Latest updates

At the finish line

Friday, 29 July 2022

I'm sure most of you have already seen that the ebook is now available for backers to download, and you may have also received a notification that we'd gone to press.

Well, we're actually done with printing. The book is finished! My author copies are in the mail, and if you backed at a physical tier then your hardback should be shipped very soon. And if you opted for a signed copy you'll have one…

Getting ready for printing, and other stuff

Thursday, 16 June 2022

Hi all,

We're now coming to the end of the slow-and-steady production phase where things take lots of time to check and get right. As I understand it, the book is done, but for a few final checks, and it'll be heading off to the printers very soon.

In the meantime, I'll have a few other things I need to get done. I need to record the audiobook I promised you as a stretch goal, which I'll be…

Edging our way closer to publication

Monday, 2 May 2022

Since the last update, I've gone through the first proofs document and requested various tweaks — mostly swapping one image out for another or moving an image to a different place (designers have a weird thing where they like to put an image several or more pages before it's actually relevant to the text, just because it looks good there).

I've also picked out images for the colour plate section…

March update - first proofs

Thursday, 17 March 2022

Earlier this month I received the completed first proofs for Shareware Heroes. This is the name used for the first full draft of a book's layout and design, with placeholders for things that will be dropped in later (like acknowledgements and index and, in our case, supporter lists).

It's an exciting moment in the publishing process, as this is when everyone involved gets a first look at the book…

Final cover reveal!

Thursday, 27 January 2022

Last month when I told you about the book's final title (Shareware Heroes: The renegades who redefined gaming at the dawn of the internet) I promised we'd reveal a new cover to go with it in the new year.

Well, here we go; below you'll find a render of the book's final cover, which I think is brilliant. I've also attached a fun little video reveal Unbound made to this post. Then toward the end…

December update (we have a new book subtitle!)

Friday, 24 December 2021

I don't have a lot to share for this end-of-year update, but the news is good:

First up, not long after I published last month's update my editor at Unbound came to me with a proposal they'd cooked up internally for a change to the book's subtitle. Before I tell you what that is, let's step back a moment for context. The original subtitle I'd come up with was Independent Game Development at the…

November update

Sunday, 14 November 2021

Hi all,

Sorry I missed the update last month. I was busy with lots of things — a Shareware Heroes copyedit review, podcast stuff, Secret History of Mac Gaming Expanded Edition launch prep, FPS documentary work, freelance editing work on somebody else's book, and preparing for the impending arrival of my first child — and never found the time to write something out for you.

Now, book production…

September Update

Monday, 13 September 2021


Sorry about missing my monthly update in August. I got sidetracked with work on FPSDoc, The Life & Times of Video Games, and The Secret History of Mac Gaming Expanded Edition.

Since my last update I've gone through the notes, comments, corrections, and suggestions from the development editor. I made loads of revisions that improved the flow and clarity of the manuscript, and at the editor…

July update (editing news!)

Monday, 12 July 2021

I got the development edit back on Friday, and the feedback is tremendously-upbeat. Here's a snippet:

I'd been hoping it was a strong manuscript, but I knew when I submitted that I was too close to it to be able to judge for myself — so to get this praise back from a stranger (via my editor at Unbound) is a great relief for me, and I suspect also encouraging news for all of you.

For those…

June update

Tuesday, 1 June 2021

Hi all, sorry I missed last month's update. There wasn't much to talk about, so I had planned on discussing more of my research findings or methods, but I never quite got around to figuring out exactly what to share.

This is very much the quiet phase of the process. We have an editor looking the manuscript over at the moment and I'm told that the current prospective publish date is August 2022…

April update (manuscript finished)

Wednesday, 14 April 2021

Good news, everybody! The manuscript's done. I submitted it to Unbound just before Easter, then took a week off to rest and do whatever (read: watch TV, go hiking, and build a Nanoblock sailing ship) because I worked on all-but-two days through February and March.

