Books by Deane Barker

As of January 2020, I have published two books, with two more in progress, and early plans for a fifth.

They are listed here in order (or expected order) of print publication.

Web Content Management: Systems, Features, and Best Practices

Year: 2016
Publisher: O'Reilly Media
Pages: 364
Website: flyingsquirrelbook.com

This book covered the entire scope of web content management (as I knew it at the time). Most of the content is still highly relevant, though it did miss the headless trend by about a year.

I submitted this book idea through a webform on O’Reilly’s website, and to my amazement, they accepted it. It took me about 20 months to write. O’Reilly was largely hands-off through the writing process. They did considerable work when the manuscript was complete and the book “went to production.” The book was written in a Markdown-variant called ASCIIDoc, submitted to a Git repo, and rendered through O’Reilly’s Atlas system.

Last I heard, it’s sold about 3,000 copies. My reports tell me that it gets read a lot on the O’Reilly Safari platform. Several times, O’Reilly told me the book was “performing to expectations.” However, in 2018, I asked if I could write a Second Edition, and I was told that “the subject matter is no longer strategic” for O’Reilly.

I only ever saw it on the shelves of one bookstore: Powell’s Books in Portland.

The book’s website is also the home to The Web Content Management Glossary. I was originally planning to put a glossary in the book, but then decided to do it as a web-only supplement.

The book gave birth to an email newsletter: Squirrel Notes.

I did Sarah Werner’s podcast in late 2015 and talked for an hour about the process of writing the book.

Real World Content Modeling: A Field Guide to CMS Features and Architecture

Year: 2019
Publisher: Amazon
Pages: 210

This is a look at the all the content modeling features of a typical CMS, with notes on how they’re normally architected and the challenges you might face while modeling during an implementation.

This started out as a blog post, but got too long. I was trying to come up with some standards for content modeling, and it morphed into a polemic on how different CMSs allow you to model content. It took me about three months to write, from start to publication. I had the first draft of the manuscript done in 30 days.

I wrote this in Markdown (via MarkDig) with some templating in Scriban, and turned it into a PDF via HTML, the W3C Paged Media spec, and Prince. (I used this same method for several books in this list.)

I self-published this. It’s sold a few hundred copies, and Episerver gave away another 500 or so at their conference in Miami in 2019, which resulted in a mad rush at the end to get it printed. There are a few mistakes that I need to correct, and I still need to generate an ebook for it.

Sam Otis designed the cover as kind of a last minute thing. We needed a slide for a Blend Interactive pitch deck which showed the books I had written. I told him that I liked the phrase “field guide” and the idea of a pith helmet. Sam tells me that it took him just a couple hours to come up with that.

I did a member conference call with Boye and Co and talked about the process of writing the book and the contents of it.

Things You Should Know: 25 Lessons I've Learned About Selecting Content Technology and Services

Year: 2020
Publisher: Amazon
Pages: 126

This book started as a blog post in 2017, but grew until it was just too big. It sat around in Google Docs for about a year.

In 2019, when I joined Episerver, we figured it might have some marketing value. I finished it, and Episerver paid to have it designed.

It’s planned to be a part of Episerver’s outbound marketing campaign in 2020.

The Web Project Guide: From Spark to Launch and Beyond

Year: 2020
Website: webprojectbook.com

This is a long look at the entire process of delivering a content-managed website. There are 26 phases, from the initial idea to figuring out how to support it once it’s running.

It’s being published to the web, two chapters per month – you can view the entire book in its current state at the URL above, and sign up for email notifications of new chapters. It’s scheduled to be finished in June 2020, at which time we’ll seek a publisher.

I’m co-authoring this with my friend Corey Vilhauer. Corey had delivered most of the first half chapters which deal with content strategy. I took over midway and am delivering the second half chapters, which are more about technical implementation.

We’re currently talking about employing some mixed media in relation to this book. We’d like to explore different models of learning (I became interested in this after reading Why Books Don’t Work). Recent discussions have centered around a companion podcast.

This book was conceived while I was still employed at Blend Interactive, so I actually don’t own the copyright to it. It’s split between Corey and Blend.

Sam Otis has done some amazing original artwork on the website.

Untitled Episerver Project

Year: 2021

We’re in very early discussions for this book. It will be an introduction to Episerver for editors and users (not developers). We’ll cover the conceptual aspects of the system, and well as most major features.

I’ll be writing this with a colleague from Episerver, along with considerable support from Episerver MVP community.