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5:19pm on Saturday, 9th April, 2016:



I finally received a copy of my book MMOs from the Inside Out today. In typical fashion, I got the second book, MMOs from the Outside In, two days ago, but resisted looking at it.

I ordered the books from Amazon UK back in January; they've only just come in stock. I still haven't been sent the free copies I'm due from the publisher. As I wasn't shown the proofs, either, this is therefore my first look at how they've come out.

Well, I have to say that I'm disappointed, but not as disappointed as I'd braced myself to be.

I've only read the first 25 pages so far, but it's very obvious that the books were edited in a hurry. There are great blocks of whitespace (as in half a page in places), there are article titles that should be in italics that aren't, the pictures look like third-generation photocopies of newspaper articles, the font makes question marks look like exclamation marks, and there's even a missing space ("has had" becomes "hashad").

That said, the text isn't as traumatically butchered as it was when I last saw it: most of my suggestions for putting it back how it was, please, have been accepted. I also got my copies with the original cover designs, which I have to say look quite classy. It's not the book I had in my head when I wrote it, but it's not distressingly orthogonal to it. Implementation is never the same as planning, so there was always going to be some divergence.

There aren't any reviews of the books that I've seen. I suspected that the reason for this was that the only people who knew about it were people I'd told about it myself, and they hadn't commented because they didn't want to hurt my feelings. While that's still entirely possible, I think less paranoid explanations are more probable. People are reluctant to write Amazon reviews at the best of times unless they loathe what they bought (so no news is good news there!) and Apress haven't sent out review copies to any professional sites.

I still expect the first reviews to be stinkers, because you don't have to eat all a meal to know you don't like it; nevertheless, I'm heartened by the realisation that I don't have to write such a review myself.

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Copyright © 2016 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).