I love this time of year. The leaves are starting to change into their fall motley, there’s a chill in the air, and the smell of wood smoke lingers like childhood memories. It’s also the time when Leo Laporte’s Technology Almanac typically tumbles from the presses to land with a thud on your bookstore shelves. Well, not this year, Jimbo.
My contract with Que has expired and it doesn’t look like either of us has much interest in resuscitating it. Que has been very patient with me. When we signed the deal I had two national US TV shows, a regular gig on Live with Regis and Kelly, and ample opportunity to flog my books. By the end of the contract we were lucky to get a plug on Good Morning Muncie. Needless to say, sales suffered. On the bright side, you should be able to find any one of my dozen titles in the remainder bin of your nearby five and dime, and at a very affordable price, too.
I’ve enjoyed my stint as an author — the sherry hours, the tweed coat with patched elbows, the bowlful of Borkum Riff, the love starved groupies, the 1.5% royalties — but all good things must come to an end. There won’t be a Technology Almanac in this year’s remainder bin. Your collection will have to end with the 2006 edition, the fifth and final installment in my magnum opus. Hey, that’s almost as many as Harry Potter.
If I do return to the publishing world it will be as a self-published author. I wouldn’t want anyone else to assume the burden that Que has suffered these past couple of years. Amber and I have talked about writing a book on podcasting. We even got as far as an outline and subversion repository, but then Citytv came up with a better offer and, to be honest, that book is now so far back on the burner that it’s getting chillblains.
It’s OK. This is all part of my transition from mainstream media maven to obscure Wikipedia entry. Writing books is hard work and, love starved groupies aside, the compensations are scant. I’ll put my energies into something I love to do, talking for a living, and leave the writing to my literary heroes, Bill O’Reilly and Ed McMahon.
So thanks to all of you who bought my books. Perhaps we can gather someday at a local Denny’s and reminisce. An even bigger thanks to the many, many more who put up with my endless plugging and still managed to resist the urge to buy. Never again will you have to hear, “buy my book,” unless you happening to be watching the O’Reilly Factor. And if you are, you’re getting what you deserve.
A very productive day – got a column finished and another started. That’s three columns this weekend! A new world record. I also had “special time” with Abby. We walked into town, went to the comic book store and the book store, had a sandwich at the bookstore cafÃ© and walked home.
It was open mike night at the cafÃ© and we listened to four or five singers. It’s amazing how many talented musicians there are, and how few get the recognition they deserve. I wonder if everyone has something they can excel at. That seems to be true. Unfortunately the mass media has exalted a handful of talented people, when so many are right next to us completely ignored.
I also installed and have begun configuring new blog software. This program, called Greymatter is all in Perl and lives on my server. It has some very nice features and eliminates my dependence on blogger. Once I get the templates working right, I’ll move all the old content to it. You can give it a test drive here.