My Book is Out

Although I haven’t talked much about the details, it’s no secret that I was working on a design book for SitePoint. Most of my friends and relatives have been asking me “How’s the book going?” and “Are you done yet?” since I started the first chapter back in early April. After several months of late nights, long weekends, and increased caffeine consumption, I’m excited to announce that “The Principles of Beautiful Web Design” is now available!

My Book

My personal copies arrived about a week ago, but I didn’t want to post anything about it here until my parents and a few influential people had received the copies I sent them. I thought I would have a few weeks to prepare a promotional page before the book “hit the streets”, but it became available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Borders, Books-A-Million, and Wal-Mart around the same time I received my box. There’s even a review up on Amazon already. In a rush to get something posted for people to link to, I set up principlesofbeautifulwebdesign.com. Yea, I know it’s ginormously long for a domain name but I couldn’t think of a better available name. I’m quite proud of how that little page turned out for the amount of time I put into it. I still have a lot more ground to cover in marketing the book. I printed up some glossy business cards over the weekend that I plan to take to some of the local book stores and ask if they can put a few copies on their shelves. SitePoint also let me send some copies of the book to a few select celebrity designer/developers. For better or worse, I’m looking forward to hearing what these people think about the book. I am personally very excited with how it turned out and think it will benefit a pretty broad range of people who are looking for a primer in graphic design principles as they apply to the web.

This whole experience has been a wild ride. I was excited (and a little scared) by the idea when SitePoint initially asked me to write the book. Somehow though, in the flurry of working on it, I lost track of what being a published author would be like. Being a quiet and humble person, it’s still strange to see my name on the cover. It’s weirder still when all my friends ask me to sign their copy when it arrives. I don’t think I’ll ever get used to that, but it really makes all the hard work worthwhile.

26 Comments

  1. Hey, that’s a really slick 1-pager for the book site. I love the hover examples of how the page’s contents relate to the design elements.

  2. Congratulations, Jason! A nice, firm, virtual handshake from me 🙂

    I’ll definately try to get my hands on a copy. The site looks very nice also.

  3. Jason, this is awesome!!!
    I am so incredibly excited for you. I just ordered my copy from Amazon. I’ll have to take a trip down to South Carolina to get it signed 🙂

    I wish you the best of luck with this book…you deserve it.

  4. Thanks guys! …and Nathan, I used jQuery for the fun hover effects, so I owe a tip of the hat to you for introducing me to it. It really is a versatile little library.

  5. I meant to congratulate you earlier, but, well, I didn’t, so congratulations!

    We’re currently passing it around the office, I’m looking forward to my turn.

  6. Big congratulations are definitely in order! And I have to echo the sentiments expressed above: that is a very slick one-page promo site you put together. Good work!

  7. And I’m here to tell you a few things.
    1) Drop jQuery and use YUI.
    2) Where is my personal signed copy of your book?
    3) That is the dopest book website I’ve ever seen.

    Ok seriously now, congratulations on releasing the long awaited book. I’m buying it right now. I’m sad we couldn’t hang out longer when you visited – I was on the busiest schedule of my life.

    Anyhow, I’m definitely looking forward to getting your book. Many blessings have come your way.

  8. Word! The red lines/labels weren’t there on the hover states the first time I went to the site. I’m totally into them.

    I would give a lot to see the imagery hoverstate draw a funny red mustache on your picture….

    Congratulations again. I can’t wait to read it.

  9. That would be really funny. Perhaps I’ll add that the next time I update the page.

  10. Congrats on the book release and good reviews.
    A shining bunch of stars at Amazon is definately a good thing. I actually stopped in to plug your book site:
    http://www.principlesofbeautifulwebdesign.com/
    I love it! Great job on that, it’s pure funnery, er I mean fun. YUI vs. jquery, hmmm Jquery hands down. 🙂

  11. Thanks, Ty! I’ve been pensively anticipating real feedback and it’s been overwhelmingly rewarding to see mostly positive reviews. BTW, I’m writing this from a SxSW panel sitting next to Dustin Diaz. He resents that last bit of your comment.

