Discovering The Waite Group

Having partnered with McGraw-Hill to produce a string of successful titles, my horizons were now expanding with increasing velocity.

I went to work to harness professors, friends and family members to help me build an authoring group. Our focus? To specialize in producing friendly computer books of superior quality on CP/M, Basic, Assembly Language, not to mention a new product called “DOS” from a modest firm in Seattle run by a guy named Bill.

It was at this juncture that I chose to produce a custom “The Waite Group” logo to appear at the top of each book slated to originate from our author team. I reasoned it was important that readers learn to quickly recognize our books from all the other titles that where flooding onto the market. This tactical move placed our team at an awesome advantage.

Only years later would the publisher at Sams confide to me a sobering reality: our logo had served as a vital ‘stake in the ground’ such that readers began to think that I was the publisher only because our logo was more prominent than that of Sams.

A vital logo represented only part of the action phase of this period. During this time, I started to push the perimeter of what was acceptable for typical computer book titles. We hot-wired concepts phases such as “Soul” and “Bible” to computer topics. Imagine the flack I took from the US Bible belt when those first titles landed in distributors’ bins!

Computers had become my trade but words were not enough.

I began to probe the challenges of programming itself, only to find both heart and head captured by a computer language known as Microsoft BASIC. I took a personal hand in authoring Basic Programming Primer with my friend Michael. Another great seller! I had arrived at a crossroad. I was now making enough money to quit my job as a tech writer and devote full-time to writing itself.

I became involved with the Pascal language, and made a good friend of David Fox, the man who founded the first computer-learning center. I introduced my first book on the C language, C Primer Plus. This title, authored by my two physics instructors, and myself emerged as a huge success. I also produced a book on Unix (also in the Primer series).

  • CP/M Bible
  • Soul of CP/M
  • MS-DOS Bible
  • C Primer Plus
  • BASIC Programming Primer
  • Unix Primer Plus
  • Pascal Primer

Then, in 1985, my entire world exploded.