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alienMethod (3) [Avatar] Offline
#1
It is Dec 9, 2017. This book has been in MEAP since July 2016! The estimated publish date is sometime this month, yet it is not complete and already quite out-dated, and the last update was a month ago. It really does not seem that the author or Manning has any real commitment to finishing it with a high degree of quality, quickly.
daftano (5) [Avatar] Offline
#2
Done with MEAPs - this "book" is last straw
I know it’s frustrating waiting for ages to get a book, but keep in mind that writing a book requires a lot of time, and often is the biggest work for the authors, and not everybody is up to that task.
An EAP is a bet for everybody, including us the readers, and any date should be considered as a raw estimate.
I’ve seen MEAPs cancelled when the author where not able to finish his job or the quality was not high as we expect from Manning. In that case they provide either full refund or you can pick another book from their catalog.

When I buy EAPs, I’m supporting authors and publishers on a topic I am interested but have no deadline; if I’m in a hurry I look for a published work.

If you can keep waiting a little more (the author may be wrapping his writing for a final edition) we might see it released this month, but if you can’t ask for a refund or swap it for another book: they’re very reactive with that smilie

And have a merry Christmas.
Marina Michaels (46) [Avatar] Offline
#3
Hi, I'm the Development Editor for this book (the book project manager while the book is in Development).

Thanks for purchasing the MEAP to this book and others.

I know it's frustrating for a book to take a while to write. The author is almost done with the book--all chapters have been written and he's making the final revisions in preparation for final review.

The author has also taken care to keep the book up to date. Would you be willing to help out by pointing out what sections are out of date?

Thanks in advance.
larryq (46) [Avatar] Offline
#4
Speaking for other purchasers, I appreciate the author's efforts on this, as well as Manning's commitment to publish an up-to-date book. For me if that means waiting, not a big deal. I've had other MEAPs that were cancelled and Manning always gave the option of a refund or *two* additional books of my choice. Can't argue with that.


Looking forward to this text,

-Larry
512826 (3) [Avatar] Offline
#5
React Native in Action
Developing iOS and Android apps with JavaScript
Nader Dabit
MEAP began July 2016 Publication in December 2017 (estimated)
ISBN 9781617294051 300 pages (estimated) printed in black & white

-> No update release date. Now, we are in February
468060 (128) [Avatar] Offline
#6
>>The author is almost done with the book--all chapters have been written and he's making the final revisions in preparation for final review.

This dishonest and misleading statement was made five months ago.
alamba78 (17) [Avatar] Offline
#7
I think the React ecosystem is constantly in flux with fast changes. I would rather the book be up to date and late than rushed out the door and obsolete. Let's try to understand that React is a fast moving target with the only thing being constant is change itself.

Nader Dabit, knock it out of the park bro!
468060 (128) [Avatar] Offline
#8
It should be both, obviously. What typically happens with MEAPs is that, because there is no oversight of the authors, they do nothing for months and the book gets out of date. They are then too lazy to update it and it is published with obsolete code.
468060 (128) [Avatar] Offline
#9
>>React Native in Action is nearing completion! In the next few weeks, we're going to be adding the final touches to the book as we prepare it for publication.

So it's still not remotely ready.
468060 (128) [Avatar] Offline
#10
>>If you can keep waiting a little more (the author may be wrapping his writing for a final edition) we might see it released this month, but if you can’t ask for a refund or swap it for another book: they’re very reactive with that

Given that the author and Manning have both apparently given up on this book, how do we get a refund?
455964 (1) [Avatar] Offline
#11
Hi, I was a bit surprise I never received the book, now I understand...

How can we get a refund for this ? I wanted a paper book, and it seems I will never have it :/
468060 (128) [Avatar] Offline
#12
The 'p' in pBook doesn't stand for 'paper', it stands for 'pretend'.
468060 (128) [Avatar] Offline
#13
According to Amazon, this book will appear in 2019. How can it take three years to write and publish something like this? The latest PDF is riddled with mistakes and the code in the chapter on redux will need a major re-write before it is fit for purpose.
baronnoraz (13) [Avatar] Offline
#14
I completely understand the frustration from everyone. The book was at one point "ready", the chapters had indeed been written. However after feedback from the reviewers, the decision was made to rewrite several chapters. In subsequent reviews, readers wanted coverage of React Navigation 3. Otherwise those sections of the book would have been outdated just a few months after publication.

It certainly wasn't an ideal situation, and there should have been better communication in the forums. My apologies for all of that.

I know Nader was doing the best he could, because I came in to help get the book rounded out and ready for print. It was extremely hard work for him getting the book to a place that readers would be happy and benefit from each chapter. Hopefully, the delay will be worth the wait.

