The Fresh Loaf Pocket Book of Bread Baking
A week ago Dorota blogged that she baked her first loaf of bread (very successfully, I might add) as a part of a yet-to-be-revealed project we're working on. That project is an e-book for new bakers I'm putting together tentatively titled The Fresh Loaf Pocket Book of Bread Baking.
Most of the content in the e-book so far is repurposed from lessons and blog entries I've posted to the site in the past, condensed and edited into a tighter format. There is little here you can't already find on the site, but you might have to poke around and read 25 different posts and a couple of hundred comments to pull it all together. Here the posts are already filtered, sorted, and edited for you.
I've been thinking of this as more of an e-booklet than an e-book since it is much less complete than the "real" baking books many of us already own. Like my initial lessons on this site, I'm hoping this can provide that first successful baking gateway experience ("I really did it! All by myself!") that leads folks to become as unhealthily obsessed with bread as most of us have become (unhealthily mentally, I mean, not physically). At that point we can introduce them to the likes of Mr. Reinhart and Mr. Hamelman and share with them the photos of our starters (each with a name!) and all that other silly stuff only fellow bread nerds will appreciate.
This e-book will probably not be instructive to the kinds of folks who frequent this site -- in fact, in order to not confuse new bakers like my wife I often oversimplify what we know to be quite complex processes. Confidence building is much more the goal here than a nuanced understanding of all the factors involved in baking.
I do intend to make more revisions, one of which is to call more attention to the TFL site at various points ("To learn more, come check out..."), but I've been trying to make it as self-contained as I possibly could without making it meandering or bloated. That is actually quite a challenge for someone as accustomed to publishing online as I am and for whom hyperlinking is second nature.
Some but not all of the Kindle formatting is in the manuscript currently, so if you download it be aware that there is extra white space in the PDF and the table of contents links don't all work in the Kindle file. That will come.
I would like to wrap this up and publish it to the Amazon and Barnes & Noble e-book stores in the not-too-distant future. Price-wise, I've imagined asking no more than $5 for it, probably closer to $3. Yes, I'd be pleased if it generated some income, but I'd be more excited to see it sell better at a lower price and make its way up the e-book charts on Amazon and thus introduce more people to bread baking (and this community) than it would at a higher price.
I'm interested in folks' feedback, both conceptually ("Great idea!") and in execution ("...but your writing stinks!"). If you have a chance to look at it, please email me to let me know what you think of it so far. I'll leave these links up for the next few days then remove them some time next week when I start making further edits.
Download links removed 6/25/2011.