If you've been following our Wednesday Pointers
column over the last nine weeks, you'll know that the column on that day was devoted to documenting the process of writing a book, and then turning that manuscript into a real, buyable, out-in-the-world e-book and paperback. That book, William Gallagher's The Blank Screen: Blogging
, is now available
-- and an e-book version of the columns has also been created
The series, written by our own William Gallagher with some assistance by MacNN
editor Charles Martin, is still available
here on the site, but as it turns out it was a handy idea to gather all nine weeks' worth of our software discoveries and recommendations, best practice and research tips, and the key elements in taking Gallagher's summer book project for the next tome in the The Blank Screen
series from idea to product into one handy guide.
The meta-book, if you will, is called Pixels and Paper: Writing and Publishing Books with Apple's OS X and iOS
, and combines the content of those nine Pointers
columns documenting the creation of The Blank Screen: Blogging
with some new content and expanded insights. Both are now available on the iBookstore for iBooks users, and Amazon
for Kindle readers
. The Blank Screen: Blogging
will teach readers not just how to set up a blog using one of the available popular web services, but also how to make that blog more than an online journal -- how to make it really helpful for those who read it, and meaningful for those writing them (which, in turn, inspires everyone involved).
Pixels and Paper
takes you through how the blogging book was created, and discusses making the leap from writer to (self) publisher. While traditional publishing is still a great way to go for many types of books, sometimes it is best -- and now, thanks to much-improved software, within our grasp -- to do it ourselves. For starters, the immediacy factor is fantastic: from the final installment of the series on the web site to having the e-book version available to buy on both virtual bookstores took two full, hard-working ... days. Try that with a traditional publisher.
Readers will learn about what software was used throughout, from the writing (and interviewing, and other non-writing parts of the writing) through to the production of the blogging book -- from outlining the initial idea to sending the files off for both e-book versions and print versions. As with any good story, this is not just listing a series of steps -- we considered a number of different software packages, and explained the ones we did and didn't use (and why), as well as detailing where missteps were made, and how to recover from that.
In short, if you have ever considered writing -- and in some cases publishing -- your own book, Pixels and Paper
is one of the most up-to-date and thorough guides available, with evidence that our system works -- in the form of a good book if you want to do a high-quality blog, ">The Blank Screen: Blogging
. We hope you'll consider purchasing one or both of the titles, and we hope to bring you more such publications -- filled with genuinely useful knowledge -- in the future.