Co-Founders Adam Engst, Tonya Engst, and current Publisher Joe Kissell celebrate the 20th anniversary of Take Control Books, revealing the origins of the company. The success of their ebook model, the challenges of setting up their first merchant account, and how the sale of the company to Joe came about are all part of the story. Take Control was years (maybe more) ahead of its time, and there are plenty of behind-the-scenes details are included in the conversation. The episode concludes with the announcement of a special limited-time sale on all existing titles.
0:00:00 A Special Celebration of Take Control Books
0:03:43 Joe Kissel Joins as the First Author
0:10:05 The unexpected success: Selling a thousand copies in a day
0:12:33 Lucky break: Getting the merchant account turned back on
0:14:09 The Birth of a Publishing Empire
0:18:04 Innovating with Updates for Print Books
0:22:40 Ahead of Our Time: 100% Remote Workforce
0:22:53 The Challenges of Limited Office Space and Staffing
0:23:48 Lower Costs and Greater Efficiency in Publishing Process
0:34:44 The Revolutionary Nature of These PDFs
0:37:03 The challenges of e-books vs. physical books
0:42:57 Right place, right time, right ideas
0:47:24 Transition: Selling Take Control Books to Joe
0:49:40 The Surprise Announcement of Take Control Sale
0:53:31 Celebrating 20 Years with Special Pricing
0:57:43 Free Copy of Take Control of Thanksgiving Dinner
Adam C. Engst is the publisher of TidBITS and the TidBITS Content Network. He has written numerous books, including the best-selling Internet Starter Kit series, and many magazine articles – thanks to Contributing Editor positions at MacUser, MacWEEK, and now Macworld. His innovations include the creation of the first advertising program to support an Internet publication in 1992, the first flat-rate accounts for graphical Internet access in 1993, and the Take Control electronic book series. His awards include the MDJ Power 25 ranking as the most influential person in the Macintosh industry outside of Apple every year since 2000, inclusion on the MacTech 25 list of influential people in the Macintosh technical community, and being named one of MacDirectory’s top ten visionaries. And yes, he has been turned into an action figure. Want more? Follow Adam on Twitter for 140-character musings on a variety of topics.
Tonya Engst co-founded the TidBITS online publication in 1990 with Adam Engst. She also co-founded the Take Control Books series with Adam in 2003 and saw the series through its early years. Tonya was editor-in-chief of the Take Control series from 2003–2017. She is currently Digital Content Editor at the Yang-Tan Institute on Employment and Disability, ILR School, Cornell University. Follow her on Twitter.
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