With all of the hullabaloo last week surrounding new Apple products and OS X 10.9 Mavericks, Adam and Tonya Engst were too busy to celebrate the tenth anniversary of Take Control Books. Adam set things right in an article today on TidBITS, recounting the history of Take Control Books, which began in 2003.
I’m proud to be a part of Take Control books since the beginning, and for me, and for other authors, it has represented a new publishing paradigm. Instead of the long process of writing, editing, proofreading and printing, we became able to produce books more quickly and more efficiently, and we also are able to provide updates to our readers as the software or hardware we write about changes.
For example, my Take Control of iTunes 11: The FAQ was updated last week to include new features that Apple added to iTunes 11 on September 18. The book was released on October 17, and would have been out a week earlier if not for other new Apple products that got in the way. The ability, in this case, to push out an update of a nearly 250 page book in three weeks is powerful, and can only be done with ebooks. In addition, my Take Control of iTunes 11: The FAQ is the first Take Control book to benefit from Apple’s new feature which allows us to push new updates to users, via the iBooks app. (Remember, we sell books in PDF, EPUB and MOBI formats, both directly, from the Take Control Books web site and through the iBookstore, Amazon and other digital book sellers.)
But the Take Control model is about more than just a lithe publishing machine. It was initially designed to offer authors better conditions than print publishers do. Not only do we make much higher royalties, we get monthly royalty statements. Print publishers generally give you royalty statements every six months, and some once a year.
I’m proud to have written (so far) nine titles for Take Control (this counts various editions), and I’m especially chuffed that my Take Control of Scrivener 2 holds the record for the best-selling single edition of a Take Control book, with over 13,000 copies sold.
With more than 375,000 copies sold, and 48,000 direct customers, Take Control books is going strong, and I’m looking forward to another few decades working with Adam, Tonya, and all the rest of the great Take Control people.