Goodbye from Five Simple Steps

This hasn’t been an easy decision to make. We’ve thought long and hard over the last few months but as of Tuesday, 8 April 2014, Five Simple Steps is closed.

Over the past five years, Five Simple Steps has published the words of 23 authors in 24 books and provided a valuable and distinctive voice for the web design community. We’re extremely grateful for the support and positive energy we’ve received from the industry, our loyal customers and our fantastic authors. We love what we’ve built.

As well as running Five Simple Steps, we’ve been doing a lot of other things and asked an awful lot of our team - perhaps too much. We’ve realised that the time has come to do less and focus on doing one thing well. This means, sadly, that Five Simple Steps must close.

Thank you for the opportunity to have such fun making great books over the past five years. It’s been a pleasure and a real privilege.

Mark and Emma
Mark and Emma Boulton

Downloading previously bought books

We’ll no longer be accepting orders for our books or videos, but we will ensure that every order placed up until the point of closure is fulfilled. Our download page and support forum will remain open for 60 days from Tuesday, 8 April 2014 so that you can download any books you bought previously and get in touch with any queries.

To download your books, head to our download page and enter the order number and email address associated with your purchase. If you don’t know your order number, then get in touch with us through the support forum.

Publish your own ebook

To give something back to the web design community that has supported us over the years, we’re sharing the process we used to create our ebooks in the hope it will help people publish their own books, as Mark did back in 2008.

We’ve combined the ebook template we used at Five Simple Steps with how-to documentation and a style guide to assist authors with their writing.

Create your own ebook →


I’ve recently ordered a book from you. Will I still get it?

Yes, all orders placed up until the point we closed will be fulfilled.

Can I still speak to someone about my order?

Yes. We’re keeping our support forum open until Sunday, 8 June 2014 to answer any questions you have.

How long can I download my ebooks for?

You have until Sunday, 8 June 2014 to download any ebooks you bought previously.

How do I download my ebook files?

Visit our download page and enter the order number and the email address you used at the time of ordering. Each order number will only give you access to the file or files associated with that transaction, so if you’ve made multiple purchases then you’ll need to know the order numbers for those to access the associated files.

I can’t remember my order numbers. Where can I get them?

You’ll find them on your order confirmation emails, or, if you don’t have those any more, contact us through the support forum and we’ll look them up for you.

I ordered a book in 2009, can I redownload it?

Yes, but you’ll need to contact us through the support forum to get your files as orders placed before June 2010 are listed in our old database. Let us know your original order number and email address and we’ll send the files to you.

What’s happened to my customer account information?

Your customer account will no longer be available, but you can still download your books as outlined above. On Tuesday, 8 July 2014, information in your customer account will be deleted permanently.

What’s happening to the physical stock?

The rights for sale and distribution of the books now belong to the respective authors. A portion of our stock is being gifted to community events and good causes; the rest will be returned to the authors.

What’s happening to the ebooks?

The rights and distribution of all ebooks will also belong to each author. They will decide what to do with their books.

Will I be able to get the books anywhere else?

You may be able to buy the books from authors individually but we have left it up to them to decide what they want to do with their books. Mark’s book, A Practical Guide to Designing for the Web, has been freely available online for a number of years and will continue to be here.

What about upcoming books you’ve announced?

We have several authors who are part way through writing Pocket Guides for us. We will be making introductions to other publishers with the hope that their books still go ahead.

Mark has written much of the content for Designing Grid Systems but as it’s still not finished, he is unable to publish it. He is currently considering several options.

If you are a publisher, and are interested in any of our unpublished books, please get in touch.

Why are you closing?

Five Simple Steps was run by the team at Mark Boulton Design. We published our books around our client work. But, as Five Simple Steps became more demanding, it became increasingly difficult for us to give it the attention it deserved. We realised that we needed to focus on doing one thing, and subsequently made the tough decision to close Five Simple Steps.

Did you look for a buyer for Five Simple Steps?

Yes, we looked into various options and spoke to several like-minded people in the web industry who we thought would be a good fit for Five Simple Steps. Unfortunately, although we tried hard, we didn’t manage to secure a buyer.

Did you look for another distributor for your books?

Yes, we looked into selling our stock and publishing rights but unfortunately we couldn’t find a suitable partner. Should you be interested in purchasing the stock and publishing rights for our current catalogue, then we’d like to hear from you. You can contact us at