The Smashing Book: Join In!

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No, we’re not giving anything away in this post. Instead, we’ve got some work to do, and we need you to play an important role in it. Our most interesting (and important) project for 2009 is something we are modestly calling “The Smashing Book”: a smashingly written, beautifully designed and professionally printed book. It will be created by and for the Web design community. Four key decisions have already been made: the book’s title will be “The Smashing Book”; it will be a paperback; the price is fixed, as is the release date, which is early September 2009.

The Smashing Book

We want to create a totally unique and exciting book, full of insightful and useful articles; a book that contains only articles that a reader of Smashing Magazine would really want to read. No fluff, no cruft, just hearty meat and potatoes content.

To achieve this, we need the help of our community: your help. And what could be better than working on this important project together with our readers? If you want to participate in our project, please visit the forum1 (the registration2 is required for replies) and help in any of the following ways:

1. Suggest The Book Content

First, you can suggest a topic3 for The Smashing Book. Let us know what you want to read and what topics we should cover. What enticing, creative, useful articles should be written by us and our team? What should a Smashing Book contain? You can propose any topic you think would be great, but it must fit the small universe of Smashing Magazine and relate to design and Web development.

Once we receive your suggestions, we’ll evaluate them, filter and sort them. If necessary, we’ll open a second and third round of voting, which will (hopefully) help us select the most important and relevant topics.

Afterward, we’ll present the final list of topics to our authors team, discuss the ideas with them and assign topics. Articles for the book can also be written by members of the Web design community (of course, the authors will get paid for their work). So, if you want to propose an article for the book, please suggest your idea in the Book topics4 forum.

2. Suggest The Cover Design (Front And Back)

We want you to decide what The Smashing Book will look like. You can propose ideas for an unforgettable book cover design (any colors can be used), and you can also present your drafts in the Cover design5 forum. We’d love to see first drafts and invite forum members to discuss them, too! We haven’t decided anything about the appearance of the book yet, so free your imagination.

3. Suggest The Layout Drafts

Help us decide on the perfect prepress for The Smashing Book (not the final layout, but only layout drafts). How should it be designed? What typefaces should be used? What about font sizes, headings, columns, footnotes, image captions, page numbers, markup? What structure should the book have in general? We are open to your suggestions, so please participate in the Book layout6 forum: suggest your ideas and submit your drafts. We are looking for your ideas, wishes and expectations.

4. Help Us Out, And Spread The Word!

We want you to be part of The Smashing Book. Help us out by designing some outstanding buttons, badges, banners, pins, icons, graphics and whatever else you can think of. We are confident that together we’ll achieve truly outstanding results, even if the process will be a long one and see the inevitable hurdles along the way.

Of course, we will reward you! And as you would expect, we’ll also have small, exclusive rewards to give away to the most active helpers and participants.

Thanks for reading. And now, let’s get to work let’s move to the forum7!

(al)

Footnotes

  1. 1 http://forum.smashingmagazine.com/the-smashing-book-f52/
  2. 2 http://forum.smashingmagazine.com/ucp.php?mode=register
  3. 3 http://forum.smashingmagazine.com/book-topics-f53/
  4. 4 http://forum.smashingmagazine.com/book-topics-f53/
  5. 5 http://forum.smashingmagazine.com/cover-design-f54/
  6. 6 http://forum.smashingmagazine.com/layout-f55/
  7. 7 http://forum.smashingmagazine.com/the-smashing-book-f52/

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The Smashing team loves high-quality content and cares about the little details. Through our online articles, Smashing Books, eBooks as well as Smashing Conferences, we are committed to stimulating creativity and strengthening the web design community’s creative forces.

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  1. 1

    Contents: A full fledged tutorials on jQuery, Prototype, Scriptaculous.

    Cover Design: A rain forest image.

    Spread out: I will put on my blog!

