JoeyPinkney.com Exclusive Interview
5 Minutes, 5 Questions With…
Kevin J McNeish, author of iOS App Development for Non-Programmers – Book 1: Diving In
(Oak Leaf Enterprises, Inc.)
This first book in the series is specifically designed to teach non-programmers how to create Apps for the iPhone and iPad. Many books designed for the beginning Apple developer assume way too much. In contrast, this book series assumes you know *nothing* about programming.
This first book is your “easy in” and builds confidence that you can write Apps for the iPhone and iPad. Each chapter and exercise has been reviewed by readers like you—with little or no experience in how to make an App.
Joey Pinkney: Where did you get the inspiration to write “iOS App Development for Non-Programmers – Book 1: Diving In?
Kevin J McNeish: The night it was announced Steve Jobs had passed away, by coincidence my wife and I already had tickets to San Francisco for early the next morning because I was scheduled to speak at a Silicon Valley Code Camp.
We drove to the home where Steve created the first Apple computer, then on to the last place he called home in Palo Alto where many others gathered to pay respects and where his silver Mercedes (famously without license plates) still sat in front of his house.
It was there I purposed to write this book series and do for iOS App development what Steve had done for users of iOS devices—make App development accessible to the masses of non-programmers, teaching them to create Apps for the iPhone and iPad.
JP: What sets iOS App Development for Non-Programmers – Book 1: Diving In apart from other books in the same genre?
KJM: Three things:
1. We hear the same thing over and over again from readers–they have purchased many other beginner books on writing Apps that turned out not to be for beginners. Our books have finally helped them understand the concepts necessary to create Apps for the iPhone and iPad.
2. Everybody loves the step-by-step videos included in “Diving In” where the reader can watch me perform the instructions for each chapter as well as solve exercises at the end of each chapter. It can really help solidify the basic concepts in the book.
3. We also have a forum associated with “Diving In”. So, if readers have questions, they can post them on the forum and get answers from myself and others.
JP: As an author, what are the keys to your success that led to iOS App Development for Non-Programmers – Book 1: Diving In getting out to the public?
KJM: We were VERY happy to see “Diving In” jump to #1 in both the “Apple” and “Kindle Programming” categories on Amazon, as well as #2 in the larger “Programming” category only three weeks after we began selling it on Amazon. This is very exciting, especially for a book that was self-published and self-promoted. I’ve written other programming books for large publishing companies, and this is by far the most successful book I’ve ever written.
We did a lot of promotion over the past year as I blogged about the upcoming book series well before “Diving In” was available on Amazon. We also set up a web site for “Diving In” where we provided sample chapters and people could give us their email address to be notified when the books became available.
JP: As an author, what is your writing process? How long did it take you to start and finish iOS App Development for Non-Programmers – Book 1: Diving In?
KJM: I find it best to have a specific person in mind when writing a technical book.
In this series, I REALLY wanted to reach readers who had zero experience in programming. So, I wrote each chapter as if I was explaining the concepts to my wife, who is an intelligent woman (she’s a nurse anesthetist), but had zero programming background.
After I wrote each chapter, I gave it to my wife (and other non-programmers), and if they didn’t understand something, I rewrote sections, added further explanations and diagrams until everyone understood all the concepts. My goal was to make a book series that was exceptional, so I would ask my wife “is it exceptional yet?”, and if it wasn’t (she’s VERY honest with me), I’d go back to the drawing board.
JP: What’s next for Kevin J McNeish?
KJM: Book 1: Diving In, and Book 2: Flying with Objective-C are finished and on Amazon and the iBookstore. This is a seven-book series, and our next book came out the middle of October. After that we will release another book every 4 weeks or so until the series is complete. All of the material is written, it’s just a matter of updating it for the latest Apple technologies and formatting it for iBooks and the Kindle (NOT a trivial task).
I love writing Apps. It’s extremely gratifying to see an App you have created running on your iPhone or iPad. It’s an exercise for both sides of the brain–the creative right-brain as well as the logical left brain, and there is a great need for talented developers to bring great ideas for Apps to life. Thanks for the opportunity to share information about this series in this interview!