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Ebooks on the way

Cherry blossomsMy real reason for putting the lunchtime series on hold so early this year is that a week of weeding cleared my mind enough that I realized I had six ebook ideas and I wanted to give myself time to work on them. With so many ideas, I don't quite know where to start, so I was hoping you'd chime in with a comment to let me know which of these top three would float your boat:

  • The Short, Sweet, and Self-sufficient Guide to Growing Backyard Mushrooms.  When Cat emailed me a few weeks ago to see if I would write an introductory post to growing edible mushrooms for her blog, I realized that the bits and pieces of information I've presented over here don't really make a coherent whole.  I tend to send people to books by Paul Stamets when they ask me for advice about getting started with mushrooms, but his books (although inspiring) make the process seem a lot more difficult than it really is.  I'm thinking of a short (maybe 20 to 40 page) ebook giving a brief explanation of mushroom biology, telling which species are easy to grow, introducing the simplest methods of growing them, and then covering home propagation.  My focus would be on tasty, cheap, and simple.
  • Chickens in Permaculture.  I don't really feel like I'm ready to write a definitive book about chickens in permaculture, but the great thing about ebooks is that you can put together the best information currently available, sell it for 99 cents so that lots of people will get inspired and start experimenting, then revise it later.  I'm envisioning this ebook being as short as the mushroom one and talking about the pros and cons of pastures, tractors, and deep bedding, which plants you can grow to feed your flock, other alternatives for making your own chicken feed, and types of chickens to consider when starting a self-sufficient flock.
  • The Weekend Homesteader --- Darren had the great idea of writing an ebook full of short projects that people can use to dip their toes into the vast ocean of homesteading without getting overwhelmed.  I stole his idea and Mark and I soon came up with a series of projects that would walk a beginner through planting their first lettuce bed, making an under-the-sink worm bin, scrounging supplies at the dump, and much more.  This ebook would be longer than the previous two and geared toward a generalized beginner rather than than to the more experienced homsteader.

Breaking off the chicken's feetOne of my goals with focusing on ebooks rather than on lunchtime series this summer is to reach more potential homesteaders.  I adore preaching to my choir, but my father pointed out that if I put ebooks up on Amazon for 99 cents, I'll find lots of new readers who might not have considered the homesteading lifestyle before they downloaded my ebook.

With that in mind, I hope I can ask you for another favor.  We currently have two ebooks up on Amazon, and although some random folks have found them, no one has left a review on either.  If you've bought Microbusiness Independence from us, please consider dropping by to leave a review.  And, if you're into butchering chickens, perhaps you'll consider our newly updated Eating the Working Chicken ebook, complete with dozens of photos to walk you through the entire process from coop to table.  I really appreciate you taking the time to help me with my ebook project!



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I really like the weekend homesteader idea - a gradual intro for folks that are excited about the idea of homesteading but not quite ready (or don't have the space) to dive in head first. Also, I didn't realize you had a chicken ebook - I plan to purchase that. I recently butchered my third chicken, and while I feel like I'm getting better at at the dressing part, there are some steps that I'm still a little awkward with. We have four teenagers that will be moved outside in three weeks and butchered at the end of fall, and I want to feel more confident about utilizing every part of the bird I can. Thanks!
Comment by sarah Tue Apr 12 13:19:49 2011
Thanks for the vote! I think that the weekend homesteader would also be the book that would reach out to the most people and pull in folks who aren't already the choir.
Comment by anna Tue Apr 12 14:10:52 2011
Definitely Weekend Homesteading - Brilliant!
Comment by Colin Tue Apr 12 16:49:53 2011
...with another vote for Weekend Homesteader!
Comment by anna Tue Apr 12 18:48:35 2011
Weekend Homesteading!
Comment by J Tue Apr 12 20:43:36 2011
. . . since my vote is for "Weekend Homesteader" too! The mushroom one was a close second, though. :)
Comment by Ikwig Tue Apr 12 21:56:09 2011
I'm glad I asked, because for some reason I thought the mushroom book would be more popular. I've decided to work on Weekend Homesteader instead, breaking it up into six parts so that I can get the first part to you all ASAP. I'm glad to see so much enthusiasm about it!
Comment by anna Wed Apr 13 08:08:43 2011
Quite frankly, any e-book you write would be on my list to get. I put a review on your Microbusiness one a few days ago but it did not show up. Just added a new one now and then read it can take 48 hours. Oh well, then there will be 2. :)
Comment by Heather Wed Apr 13 19:08:18 2011
Aw, thanks for saying that! Thank you to everyone who has left reviews over on Amazon, too --- hopefully that'll help folks who haven't heard of us decide the book is worth trying out.
Comment by anna Wed Apr 13 19:46:32 2011
Mushrooms with a close second Weekend Homesteader.
Comment by Fostermamas Thu Apr 14 00:59:50 2011
I'm glad to see someone in favor of mushrooms. That's the one I'd started writing, and I may slip it in between gaps in my Weekend Homesteader installments. Mushrooms are just so much fun... :-)
Comment by anna Thu Apr 14 17:34:31 2011

One very unique homestead, $1,500 per acre, the opportunity of a lifetime