How I came to write the Scala Cookbook

The funny thing about writing the Scala Cookbook is that it started as a whim. I was just about to leave for a vacation at the beach, and right before I turned off the computer a thought flashed in my mind, “I should contact the people at O’Reilly about writing a cookbook for Scala.” I then had a doubt that they would actually do it, but I applied the “What the heck” rule — i.e., “What the heck, what do I have to lose?” — and sent the email.

I dug around the internet for a few minutes, found the correct O’Reilly email address, sent them a message, turned off the computer, and drove to the beach. While I was at the beach the publisher wrote and said, “Love it, send me a full proposal!”

So if you’re thinking about doing something, but are afraid or uncertain about doing it ... apply the “What the heck” rule, and give it a shot. :)

Second Edition of the Scala Cookbook

It’s super-early in the process, but the Second Edition of the Scala Cookbook is slowly coming to life. I’m currently updating all of the content for Scala 2.13, and when the book is finished it will be updated for Scala 3.

This morning (January 28, 2020) the folks at O’Reilly released the first two chapters of the new, updated book on the O’Reilly Learning Platform. If you have an O’Reilly account you can start reading the new chapters here. If not, you can view the catalog page here.

Pursue the things that bring you joy

“My current advice to everyone is this: fall in love with your life. Pursue the things that bring you joy. Let go of things that don’t. Know the difference.”

~ Edie Freedman, Creative Director at O’Reilly Media

I never got a final PDF version of the Scala Cookbook

A funny thing about writing books, or at least writing books with O’Reilly in 2013, is that I never received a final copy of the Scala Cookbook in PDF format. Fortunately I have the original Word docs, which is what they used at the time, so I carry those around on my laptop.

A “thank you” regarding sales of Functional Programming, Simplified

As a brief note this morning, I’d just like to offer a “thank you” to the people who have purchased my new book, Functional Programming, Simplified, as sales have certainly exceeded my expectations. I first offered the idea to the people at O’Reilly, and when they turned it down I was concerned that maybe they knew something I didn’t. But sales and feedback have all been very positive, so thank you for that.

Functional Programming, Simplified

What Digital (eBook) and Print sales look like for a computer programming book

If you ever wondered what Digital and Print book sales look like for a technical book (a computer programming book, in this case), here you go. This is a slightly cleaned up chart that O’Reilly provides to me for sales of the Scala Cookbook over time, showing eBook sales vs the printed book sales.

Why O’Reilly no longer sells books and videos on oreilly.com

Here are some details behind why O’Reilly no longer sells books and videos on oreilly.com.

If you’re interested in business, an important part of this is seeing that O’Reilly defines itself as a distributor of knowledge. When you think in terms like that, it’s probably easier to say, “We’re not just a seller of books.” If they defined themselves only as a book-seller, they might be out of business by now.

Scala popularity increasing

I was surprised when I looked at my bank account yesterday and saw more money than I expected. When I looked into the details I saw that the royalty payments from O’Reilly (for the Scala Cookbook) have been on the upswing for the last five months. I expected sales to be like a bell curve, with the sales slowly, sadly, asymptotically dwingling to zero ... but instead, sales began to increase in April, 2015.

I’ve been in the hospital nine times since March, so I’ve done nothing at all to promote the book, certainly nothing different than the first 15 months. I attribute this rebound solely to the rising popularity of the Scala programming language. There’s an old saying, “A rising tide lifts all ships,” and I think you’ll see that’s true when you look at the next image.