Poor Leo’s 2003 Almanac

I met with a bunch of folks from my publisher, Pearson/Que Publishing, on Friday. They were very positive about my book. They said its sales continue to rise, which is very unusual. We’re doing about 100 copies a day on Amazon alone. In fact, I’m currently Pearson’s best-selling book on Amazon.com. Their number 2 book is Strunk and White’s The Elements of Style. Wow! Actually it’s pretty amazing that Strunk and White is still selling so well after five decades. I’ve got my copy and use it religiously. It’s a must have book for writers.
So I’m beginning work on the next edition of Poor Leo’s Almanac. I spent some time talking with them about how I’d like it to be different this time. There will be much more content, including personal tech like cell phones, digital cameras, and MP3 players. It will also be more like an almanac with a table of contents up front and folksier production. They seem to agree that it should be a Leo book – not a compendium of other people’s stuff. They really liked the personality and voice of the book. They also like the page a day idea so it will be somewhat thicker. We may include a CD or DVD, as well. But we all agreed to keep the price where it is.

All in all it was a very satisfactory meeting. They think the book will become a very successful series – with a new one each year. I’m totally thrilled. Thanks for all your support (and putting up with the incessant plugs)!

33 Replies to “Poor Leo’s 2003 Almanac”

  1. Leo
    Congratulations on the book. You really explain complicated things in an easy to understand way but the Screensavers show is starting to suck. Don’t hold out on us show us how to set up movabletype from start to finish please.

  2. Hi Leo! I am a huge fan! I am very glad to hear you’re coming out with a new book! I hope you bring it out on DVD/CD so i can download it on WinMx! Just kidding!! I love thescreensavers and it is my favorite show of all time! When are you and pat coming to York, Pennsylvania again? When you came last time, I was not aware of it – that’s when you and Kate got the key to the city-remember?

  3. Still havn’t been able to get a copy yet, but I will as soon as possible. Hopefully before your second one comes out!
    I don’t mind the plugs. You have to advertise somewhere and somehow. It’s cheap advertising too. As long as Paul doesn’t mind, plug away. Even if he does, who says you can’t “slip” now and then?
    Good luck on the new one and I think Laura would be a great choice for doing the research. Besides, I hear she could use some work. Hint Hint.

  4. Congrats, Leo! The accolate is well deserved. I’ve read the book — and will do so a few more times, I figure — and I wholeheartedly agree with all the positive sentiments expressed here.
    One little quibble that I hope you’ll pass along to the folks at Que: try using some fonts with serifs next time. Sans serif is fine for headers, but teh main body of text will be a lot more readable (especially for the chronologically challenged (enriched?)) if serif fonts are used.
    Or did Eric Clapton release a new song called “I Shot the Serif?”

  5. As you may remember I have three copies of the book. One I read and marked up, one I’m keeping in mint condition and one I’ve taken to work. The one at work is sitting on the table next to my computer. I’ve had several of my co workers pick it up and ask me if they could look through it. Little do they know that’s exactly why I’ve put it there. I’m going to win then over to our side yet (plotting to make all my co workers computer lovers in the next five years)! I know that’s a long time but they are going to be slow converts. I’m very happy to hear you’re going to do another. Hummmmmmm, I wonder how many copies of the new book I’ll get for Christmas this year? I figure I need at least three.
    By the way you mentioned on the show the other night that the book has a good index. Let me second this from a professional point of view. Indexes are mother’s milk to librarians, I’m an expert on them. Good indexes are extremely important tools. There is nothing worse or sadder than a reference book with a poor index and there are some major reference books out there with lousy indexes. Grrrrrrr. Your index is tops!

