The Book I Never Wrote

I’ve written and published a few books. But if you look carefully online, you’ll find one book with my name on it, even though I haven’t written it. This is the story.

If you search for my family name in Goodreads you will find this Apress title: “Pro IOS Table Views: For Iphone, Ipad, and iPod Touch” (yes, with such spelling for “Ipad” and “Iphone”, geez), co-authored with Joe D’Andrea, who happens to be an old friend of mine.

But pay attention to the thumbnail; the cover shows a different author! A certain Tim Duckett, software developer turned founder and CTO. What happened?

It turns out that Joe and I were contacted by Apress to write this book in early 2010. We started working on the project, and we completed two or three chapters. But Apress was a bit in an internal whirlwind, and they kept changing our project manager; like four or five times in the span of just a few weeks.

That in itself wasn’t a problem, but each new person brought “new ideas,” a “new direction,” or a “new focus” to the project, and after so much back and forth Joe and I respectfully quit. We had lots of work to do (the iPhone market was booming at the time) and we didn’t have time for this.

I didn’t hear anything else about the project, and in 2012 I discovered that the book had been finally written by somebody else. I ended up meeting the author, Tim, in person at an event in Zürich in 2014. I understand he was working as an iOS developer in Zürich at the time. I remember telling Joe about the anecdote of meeting the actual author of the iOS Table Views book in person!

To makes matters even funnier, the actual book Tim wrote is also on Goodreads, and it’s hysterical that the page with my name on it has more reviews (albeit with a lower score) than the actual page belonging to Tim’s real book.