Era / Waite Group Press

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Waite Group Press is Born

Over the last 10 years I had developed The Waite Group to be a “packaging” enterprise. That meant we never actually owned our inventory; rather, we let publishers own it and they in turn earned the most profit in exchange for our taking less risk. What a favorable arrangement! I operated a very fun business … read more

Fractals

What a wonderfully puzzling world it is when success barrels into your life. Our Master C book emerged as such a winner that a new issue confronted us–what must we produce as the logical follow up title for the year 1991? A debate ensued among us, “we” now being a team of five full-time employees: … read more

The Future is Assured

1992 marked the most creative year in the legacy of the Waite Group Press. This is when our business pulled out from the slow lane and entered the computer book freeway. While we had no speeding tickets in 1990 with just one book, in 1991 we produced 4 books. But in 1992 we took on … read more

The Playhouse Era

If 1992 put Waite Group Press on the publishing freeway, 1993 emerged as the year of new road construction and experimentation. The year saw us deliver 14 new titles-–not quite the growth rate of the prior year, nevertheless impressive. Nanotechnology Playhouse Artificial Life Playhouse Sound Effects Playhouse Ray Tracing Creations Making Movies on your PC … read more

Playing God

Was it 1994, or the year of playing God? Basking in the warm glow of our 1993 success streak, and feeling that our buying public enjoyed books on the “edge”, I led the company ever further across the line that separates safety from extreme exploration. Each of our titles managed to test the mettle of … read more

Playing God, part 2

Autumn of 1994 was witness to a computer book publishing universe that was experiencing profound changes. One can only call 1994 the “year of the low reader expectation”. IDG Book’s ongoing “…for Dummies” series skyrocketed to the top of the bestseller lists, while CEO John Killkullen emerged as a veritable Wall Street hero. Killkullen also … read more

THICK Books

Was I in my prime? Or at the end of my power curve? I wasn’t sure! The year 1995 would nevertheless surely emerge as the pivotal juncture of my career. Why? I now headed up a company growing like a weed in a rain forest, and I required help. Ill equipped to direct the activities … read more

The End of Waite Group Press

I devoted the final half of 1995 to the negotiation of the sale of my company to Macmillan Computer Publishing (MCP). This emerged as one of the principal mind-bending experiences of my life. What motivated me so much to make this sale? David Israel: the Macmillan VP of Marketing who engineered the deal. David related … read more