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Sunday, March 17, 2013

One Door Is Closing, Another to Be Opened

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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24 Comments:

Blogger KennyMike said...

All the best Foster... I'll still be keeping an eye on your posts... I'm retired and crack open my Corel X5 on occasion to make a flyer for my yoga classes... but I just don't use it much anymore... while I was in the corporate world I had the pleasure of seeing you at CorelWorld and attending one of your "early" Boot Camps in AZ... you've offered a wealth of knowledge... sorry to hear it didn't return the same to you...
Ken

12:37 PM  
Blogger Foster D. Coburn III said...

Thanks Ken!

12:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Foster,
I purchased learning Coreldraw7 from Keystone on VHS tape
back in the late 90s. I learned so much from those tapes.
I purchased CorelDraw2 in the early 90s and used it mainly for
its file importing capabilities. When we purchased our first large format
printer in the late 90s, I used CorelDraw7 as our main software for design and print. I still use CorelDrawx5 do to this day. Thank You for all of your help and guidance over the years, it will be sorely missed. I have a bad feeling that your leaving the CorelDraw world is just a foresight of where Coreldraw is headed.
Bob - AC Display

3:10 PM  
Blogger Mel said...

Wow. The end of an era. I'm sure whatever you do, you will be wildly successful with it. But, still, wow. Good luck, my friend.

8:10 PM  
Blogger Foster D. Coburn III said...

Bob, glad I could be of assistance over the years. I'm not sure if my moving on is a foresight, but we'll all find out.

9:24 PM  
Blogger Foster D. Coburn III said...

Mel, thanks, I certainly will put my all into whatever comes next.

9:24 PM  
Blogger Elieser da Silveira said...

Fico triste em saber da notícia, admiro muitoseu talento e lhe acompanho a muitos anos. Assim como você eu também sou usuário do Corel desde a versão 2 e acredito que muitos nem sequer viram sua interface de perto. Parabéns e tenha um bom caminho em suas escolhas novas.

Grato por tudo que tem feito a comunidade corel no mundo todo. Boa sorte.

I am saddened to hear the news, I admire her talent and muitoseu accompany many years. Just like you I am also Corel user since version 2 and I believe that many do not even seen their interface near. Congratulations and have a nice new path in their choices.

Grateful for everything he has done community corel worldwide. Good luck

4:57 AM  
Anonymous James Leonard said...

Foster, you will always be the king of CorelDRAW training in my eyes. I wish you the very best in whatever you do next.

9:31 AM  
Blogger Foster D. Coburn III said...

Eliser, muito obrigado! James, thank you!

9:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

WoW.. But completely understandable. God luck! Without Foster there never would have been an AdvancedArtist.com. This is a huge loss for the CorelDRAW community!

Tom Knight www.advancedartist.com

9:49 AM  
Blogger Foster D. Coburn III said...

Thanks Tom, I've learned a lot from your tutorials over the years. It is sad that the community continues to shrink.

9:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am sorry to see you fold up the tent but fully understand your decision. Corel has changed from those great first days... Please keep me (and the rest of your followers) posted as to the future of Foster D. Coburn III

2:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for all the training tip over the years.
I still use them as training tools in my business for thew green artists.
Best of luck in the future

7:29 AM  
Blogger Michael Cervantes said...

Sad, but you was fighting a lost cause, Corel Corporation doesn’t feel passion for their products, Cowpland take it with him when he left, without it, an application can’t keep its user base. You are a fighter and an educator you will find new ways. I bet on you.

9:08 AM  
Anonymous Alan D said...

Foster - Good luck with your future projects

9:40 AM  
Blogger ecthompson said...

Thanks for several great years. I know that you have been doing Corel books for 20 years, I have only used CorelDraw in a limited way for over 10 years. You have turned a nearly impossible task into something that was relatively easy. I was able to create flyers and several websites based on your thoughtful instruction.

Thanks for all your hard work

3:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Best to you and thanks from a fellow Arizonian. Thank you for your honesty about Corel. I have been concerned about their quality for some time now. Joe in Glendale

3:48 PM  
Anonymous Dennis O'Brien said...

Fully understand your decision to stop supporting a diminishing base and I'm sure the hassle over the 6.1 upgrade made you decision a little easier. I've used Corel since version 1.2 (got it for free:)) and have a very narrow use for it. I've made probably 2,500+ artworks that were used to make chemically engraved patterns from which I've made over 125,000 car club plaques. I've always enjoyed and learned from your tutorials, great links and of course your Unleashed products. Sure sorry that it wasn't enough to put bread on the table. Good luck on your next venture and let us all know what it is:)

Dennis O'Brien

7:25 PM  
Anonymous Karl said...

Foster, I attended one of your seminars in Portland when you were teaching Corel Draw 8. I still have the notes. I'm 80 years old and just love to create things using the program. I've purchased a number of items in the past and have put them all to use. Maybe you could teach subjects on Lynda.com? Anyway, thanks for your help and I wish you the best!

11:56 AM  
Blogger Foster D. Coburn III said...

Thanks Karl, it is not a question of where to teach CorelDRAW, it is that today CorelDRAW users have very limited demand for training compared to years past. Or they they have the demand, they insist that everything is offered for free. Quite simply the answer is to provide help on subject matter where more users are in need of training or other assistance.

12:15 PM  
Blogger KrowTrayllis said...

Hey, Foster, so sorry to see you go! I've read your Unleashed newsletter for over ten years and I have them all saved in an email folder since the December 9, 2004 edition!
I've used Corel since version 1, both personally and professionally, and my design studio is actually on the books as being the first one to sign up as an official Corel Authorized Service Bureau ... I still have my certificate on the wall with the number SB 000001 ! Corel is the only design program I'm comfortable with and efficient at. Local designers and printers sometimes call me for advice! ... so, that said, now what do we do? Not get the new version and learn Adobe? Seems like everyone is loosing faith in Corel and who wants to be the last one using it? What's your advice?

1:30 PM  
Blogger Foster D. Coburn III said...

Krow, I'm not sure I can give you a definitive answer. I still use CorelDRAW for my graphics projects and I don't see that changing in the near future. Should you get the new version? I haven't yet installed it so I can't give my opinion right now. When I have installed it, I'll gladly share my thoughts. As with any product, I can only suggest users of the product give honest and detailed feedback about what is right and what is wrong to the makers of that product. While users complain about CorelDRAW not behaving they way that they want, rarely do they give detailed feedback about why it is wrong. Maybe one day the users will help Corel understand their mistakes.

2:06 PM  
Blogger Cynthia Moya said...

Corel has lost a true leader. I could be wrong but other than Graphics Unleashed where do people go to get help? Corel can't even respond to software support much less training of there product. I will buy your last Unleashed book because Corel has changed the whole guts of this program and this will lay out what is in store for us Corel users for the next few versions.
Thank you for all your had work. Without your knowledge and your team being at the forefront of this technology I wouldn't know what I know today.
Thanks again Foster!
Boot Camp X3 attendee,
CJ Moya

10:10 AM  
Blogger Cynthia Moya said...

Corel has lost a true leader. Without Graphics Unleashed there will be so many folks left in the dark. Corel can't even answer simple software related questions much less help its consumers learn the program. I started with Corel 3 and it was until I went to Boot Camp X3 that I truly learn how to use the software to it full potential. Foster without your knowledge and the team of people you surround yourself with I wouldn't be the advanced user I am today.
I am buying your last Unleashed book for 2 reasons, 1,Corel has changed the gut of it products and this will be what get me thru the next couple versions. 2, I want you to know I support all the hard work you do.
Thanks for all your hard work!
Cynthia

10:28 AM  

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