My final word count was around 73,000 words, spread across 14 chapters (I previously stated there'd be 15, but I merged two of them…

March update

Sunday, 7 March 2021

Hey folks, it's time for one final writing progress report:

I'm not quite done yet, but I'm inside the final 10,000 words now — most chapters are 90-95% done, with only a few still well short of completion — and I expect there'll be a finished draft in about a week's time (~5-8 days, based on the trends of the past month). It'll then take another week or two after that to revise and polish the…

February update

Wednesday, 10 February 2021

Hey all,

I wanted to give you an update on how things are going, but I'm too deep in the writing process right now to come up with some interesting big-picture insights or cool research findings, so I'll keep this one brief:

Writing is coming along well, though still some way from done. I've now written eight or nine chapters (out of 15-16 total) to completion or near-completion, and have a…

Happy New Year! Here are a few neat research findings

Friday, 1 January 2021

Happy New Year from down here in Australia, where I'm spending my first day of 2021 writing a chapter about several shareware games from the early 90s.

I didn't progress as far as I'd hoped on writing in December, but I now at least have words on the page for every chapter, four of which are nearing (or already at) a point of completion, and interviews wrapped up with five more people than a month…

Writing and research update

Saturday, 28 November 2020

Hi all,

I hope you're doing well as we enter the weirdest holiday season that I think I can remember.

Now that I've been working more consistently on the book for a while, I wanted to give you an update on where things are at, how it's been going, and what's still to do:

Let's start with the research side. Books like this are enormously research-heavy. They involve laboriously poring over…

Kickstarter finished and funded! Next steps...

Thursday, 9 July 2020

Hi all,

First off, big thanks to everyone here for helping to make this campaign such a resounding success...eventually. It took a long time to get here, but the Kickstarter to make up the shortfall in funding finished yesterday and it managed to hit the heights of 182% funded and 515 backers.

That success means we were able to hit two stretch goals: I will record an audiobook version, which…

Sharing some research findings

Wednesday, 17 June 2020

(Cross-posting this from Kickstarter, where things are going great — 88% funded with 22 days to go! Which means we're at approximately 95% funded overall.)

We're almost there! Just a little more and we'll be funded.

In the meantime, I thought it'd be nice to share a few cool things I've found in my research and interviews so far.

I've been talking to people across a broad spectrum of roles…

An announcement, and an update

Monday, 8 June 2020

First off, I'd like to apologise for the lack of updates — though the truth is, sadly, there wasn't really anything to update. Before I get into that, an announcement:

Shareware Heroes is now on Kickstarter; if you've supported the book on Unbound, you don't need to support it again. The Kickstarter is an all-or-nothing attempt to raise the remainder of our funding goal, so it'd be helpful if you…

New Year 2019 update, and we need a big push

Friday, 18 January 2019

Hi all,

I hope you had a good end to your 2018. I know it's been a while since my last update, but I've not stopped working on the book and I'm trying now to get some real momentum going again on this crowdfunding campaign. For that I'll need your help, but first here's a little encouragement to bolster your enthusiasm.

New interviews

I'm actively tracking down more of the people I'd…

Still trucking along...

Friday, 12 October 2018

Hi all,

I've had a super-busy past month of freelancing, and am still going to be flat-out with non-book work through to the end of this month, but I wanted to give you a quick update on how things are progressing.

On the funding side, we're steadily rising — albeit at a much slower rate than I'd like. I hope to get that accelerating towards the end of this month and all through November, as…

22% funded! Also, tell me about Amiga shareware games

Wednesday, 12 September 2018

Thanks to everyone who's pledged and/or helped to spread the word about the book so far. We've rolled on past the 20% milestone and as I write this are sitting at 22%, which is a solid start. I'd love to see us pass 30% by this time next week, so please keep on bugging your friends to hop on board.

We got a brief shoutout on Kotaku this week, too, which is great, and I hope we can get some more…

Welcome! Here's some more detail to get us started

Friday, 31 August 2018

Hi! Thanks for being here. For this first update, I thought it'd be good to go over how this campaign and this updates blog are going to work, as well as to tell you a bit about the direction I'm coming from with this book project. And also to lay out the different ways you can help out.

For those of you unfamiliar with Unbound, here's a quick primer:

Unbound is kind of a mix of traditional…

On press
Publication date: August 2022
134% funded
444 backers