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UK freelance journalist, author
and copywriter Sean McManus

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Books by Sean McManus

I write and co-author inspiring books about technology and business. In particular, I've written or co-written a number of books that introduce programming to children and adults, using languages including Scratch, Python, and Sonic Pi. I've also written books about website design, and contributed three technology books to the Older and Wiser series for seniors, including the bestselling iPad for the Older and Wiser. My business books cover interview technique, customer service and online marketing.

Follow the appropriate links below for free samples, updates, related links and ordering information. If you'd like to buy now, please visit my shop.

Go undercover in the music business

Earworm: A novel about the music industry

Book cover: Earworm In this entertaining techno-thriller, Sean McManus takes a slice through the music industry: from the boardroom to the stage; from the studio to the record fair. The story explores how fans relate to their favourite bands, how businesses can use technology to manipulate consumers, and what would happen if the music business disappeared overnight.

Learn how to program with these books

Mission Python

Book cover: Raspberry Pi for DummiesMission Python is a programming adventure set in space. The book shows you how to build and customise a 3D adventure game, in which you have to escape from a space station. It's a battle against time, as your air supply slowly vents through a hole in the space station wall.

The book shows you how to build programs in Python, and will explain how the Escape game works, so that you can customise it with your own graphics, puzzles and stories. You can even use the game engine to make a completely different game!

Coder Academy

Book cover: Coder Academy Enrol in Coder Academy to learn the skills you need to create games and other programs. In this book for 7 to 10 year olds, you'll use a mixture of on-page and on-screen activities to design your own character and animation, write your own web page, and make your own music. Along the way, you'll use Scratch and HTML to build programs and code your web page. The book comes with stickers, a poster, a Coding Pairs card game and 3D model robots for the Robot Programming Challenge.

Cool Scratch Projects in Easy Steps

Book cover: Cool Scratch Projects in Easy Steps Following on from the success of Scratch Programming in Easy Steps, this book gives you step by step instructions for building some fun games and other projects. Each project is accompanied by suggestions for how you can customise it and make it your own. The book covers Scratch 2.0 (the latest version), Scratch 1.4 (as used on the Raspberry Pi) and ScratchJr, the iPad and tablet app to inspire younger children to get into coding.

Scratch Programming in Easy Steps

Book cover: Scratch Programming in Easy Steps It doesn't matter whether you're using the brand new web-based Scratch 2.0, or you're using Scratch 1.4 on the Raspberry Pi or your Windows, Linux or Mac computer. Scratch in Easy Steps will help you to get the best out of the language, including step-by-step instructions to help you build sophisticated games and projects. If you want to learn how to program and aren't sure where to start, this book coupled with the free Scratch software is the ideal place. If you've already seen Scratch, this book will take you from the basics of the language into the depths of its more advanced features. If you're looking for some fun projects to build in Scratch, my book Cool Scratch Projects in Easy Steps is a perfect companion to this title.

Raspberry Pi for Dummies

Book cover: Raspberry Pi for DummiesThe fully updated third edition of Raspberry Pi for Dummies is out now, and provides a guide to setting up and getting the most from your Raspberry Pi. It introduces programming in Python, Scratch and Sonic Pi, as well as showing you how to use your Raspberry Pi for making your own electronic projects. Visit the homepage of Raspberry Pi For Dummies to see video demos of the projects included, download a free sample, get a free case for your Raspberry Pi and more!

Raspberry Pi Projects

Book cover: Raspberry Pi ProjectsI contributed one chapter to this book by Andrew Robinson and Mike Cook, about using Minecraft and Python together on the Raspberry Pi.

My project shows you how to make a program that generates random mazes that you can explore in the Minecraft world.

Super Skills: How to Code

Book cover: Super Skills How to CodeThis book, aimed at children aged 8 and above, introduces the key concepts that underpin many programming languages. Using Scratch, readers will learn how to make programs they can customise including a quiz game and a platform game.

The book also guides readers as they build their first website to share their Scratch games, learning basic HTML and CSS.

Computer Coding for Kids

Book cover: Coding for Kids I was part of the editorial team on this book, which introduces children to programming in Scratch and Python, and to some of the important concepts in computer science. The book was produced by Dorling Kindersley, and has been published in several international editions. The US and Canadian edition is known as "Help Your Kids with Computer Coding".

How to Code Series

I was the technical consultant on the How to Code series of books by Max Wainewright, which introduces young readers to some of the key concepts in programming and coding.

