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Book News and reviews

When something happens, I'll let you know here

Ok, so as if I wasn't already clubbing you folks over the head about the book, I thought I'd create a page that contains news, events, reviews and anything else I can think of to do with the book.

I'm not too sure how to format this yet, so you might find this page takes a while to find its feet, but hopefully it'll be interesting enough all the same.

For the time being, I'm just going to write it as a 'Timeline' - pretty much just so I can remember what happened and when, and to give anyone who's interested a little 'history' into how the book came to be, and where we are right now...

Hopefully, this'll grow and grow. I guess I could do with some help on this - if you see something special about the book (ie, a magazine or website talks about it, reviews it or whatever) then I'd love to hear from you.

In the meantime though, here's what's happened up till now.

The timeline of the book

I'll start from the beginning

  • August 1996 - Graham Joyce Sells me his decks and records
  • August 1996 - Feeling a bit out of my depth in this DJing lark, with no one to teach me, I start writing down everything I'm doing, so I can work out what to do
  • September 1996 - I joing the internet, and get 15Mb of free webspace. I upload my teaching files to this space, and try to make a webpage out of it so I can check this whenever I want
  • Novemeber 1996 - People start to find my site on the net, and I notice the hit counter rising, so I re-work the articles to be a bit more reader friendly
  • March 1997 - With all the hits, and questions I'd been getting for the past few months (and having raced through my own development), I start to write a lot more articles, do a lot of research on things I didn't know, and create the Recess alter-ego to protect my contact information etc
  • July 1997 - Forgoing sitting out in the blistering heat, I relaunch the site under a Recess domain name, and start to dedicate a lot of time helping out new DJs - all the time amazed that people ask me questions, and happy that, if I don't know the answer, I'll research it, and then pass it on - thus making Recess a two way development thing
  • July 1997 - August 2005 - goes through many different designs, gets bigger and bigger, is reviewed in DJ Mag as one of the best ways to learn how to DJ. In this time, I develop my own DJ career, playing out in bars then clubs, and developing a strong fanbase doing so.
  • August 2005 - Having just read 'Final Cut Pro for Dummies', I figured I'd check to see if the Dummies folks had a DJing book. As they didn't, I got in touch, just to the Wiley address, I didn't know anyone special or anything like that
  • September 2005 - Someone from Wiley gets back in touch - apologising for the delay, but explaining that it was caused because of the interest in the book. Jason, (who becomes the Executive Editor for the book) spends a lot of time on the phone with me as we discuss the possibilities of writing this book.
  • October 2005 - Brielfy explore the possibility of the book being split into two - Music Creation, and then DJing for the performance. Unfortunately for Chris (the guy who was writing the music creation part), the Wiley folks decided to go purely DJing for the book for two reasons - 1) That music creation isn't something that you'd only give 200 pages to, as you'd take up all that just by going through the various software titles available - and 2) That 400 pages of just DJing would be enough to make it something worthwhile releasing in competition with the other DJ books out there - that the selling point would be how in depth I could go with the book, rather than skimming through it, and being no better than many of the other DJing books out there.
  • January 2006 - After a couple of stumbling starts, I sign the contract for DJing for Dummies on the 21st January. I then proceed to cack myself... I have to write a book now.
  • March 2006 - I deliver the first 6 chapters of the book to the lovely Rachael at Wiley.
  • May 2006 - Six more chapters fly in to the book folks
  • June 2006 - Another six more chapters are with Rachael
  • August 2006 - The last of the chapters are sent into Rachael at Wiley - and I go to Ibiza to wind down after writing the book. It's research too though. I meet up with a few DJs (including Judge Jules) and spend a lot of time lying on the beach thinking of what I need to add to the book to make it better.
  • August 2006 - Feel incredibly inspired when I realise a life long dream. In 1996, I heard a mix by Sasha from Ibiza playing on the radio - and ever since that moment, I wanted to be a DJ. To go to Ibiza, and get guest list passes to go see him play (at Pacha) was just incredible. So was the set.
  • August 2006 - I'd been writing down all my ideas for changes to the book in the back of a Poker theory book I was was reading. Julie and I went for a swim, came back out of the pool, and saw (with abject horror) that our beachbag had been stolen. 2 x iPods, 1 x Camera, 1 x Watch, 1 x Sunglasses, my wallet, and most importantly, my Poker book - were all gone. Ah... crap!
  • August 2006 - The bag is found in a bush. All the good stuff has been taken out of it - Julie's crossword puzzle book is also missing - but - incredibly, the theives obviously weren't poker folks - as that was in there! Phew...
  • August 2006 - Return from Ibiza to a series of emails from Rachael - with all of the 'reviewed' chapters for me to go through and change.
  • September 2006 - Finish the review, and then sit back and feel truly scared that I don't really have any part in the book any more.
  • October 2006 - I get one last chance to go through the book as a proof read, to point out any real clunkers that are in there. Fortunately, there's not many
  • October 2006 to December 2006 - Panic.
  • December 2006 - The book is released in the UK. Looking at Amazon, people are buying it. Which is really nice. Al Harris places the review below on, and I can't stop smiling when I read it

Having run a free dj tutorial site for the best part of 10 years, it was a refreshing change to see finally hit the book shelf.

A great easy to understand read which covers everything (and i do mean everything, even ensuring you have your car keys after playing a set!)

Whether you are a new starter or trying to get some help on beatmatching or any of the fundamentals this is a great place to start. Covered here is playing out, what to wear, what to expect, promoting yourself, do's and donts, equipment, tunes, heaphones, vinyl, cds, mp3s right back to putting your first mix together. The list is almost as endless as it is helpful.

A coherently written format makes Djing for Dummies an easy, enjoyable, and in places humourous dare i say it read. You can't go wrong. All in the confines of one paperback. Super!

  • December 2006 - I'm asked by the publishers to have another read through the book, to see if there's anything major that's wrong with it - so it can be repaired for the next printing. With horror, I find some pretty large errors. (check out the updates page for what's wrong).
  • January 2006 - I'm stunned to see some guy on the DJ forums taking the release of the book badly. According to him, I've abandoned the beginner DJ by releasing the book - telling everything to "F' off and buy the book". Nothing can be further from the truth. I post a reply to this on the forum. The guy doesn't reply... shame.
  • January 2007 - The Kirkintilloch Herald (my local newspaper) does an article about the book release. I get my photo in the paper, and my Mum and Mother in Law are both very proud. I look really strange though, as though someone stretched me, and put a coat-hanger in my mouth

  • January 2007 - The book gets a slightly early release in the US through Amazon (it was supposed to be February).
  • February 2007 - The book gets a proper release in the US
  • February 2007 - A thread springs up on the TranceAddict forums, talking about the book, where people say really nice things including:

I was at Barnes & Nobles last night looking for a book on Ableton Live and I came across this one... DJING FOR DUMMIES. I skimmed through it and what I read was really good. A lot of good tips in there and A lot of the questions many of you keep on PMing me are answered there. I agree with a lot of what it was said, specially the NETWORKING.

If you're an up and coming DJ, you should definitely give this book a read.

Oh & BTW, I think a fellow TA wrote it.

  • February 2007 - I re-write the website, redesign it, and promise to fill in any gaps I've left in it! Which brings me to now...