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Friday Report: August 7, 2020

This week I received the edited manuscript of my updated iCloud book, and I’m now in the process of going over all those edits and queries. Barring unforeseen complications, Take Control of iCloud, Seventh Edition will ship next week. I also did a bunch of essential infrastructure work, and in the process, I was able to knock two items off of my Take Control to-do list this week, bringing the total down to a mere 96.

Meanwhile, I continue to work on my Big Sur book, and other authors are busily typing away too. In all, we currently have 36 new or updated books in our queue. Ideally, all of those would appear by the end of the year, although I’m reliably informed that we do not live in an ideal world.

The next four or five months are going to be outrageously busy for us, and I’m excited about what we have in store but also ridiculously stressed. (You might read the last few weeks’ worth of blog posts for greater insight on that topic.)

I get a lot of customer support email, and one person this week sent me a poem. I confess I’ve never been very good at understanding poetry, but piecing together the plausible meanings of words as best I could, it seemed as though the customer was unhappy, and held me responsible for whatever thing had gone wrong. Beyond that, I couldn’t suss it out. I said as much in a reply, and then heard nothing further.

So…just a reminder. We here at Take Control Books are in the business of explaining things. We like to use simple, straightforward, everyday language, as if we’re leaning on the backyard fence, talking to our neighbor. You can do the same! If you have a question or a problem, there’s no need to express it in poetry (and definitely no need to wrap it in demands and threats, which sometimes happens too). Just tell us what the problem is, and we’ll do our best to fix it—end of story. We won’t always succeed, but that’s an unfortunate consequence of being human.

Looking ahead to later in August, we are expecting a new book on podcasting by Andy Affleck—this one covering not only macOS but also iOS and iPadOS. Glenn Fleishman will have even more to say about Zoom, and of course we’ll start rolling out books by numerous authors covering various aspects of macOS 11 Big Sur and iOS 14/iPadOS 14. I wish I could be precise and tell you exactly the dates on which books will be published, but I honestly don’t know. Our authors are all freelancers, and although I can set deadlines and make strenuous requests, manuscripts appear when they appear. Then, of course, they have to be edited and go through our production process, and we have to negotiate all sorts of schedule collisions. There are dates for all these books on my calendar, but only time will tell when they actually appear.

See you again next week.