Learn how to design great websites with this book

Web Design in Easy Steps

Book cover: Web design in easy steps Web Design in Easy Steps teaches you what you need to know to build a website, including the planning and content creation necessary, and technical aspects, such as the basics of HTML, CSS and Javascript. Whether you plan to learn how to design websites yourself, or want to commission a professional to build one for you, this book will give you the knowledge you need to make sure your site is effective and easy for everybody to use. This book is a #1 Amazon bestseller in web design.

Improve your business skills with these books

The Interviewer's Pocketbook

Book cover: interviewer's pocketbook Learn how to prepare for and conduct effective recruitment interviews, that are fair to candidates and help you to identify the best people to join your organisation.

The Customer Service Pocketbook

Book cover: customer service pocketbook Learn how to deliver great service in your organisation, how to empower your colleagues to do the same and why it's essential for you personally and the organisation as a whole.

"A down-to-earth, practical guide. It removes a lot of the mystique and concentrates on the real issues."
- Mr Purdie, chief pensions manager, Scottish Widows

Get into computing, for the Older and Wiser

iPad for the Older and Wiser

Book cover: iPad for the Older and WiseriPad for the Older and Wiser is out now, bringing the proven Older and Wiser format to Apple's innovative tablet device. This full colour book shows you how to make the most of the Apple iPad and iPad 2, including using it for email, web surfing, maps, photography and more. This book is a #1 Amazon bestselling hardware book.

Microsoft Office for the Older and Wiser

Book cover: Microsoft Office for the Older and Wiser

Microsoft Office 2010 (and 2007) for the Older and Wiser teaches you how to make the most of the market-leading suite for word processing, spreadsheets, presentations and notes management.

The book explains everything in context, through projects which steadily increase in difficulty. As you progress through the book, you will build on the skills used earlier to create more sophisticated documents. If you want to use the book as a reference tool, the index provides direct access to clear explanations which are backed by concrete examples.

Social Networking for the Older and Wiser

Book cover: Social Networking for the Older and WiserSocial Networking for the Older and Wiser guides readers as they take their first steps exploring social networks. The book is packed with step-by-step examples and teaches readers how to reconnect with old friends from school and work; how to keep in touch with friends and family online; and how to make new friends in online communities. With a focus throughout on the interests of over-50s, the book also shows how social networks can be used to facilitate real-world meetings.

With this book as your guide, you will be able to explore Facebook, Friends Reunited, Twitter, Saga Zone, Eons, Meetup and Ning. The book will also give you the confidence to explore other social networks, including the appendix listing of specialist networks for hobbies such as gardening, crochet and genealogy.

Download a free compendium of new writing

Three Points West

Book cover: Three Points West Download a free 98-page ebook of short stories and poetry by the best writers in the London Borough of Hillingdon. With a wide range of topics and genres, there's something for everyone in this free ebook, which you can read on screen, on your iPad, or can download and print out.

This ebook was created for Hillingdon Artsweek in 2012. For this project, I led the design, layout and production. The book covers a wide range of genres, with both poetry and prose.

Find out more about my out-of-print titles

Small Business Websites That Work

Book cover: Small Business Websites That WorkThis book teaches small business owners and marketing managers all they need to know to set a profitable strategy for the company's website and manage the technical team responsible.

"If you are a business looking to expand by using the Internet but are unsure how to make your website a success, Small Business Websites that Work is certainly the book for you... Straightforward and practical, this book provides clear, insightful advice for anyone left confused or disillusioned by the hype that has surrounded the Internet in recent years... This is, in fact, far more than a book about simply getting online. It is also about the ongoing process of developing and marketing your website to drive visitors to it and tackles everything from how to sell products or offer great customer service online, to less obvious issues, such as how to keep your website ethical and legal."

Quick Answers to Web Marketing Questions

Book cover: Quick Answers to Web Marketing Questions This book was published in 2002 to provide an easy reference for marketers looking for advice, resources and relevant data as they embark on their online marketing activities. The book is aimed at marketers with offline experience, who are looking to get to grips with campaign planning, market research, design and content, advertising, measurement , and law and ethics.

If you'd like a free sample chapter, please email me and I'll send you it.

The Basic Idea

Book cover: The Basic Idea with croaking frog mouseover effectMy Amstrad CPC programming tutorial is long out of print, but you can read it here in full.

You can also download a disc of utilities and demonstrations that accompanied the original book, boosted with all my games published in Amstrad Action and Amstrad Computer User magazines.

"It's difficult to see how they managed to come up with a tutorial that will not only hold your attention long enough to shove information down your throat, but will be friendly and straightforward enough that you'll want to swallow."
- Amstrad Action