Big Update to Shawn Blanc's eBook, 'Delight is in the Details'

Delight is in the Details — v2

My buddy Shawn Blanc has published a huge update to his ebook about creativity, Delight is in the Details. Everything that made the original version awesome is still there, along with a ton of new content and refinements:

  • The ebook has been upped from 75 pages to 88 thanks to the addition of two new chapters
  • Two new audio interviews (Matt Alexander and Jared Sinclair), bringing the total to 10
  • All of the audiobook and audio interview tracks have been remastered
  • There are now transcripts of all the interviews, in case you’d rather read than listen
  • A new Makers Q&A section
  • References to iOS and OS X have been updated
  • Three short videos about creativity and design, all with high production value. You can watch one of them right now: “The Creative Life”

If you already bought the first edition of Delight is in the Details, you get this update (and all future updates) for free. A Gumroad link to the new files will be emailed to you, so keep an eye out.

For the rest of you who have yet to make the plunge, the book is 25% off—$29, down from $39—today only. Now’s your chance to get in on a fantastic book that will spur your creative work and show you why sweating the details is so important.

David Sparks' New Field Guide: Presentations [iBookstore Link]

David Sparks (aka MacSparky) has released his long-awaited new Field Guide, Presentations. Beautifully designed from beginning to end, this ebook shows you how to make your presentations not suck.

With a primary focus on Apple’s Keynote software—and filled with more than 30 screencasts, audio interviews, and other rich media assets—David shows you how to plan an exceptional presentation that will connect with and delight your audience. He stresses the importance of telling a story rather than reading off bullet points out loud, how to make stunning presentation slides, and more.

He also shares some of his hard-earned presentation day tips, such as:

  • Putting together a “presentation toolbox”, a kit with all the adapters and other miscellany a presenter might need at the last minute
  • Advice on posture and stance
  • Presentation delivery techniques

I highly recommend picking up a copy of Presentations on the iBookstore. It's only $10, and your presentations will forever be changed for the better.

Creativity, Inc.

Speaking of Pixar, there's a book coming out tomorrow called Creativity, Inc. that I can't wait to read. Written by co-founder Ed Catmull, Creativity, Inc. grants readers a peek into the creative process at Pixar and how other businesses can apply the many lessons he has learned from managing teams of creative people over the years.

If this excerpt at Fast Company is anything to go by, Creativity, Inc. is going to be an excellent book. Pre-order it from Amazon or from the iBooks Store.

Jony Ive Biography by Leander Kahney

Released just this morning, Jony Ive by Leander Kahney — editor of Cult of Mac — explores the early life and meteoric rise of Apple's famous product designer. It's not based on direct conversations with its subject in the way that Walter Isaacson's biography of Steve Jobs was, but it looks pretty interesting nonetheless.

Jony Ive is available from Amazon in both hardcover ($17) and Kindle ($12) formats, as well as from the iBooks Store ($12).

The App Design Handbook

Nathan Barry and Jeremy Olson have put together an excellent resource for anyone looking to get started with app design.

The full package – which includes 9 video tutorials, 9 video interviews, and a handful of resources such as Photoshop files and Xcode samples – is $199 for a limited time to celebrate the launch, and will go back up to $249 soon. The book can also be purchased by itself for $29 (soon $39) or as a middle-ground package that includes fewer resources than the full package.

Hogwarts Board of Education Inspection

“The study of History is particularly poor, with very little teacher interaction and no group work of any kind. Students were frequently found to be asleep during these lessons and, on one occasion, the teacher was also sleeping at their desk. Clearly this is not good enough, and suggests that Senior Leadership need to have far more rigorous CPD in place for struggling teachers, alive or dead.”

Entertaining read, and one that manages to mention series plot points without being overly spoiler-y. (Via Kottke)

Writing on the iPad

Federico Viticci's epic review of Editorial is now available as an awesome book on the iBookstore, and is packed with a ton of new content for your enjoyment. For a limited time, it's available for only $3, so be sure to pick it up today.