    Ganesh
    Hyderabad INDIA

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  2. 52

    Let’s hope this post will have 6000 comments also. :) Nothing free, but lets help out. See you on the forum

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  3. 103

    So you want us to do all the hard work, to put our ideas an knowledge and you just add some of your own staff, edit the book and make a fortune….
    Interesting!

    [Comment by SM]: You are wrong and you have probably misunderstood what we’ve written, please read the post carefully! We are asking readers what they want to have in the book. We haven’t written that our readers should write the book for us; and we are going to pay our contributors. Please read the post one more time! Please notice that all authors of SM are getting paid and please also notice that producing a book costs a lot of money.

    Let’s do another cool thing, let me take all the contents of smashingmagazine.com make a book and sell it! Of course i’ll reward you, don’t be a fool… i got some old t-shirts that i don’t wear anymore.

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  4. 154

    cool cool cool
    lets go!

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  5. 205

    great!

    Szia, jó látni h más magyar is olvassa ezt.

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  6. 256

    hi SM,
    This is awesome, Some of my thoughts are:
    1. Usability
    2. Making and Success of SM
    3. Prof. How to… and
    4.Ultimate Designs

    All the best… :)

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  7. 307

    How about Smashing write, research, design and publish the book and if it’s any good, we buy it.

    Answer from the SM Team
    did you read our posting? certainly not. we want suggestions about the content. we don’t want people to wirte stories for free, design a whole book or print it for free. we never said that. you got all this totally wrong. so pls stop your activism.

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  8. 358

    Hmm, I’ll buy it for sure! :-)

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  9. 409

    This gonna be great when it release.

    Suggetions:
    PAST, PRESENT and FUTURE sections should be there. Few for past and future
    and more on PRESENT.

    I like the WOLDA Logo book very much as they have only their official logo
    on their cover page.

    Otherwise Let’s c when it will release. I will surely buy one piece ;)

    GOOD LUCK!!!!!!!

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  10. 460

    You want us to suggest topic, design etc, and smashingmagazine.com get the revenue?
    Come on, that’s is f****.

    [Comment by SM]: You are wrong and you have probably misunderstood what we’ve written, please read the post carefully! We are asking readers what they want to have in the book. We haven’t written that our readers should write the book for us; and we are going to pay our contributors. Please read the post one more time! Please notice that all authors of SM are getting paid and please also notice that producing a book costs a lot of money.

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  11. 511

    I can see a lot of people are enthusiastic about this. They are, of course, free to participate if that’s what they want. To me, this whole endeavor is a bit dodgy. You’re asking thousands of people to work for you without paying them. To add to that, you’re going to sell the book for profit! Smells like good ol’ unethical spec work.

    [Comment by SM]: You are wrong and you have probably misunderstood what we’ve written, please read the post carefully! We are asking readers what they want to have in the book. We haven’t written that our readers should write the book for us; and we are going to pay our contributors. Please read the post one more time! Please notice that all authors of SM are getting paid and please also notice that producing a book costs a lot of money.

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  12. 562

    I love the Smashing Magazine website. Visit it pretty much ever day, and think that all of the articles are incredibly helpful, and in general, of a very high standard.

    However, I can’t help but think that a book is slightly unnecessary. The world of web design and development moves on so quickly, that by the time a book is printed and published, its inevitably out of date. Also, a book covering all of the important aspects of design/development would be about 10,000 pages long!

    You guys have the perfect mouthpiece here on this website to reach your audience. So for me this seems to be all about the money you’re gonna make out of it.

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  13. 613

    I am not a very experienced designer but this website has helped me alot …….. I will definitly be buying this book and i hope that it will include alot of tips and tricks for new designers like myself …….. I think a big topic in the book should be usablity and also typography ………… I also think that you should contain the design trends but go into abit more detail about what each trend is etc.

    I think a good idea would be to pick your chapters then do each chapter in three stages : beginner , intermediate and then professional then you are aiming the book at every audience and then no one can complain the book is too hard to understand or is to easy for professional designers ….. just a thought

    Thanks

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  14. 664

    This is a great idea and would love to take part in the process. I will be happy to add my thoughts to the fourm and submit concepts.

