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February 22, 2005

Lunch with Jason Gillmore at LinuxWorld Boston

Last week LinuxWorld was in Boston, so I shot over Tuesday afternoon and met up with Jason Gillmore, author of Beginning PHP 5 and MySQL: From Novice to Professional and open source editor for apress.

Jason is the first of the half-dozen people I've worked with on the MySQL book that I've actually met face-to-face. He'd arranged for a LinuxWorld pass so we spent an hour in a leisure stroll around the expo floor, stopping in at interesting booths from time to time. We went across the street to VinnyT's for some pretty good italian food.

LinuxWorld is a pretty flashy show, lots of big lights and slick displays. Was interesting to see how many booths had small "theaters" with sales folks wearing wireless and hands-free microphones delivering presentations. Even MySQL had a cool cylindrical banner hanging over their area, which contained a dozen modern small tables with computer screens and banners touting their different partnerships.

Was also nice to hang out with Jason, who's got a ton of enthusiasm and ideas about open source publishing and software. One theme I heard in our conversation was just how valuable book reviews are, especially reader reviews on amazon. Jason encourages all readers to put their thoughts on amazon because it can have a dramatic effect on sales of a book (hopefully in a good way). The other thing I thought was helpful was Jason's advice to be prepared, as an author, to support your book after it is published. This includes taking time to respond to email questions and collecting ideas for future printings. Jason suggested that the life of a book can be dramatically improved if it is maintained after publishing.

Before I left, Jason let me grab a few apress books, including Randal Schwartz's Perls of Wisdom. I haven't had a chance to read it yet, but am excited to get into it.

Posted by mike at February 22, 2005 10:29 PM