  12. I brought your book this morning, and haven’t been able to get away from the laptop… What I have read so far is great… which there was more books like this around.

    Good Luck with the book. : )

  13. I just visited principlesofbeautifulwebdesign.com and the way you present your book is impressive. I’ll put it on my shortlist… 🙂

  14. As a developer wishing to broaden my horizons going into design, I absolutely loved this book. Very informative and all the way through written in a way I could appreciate. It’s more than just an effective design cheatsheet though, I’ve bought the printed version just for something to flick through waiting for my train in the morning to fuel my daily dose of creative inspiration!

    So, basically, great job man.

    I bet it’s exciting for you though, having a book published. 😉

  15. Greetings from Romania, Jason.

    Congratulations on the book, just got my copy of the book two days ago and I’m already at the typography chapter. Enjoying every page. It’s an easy, but great read.

    However, the quality of the print is poor, and this is particularly noticeable in the “Application: Grouting and Setting” section of the Texture chapter. In the finished result the pinwheel pattern and the scanlines are almost invisible.

    Therefore, I would suggest that you upload some images or exercise files for the Florida Country Tile project on the book’s website. I’m sure it would help beginners understand better what you are talking about.

  16. @Everbody: Thanks for all the positive feedback.

    @Harry:
    I’m glad you’re enjoying the book. I too noticed that the pinwheel pattern and scanlines were lost in the texture chapter example. I’ve emailed the publisher and asked that they post the digital versions of those images on the errata page at sitepoint:
    http://www.sitepoint.com/books/design1/errata.php
    Thanks!

  17. Hi Jason,
    I’ve been reading the book for a week now. I’ve been looking for a book like this since I started playing with websites & design 2 or 3 years ago. What I am so impressed with is that, it is not just another web design book, with the same old techniques, but lacking “how to get there on your own”, instead you have put in words your thought process behind the techniques you describe in the book, this is what I am finding invaluable, because I especially struggle with content layout, & colour. The book is also consise enough to be able to read all the way through(without missing out important detail). Great Job …. Can’t say enough good things about it!! I would rate it as one of the best books on website design on the market. You are un-selfishly giving the reader some of your secrets and techniques that you have worked and studied hard to learn yourself. Thank you, Simon

  18. I really appreciate your feedback, Simon. I knew the book would fill a void, but to hear someone say that it’s “invaluable” means a lot. About the “secrets & techniques”: the open willingness to share information and techniques is something I’ve always loved about the web design/development community. I’m just happy to be a part of that. Thanks so much!

  19. Hey Jason, congrats on the book. I enjoyed seeing a familar face and am glad all seems well! Just wanted to say hello and that I am excited to see what you have written. 🙂

  20. Manny Hernandez

    Jason:
    I wanted to thank you for writing such a great book.

    I wrote a review about it in the product page in Amazon and also on my blog:
    http://manuelhp42.blogspot.com/2007/05/principles-of-beautiful-web-design.html

    Keep up the great work!

  21. Hi Jason. I designed and maintain a web banking (transactional) site for a local bank. This is not a good looking but useful site. Now, with your excellent book help I am starting to learn about real and beautiful web design. Thank you.

  22. Dan, you’re doing great, thanks for your book.

  23. Oops, sorry, I mistyped, I mean Jason of course.
    Sorry again.

  24. Hi,Jason,I am a postgraduate in York university in UK.I am reading the book now,even though I have just read the chapter 1,I found it is really helpful,especially for me as a novice.This term we have several course:web design,human interaction design…I hope one day I can find a job as a web designer,even it may be a long road:D
    Anyway,I will try my hard,when I read more chapers,I hope I can give you more useful feedback.Looking forward to seeing more good news from you:D

  25. Haha,I am the first one leave message in 2008:D.
    By the way,may I ask you one question?If I do not know how to draw beautiful pictures and do not know how to use Photoshop,can I be a web designer?

  26. Sorry…never got a notification email that these comments were posted. While knowing how to draw and how to use Photoshop aren’t essential for being a great web designer, they certainly help. Both of those are things that can be remedied though.

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