Yesterday I got my first sample copy of Take Control of Panther, Volume 1, a compilation of the first four Take Control ebooks. These should be appearing on the shelves of your favorite bookstore any day now. It’s nice once again to have my name on the cover of a (more or less) current printed book.
I wrote my portion of this book back in October of 2003, and though I’ve revised it several times since then, it seems kind of strange that it was nearly a full year before it appeared in printed form. Stranger still: I won’t see any money from this edition until January at the earliest, and possibly much later. That’s because of the odd way print publishers still work, even in the 21st century: royalties are computed quarterly (or, in some cases, biannually), but then the publisher generally has another full 90 days to actually send out a check. So in this case, since we’re just at the end of the third quarter, the publisher has until the end of December (i.e., 90 days from the end of Q3) to send out a check for whatever books were sold this month—less a certain percentage as a reserve against returns. The check will actually go to TidBITS, which will in turn send each of the contributors their cut. I don’t think very many copies will be sold in the next two weeks, so if I get a check in January it’s likely to be quite small. Maybe in April I’ll get a bigger check—just in time for the book to become obsolete as Apple releases Tiger!