Birth of an ebook
The whole process began after a chat with Kate Matsudaira. We were talking about the ins and outs of publishing, and she managed to convince me that I should self-publish my next book. After doing a bit of research, I wound up selecting Leanpub as the publisher. I really liked a lot about their service:
- Books could be written in Markdown
- Automatically generate three formats of ebook
- Automatic customizable product page
- Handling of payments and refunds
- Royalty payments through PayPal
- Readers can select how much money they want to pay
- Ability to update the ebook at any time and allow existing readers to update for free
Enter No Starch
When the ebook was complete, I didn’t think there was much chance of getting it published as a physical book by an existing publisher. Most publishers want around 200 pages. I figured if there was enough interest then I’d try to self-publish the physical book as well, but I would wait to see what the response was.
I ended up in a conversation with Bill Pollack from No Starch Press at Fluent last year. I explained to him what I was doing and he shared how No Starch approaches publishing. I was really enamored by the old-school approach he described: serious copy and tech editors, fine-tuning of topics and tone, and an approach to putting out a small quantity of high-quality books each year. We left with a handshake that we’d talk again if he liked what he read.
After reading the ebook, Bill thought it was worthwhile to proceed to create a physical book. No Starch wasn’t the first publisher to approach me, but they definitely felt like the right one. One of my big concerns was being able to continue selling on Leanpub so I could fulfill my commitment to those who had purchased the ebook already. Where other publishers said I would have to take down the Leanpub offering, No Starch allowed me to keep it up.
Code Lindley graciously agreed to write a foreword for the No Starch version.
So what is this book?
First and foremost, this book is the print edition of my self-published ebook, but with actual copy editing, tech editing, and professional graphics. The topics covered are the same and are mostly covered in the same way (the No Starch version has additional clarifications in some places). As a bonus, there is a No Starch ebook version.
- The differences between primitive and reference values
- The various ways of creating an object
- The difference between data properties and accessor properties using ECMAScript 5
- How to define your own constructors
- How to work with and understand prototypes
- Various inheritance patterns for types and objects
- How to create private and privileged object members
- How to prevent modification of objects using ECMAScript 5 functionality