I'm a Mac person—and not just because I'm a McInerny. I’m vain enough to be proud to own one of the few black Macbooks. I love my iPhone. I love using many Apple apps, such as iMovie, iPhoto, iTunes, and Garage Band. I love the way images look crisp on a Mac.
And like many, I'm attracted to the sleekness of Apple design—in hardware, software, and in their graphic presentation. Bold images against a white background. The simplicity of the Apple logo. The overall user-friendliness of their devices. The “coolness” factor is very compelling.
Steve Jobs, who died Wednesday, had of course much to do with making Apple one of the most exciting companies on the planet. He is being widely celebrated this week for his innovation and savvy, and there is much to admire in what he accomplished. But what I appreciate most in the achievement of Steve Jobs is the way the personal computer, of which he is one of the founding fathers, makes possible a certain kind of creative and economic freedom. Under the digital cloud, entire businesses can now be run from a desktop. Indeed, entirely new industries have become possible because of the technology that Jobs helped make so widely available.
One of these industries is the self-publishing industry, which is being freshly re-imagined almost by the minute. Capitalizing as it does on the surging interest in ebooks (a surge in which the iPad has played a significant part), self-publishing is just one instance of the revolution in ownership, and one that I myself have decided to plunge into.
I would like to introduce to you today my new company, Trojan Tub Entertainment, a web-based children’s entertainment company featuring my Patria comic adventure stories for middle grade readers (approximately 7-13 years old). Designed by the superb creative team at Snap Design, and illustrated by the rich and whimsical talent of Theodore Schluenderfritz, the Patria website will launch November 1, and feature the free first chapter of the first book in the Patria series, Stout Hearts & Whizzing Biscuits. Those parents willing to dig deep enough into the old sock to purchase the entire book for their offspring will be directed to Amazon’s Kindle site, Barnes & Noble’s Nook site, or Apple’s own iBooks store in order to exchange the ridiculously low price for hours of peace while their children squirrel themselves away with this soul-stirring adventure. Given that your credit card will already be drawn and quivering, the site will also direct parents and other readers to iTunes, where the unabridged audiobook of Stout Hearts & Whizzing Biscuits will be awaiting your download.
However, the Patria website is not all about commerce. There will also be free Patria short stories available on the site, blogs written by the main characters, an interactive map of Patria, contests, not to mention the free first chapter of the sequel to Stout Hearts, tentatively titled, Work More or Less in Progress That Needs to Get Finished Pretty Darn Quick. This sequel will be available (gulp!) December 1.
So how to fill the trackless void until November 1? Visit the Trojan Tub Facebook page and “Like” the company, and join up to follow the news from Patria on Twitter: @kingdomofpatria.
Trojan Tub would not be possible, in the end, without the kind of vision displayed by Steve Jobs. And for that, I am sincerely grateful. May God bless him, and may he rest in peace.