Frequently Asked Questions

How did you first get published?

I took a publishing course while I was working at Georgetown University, as I’ve wanted to write books ever since I was in college. Upon learning PHP the hard way (there were only two or three books on the subject at the time), I approached several publishers with the idea of writing a beginner’s guide. Peachpit Press—my first choice because I have so much respect for the Visual QuickStart (and QuickPro) Series—said “Yes”. Of course, I had to submit a writing sample, a Table of Contents, etc., etc., but that’s the gist of it.

How do I get published?

Well, you won’t learn how to get published from just me. My recommendation would be to pick up any and every resource for writers, beginning with the Writer’s Market. Writing is a job, just like any other: it takes work, practice, and following certain rules. The key is to come up with a good idea, sell it to the right people (the right publisher and the right editor) and demonstrate your ability to write.

If I e-mail you, will you reply?

Certainly. If you are going to take the time to write, the least I can do is respond. I try to give a thoughtful response to every e-mail I get, but please keep in mind that I cannot guarantee a fast reply and I do have my own work to do. But I will eventually reply. If you need fast assistance, please use the support forums.

Are you available for hire?

Thank you for asking, but, no, I am not currently available for hire. Since joining Stripe, it’s not possible for me to also consult. But I thank you for your interest and wish you luck with your project.

Have you written any other books?

Yes, I have, thanks for asking! Please see the Books page for more information.

Will you look at this script or application I wrote?

Not by email. If I personally test or debug every reader’s work, I’ll never get my own (paying) work done. If you have questions or problems with examples in the book, I’ll be happy to help you with those via email, although it’ll take some time to get a response and after helping one time, I’ll probably recommend you use the book’s support forum instead. If you are having problems with something you are developing yourself, you most definitely want to use the book forums.

Why am I having _____ problem with some script/code/application in the book?

Well, either you or I made a mistake! Start by checking the errata page, then download the most current version of the script from the book’s home page. If you are still having problems, you can e-mail me or check the book forums to see if someone else has encountered and solved the issue already.

Why can’t I find the scripts?/Why don’t the scripts match those in the book?

Most likely you’re not using the right Web pages. Each book has its own series of pages on, since forwarded to Confirm the URL with what is printed on and in the book and/or make sure the title and edition listed on the book match that on the pages you are viewing. I’ve also included a picture of the book on the corresponding page.

Where can I buy your book?

See the Buy a Book page for the long answer, but the simple and obvious answer is for print versions. Electronic versions can be purchased in a number of places. I have just started selling some print copies of “[intlink id=”3079″ type=”page”]Modern JavaScript: Develop and Design[/intlink]” myself.

Is the book available in an electronic format?

Maybe. Again, I don’t have much to do with the actual sales or distribution of my books. I believe some titles are available through Safari. I am not in possession of PDF or other electronic versions that I can give or sell to readers.

Can I buy a print copy/electronic version of a book you?

Maybe. I have just started selling some print copies of “[intlink id=”3079″ type=”page”]Modern JavaScript: Develop and Design[/intlink]” myself. I do not have any electronic copies available for sale.

The book claims that a “free electronic version” is available but how do I find it?

Yes, it seems that the publisher of most of my books, Peachpit Press, started offering free electronic copies of a book when you purchased a print copy. Unfortunately I know nothing about this at all. You’ll have to contact the publisher to find out how to get your free electronic version.

How do I download the appendix or other bonus material?

Some extra content is available on this blog. Each book has a unique tag you can use, or you can search, or you can browse. Other extra materials are available on the publisher’s Web site. See this post which explains how you obtain those.

Is the book available in _____ language?

Maybe. My books have been translated into 20 or more languages, as far as I know. Unfortunately I don’t have a complete list of what books were translated into what languages. Your best bet is to contact the book’s publisher, likely Peachpit Press.

What restrictions are there on using the book’s code?

I’ve never put together a formal, legal document but this is as close as it gets to that. The only real restriction is that, in accordance with copyright law, you cannot copy or redistribute any of the code in the book. This means you cannot literally photocopy or scan the book’s pages. You also cannot make the code available to others in paper or digital form (i.e., as a downloadable or copy-able item on a server). Can you actively use the code on your site? By all means. Can you use it in projects you’ve been hired to do? Sure. If you want to give me some kind of credit, that’s fine. Just point people to the book or the book’s corresponding Web site.

Can I advertise on your site? Will you do a link swap with my site?

Absolutely not. But thanks for asking.