February 2016 status and sponsorship questions

I’m thrilled and grateful with the results of the FreeBSD Mastery: Advanced ZFS sponsorship. Eighteen ebook sponsors and eight print sponsors have made my life easier. I’ll list them at the end of this blog post.

Allan and I are very close to having a completed first draft of the book–as in, we need a couple thousand more words from Allan and we’re ready to for final pre-tech-review touch up. As we’re working chapter-by-chapter in Google Docs, I’ll then have the job of pulling all the docs into a single Word doc, applying formatting, and making sure it all hangs together as a book.

Once it’s in a single doc, I’ll upload it to the Tilted Windmill Press site so ebook and print sponsors can see an early copy if they desire.

This is a complicated book. It includes, like, actual math and stuff. There’s a limited pool of people who can do the tech review, and they’re all very busy.

With any luck, though, we will have print copies in time for BSDCan 2016.

In the meantime, I’m turning my attention to PAM Mastery. I did lots of research and analysis for this beforehand, so in theory I can just spew the book out and get it out for review.

If I’m very quick, and if absolutely everything works out correctly, I could actually have print copies of the PAM book for Penguicon.

Which leads me to another question, one I’m going to rely on you lot to answer.

Should I solicit sponsors for “PAM Mastery”?

My gut reaction to holding out my hand and asking for money is “no, don’t do it. You are not only a commercial enterprise, you are a commercial exploiter of the BSD community. Provide a worthwhile product and people will buy it.” It took me about a decade to open a tip jar, and I’m still shocked when people put something in it. Seems I caught that stupid Puritan work ethic or something.

The Advanced ZFS sponsors have not received their books yet. (Although I must say, warm showers make me a much more productive writer.) I feel a certain imbalance here–while that book is solidly under way, I’m responsible for delivering good work to my sponsors. FM:AZ is rapidly approaching the “hurry up and wait” stage.

And I don’t want to be constantly putting up a sign saying “Give me money in exchange for electrons arranged in the shape of your name.”

On the other side, people… apparently want to give me money for electrons arranged in the shape of their name.

So, what do you think? Too soon? Do it? Give it all up and become a llama smuggler?

Lastly, on the fiction front: I’ve gotten the proofreading back on my crime thriller Butterfly Stomp Waltz. Proofreader is now on to Immortal Clay 2, Kipuka Blues, and that’s due back by 20 March. I should have print copies of each to take to my writing workshop in April, and you should be able to buy both before April. Shlepping BSW into production would be a couple days work, but I’m heads-down on getting PAM Mastery done, so it’ll have to wait.

And I have a couple short stories to release, I just have to snatch the time from somewhere and get them out.

EDIT: I said I’d list the FMAZ sponsors, and forgot before hitting “publish.” Typical, Lucas. Absolutely typical.


1. Bruce Buskill (first sponsor ever)
2. Julien Vallée
3. Wim Wauters
4. Ollivier Robert
5. Henning Kessler
6. Geoffrey Garside
7. Theodore Durst
8. Georgiy Bulygin
9. Timur Anthony
10. Earl Percival
11. Grzegorz Mrzyglod
12. Jason Plows
13. Dominique Poulain
14. Trond Endrestøl
15. Kenneth Moyer
16. David Stiévenard
17. Mark Voltz
18. Graham Hunter

1. Dan Langille
2. TransIP B.V./Johan Schuijt
3. Thomas Scott
4. Dirk Tol
5. Justin Holcomb, in memory of Mary Lou Malott
6. Adam McDougall
7. Miguel Moll
8. Dominik B. Kowal

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