On First Books

It’s probably a lot like seeing your first child for the first time.

Peachpit screwed up. Somehow, they managed to forget to send the authors of WordPress 2: Visual QuickStart Guide (yours truly and Miraz Jordan in New Zealand) author copies of the book. The book is in retail and online bookstores. But not in our hot little hands.

Heck, screw-ups happen. It isn’t a huge deal to me — I’ve seen 60+ books with my name on the cover — but I would like to see the book one of these days.

It’s really a shame for Miraz — this is her very first book and she’s been waiting nearly a month so far to see it. So she ordered a copy from Amazon.com. (Heaven knows when her author copies will get down to where she lives.) And reading her blog post about how holding it made her feel brought back memories.


August 1992 at Macworld Expo in Boston. I’d been using a Macintosh since 1989 and was a relative newbie. Completely self-taught. I was hooked on Macs.

That spring, I’d been working on a book with Bernard J. David that was eventually titled The Mac Shareware Emporium. It was my first book; my only previous book experience was ghostwriting four chapters for a John Dvorak book the year before. (That’s how I’d met Bernard.)

imageMy editor had told me that the book would be at the show and I’d do a book signing. I made my way to the Brady Publishing booth. And there, on the shelf, was the ugliest book cover I’d ever seen — with my name on it!

When I tell you that holding it in my hands brought tears to my eyes, I am not exaggerating. I got all emotional. Even though it was the ugliest thing I’d ever seen, it was also the most beautiful. It was a symbol of an achievement, of a dream realized.

And that’s what Miraz went through today.

Congratulations, Miraz!

You know, in looking at the cover again today for the first time in years (so I could scan it), it really isn’t that ugly after all.

What do you think?