With "Windows 8.1 Book" finally hitting the 400 page mark, I thought it may be useful to provide a quick progress report.
Back in mid-September 2013, Rafael and I started working on the book, but it wasn't until early November that we formally launched this site with Welcome to Windows 8.1 Book! We used that post to establish our goals for the book and explain our plans, and if you want to view that as a cute self-motivational technique, I think there's some validity to that.
So how are we doing so far?
Pretty good, I think. We made claims about the book "being written transparently and publicly," were you (the reader) could "follow along, download chapter and book updates, and provide feedback as it's written." We've provided 39 book updates in the past four months and while feedback at this blog is predictably slow (it was with "Windows Phone Book" as well), the "post an idea" feature seems to working pretty well.
As for the schedule, we wrote that we expected to reach a "finished" state—what we think of as the 1.0 release, or the point at which work on a traditionally published book would conclude—by late 2013 or early 2014. Given that it's now early 2014, I guess we're technically still on schedule. Truth is, I had privately hoped to actually finish the 1.0 release by the end of 2013, but ... yeah, that didn't happen. I'm thinking about four more weeks. Which I should probably not admit to, since schedules are tough. We'll see how it goes.
We wrote that we expected the book to be "between 400 and 600 pages in length when complete," and given that we just surpassed 400 pages, that one is all set. We noted that "it won't be shorter [than 400 pages], but it could be longer." Suffice to say, it will be longer.
From kind of a high level, I would like to pay more attention to your feedback and will switch into that mode when the primary writing phase of Windows 8.1 Book 1.0 is complete. For now, I sort of hope you understand that the key goal, for me, and for now, is to just plow through the 1.0 content set. But I'm really looking forward to what we add after that. This 1.0 release will be competent and fairly complete from a "here's what's new" perspective. But I think the post-1.0 stuff is what will ultimately make this book special from a content perspective.
And come on, $2? It's reasonable. :)
Remember, anyone can claim they're going to change publishing, but you actually have to get the writing done, too. So I'm going to keep focusing on that.