Many readers have been asking for a book about mobile app design, so I put out a poll a while back on Twitter — and the answer was an overwhelming “yes”!
Since it’s clearly something people really want, we’d love to proceed with this book!
The first step is to find a great author — and that’s where you come in!
How You Can Help
I realize that not all developers are designers, and not all designers are developers.
So here is my request to you: please forward this post to an app designer you know that you think would make an awesome author for this book.
Getting the right person for this book is massively important, because we want this to be an amazing resource for the entire community, and we all want to build better apps, don’t we?
I really appreciate your help getting this open call to the designers who you think would help us make a great book. Thanks!
About the Book
I admit — I’ve tried my hand at design in the past, and it’s way harder than it looks. Here’s a stellar example of what I can accomplish when I push my design skills to the limit:
I wish that I’d had a book like this when I was starting out. But, better late than never, I guess!
I think the best way to describe this book is pragmatism. I’m sure you don’t need (or want) to know everything about design, but instead you’d like some practical, simple approaches that you can use when building apps to make them look better, feel more fluid and serve your user’s needs as best as possible.
I doubt you want to read a book about all the theory of good app design, without real examples of how to implement this theory in the real world of app-building. I’m sure a lot of you would like handle most of the basic design of your app yourselves, instead of always being told to “go hire a designer”.
Here are a few other ideas we have for the book:
- Explore graphics tools: Many developers haven’t had the chance to play with any design software or graphics tools, such as Sketch. So it might be worth covering the basics of common design tools in the book.
- Create beautiful “programmer art”: We know you love examples where a developer gives their UI over to a designer, who reworks it to be magical and beautiful. Some case studies like this could be really instructive — we might even have some of readers submit their apps for consideration in the book.
- Cover both iOS and Android: We have both iOS and Android developers in our audience, so it would be ideal if the book could cover both platforms – and also point out the design differences for each platform.
- Challenge-based: Since it’s impossible to become a good designer overnight (sorry), it would be nice if the book incorporated some challenges that would encourage readers to practice what they’ve learned to hone their skills.
Why Write a Book With raywenderlich.com?
We’ve created many books at raywenderlich.com over the years, and we have learned a lot about what it takes to create a high-quality, polished book.
There are plenty of reasons to write a book with us, but we’ll cover the top three that most authors ask about.
1) Work With an Awesome Team
Self-publishing is all the rage, but the key word there is “self” — as in, you’ll have to do everything your“self.” Self-editing. Self-designing. Self-typesetting. Self-management. Self-promotion. And everything else associated with a book, including customer support, creating art, store infrastructure and dealing with payment processors.
And the worst part of all is self-marketing. Even if you can handle all of the above, you need to build a sufficient audience of people whom know you and who want to buy your book. This can be quite challenging and time consuming if you’re going solo but, at raywenderlich.com, we’ve spent years building a loyal audience of readers.
At raywenderlich.com, our goal is to balance the creative freedom of writing a book with an established, proven process that makes sure your book will be polished, professional, and something you will be proud of. Here’s how the raywenderlich.com Book Team helps you out:
- Feedback: We provide constructive and technical feedback on outlines, sample projects and chapters.
- Artwork: We provide any cover art, internal art or other design assets if you need them.
- Tech editing: Each of your chapters will have two rounds of tech editing from experienced technical editors, resulting in the highest possible quality.
- Copyediting: We do line-by-line copyediting and proofreading of your manuscript.
- Project management: We provide project management throughout the process to keep the project on track and on time.
- Tools: We provide custom tools to write your chapters in Markdown, as well as generate the book in PDF, ePub and print formats.
- Marketing: We help promote and market your book through our blog, newsletter, Twitter, Facebook and more.
- Publication: We publish and sell your book through our online store and other channels.
- Support: We handle customer support from readers, and provide book forums where customers can ask you questions and provide feedback.
Our goal is to be a “book publisher that doesn’t suck,” and to create an environment wherein talented developers and teachers can make a living by creating great books like this, or advance their own career by being recognized as an expert.
2) Become a Recognized Subject Matter Expert
Authoring a book with raywenderlich.com will add a lot of heft to your résumé. If you want to become known as a subject matter expert in a particular area, authoring a great book is a tried-and-true path. This will open doors for contracting work, conference talks, new jobs and more. You can think of a book as a business card, résumé and income stream all rolled into one!
The best part is that you don’t have to be an expert in your chosen field right now — all you need is solid experience as a developer and a willingness to dig deep and learn. At raywenderlich.com, our authors often become experts in their chosen subject by going through the process of writing a book.
3) Earn Some Money!
Many authors ask what they can expect financially from the first year of book sales — and if it’s worth the effort to release updated editions of the book.
The majority of traditional publishing agreements only give authors 10-15% of royalties, expecting authors to write for exposure and to increase credibility in their field, with royalties as a secondary concern.
At raywenderlich.com, we think you can enjoy a nice financial return on your books and build your credibility at the same time. We have an unusual approach in the industry in which we give 50% of net revenue back to the book authors (divided proportionally by authors, based on how many chapters each author contributes).
The chart below shows the average total book royalties paid out to authors during the first year of the book’s life. We’ve included the low and high values of the first year of author earnings as reference:
And this is only for the first year of your book’s life — it can be even more if you keep your book regularly updated, as we’re famous for doing on this site.
Do You Have What it Takes?
Writing a book not easy, and it definitely isn’t for everybody.
We’ve worked with a lot of book authors over the past eight years, and here’s what it takes to be successful:
- Do you know your subject well? Knowing your subject well is the most important part. Readers expect our authors to be extremely knowledgeable in their area, having learned from the “school of hard knocks.”
- Are you in tune with industry news and trends? Do you frequently read articles, papers, or blogs related to your subject, and constantly keep your domain knowledge up-to-date? We expect our authors to be fully informed about the latest and greatest.
- Can you make this a top priority in your life? Writing a book requires a lot of time, and will require sacrifices in your life, such as writing chapters after a tiring day of book, or having to miss out out on events for writing, and so on. Do you want to be an author badly enough to make those sacrifices?
- Can you meet deadlines? We have hard deadlines to meet as a book author, and it’s critical that you stay on track for the success of the project. Are you the type of person who is good at meeting deadlines?
- Are you a reliable communicator? If someone sends you an email, a Slack message, or a comment on Trello, can you be counted on to respond? We expect if we ask our authors a question that they get back within 1-2 business days without having to be chased.
- Are you able to follow our guides? We have detailed guides on every aspect of the writing process, and expect our authors to follow them. Are you good at following guidelines and making a best effort to fit in with the rest of the team?
If this sounds like you, we think you’d make an amazing book author for our site. Keep reading to find out how to apply!
Where to Go From Here?
If you are interested in working on this project, please email me with answers to the following questions:
- Why do you want to work on this project?
- Please describe your design experience.
- Please share your design portfolio.
- Making a book on an advanced topic like this isn’t easy and will take a lot of time and energy. What adjustments can you make to your schedule to allow regular time to work on this project over the next 3-6 months, and are you sure you can commit to this workload?
And even if you’re not a designer, please forward this to someone you think would be excellent for this book. We want to hear from as many amazing designers as possible!
Thanks all — and we look forward to creating a book with one of you (or one of your favorite designers)!