Announcing my book on BuddyPress theme development


What started out as an email enquiry to me has ended in the start of my first book. I’m really excited to announce I will be writing a book on BuddyPress theme development. It’s a really cool time and apt to be writing a book on BuddyPress themes. So, how did this all come about?

How it started

The email came to me while I was away at BuddyCamp in Miami. It was an enquiry asking if I’d be interested in writing a book on BuddyPress theme development. In the email they’d done their research and also they gave a link to my WordCamp NYC talk as an example of this. This is something to note, WordCamp’s matter and speaking does lots for the speaker and those listening – you do get what you put in with open source. Whilst it shouldn’t be your goal in getting involved (karma doesn’t work when you intend), you don’t know where a WordCamp talk or a contribution will take you.

I had a bit of ’email to and fro’ working out terms that suited all of us and a way this book could happen. I unsurprisingly had some very set ideas over the format of such a book. Over my time in Miami I was also going through writing the outline for this book as there was a deadline for that I’d be missing otherwise – it was quite a juggle. It was also kind of cool to be at BuddyCamp whilst this was all going on. In the end, I’m glad I did it as I’m now able to make this exciting announcment.

The book

The book will be a 100 (ish) page step-by-step tutorial approach one and the smaller format should work well as a quicker read. It’s aimed at being a ‘small taste’ but enough to get you going, in the know and hopefully hooked on BuddyPress. The target audience is going to be from developers, designers through to casual interest – it’s a wide aim. I hope to cover a range of things including the current state of themes, default options and installing, going beyond default, building and beyond the look into the dev side. It’s going to be a packed 100 pages!

I have no release date but I imagine it will be late Summer / Autumn. When I know more I will announce it. I am spending the next few months writing this starting in May. It will be with Packt Publishing.

How do you eBook?

About a year ago I made the leap from physical books to eBooks. I’ve now replaced the majority of my library along with rapidly expanded other areas – damn you one click Kindle books! It’s been an interesting process mainly from discovering I actually alternate devices depending on the content reading.

Which device for which job?

Initially I assumed I’d be using my kindle for all my reading. That was the impetuous behind the move after all. However, this turned out to not quite be all the story. I find the following device break on tends to apply to me:

  • Kindle : fiction or non fiction but not technical books or work related. Usually at night or on down time
  • IPad : iBooks or kindle – usually iBooks : technical books or work related. Train journeys, travel and day time at desk along with work
  • Desktop : following tutorials day time

I found not only the subject matter but the time of day seems to reflect in my choice of device. In retrospect this probably makes sense with the fact I highlight and interact with my iBook application and the Kindle eInk is easier on the eyes.

Digital means more options

One of the benefits of the move into digital has meant I have this choice of devices. It actually was something I wasn’t thinking of as a reason to move completely digital for my reading. However, it’s more happened as a nice side effect.

Split library location downside?

I as said use iBooks, however I’ve not actually brought any through that store. My personal preference has and probably will be Kindle store. Aside from that I tend to buy source eBooks which give me the different formats. I actually do keep a split library though, rarely uploading those source eBooks to my Kindle. I kind of like having the separation though.

Whilst it may not be for everyone a pure digital method of collecting music and books along with whatever I can convert to digital fits me, it’s not for everyone but for me it just works.  Thanks to syncing and cloud storage I have access to anything I want in any device too so never find I’m missing something even if it’s not on the device I’m using.

Digital highlighting and noting

My primary reason in iBooks being my technical, work reading device is the highlighting and note functionality. I can’t praise this part of iBooks enough. Yes other applications and devices have this functionally, it’s a standard. Many fail in the implementation of note taking, whereas iBooks excels in my opinion. I also use a Wacom stylus a fair bit with my iPad and that perfectly suits highlighting.

I’ve always been a strong advocate that a loved book has a lot of notes in margins, dog-eared turned pages and highlighting. It’s how I get out what my reactions to what I am reading. With iBooks I get this in my digital device. Yes the Kindle has note capabilities, but aside from it being a great device that bit kind of sucks. Oddly it doesn’t though on the Kindle App for the iPad so maybe that’s what the touch will become.

The unexpected outcome

As I said, the move to eBooks I was fairly sure would be the right one. I wasn’t quite aware of the a fact I’d start using different devices for different reading subjects and even times of day. I did have a vague idea this would be a one device move, but I’m ok it is turning out to not be. My iPad is more than iBooks to me, being my travel device of choice. The Kindle has had a price drop to make it more palatable too. So, that’s not an issue if I have both. Yes, I am looking at getting the new Kindle the old now going to be a ‘husband hand down’.

All in all the move to a purely digital library has been incredibly positive for me. Perhaps a point to note is my increase in reading since this had been done. I find purchasing books a far more spur of moment thing now too, often snapping up the great bargains on the Kindle store (they have some insane offers). I’ve also found myself snagging up the free classic ebooks and rediscovering those again and as a result rediscovering some classics like Alice in wonderland and Jane Austin.

Photo credit : JamJar – source Flickr