SSH Mastery Round-Up

I went to bed last night, satisfied that I had gotten SSH Mastery uploaded to the various ebook sites. I figured that I’d contact some people about doing reviews this weekend, maybe generate one or two sales. Awoke to discover ten copies sold while I slept. And I received a whole bunch of messages via Twitter, Facebook, and email. Rather than try to answer them all individually, I decided to answer here.

If you’ve bought the book: thank you! Please consider leaving a review on your ebook site and/or Amazon, it would seriously help me out.

SSH Mastery is currently available via Smashwords and Kindle, and Nook. The Nook version seems to be missing it’s cover, I’ll take that up with B&N once I post this.

Want it in your preferred format? Permit me to direct you to Smashwords. Buy the book once, get it in any or all of ten different formats, from epub to PDF to old formats like PalmDoc and LRF. It doesn’t sync to your device, but you can read it anywhere, and it’s stored “In The Cloud (ooooh!)”. There is no DRM, on any version where I control DRM. SSH Mastery is only $9.99. If someone goes to the trouble to illicitly download a tightly-focused, task-specific tech book that’s less expensive than lunch, well, they suck. Please tell them that.

Once Smashwords finishes digesting the book, they will feed it to iBooks, Kobo, and all the other online retailers. I have no insight into how long this will take. If you sight SSH Mastery on iBooks or Kobo, please let me know! Actually, I’m shocked that Smashwords was able to process the highly-formatted original document. Their Meatgrinder only takes Microsoft Word files, and my file was full of headers and in-document hyperlinks and text styles and images. It’s obviously much improved over the early days. Following their instructions works. Amazing, that.

There will be a print version. The print layout person works from the same files I feed to the ebookstores. The print will take time. She will lay out a chapter for me, so that I can approve a rough design. She will then lay out the entire book. That will give us a page count and let me do the index. We’ll proof that a few times, to catch any errors, and then kick it out to the printer. But I didn’t want to delay the ebook until the print was ready.

The page count is critical. Page count dictates the price. I’m 90% confident of the price, but I can’t announce it until I know. Once I have the price, we can start taking pre-orders. Now, I don’t have the infrastructure to take pre-orders. Any number of third-party companies would hold your money in escrow until I delivered the books to them. That would take a whole bunch of legal agreements, and frankly, I’m too dang lazy to be bothered.

Especially when the OpenSSH/OpenBSD folks already have that infrastructure, and they have an existing trust relationship with the community. I plan to let them have the books at my cost plus expenses (shipping and CreateSpace fulfillment costs, not sunk costs), to funnel some money into OpenSSH. CreateSpace is doing the printing, so I don’t think I can offer an exclusivity window — once I order a crate of books, Amazon will list and ship to their direct customers. But I will ship those books at the earliest opportunity.

I’m also looking for a solution to let me sell print/ebook combinations. That’s how I like my books, after all. I can work out a cost-effective solution that doesn’t involve me hand-mailing books, I’ll do it.

But you want the book now. You really do. Mind you, I know all of my readers are good people. You don’t use passwords with SSH. You tightly secured all of your SSH servers. You know when and how to forward ports, and X11, and when to use a SSH VPN. But you know people who need this book. You know people who think that SSH-ing in as root with a password is a good idea. Make them buy the book. For their own good.

8 Replies to “SSH Mastery Round-Up”

  1. Just to clarify, the PDF available from Smashwords is the one typeset by you (i.e., fully formatted), right? There’s no sample on their website for previewing… I live overseas, and I intend to buy a copy and print it on my own to avoid serious shipping expenses.

  2. Rafael, the PDF from Smashwords is created from a fully formatted MS Word document.

    All the formatting remains in my copy. If some is missing, I’ll fix it as soon as I learn of it.


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