    One Question i would like to ask Smashing, for those who do help submiting design work/content/layout ideas etc to this book, will they be credited in the publication?

    thanks

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  15. 715

    I love the idea !
    Smashing Magazine is definitely one of the best web resources!

    I posted my idea on book topics, and would so so much love to contribute content !

    cheers, Marin

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  16. 766

    We have so many books available in market on any topic is concern,
    So, I suggest to come up with your own experience in the market to reach this level.
    How you start SM, who helped you in creating SM, Where and when it starts, etc.

    THE SUCCESS STORY OF SM would be a better idea for sure.

    Don;t divert your users to print media, hold them tightly on web.

    Keep rocking!!!

    Raj-INDIA

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  17. 817

    Whilst I share the enthusiasm of the end result of the book, I feel you cannot have it both ways. You either make this book open source, driven by the community, and free for everyone. Or, you make it commercial and pay the contributors for doing the work they do. This way you benefit from free work, which I think is wrong.

    [Comment by SM]: You are wrong and you have probably misunderstood what we’ve written, please read the post carefully! We are asking readers what they want to have in the book. We haven’t written that our readers should write the book for us; and we are going to pay our contributors. Please read the post one more time! Please notice that all authors of SM are getting paid and please also notice that producing a book costs a lot of money.

    I’m also surprised you publish it in dead tree format, how conservative for an online mag.

    And yes, your comment form is broken, not only in Firefox, also in IE7.

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  18. 868

    Christmas present is set! Good idea. Can’t wait.
    Why not giving the book free to those who have contributed and all the others pay?

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  19. 919

    So you want your readers to write the content of *your* book? And additionally make the design of the book. How nice! And then you’ll sell this book? I assume you will at least provide its content under a Free Software license, like Creative Common BY-SA?

    [Comment by SM]: You are wrong and you have probably misunderstood what we’ve written, please read the post carefully! We are asking readers what they want to have in the book. We haven’t written that our readers should write the book for us; and we are going to pay our contributors. Please read the post one more time! Please notice that all authors of SM are getting paid and please also notice that producing a book costs a lot of money.

    Sceptical, to say the least
    david

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  20. 970

    I dont understand why everybody is complaining ……. I bet you that this website has helped all of yous one way or another in your careers ……. So lets repay them by giving them some good ideas ……. Maybe it is wrong that they are selling everyone else’s ideas but to be honest they are putting the money into the book we are just making idea’s for them and helping them along ………. They are making this book for people to use as a resource and for help …… So I think you’s all should get off there back and present your idea’s …….. Well done to all the one’s who dont act like children and are actually giving smashing magazine ideas :)

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  21. 1021

    @Ben,

    How naive can you be? Whilst it is true that SM is a great resource, you have to realize it is mostly an assemblage of content of others, a very good one at that. This does provide a very useful service to us all, but you cannot change the essence: the work of others is used to attract visitors, which bring money to the table via ads. There is nothing wrong with this model, a lot of websites use it and need it to exist.

    So far so good. Where you go wrong is stating that we need to repay SM in some way for this service. Why? We don’t owe them anything. They make money from external content and us visitors. So it’s the other way around: SM owes their visitors, without them they would not exist.

    You may call this acting like childs, but unfortunately this is how the grownups world works. The customer is always right, not SM. You do not let customers work for you for free and then profit from it.

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  22. 1072

    this will be awesome, SM is already awesome… and a book from SM… this is a must haveve

    0
  23. 1123

    Ben (no. 71), I’m not sure who is talking like a child, but I can see who writes like one. Joking aside, most of the people who think negatively about this endeavor have actually explained their motives coherently. How can you state that what SM is trying to do with this project is “wrong” and then call readers that disagree with it childish?

