I want to publish a book
I’ve been writing about the history and future of media and technology on the web for about twenty years now — earlier, if you count some stuff that might be considered juvenilia. I’ve been writing about it professionally for well over ten years. Over that time, I’ve accumulated a pretty extensive body of writing that is, well, all over the place.
I mean, some of you were there from the beginning. (Maybe five of you.) Some encountered me along the way, or when I started writing for what used to be your favorite publication (unless you think I’m the one who ruined it). Some of you became my friends after most of my public writing was over. And some of you just got referred to this newsletter, or just graduated from college, or you’re not even sure why you’re reading this or why anyone might put any weight into what I think about this stuff. None of you remember everything. (Even I don’t remember everything.)
And now I’m wondering whether it’s time to gather the limbs of Osiris, so to speak: take all of that writing and put it back into one place, where anybody who wants to see what it was like for a person who was studying and reporting on how all of this happened while it was happening.
It’s also a chance to give something different to you, my readers; something other than my latest take on what Amazon just did. To dig up the past, and make it new.
To that end, what I’d like to do is put together an anthology of my writing, and make it available to anyone who wants it. I’ve been thinking about this since 2014, at least, and I have a lot of thoughts about how I’d like to do it.
What I’m wondering about is how best to bring it to you, my readers. What do you want to pay for it? Do you want it to be more like this newsletter (reader-supported but available free to anyone who wants it), or more like a fine printed book, exclusive and eternal? Of course I bet some of you want both, or neither, or something in between. Some of you want audio, or a podcast, or would rather I did a completely different kind of project. This is your chance to tell me what you want most.
I’m also curious about what you think about what I’m doing right now. I’ve been back at the Amazon Chronicles for a few months now, on something of a reduced schedule, but I would like to change that soon. I’m thinking about experimenting with different media, other platforms, and in general doing a soft relaunch to welcome new paid subscribers (while still, I think, keeping most things free for everybody). Here, too, I need to know more about what you want to see from me going forward.
With all that in mind, I have done the unthinkable: I made a survey. If and when you have time, please answer it. It’s just about all multiple choice (with some checkboxes and optional short or long answer). I’m not collecting your data, but Google might be doing things with it I don’t understand. If you’d rather tell me yourself what you’d like to see instead of filling out a form, please give the survey a quick read and just email me back to tell me what’s on your mind.
Here is the thing itself: Tim’s Book and Reader Survey for Fans and Friends. (Substack might scramble that URL for its own tracking, so this is what it is: https://forms.gle/kgo7CxhAc5h55KpK7 )
And as always, if you have something else you want to tell me about what I’m doing or not doing, or tips to give me about what’s happening with Amazon or anything else at the intersection of media and tech (or anything else I’ve professed an interest in talking about), just reply to this message. I’ll always read it, and as likely as not, I’ll send you a note back. We’re in this together, all of us.
Thanks for helping me out.