I suppose it’s time I should come clean and mention I’m almost wrapped up working on another book. Jason noticed the dichotomy between the secrecy around book publishing and the usually open and honest writers of weblogs, and I’ve had the same conflicted experience with this and a few other things.
Books are old media, as are newspapers and magazines. Printing something on dead trees requires long lead times for writing and editing, then printing and physical delivery to eventual sales centers. Dead tree printing is also mired in old thinking, that of contracts and paychecks and witholding stories until specific launch dates. It goes against every fiber of the average weblogger’s personality, but when you are are invited to participate in old media, like being invited to a traditional dinner, you usually do what your host asks.
Last year, I was interviewed for a few newspaper articles, a couple of which didn’t get printed for months after I spoke with reporters. At the time close friends and the reporter said I should hold off saying anything about it until it went to print. The same thing held true for the magazine interviews I did last year. I actually got to travel and have wonderful adventures while participating in one interview, but I couldn’t say a peep until it was on the newsstands. Books seem to be the same way. You’ve got contracts that allow you or the publisher to back out at any time. I have friends that poured a year of effort into a book that was killed right before it went to print, when it was already listed at Amazon. When I’ve asked about it, old media people have told me it’s not a good idea to announce something before it hits print, and that’s an unfortunate and hopefully dying idea.
For this blog book, we wondered if announcing early was beneficial given the problems that could arise. We planned to announce it early on, as early as January of this year, but held off until we had a website ready for it. We’re still in the process of getting that up, but it should be up very soon. So yeah, I’ll be hawking a new book soon, and I’m actually involved with a third book, which should also be out soon.