    0
  24. 1174

    @fledder

    yeah actually i notice what i have said is wrong ….. am still learining am only a kid ………. am sorry for anything i may have caused

    0
  25. 1225

    @ dan

    Ok actually i realise i am writing childish ….. am only 17 …….. but i just think its good what SM are doing ……. they have been a real help to me in the past few weeks and i think in my opinion they deserve repaying ….. but also i have to realise its just my opinion and i should make it as if it should be everyones opinion …. sorry for any inconvience caused

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  26. 1276

    @Ben,

    I think you just proven your own childishness, but anyway, I’ll bite:

    Where have you seen me claim that I am smart and run the show? I’m a visitor passing by the site and run nothing. All I did is share my opinion, backed by arguments. I have seen nobody coming with counter arguments yet, other than your own silly remarks: You’re “living your life to the full”??? “You are just jealous because you cant do what they do”???

    “You are one of the very little amount of people who think it is wrong wot Sm are doing”

    Correct. So what? Am I supposed to laugh and dance like everybody when I don’t agree? I do not care how many agree with me, my opinion is my opinion. If there is a large majority who has a different opinion, that is fine by me, but I do not change my opinion. It’s called integrity and character, you may learn it when you get older.

    “dont even come on and tell people because they dont wanna hear it ”

    So you are now running the show, huh? Do not speak for others. As far as I know, this is a public forum. You certainly do not determine what others want to hear. And those who do not want to hear me, SM can moderate me away or visitors can skip my posting.

    “you just go round putting good people down”

    No I don’t. I think asking from people to work for free and then profit from it is “putting good people down”. I do not criticize how useful the content here is, in fact I love it.

    Anyways, anyone who wants to contribute, will contribute. No issues with that. Just not a fan of the approach.

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  27. 1327

    Nice idea. How much would be?

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  28. 1378

    @ dan

    i meant to say shouldnt make it eveyone elses opinion ….. sorry

    0
  29. 1429

    Super awsome!!! This rocks!!!

    You wannabe book designers? – why not design the flipping book yourself. Awsome!

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  30. 1480

    I don’t think there’s anything morally wrong with what Smashing Magazine is doing here from its desire to make money, though I personally find it unethical… for me… since the workers aren’t receiving compensation. Alas, this isn’t the downfall of society we’re talking about here.

    What I do think though is that this approach is very old-fashioned. Imagine if Ford had a press conference to talk about some new car they were going to be selling soon. So everybody who is interested gathers around. And when it gets uncovered it’s a Model T. And the crowd goes wild… uh… what? Hardly.

    This is regressive and a fantastic waste of time, human power, paper, ink, etc., and the vast majority of these will end up in landfills. SM, allow me to suggest that you rethink this endeavor and put your efforts elsewhere. So far you’ve done a great job on this site, so I imagine you would also do a good job with either new features on SmashingMagazine.com or another site.

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  31. 1531

    Sounds like a great idea! I’m sure it would be a great resource. I just worry that it may become out of date as soon as it’s published.

    But then great design is timeless!

    I’m off to the forum now!

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  32. 1582

    awesome – this ought to be good. :)

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  33. 1633

    I think Flash SEO Capabilities would be something really cool for the book. Most people still don’t know that this can be achieved. Nice full break down of that and maybe like an adSense tutorial for all the new programmers/designers looking to get their sites out there and make money from them. Yes anyone can just go to adSense and set it up, but there are definitely allot of different ways to position ads around the page, and using certain keywords can increase profit dramatically.

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  34. 1684

    How about a visual history of web design trends since the inception of the web? With a part at the end for up and coming designs

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  35. 1735

    1. Suggest The Book Content
    how to design better blog and website particularly with some “inspiration” and also how to tackle worst case scenario in designing.

    2. Suggest The Cover Design (Front And Back)
    just put smashing magazine logo is enough.

    3. Suggest The Book Layout
    graphic and graphic and more grpahic

    4. Help Us Out, And Spread The Word!
    done!

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  36. 1786

    so…
    this book must be free or for a very low price ( 1€ )

    [Comment by SM]: Please notice that producing a book costs a lot of money.