I can confirm though that the book has been typeset and the final elements like the front matter are being reviewed prior to print. I'm reviewing the index for errors as we speak. Everyone is targeting this week to finish review of these components.

I will personally do my best to answer questions in the forums now that I'm involved, and if I hear anything new, I will definitely respond to this thread.
468060 (128) [Avatar] Offline
#15
Every single MEAP I have ever bought has had the same problem, although none quite as bad as this. As far as I can see, the authors are given huge advances and then left to their own devices, with no editorial control at all, no pressure to fulfill their contracts and no pressure to correct errors. They are more interested in getting something to put on their resumes than producing a good book. They continue with their day job and put in a few hours a month whenever it suits them.

This isn't the way to run a successful publishing company. This might work for books on slow-moving subjects such as Java, but it doesn't work with Front-End development. All the MEAPs I have read have ended up full of out-dated code even when they are published in book form.

Beyond this, the chapter on Redux shows a lack of understanding of the subject matter. Has this been re-written?

Second, I know that many people might think that this is pedantic, but is there any chance of getting a proof-reader who understands basic punctuation?
baronnoraz (13) [Avatar] Offline
#16
You know, this was my first time being this heavily involved in getting a book out the door. I'm not a Manning employee; I typically help out as a Technical Development Editor to review code. I was surprised by a lot of things.

I don't entirely agree with your first paragraph. I think authors grossly underestimate how much effort writing a book is going to require, which shouldn't surprise anyone, because these authors are programmers and Project Management folks will tell you that every developer underestimates how long it will take to develop something. Seriously, it's a ton of work, and I think it comes as a shock to people. They definitely don't budget their time adequately. If you ever write a book, quadruple the time you think it will take, at least!!

There is editorial control to a degree. Deadlines are definitely a thing, but I think it results in work that is more draft quality. There is a lot of editing after the fact. Sometimes chapters are completely rewritten, because they didn't explain the subject clearly enough.

I think the traditional publishing houses are trying to figure it out. I completely agree that a book's contents can get out of date quickly. In all honesty, I was shocked when several chapters of this book were completely re-written to address such technology changes. Unfortunately, I don't know off-hand what edits might have been done to the Redux section, so I can't comment on that.

As to your last point about proof-readers, that doesn't even happen until the very end, which completely blew my mind. Reviewers all point out typos and sentences that aren't clear, but a true, serious, this is my job proof-reader doesn't get involved until right before publishing. I read a couple chapters before and after proofing, and it's amazing what they catch and change.

That being said, I think punctuation issues and language issues (because English isn't every authors first language) can greatly detract from the experience of reading a MEAP. This book had its faults, but I've read others where the mistakes were so distracting I couldn't grasp anything the author was trying to get across. I agree that more serious proofing earlier on would benefit the final product.



468060 (128) [Avatar] Offline
#17
>> If you ever write a book, quadruple the time you think it will take, at least!!
I have written two computer books, one of which was translated. The first took me two months; the second took about six (but only because the editors kept changing their mind about the format). It shouldn't take more than a few months from the contract being signed to the book being on the shelves. Newspapers are written, edited, printed and distributed in less than a day.

>>I think the traditional publishing houses are trying to figure it out.
The publishers I worked with in the UK in the early 1980s had it all 'figured out'. You give authors a proper contract which you enforce and you hire competent editors. It's been like this for several hundred years.

>>Deadlines are definitely a thing
I don't know what 'a thing' means. They should be written into the contract, with no payment if they are not met, just as with any other project.

>>this is my job proof-reader
The 'this is my job proof-reader' doesn't understand the difference between colons and semi-colons. Fire her and find one who does.

>> it's amazing what they catch and change.
It's amazing what they miss.
baronnoraz (13) [Avatar] Offline
#18
Fair enough. This is my only experience with publishing, and like I said some of it was shocking. It would be wonderful to see how other publishing houses operate. Maybe this has been a complete S*!+ storm, and I don't know any better. I'm not trying to be confrontational.

Have you ever bought any other MEAPs from Manning or O'Reilly? If so, I'd be curious how those titles went or if this one was particularly bad.

What were the two books that you authored out of curiosity?
468060 (128) [Avatar] Offline
#19
>>Have you ever bought any other MEAPs from Manning or O'Reilly? If so, I'd be curious how those titles went or if this one was particularly bad.

About eight from Manning. They are all similar: the authors are often capable, but the absence of competent oversight means that the MEAP process stretches on for years, so the books are out-of-date by the time they are published. I haven't bought any MEAPs from O'Reilly, although, of course, their printed books tend to be excellent.

>>What were the two books that you authored out of curiosity?
Forth. It was used in early robotics and to control radio telescopes.
baronnoraz (13) [Avatar] Offline
#20
Awesome. I had to google that. I'd never heard of FORTH. Fascinating.