If you're like me and you do a lot of writing on your iPad, this is an invaluable resource.

Congrats to Federico on publishing his very first book!

UPDATE: Looks like the book is already a success.

'Delight is in the Details'


Shawn Blanc has released his long-awaited eBook + interview series, Delight is in the Details.

“In the book, I talk about why the long-term success of our products (and our reputations) depends heavily on us taking the time to think through and sweat the details. This book encourages you to strive for excellence and resist the tendency to settle on “good enough” work that leads to forgettable products.

Additionally, I share several examples of products and services I consider delightful, and I talk at length with makers who've shown an astounding ability to sweat the details, gleaning from their experience and success.”

Shawn has put a ton of work into this project, and it shows. I highly recommend picking up a copy, especially if you're a designer or writer (or anyone else who does creative work, really).

The full bundle that includes the audio book and interviews is only $29, while the eBook by itself is $20. I'd recommend getting the full package at least to get access to the interviews.

Evernote Essentials 3.0

Brett Kelly's Evernote Essentials ebook has become the quintessential resource for any Evernote user who wants to get the most out of the service. Today, he has released v3.0 of the book, and it's chock-full of new content. In fact, it's nearly double the size of the last edition (now 159 pages), and even the previous content has been rewritten to reflect Evernote's newer features.

Even if you use Evernote all the time, I'll bet this book can still teach you a few tricks. Do yourself a favor and pick up a copy.

'My Father's Eviscerated Work'

Christopher Tolkien, in his first-ever press interview, on the juxtaposition between his father's work and the Lord of the Rings films:

"Invited to meet Peter Jackson, the Tolkien family preferred not to. Why? "They eviscerated the book by making it an action movie for young people aged 15 to 25," Christopher says regretfully. "And it seems that The Hobbit will be the same kind of film."

I personally loved the films, but damn.

Printed Books vs eBooks

A couple days ago, J.D. Bentley discussed his reasoning behind any purchase of an ebook over a printed copy. He prefers ebooks when they are:

  1. Cheaper
  2. Not dependent on layout
  3. Not available as a printed artifact

I hadn't ever really put much thought into my ebook purchasing habits before reading his piece, but I've since concluded that he and I think alike in this respect.

Most of the books I buy are text-only, and as a result, most books I purchase are ebooks. They're convenient, nearly always cheaper, and they save me from feeling bad about needlessly wasting paper when I have devices perfectly capable of displaying simple blocks of text.

Of course, there are also books that I find worth owning hard copies of, something J.D. touches on:

"This also touches on the third point about printed artifacts, which is to say, books worth looking at. I appreciate beautiful printed books, well-designed physical objects."

Couldn't agree more. I love the look and feel of a well-designed book, and most of the time I'll opt to spend the few extra bucks in order to have one on my shelf. What can I say, I enjoy bookshelf porn.

It's not always about beauty for me, though. I also enjoy owning physical copies of books closer to my heart, especially ones I grew up with such as Ender's Game, Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, the Wheel of Time series, and the Harry Potter series. These are the kinds of things I'd like to pass down to my son whenever he's old enough to appreciate them.

The way J.D. and I differ is that I typically don't take layout into account when purchasing a book the way he does. I've yet to come across any ebooks that have presented problems for me in terms of format, and if I think format will be an issue, I attempt to obtain a PDF copy so that the original layout is preserved.

Obvious exclusions from this rule are books full of artwork, such as graphic novels or collections of an artist's work. I always opt for physical copies of that sort of thing.

The only real problem with my current setup is that I haven't settled on where I want to keep my ebooks. On my iPhone, my ebook library is pretty evenly split between and, leading me to often forget where a particular book is saved.

I'd rather keep everything in one place, but switching wholly to either app will require re-purchasing some books and I haven't wanted to make that leap just yet. Someday, though.