some groused about how different it was back in the day. Obviously I have no perspective, but I had a total blast, and am kicking myself that I didn't attend in previous years. It's amazing how approachable and affable everybody is, and how willing they are to extend their time to hang out with relative strangers. The developer of my favorite-ever iPhone app invited me to have a beer within five minutes of chat. The writer of my favorite-ever link blog invited me to dinner unprompted.

Maybe I'll meet more of you in 2011.

I also printed fifty more copies of Cadence & Slang Mini, and handed out every single one, along with a ton of stickers. If you (backer or no) received a copy, you can post photos of stickers or Mini at the new Cadence & Slang Flickr group.

Oh, and I'm about a month away from finishing writing.

SXSW starts Friday! Let's do this!

Hello! It's been almost a month since I last wrote here. Thanks to everyone who emailed about Illustrator; I think I have a solution worked out. Two other things are noteworthy:

1. I've worked on Cadence & Slang exclusively for the past three weeks. Surprise! My freelance contract expired recently, and I have a month between it and my next gig, after SXSW. I have enough cash saved up that I can go jobless for a month and work daily on the book – so I have, spending about eight hours a day on it. I feel really happy with where I currently am on it. In a couple of weeks I'll be giving a manuscript to my friend Daniel Bogan, so he can draw some nice illustrations.

2. I'm going to SXSW Interactive on Thursday. Thanks to the generosity of a backer, I have a place to crash a few blocks from the convention center. If you find yourself in Austin a little early, I'll be grabbing a beer or three with whomever wants to show up at the Ginger Man, at 301 Lavaca, on March 11 at 8PM. It's apparently the best place in Austin for craft beer – and with this tap list, I'd be astonished if anything tops it. We can talk about beer and usability.

If you can't make the Ginger Man or hate deliciousness, I'll be roaming Austin all weekend, of course. If you helped make this book a reality I'd love to meet you. Shoot me an @-reply on Twitter and I'll try my best. Or here's the list of panels that I'll be attending – subject to change, naturally, but I'll try to keep this up to date. (I've found that site,, really useful, so you should head over there and add your own picks!)