When Will I Open “Run Your Own Mail Server” sponsorships?

[edit, 17 March 2023: Sponsorships are now open.]

My next tech book will be “Run Your Own Mail Server,” part of the IT Mastery series. I would like a snappier title. “Lay Down All Hope, You That Go In By Me” is accurate to the spirit, but doesn’t inform about the content. Now that the Devotion & Corrosion Kickstarter is over, I could theoretically open sponsorships for the new book. I’m not doing it yet.

I work to be honest in my books. I can’t yet express this book’s truth in a short pithy way suitable for a catalog.

Email is a huge topic. Postfix, exim or Exchange? Dovecot, Cyrus, or Courier? Sendmail or syphilis? What exactly is this book about, anyway? I’m using a couple programs for my reference implementation, but this is not exactly a book about system administration. It is about citizenship and society. A novice sysadmin will not be able to use this book without reading a bunch of other books first. This is mostly about how the system hangs together, and about the less well-known services that help email happen. SPF and DKIM, DMARC, MTA-STS, and TLS-RPT. How not to warm up your IP address. Defeating Google. IPv4 or IPv6?

The easiest way to communicate this is by posting Chapter 0 before I open sponsorships.

Which means that the chapter must be vaguely readable. It will be riddled with errors, but it will discuss what’s further in the book.

A handful of you don’t care what the book is about. You’ll sponsor it anyway. You’d sponsor a book about ls(1). You folks are the best, and I appreciate your eagerness to give me money for no good reason. Most folks are not so enraptured, however, and want to know something about what I’m writing.

Maybe next week? The week after? I write nonfiction in order but not linearly, so it’s taking longer than I hoped.

But book is happening. Eddie Sharam’s cover art is glorious, and it’s an actual painting again. It might be a Kickstarter reward, though I think he’d make more if he put it up for direct auction. We’ll find out.

I do know that email is overwhelmingly dominated by a handful of big companies. An Email Empire, if you will. Those of us who run our own email are a ragtag band of rebels struggling against the Empire, constantly hoping not to be crushed as we carve out our little space. Gmail has altered the email agreement, and we pray they do not alter it further. All we need is a Bigfoot with an energy-crossbow-thingamajig…

2 Replies to “When Will I Open “Run Your Own Mail Server” sponsorships?”

  1. “You’ll sponsor it anyway.”

    That would be me.

    I still have some questions, that maybe will be answered in Chapter 0: will that book be only about SMTP (sending and receiving email) or do you plan to also cover things like POPS/IMAPS as well?

    Also, anything on advanced authentication (SASLauthd) would be welcome, but I realize that it’s more than the initial topic for this book.

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