Don Jones

Tech | Career | Musings

…picking up a copy of The PowerShell Scripting and Toolmaking Book? Or from referring someone?

I know one argument has been price. But here’s the thing: it’s $50 minimum, or whatever you want to pay beyond that, should you choose. PowerShell In Depth also has a $50 cover price (actually it might be $60 now). And it’s a lifetime subscription to a book that will be maintained and updated – we aren’t going to hit you up for another $50 for a “Second Edition” when PowerShell 6 goes GA. We’ll just update the book, and you get the updates for free (along with an email notice). And I do know that it costs more outside the US; that’s because of VAT, which y’all will have to discuss with your gummint. This is the last money you’ll ever have to spend on a book on this topic, we promise.

I ask the question because Jeff and I see so many people working so much harder than they should to produce tools that are less functional, less reusable, and less “native-patterned.” We see people mucking around with CSVs and Excel because they don’t know SQL Server is so easy in PowerShell. There’s so much that we cover already in the book (it’s about 70% done), and there’s so much more to come.

So, the serious question: what would we need to add to the book in order to make it worth your money, and to make you eager to refer people to it? 

Tell me in the comments. Seriously. If there’s something in the table of contents (it’s clickable from the book’s web page) that you need to see added, speak up. If you just hate the cover, say so.

And this goes for my other Lean-published books, The DSC Book and The Pester BookShare away.

13 thoughts on “Serious Question: What Would Stop You From…

  1. martylichtel says:

    Hi Don, with your initial release, can you give me a sense of what new content is in the book compared to the existing book Learn PowerShell Toolmaking in a Month of Lunches and your previous PowerShell.org eBook on toolmaking?

    1. Don Jones says:

      Well, compare the Tables of Contents. Jeff and I actually opted to do this book in lieu of a new MoL edition, so this is basically what the MoL could have grown into (from our perspective). This is a lot more in-depth and will cover a lot more ground. The old eBook was only a fraction of this content – it was actually the prototype for the MoL.

      1. martylichtel says:

        Bought one!

  2. Monte says:

    I own all of your leanpub books and refer them to everyone I talk to about the subjects you write about. One of the things I was always hesitant on, however, was purchasing an incomplete product. Obviously, I know you have every intention to finish them but without knowing a timeline it held be back from purchasing until I eventually just convinced myself to buy it since I was going to do it anyways.

    1. Don Jones says:

      I appreciate the confidence – yeah, this isn’t vaporware. We’ve been pushing out chapters on a fairly regular basis. I see us being done by summertime, although we’ll always be going in and adding new stuff as people suggest it or it occurs to us.

  3. Brett says:

    Hi Don,

    I have both MOL 2nd edition and Toolmaking and want to get the 3rd edition of MOL.

    For me personally I can’t put a price on personal development but actually having the cash to buy a book out of my own pocket is a very rare chance. So it’s not that the price is too high but the cost of that book is school meals for my child for two weeks if I put it into context.

    I’m currently doing IT development and learning on a shoestring due to personal circumstances in hope that by doing so I can change those circumstances but the content of the books isn’t the deciding factor here. I also recommend the books to everyone who asks abiut powershell. Even if they only read the help chapter it could just be the eureka moment they need.

  4. Anon coward says:

    Since you’re already selling it as a service, how about adding another service purchasing model for those that only need powershell now and again: $8/month, $3/week, $1/day, with the option to purchase the perpetual version by paying the remainder at any time?

    1. Don Jones says:

      It’s something I’ve suggested to Leanpub. Right now, we don’t have a physical way of implementing that model.

  5. Graham Beer says:

    Hi Don, i have a copy of all three books now. Yourself, Jeff and Adam are hugely respected in the PowerShell world and i enjoy reading all your blogs and viewing the Pluralsight courses. You have all helped advance my PowerShell skills so buying the books was a no brainer for me.

  6. treebeard says:

    Without getting into details, it’s really just about money. Or rather, lack thereof. Not for a lack of want, or even need. My priorities have unfortunately had to be focused elsewhere.

  7. SysAdmnNinja says:

    The cover is perfect, Rusty, dull, and aged describe most of the de facto toll methodologies folks’ follow.

    To answer your question though; This being the last book they’ll ever buy is a great selling point! The price is low IMHO, so anyone who cannot realize the benefit of that has other issues..

    I’ve had the pleasure of meeting you guys and other PowerShell.org folks over the years, so I find it easier to relate possibly. (Plus I geek out on PoSH whenever given half a chance..) I simply don’t understand why folks wouldn’t scoop this up.

    I’d recommend adding a section of simple preconfigured tools/functions/scripts, so folks could easily buy it and apply it for what they need. Google/Bing appear to be what most folks use to refer to PoSH, which is great on one hand, but really poor when they don’t know what things like syntax or parameters are. 😦

    I plan on buying the book, but I must admit/whine that I prefer hard-covers…. Yes, I know, I’m probably a bit of a dinosaur..

    1. Don Jones says:

      Your ‘osaurus side will love that a print edition will be in Amazon in March 2017! It won’t include lifetime updates, of course, but it’ll have that physical cover you long for.

      1. craw2855 says:

        Rad! Can use my stapler and manually edit the pages I print out… /joyfulsarcasm. I’m growing fond of my Kindle Fire HD, so it’ll work out good..

        Serious note, the lifetime updating is an uber-benefit and makes for an easy sell! (especially as Team-related gifts…)

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