Paperless Turns 1.4

Today my most recent update to the Paperless Field Guide went live in the iBooks Store. Updates include:

  • Added new section on hybrid-cloud storage
  • Added discussion of using the Transporter for personal cloud storage
  • Added a new section and gallery for PDFpen Scan+ and added a PDFpen Scan+ screencast
  • Added new section for and gallery.
  • Updated section on Hazel with Auto file naming and created a new Screencast 4.5 showing off the new features.
  • Re-Wrote the section on tagging in light of OS X Mavericks new tagging support and added new screencasts 4.6, 4.7, and 4.8.
  • Updated for PDF Expert 5.
  • Added explanation of the PDF/A Format.
  • Tweaked discussion of scanning with the iPad. (The iPad camera is a lot better than it used to be.)
  • Removed the BlackBerry picture just because.
  • A ninja now runs free through the pages of this book.

All of the Field Guides include free updates for at least two years following initial publication. Have I said lately how much I love that I can update these books and keep them relevant?

Paperless Version 1.3

Paperless version 1.3 is available for download in the iBookstore and via PDF. This update includes the new Scansnap iX500 scanner, including a new movie. There are also updated sections on NeatCloud, PDFpen for Mac version 6, and some additional services. Since I finished this update, there have been even more new improvements (like yesterday's Hazel update) so version 1.4 is already in the works. 

To download this new version in the iBookstore you need to delete the book and re-download it. (I know. It is a big file.) Because Paperless pre-dates the book-updating mechanism, it appears there are issues. (I'm working on this for 1.4.)

Thanks again everyone for supporting me. My plan is to keep doing incremental updates for free with the Field Guides and then do a second edition a few years after original release. Enjoy.



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Yesterday was a great day for the MacSparky Field Guides. Markdown launched with a lot of success. I really enjoyed the twitter stream and feedback about the book. I particularly liked the tweets and email from people who always wanted to try Markdown and found this book the way to get them over the hump.

When Eddie and I first decided to do a book on Markdown, several nerd-friends told us we were nuts and that Markdown was such a niche topic that nobody would care. I think just the opposite. I think Markdown is a technology that needs to find its way to non-geeks and that's why we wrote the book.

At a deeper level, I enjoy writing and distributing these books so very much. In a lot of ways, it feels like the best work I've done of my lifetime. Thank you everyone for supporting me in this.

What's up next?

I am going to issue an update to Paperless. Several technologies and workflows have changed since the last update last September. You can expect that pretty soon.

As for the next big Field Guide, I've already got a big pile of words towards it and I'm looking forward to really digging in. The subject is another one of my personal crusades and I can't wait to share it with you. You'll probably see it sometime in the summer (hopefully early summer).

Thanks again everyone for supporting me on the MacSparky Field Guides.

GeekDad on Paperless

In addition to providing a very kind review of Paperless, Jim Kelly at GeekDad interviewed me concerning Paperless and new workflows. The update is still on track. Everything is nearly ready to publish. I need to work out a few kinks and then it will be ready to roll. If you haven't already, signing up for the Field Guide Newsletter is a really good idea.

Paperless PDF and Update

A lot of people don’t own an iPad or live somewhere that doesn’t have an iBookstore. For them, I’ve just released a PDF version of the Paperless Field Guide. Go nuts. I looked at a lot of ways to deliver this PDF but ultimately decided on a simple PDF file (with embedded Internet links) and a folder containing all the screencasts. I didn’t bury the screencasts in the PDF for a few reasons:

  1. It was going to be Flash-tastic, and I don’t like that.

  2. Separating the video gives buyers the most options. You can put them in iTunes, or store it in a folder. You can also read the PDF separately.

It is a big download, weighing in at almost 900MB. Enjoy.

Overall, I’m thrilled with my first self published book. It is still #1 in the iTunes computer books category and I’m getting tons of great feedback. Moreover, yesterday I started a new Scrivener project. Stay tuned.

Paperless Update

I’m preparing for trial this week and didn’t expect the Paperless Field Guide to get approved and released so I’ve been running double-time all week. I’m getting plenty of tweets and e-mails about the book so thought I’d post a bit here.

1. Thank You

I’ve had so many kind tweets and emails about the book. Thank you everyone for the warm reception. (Don’t even get me started on how warm and squishy the iTunes reviews make me.) I still can’t believe it is holding strong as the #1 Computer book in iTunes and the #6 book overall. Bananas.

2. I Don’t Hate Denmark and Norway

Actually, visiting those places is most certainly on my bucket list. Nevertheless, a mistake on my part prevents me from listing the book there at the moment. I’ve got a ticket into Apple and it should be straightened out shortly. Otherwise, the book is listed in all 30 countries that Apple will let me list it in.

3. There Will Not Be a Kindle Version

There is no way a Kindle could give the same experience as the iPad with this book.

4. There will be a PDF Version

I know that not everybody has an iPad or lives in a country with an iBookstore. As soon as I finish my trial and the dust settles, I’m going to publish and sale a PDF version and (hopefully) package in the screencasts. I’ve still got to figure out the logistics. If you are interested, sign up for the newsletter below.

5. The Newsletter

In the book, there is a link to sign up for my Field Guide Newsletter. This is a simple newsletter, TinyLetter, that will only send out notices when I have updates or new MacSparky Field Guide titles. I won’t flood your your mailbox with useless crap and whizzy graphics. Promise.

6. Updates

I intend to update the book with corrections and new content. At some point I may release a second edition but not for at least two years. I’m still working on the update process. I know sometimes books get pulled down from the iBookstore while updates are pending and I don’t want that to happen. Nevertheless, I already have a list of things to change/add.

7. More Titles

I’m working on the next one now and I’ve got a list of future titles. I really enjoy writing these book/new media thingies so I hope you like reading them. I give no promises on when the next one releases. These things take awhile.

8. Did I Say Thank You?

All of the love and support warms the cockles of my heart. Really. My cockles are so warm right now.

My New Book: The MacSparky Paperless Field Guide

I’m thrilled to announce my newest book, The MacSparky Field Guide to going Paperless. The book is a deep dive on paperless workflows for the Mac, iPad, and iPhone. It takes full advantage of iBooks Author and includes picture galleries, interactive images, movies, 32 screencasts, and nearly 27,000 words. There is over an hour and a half of video. Not only does this book tell you how to go paperless, it also shows you.

I’ve been cooking this idea of the MacSparky Field Guides for years. I wanted to make a series of books that go into excruciating detail on technology and iBooks Author is the perfect tool. I spent a lot of time getting the layout and video just right and I’m really pleased with the final product.

These Field Guides are a big deal to me. I had tons of great advice on how to price this book ranging from really expensive to $2. There is no existing model for this kind of book but, ultimately, I decided upon $5. I want a lot of people to see this book. I’m really proud of it. If you buy and dig it, please write a review. I want the word to get out about Paperless.

This book is unlike anything I’ve ever done before and I hope you like reading it as much as I enjoyed producing it. Because of its interactive nature, the book is iPad only. I don’t plan on releasing a Kindle version. I may create a PDF + Video version if there is demand but this book really begs to be read on an iPad.

The book is currently available in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, Austria, Germany, and France. More countries are coming.