    0
  37. 1837

    so…
    this book must be free or for a very low price ( 1€ )

    0
  38. 1888

    Good luck with it all. I think it needs lots of beautiful imagery to substitute for the fact that it will probably date quickly as you can’t easily update a book.

    Good luck fellas.

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  39. 1939

    The articles I like the most from SmashingMagazine.com are the inspiration posts. A long list of inspiration from around the web, all in one article. I can see the copyright issues with a book like this though.

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  40. 1990

    Awesome ,
    i’ll try to help and will buy as soon as it’s ready

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  41. 2041

    It ‘ s sounds good, I like it…

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  42. 2092

    its going to be great stuff!!

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  43. 2143

    Awesome!

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  44. 2194

    QUOTE – “Articles for the book can also be written by members of the Web design community. So, if you want to propose an article for the book, please suggest your idea in the Book topics forum.”

    What is so ambiguous about that? And as a professional designer I take extreme issue with your “Cover Design” Forum too. It reminds me of when you had the “community” design your new logo.

    You help us designers with your articles, (but advertise within them (fair enough!)) but this is very very close to taking food out of our mouths, and any professional who contributes is supporting spec work and should be ashamed. Everything you mention above is your job, or your job at least to tender out to a professional for a professional price, it’s a simple as that.

    [Comment by SM] We understand your concerns, but unfortunately you completely misunderstand the concept of our book, because what you are writing is simply not true. We just want to discuss with our readers what content they would like to have in the book and how they want it to be presented. Once it’s done, we’ll write the book by ourselves – our team is a team of freelancers like you, dear Tom, who are properly get paid for the great work they do. And other writers from web design community will get paid too, of course!

    And if you want us to stop the project and it will be stopped, you’ll achieve what you (hopefully) don’t want to achieve – our writers will not get the job and they won’t be able to become book authors and earn some money.

    If our book post isn’t clear enough, please let us know how we should improve
    the article. We respect our authors and they are, of course, getting paid
    – in fact, better than in any other blog or magazine.

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  45. 2245

    Sorry to double post, but I am quite incensed. You republish other peoples work here. Usually in handy lists. It’s useful,and I thank you for it, and I click on your ads once in a while. I’m sure a lot of other people do too.

    The last time I remember you generating any actual content of your own it was a complete failure: http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2009/01/16/smashing-magazine-comic-strip-episode-1/ which should have taught you a lesson about hiring (and paying) professionals to do a professional job.

    I work hard to design covers and layouts. The next time I get a paying job, should I turn it down so I can work on this for you for nothing? Would that make you happy? This is truly shameful and I urge a general boycott of this whole disgusting concept.

    What exactly are those “small rewards” you promise? Are they around the thirty euros an hour I need to earn to pay my mortgage? If so feel free to write and set up a meeting.

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  46. 2296

    Sensacional, muito bom mesmo ! Só aqui mesmo.

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  47. 2347

    As a Publisher I can’t wait its a brilliant idea pls how can I be your distributor in Nig.
    am so much intrested in paticiating..

    pls get us more details on css4 illustratir & branding

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  48. 2398

    Hello friends SmashingMagazine

    i hope that have many users in Brazil and the book give translation into English.

    Success!

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  49. 2449

    Sounds like a fantastic idea. Cynics of this project are not only being overly cautious, they are not even devoting the five minutes it takes to read the entire article. Nowhere in the article does it say, “We decided our community should write a book; get crackin’.” I’m excited about the project and will do what I can to help.

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  50. 2500

    I would like to see SM return to posting genuine content, instead of comment driven posts for give-aways, and nonsense about a book that will be stale news by the time it is even published. Get back to what got you here fellas, you’re pushing the envelope so hard to make extra cash, that I think you forgot what got your audience here in the first place. Good content, a descent read, and a nice viewing experience. Period.

    Your last two posts are garbage. And forced you to respond to comments all day instead of drumming up new and exciting material.

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