I Am Joe’s Blog:

November 11, 2004 • 12:36 PM

Take Control of Apple Mail

When I set out to write about Apple’s Mail application for the Take Control series, I had several long discussions with Adam and Tonya Engst about how to divide the material into chunks of the right size, since we generally aim for 50-page ebooks and we clearly had much more than 50 pages worth of content. But as I started writing, I quickly discovered that the subject matter didn’t lend itself to the kinds of divisions we had come up with. After several false starts, I gave up on splitting the information and just wrote it as one very long document, hoping that a logical way to split the text would emerge after the fact.

After a great deal of mulling over that manuscript, Tonya suggested that I could split off the portion about fighting spam (roughly 20 pages) and expand that into its own complete ebook. The rest of the material would then be reorganized into a second book. It took quite a bit of additional effort, but the final result was a $5, 59-page ebook called Take Control of Spam with Apple Mail and a $10, 89-page ebook called Take Control of Email with Apple Mail.

Now, after all that tedious splitting, the two pieces have been rejoined into a printed book from Peachpit called Take Control of Apple Mail. It’s a gorgeous book, in full color, and includes our trademark free updates—anyone who purchases the printed book is entitled to free downloads of any future editions of the PDF version we produce. Quite a deal.

The only problem was that the book was printed a few weeks too late to meet the reset deadlines for certain large retail book chains. So although you can find it on Amazon.com and in a few bookstores, most brick-and-mortar shops probably won’t carry it until after the first of the year, at which point its days may be numbered, depending on how dramatic the changes are to the version of Mail that ships with Tiger. (A complete rewrite of the book, for example, would be beyond the scope of the free updates.)

Still, it was very nice to get my name on the cover of yet another printed book with barely any extra effort.