86,000 words. Hundreds of articles. The cream of the crop. The most informative, penetrating, useful, controversial, opinionated, wild, and absurd posts I've done over the first several years of this blog. That was Planet Lactose: The Best of the Blog. The book is still available. From me, in fact. Just go over to Planet Lactose Publishing to order it.
Paper is out, I know. Electrons are in. But the formatting of the book, with many quotes, large numbers of pictures, and lots of sections, meant that it was a nightmare to convert into digital form and not make it an unholy mess that would offend the eyeballs.
Finally, though, after many, many hours of reformatting, the digital edition is ready to go.
I've posted it on Smashwords.com, a writer-friendly multi-platform site that converts your manuscript in almost every major format that anyone could want to download.
This is the format Smashwords distributes to the Apple iBookstore, Sony, Kobo, B&N, Stanza, Aldiko and others. Also very popular with Smashwords.com customers. EPUB is an open industry format.
Sony Reader (LRF)
LRF is the format used on older Sony Reader ebook devices. The newer Sony Readers use EPUB.
This is one of the most popular formats for Smashwords.com customers. Mobipocket is an eBook format supported on the Kindle, as well as Windows PCs and many handheld devices.
Palm Doc (PDB)
PalmDoc is a format primarily used on Palm Pilot devices, but readers are available for PalmOS, Symbian OS, Windows Mobile Pocket PC/Smartphone, desktop Windows, and Macintosh.
Portable Document Format, or PDF, is a file format readable by most devices, including handheld e-readers, PDAs, and computers.
Rich Text Format, or RTF, is a cross-platform document format supported by many word processors and devices. Usually pretty good at preserving original formatting from Word documents.
Plain text is the most widely supported file format, working on nearly all readers and devices. It lacks formatting, but will work anywhere.
That's great. Here's something even better. Smashwords sells the book to you directly. Just go to my page.
You can view it online or download to an astounding number of formats.
Anyway you want it, the ebook price is a low, low $4.95. That's less than a penny for each hour of work that went into it! Seriously.
It gets better. Smashwords would like you to buy directly from them. But you don't have to. They make the book available at all the major online sellers, so you can get it along with any other of the million books available electronically.
For example, if you happen to be at Barnes & Noble just add it to your shopping bag.
Only one tiny problem remains, and I'm working to take care of that. Although you can get the book in .mobi format and you can read that on a Kindle, you can NOT buy it directly from Amazon. Soon, though, I hope.
UPDATE: As of September 15, 2011, you can so too buy it directly from Amazon. Go to this page to download it.
In the meantime, however, I can't think of many needs that Smashwords isn't already covering. You can even read a large sample of the book for free.
And the book has been completely updated to ensure that all the URLs given are live, that the products listed are still available, that unavailable products or sites have been eliminated, and comments or updates added wherever necessary.
It's finally ready to go. And that means I can return to posting on this blog. You'll see new posts starting September 5. And then everything is back to normal.