One Door Is Closing, Another to Be Opened

March 17, 2013

Today is an important anniversary as it was 20 years ago that I signed the contract to write CorelDRAW 4 Unleashed with Sams Publishing. I often think about a song that is perfect for a situation and one that immediately comes to mind is The Beatles Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. It includes the very famous line “It was 20 years ago today, Sgt. Pepper taught the band to play.” Unfortunately there is another song that is probably more appropriate and it is The Doors The End. The line from that song would be “This is the end, beautiful friend, the end.”

The End is a really long song and maybe it is another really long epic song that is truly the most appropriate. I’m going to take a few liberties with the opening lyrics to personalize it to meet this situation a bit.

A long, long time ago
I can still remember how that CorelDRAW used to make me smile
And, I knew if I had my chance that I could make those people learn

For music aficionados you may recognize the lyrics are a slight modification of Don McLean’s American Pie. In his version, the music died. In my case, I am announcing that CorelDRAW X6 Unleashed will be my last book on CorelDRAW. It is sad when I remember the thousands of users I’ve taught over the years. There are two big reasons for this and I’ll try to explain them in more detail.

First and foremost, it is an economic decision. One thing that we all have in a limited supply is time. I shed an unbelievable amount of blood, sweat and tears for over a year to create CorelDRAW X6 Unleashed and I feel it is by far the best training resource I have ever produced and the best ever produced by anyone on any version of CorelDRAW. During that year, I forgo other projects in hopes of future earnings from sales of the book. Just to be clear, I only get paid if the book sells. Sadly, I would have earned far more if I was flipping burgers at the local McDonalds for that year of my life.

The Beatles also sang Can’t Buy Me Love and that is certainly true. It is very difficult to love dedicating a year of your life to a project that isn’t bought. By far, the economics are the biggest reason for my decision.

I did mention two big reasons and the second is my lack of faith in Corel Corporation. Loyal readers will know that I’ve disagreed with some of their recent decisions and that makes my decision easier. Their working relationships with third parties, such as myself, have been disintegrating for years and you may have noticed many other third parties have already moved on to new ventures because of this trend. I tried to hang on as long as I could because I love teaching users to get the most from CorelDRAW.

What’s Next?

I’m sure this leaves you asking several questions and I’ll try to answer them as best I can. Admittedly, I don’t have an exact answer to some of them.

When I’ve discussed this decision with others, everyone immediately thinks my future books and/or training will be geared towards Adobe products. Maybe someday in the distant future, but this truly isn’t something that interests me. I’m not going to stop using CorelDRAW and my Illustrator skills are limited. So what is the next major project? Quite honestly I don’t know yet and I’m dipping my toes in different waters to try to answer that for myself. I am looking for something I can truly embrace that also is a good fit economically. If you have a suggestion, I’m open to new opportunities.

Some users have already asked me when they could expect CorelDRAW X6 Unleashed Advanced Topics and Corel PHOTO-PAINT X6 Unleashed. Those projects are officially dead as I can’t dedicate the months of time necessary to create two more products that provide very slim sales prospects. I am working on some discounted bundles for those who wanted the content that would have been in those titles. I’ll let you know about them as soon as everything is done. That should be in the next couple of weeks.

You are probably curious about the other content and products on our Web site related to CorelDRAW. First and foremost, we won’t be deleting any existing content or products. There are already hundreds of tutorials and blog posts directly related to CorelDRAW and Corel PHOTO-PAINT that are still relevant for current versions. In the short term, I doubt you’ll notice any changes and there will be new posts and products directly related to CorelDRAW to come in the future.

I will also not stop covering CorelDRAW and Corel PHOTO-PAINT cold turkey. Over time, they will be covered less. Why? The products we offer that are specific to CorelDRAW don’t sell well. Products that apply to a much wider range of applications are what make the cash register ring. This is a business and I have to focus on products that reward my time with revenue. When I write a blog post specifically about CorelDRAW, the traffic is far less than what I get when I write about other subjects. I know this is very odd when most loyal readers are CorelDRAW users. Again, I have to focus on creating content that is best for the business.

This is a very painful decision and I knew that someday I would have to decide to move in another direction. It is easy to look back now and say it is a decision I should have made two years ago, but I have enjoyed teaching CorelDRAW so much that it wasn’t easy to walk away.

To those who have been loyal customers over the years, I hope that you will follow me in my new endeavors. For those who have not been a customer, I’m sorry I was unable to create something to earn your business.

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Foster D. Coburn III

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Foster D. Coburn III is author of 13 best-selling books on CorelDRAW and has been a contributor to numerous technology and graphics-related magazines. Foster has taken many projects, including this Web site, from the early design stage through to a finished piece. He has been a featured speaker at many graphics conferences. His first Web site was built in 1995 and he has been working exclusively in WordPress since 2013.

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