ReadMat Publishing is about experimenting at the intersection of documentation, ebooks, and the Web. The whole documentation ecosystem, or theme park, or whatever it is.
And, oh yeah, about the author...
D.C. Denison is a journalist and documentation experimentalist. I'm the former technology editor at The Boston Globe and the author of "As Seen on TV" (Fireside/Simon and Schuster), the latter of which is responsible for getting this whole project started.
Because the traditional book process was so... bad. Unsatisfying.
Not the writing part (and the modest advance from the publisher). Both of those: good.
But the deadening year-long lag before the book hit bookstore shelves, and the shotgun-style marketing that Simon & Schuster provided -- those were annoying, and ultimately self-defeating.
After the book made its predictable trip to the remainder bin, I was left thinking, "That was it?"
So... could ebooks offer a better way forward? That's what launched my experiments: creating ebooks, exploring what's possible when you leave print behind. I discussed my earliest discoveries at one of the first O'Reilly Tools of Change for Publishing conferences. This was a time, 2009, when ebooks = first generation Amazon Kindles.
Later I started integrating ebooks and websites, again reporting to the Tools of Change for Publishing conference.
Here I am, above, discussing ebooks and hyperlinks right after the session. I use the phrase "I think" about a dozen times. Try not to let it distract you, although now that I've mentioned it, it probably will.
Since then ReadMat Publishing has expanded into a global enterprise (well, my web designer lives in Guatamala, and the XML software I use is created and maintained in Romania).
The experiments continue. That cartoon-y image at the top of this page, for example. It's only there so I can embed it in one of my Amazon pages -- this one (scroll down in the "book description" and you'll see it). I'm using the image to track activity on that page. It's kind of an embedded agent, telling me what's happening on Amazon.
How valuable is that information? I'm not sure yet: it's an experiment!
I've also expanded the scope of this whole enterprise to include documentation in general, inspired by two recent projects: a weekly Maker Pro Newsletter with MakerMedia; and blogging with Drupal powerhouse Acquia.