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Take Control Transition FAQ

We’re pleased to announce that Take Control Books has been acquired by author Joe Kissell’s company, alt concepts. All our authors and editors are on board with the move, so little will change for readers in the near future. Longer term, we’re looking forward to seeing what new authors and titles Joe publishes, and what other publishing innovations he comes up with!

You can watch Adam, Tonya, and Joe discuss the transition with Chuck Joiner in this MacVoices interview.

Here are our responses to some additional questions you may have:

Adam & Tonya: Why are you selling Take Control?

Adam: Publisher is one of those important-sounding titles that comes down to doing whatever needs to be done, whenever it needs to be done. As a result, I end up having to juggle a huge number of tasks simultaneously, and since large amounts of Take Control production, distribution, and marketing fall to me, a book release would completely take over much of my week, derailing whatever other plans I might have had. So handing the business off to Joe should mean a significant reduction in my to-do list that will let me focus more attention on other projects.

Tonya: As Take Control’s editor-in-chief, I’ve spent the past 14 years handling the day-to-day operations of the Take Control series. In the tech world, that’s a long time to be in the same job, and, in fact, I’ve been responsible for over 50,000 pages of manuscript, all in the same series. It’s time for me to tackle something new! Because Joe knows our customers and systems so well, I can’t think of anyone else who I’d rather have running the series in my place.

Joe: Why are you buying Take Control?

It was the best possible solution for everyone involved. Adam and Tonya get some much-needed free time, along with the liberty and money they’ll need to explore new opportunities. Our customers, authors, and editors get stability and continuity. As for me, I’ll get to upgrade my title from Author to Publisher, learn new skills, and have the freedom to guide Take Control in interesting directions. It also seems probable that I’ll get a raise, in a manner of speaking.

Adam & Tonya: What does this mean for TidBITS?

In the near term, very little will be changing for the TidBITS Web site and mailing lists, although changes made to your TidBITS account will no longer also be reflected in your Take Control account. Looking to the future, Adam hopes to put some quality time into improving the TidBITS Web site and mailing list infrastructure, as well as working on a Web site redesign. Tonya hopes to contribute TidBITS articles on a more regular basis. They will also both be focusing more time on their TidBITS Content Network service for Apple consultants, resellers, and other professionals.

Will TidBITS members still receive their Take Control-related benefits?

Yes. The 30%-off coupon enjoyed by TidBITS members will work as it always has for the foreseeable future.

Will my Take Control account still work?

Yes. Nothing about your Take Control account will change, except that it will no longer be connected to your TidBITS account. The two will function independently, even though they will initially use the same password (until you change one or both of them).

Joe: What will be changing under the new ownership?

Initially, not much. We’ll keep publishing and updating high-quality books from your favorite Take Control authors, same as always. Everything will look and work pretty much as it has for years. Email messages (such as announcements of new and updated books) will come from me instead of from Adam and Tonya, and the Web site will have a few little changes. But apart from small, behind-the-scenes adjustments like those, it will be the same Take Control our customers know and love.

Over time, I would like to make improvements to a number of our systems and processes. I’d also like to do significantly more to publicize our books and expand our audience. We may even venture into additional subject areas and formats. But I expect changes to be slow and gentle, with an eye to maintaining or increasing the happiness quotient of our customers, authors, and editors.

Joe: Will you be running Take Control by yourself?

Not at all. My wife, Morgen Jahnke, who is a talented writer with a professional background in fundraising for nonprofits (and who has helped out with a number of Take Control books over the years), will be in charge of marketing and publicity, among other tasks. Most or all of the freelance editors who have worked for Take Control in the past will continue to do so, and other contractors will likely contribute as necessary. In addition, employees of TidBITS Publishing Inc. (including Lauri Reinhardt) will supply customer support services, at least in the short term.

Joe: In addition to publishing other authors’ books, will you continue writing your own books for Take Control?

I do plan to continue writing Take Control books, but because my duties as publisher will require a great deal of time, I imagine the percentage of Take Control books written by me will decrease.

Joe: What will happen to Joe On Tech?

I started Joe On Tech to provide a home for some of my favorite Take Control books that could no longer be maintained otherwise. Those books will continue to be updated, and most likely I’ll reintegrate them into the Take Control brand at some point. As for the rest of Joe On Tech, I think it has served its purpose, and I don’t currently expect to do more with the site or add new Joe On Tech book titles.

If you have any other questions, just ask!