  6. leo that sounds great. I am looking forward toward reading your sequel of your first book Poor Leo’s 2003 Almanac. the first day got your from amazon.com, I could not put it down. I read the threw January 1 to April 30. if the Poor Leo’s Almanac series becomes fixture in pop cultures, will there be a big budget Hollywood application of the book? you would direct the movie? Ron Howard, Steven Spielberg, George Lucus? who would play Leo? Sean Connery, Pierce Brosnan?
    well I thing for sure martin sergeant will play himself
    http://tv200.net
    http://techtv.2ya.com

  7. leo that sounds great. I am looking forward toward reading your sequel of your first book Poor Leo’s 2003 Almanac. the first day got your from amazon.com, I could not put it down. I read the threw January 1 to April 30. if the Poor Leo’s Almanac series becomes fixture in pop cultures, will there be a big budget Hollywood adaptive of the book? you would direct the movie? Ron Howard, Steven Spielberg, George Lucus? who would play Leo? Sean Connery, Pierce Brosnan?
    well I thing for sure martin sergeant will play himself
    http://tv200.net
    http://techtv.2ya.com

  8. I think that Martin’s lists in the book should be from the heydey of his lists, things like the top 5 unknown excel features and so on, rather than some of his newer stuff. This would add good content to the book, rather than meaningless page filling.

  9. Heartfelt congratulations Big L, that is terriffic news!
    (btw: one reason Strunk and White are so popular is that it is required reading for many writing classes out there in education land! Maybe your book will be the one that computer teachers can require for their kids!)
    I, too, second the opinion for a better font choice for the next publication, maybe even a little bit bigger type; but I liked the overall quality of the book, it will certainly last a year’s worth of reading over and over again.
    And I also have to agree with Observer on the idea to include the lists, they seem awfully trivial to me, too, but then again it is nice to have a few lighter moments in the book…. I liked the inclusion of the Geek Library lists in the current book, so I would favor more like that, rather than lists of the top searches on Google or the like.
    I also liked your monthly essays, maybe you could include more commentary, too, on things like privacy, Internet use for kids, etc., things that you have definate opinions on and would like to talk about some more. I also think some “short” interviews with the various guests you’ve had on the show would be nice to read. I am not talking about a transcript of a ten minute interview, or anything lengthy, just a page or two with some of the notable people like Woz, for example.
    It is so great to know the book is being so well received, and I just wonder how many sales are from folks who have *never* seen you pitching the book in the first place, like do they get it from recommendations from Amazon, or what? Any way to determine that? Don’t be bashful, I think the nice plug for the book around Boot Camp is very tasteful. Also consider Tech TV doing a plug for the book that they can run in lieu of the current “awareness” fillers that describe the station, those “you’re watching tech tv” type things.

  10. BTW: Someone else’s book is ranked on Amazon at 378,765; how about giving the guy a plug on TSS during your Boot camp spot and see what kind of jump it gets in the ranking?
    :^)

  11. loved book one. anticipating book two. you make learning the confuser easy and interesting,leo. keep it up! THE SCREENSAVERS RULES.

  12. Sounds great Leo! Congrats on being Pearson’s best-selling book on Amazon.com! That’s awesome! I think having Laura on to help with the research and all would be great too! I agree with Ben on the Martin lists though. The lists should be something useful, and not all of the silly useless stuff he’s been doing lately. Humor in a book is great. I think your peronal writing style and humor is wonderful! However, too much Martin humor might be overkill. Just my opinion. 😉 I love the idea of including a CD or DVD!

  13. Leo, If you do a cd/dvd please include a searchable index (for the book)! Can not wait for your new book. Why don’t you all contact the folks at the Page-a-day calenders and ask them to publish one of those peel away calenders? That could work with tips / Q&A. Good luck writing and hope that this continues for many years!
    -Joe Kavanagh

  14. Congrats on the upcoming book Leo. There is one thing I have been wondering though. I have heard you say numberous times on TSS that you aren’t getting any money for the book. Why not? And is that going to change for the upcoming book? Maybe you be able to afford a mansion like John Grisham if the populatity of the second book is as good. Best of luck Leo.

  15. Léo!
    I am very happy to hear that meeting well. I love your current book and can’t wait for you next one. Keep up the wonderful work. On a different subject:
    In the March 2002 issue of DV Magazine (www.DV.com), there is a feature article called “Virtually Live Broadcasting”. Here is a snippet from the article:
    …ZDTV developed a single character, Dev Null, for a show called The Site. Dev Null made his MSNBC debut in July 1996 delivering anecdotal Web information while acting as a foil for the show’s host, Soledad O’Brien…Dev Null was driven by a single person who worked as both voice talent and body performer…
    The article is very informational and goes on to talk about TechTV’s Tilde, Dash, VMD, and the individuals involved, but it left out the most important credit of Dev Null, Léo Laporte. Someone better go talk to Chris Manners (voice of Dash)! :^)
    Dev Null Rocks,
    – Michael J. Titera
    Fremont, California

  16. David H., Don’t worry Leo *did* get paid for his work on the book, his contract with Tech Tv was for 3 books, and they paid him for his work…. it just isn’t a royalty per book fee that someone like John Grisham gets (I have no idea how these book contracts work, really, but I agree with you and I hope Leo gets a fair deal and isn’t taken advantage of too much, he is very talented and deserves the best!)

  17. Looking forward to the next book. I can’t imagine how many the next will sell considering how well the first one is still doing.
    Keep up the great work.

  18. Hey leo i am glad your book has done so well. I have it right next to my comptuer!
    I had an idea for the next book, if you do include a cd or dvd it should have a search feature so that you can find any specific article or tip in the book without having to look through an index. its just an idea.
    thanks and good luck on leos 2003 almanac

  19. Congrats Leo!
    Love your book, can’t wait for the next one!
    I like the idea of a cd/dvd too, especially if the ability to search for specific items could be included.
    Keep up the great work!
    nrt

  20. I recently bought your book and it’s a great book for the general and/or advanced. Just as on the Screen Savers, there is something to learn for every skill level.
    Great job and job well done, looking forward to next years almanac.

  21. Of course your book is selling well. It’s a great idea for a book too. A tip a day…awesome, hey maybe you can release next year one of those calendar’s a day thing to match your book. Now that I would buy too. 🙂
    With you…Leo that is being such a well know name, people are going to rely on you to help them out and give them the facts.
    I enjoy watch the screensavers each day. You being the driving force behind the whole show. Now don’t get me wrong, Patrick is great, but not like Leo, and the rest of the cast is ab fab too. It just seems that you have the expierence of a true television professional. But I just love your outgoing and fun tv personality. I hope your that way in life too.
    So of course Leo’s book is doing great. We all love it. Thanks 🙂

  22. as a net customer, i think we get ripped off more thatn anything, now yahoo wants to charge for using pop3.
    you know i think the open source movement is right, why should i be charged just for a built in functionality of a program. why not chrage me for prinint pages while they are at the. the raptor of redmond and companies like that should wake up and stop treating us, the people who buys and use their products like a herd of cattle off to slaughter.
    this is the kind of nonsense that turns people away from using a computer.
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  23. Very nice to here that a new book is coming out. I loved your Almanac, it’s great. You’re a talented writer. The new ideas sound great.

  24. Leo
    Congratulations on the success of your book. It is a must for all computer users.
    I must say I read all of the book already. But it is something I can read again and gain more info.
    So glad to hear you are doing a new one for the next year.

  25. So now I’d have to PAY to read Martin’s awful, horrible, pathetic “twisted” lists?
    I could take them before…I could turn the tv off and leave the receiver on so I didn’t have to see them…and if they were really bad I could just turn everything off and avoid all exposure to such carcinogenic werks.
    But how do you avoid that with a book?
    I’d like to meet the marketing geniuses that came up with THIS one…

  26. congrats Leo!!!
    My copy of your book just came today from Amazon.com, and I am in love with it already!!! This is a must have for tech geeks like myself and beginners alike.
    If youre ever gonna be in the Chattanooga, TN or Huntsville, AL are, please let me know, I’d enjoy hearing you speak. Once again, congratulations on the new book and I can’t wait for the next installment of it!!! Also, keep up the awesome work on the ScreenSavers…..it is by far the best TV show going!!!
    Greg

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