I’m very excited (and proud) to announce that on March 3rd, 2016 I reached a long-term goal I set for myself 3½ years ago, by self-publishing my first book, The Linux Sysadmin’s Guide to Virtual Disks. The book is published under my new brand, Scribe’s Guides.
The first edition of The Virtual Disk Guide has been a long time coming. Nearly 7 years of on-and-off writing have gone into it. I’m relieved to have made it this far.
I view the book as the definitive reference guide for virtual disk related activities — clear, concise, accurate, and approachable to readers of all skill levels— but that’s just my opinion. You can decide that for yourself.
The book is quite thoroughly cited and annotated with nearly 100 individual footnotes and references to additional learning resources. The book weighs in at around 80 pages, 7 chapters, and two technical appendices. Here’s the byline from the scribesguides.com website:
The Linux Sysadmin’s Guide to Virtual Disks demonstrates the core concepts of virtual disk management. Real-world problems are covered in the book’s “Cookbook” section. Other topics include: helper utilities, disk formats, troubleshooting tips, performance considerations, and comprehensive appendices.
Or do both! Say “thanks!” by purchasing a copy, and then enjoy the latest builds online forever, for free!
 – The original first edition text is also available for free in PDF and HTML formats and is identical to the print copy
The official publishing of The Virtual Disk Guide does not change anything about it’s openness or your freedom to remix it however you wish. The book is still freely licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License (CC BY-SA 4.0).
All of the source material used to build the book’s body material and cover images are still free and open source, covered under the same license. All digital media displayed in the book, such as figures and the cover art, was created using free/open source software. Each media item was created and saved in digital formats unencumbered by patents.
As ever, if you identify errors in the book or have thought of a way to improve it, please open a ticket on the GitHub issue tracker. If you’ve read a copy of the book already and would like to contribute a review or statement, feel free to reach out to me. Find my email in a github commit, or look at my other contact methods under the author highlight panel on scribesguides.com.
The experience of writing and publishing this book has taught me much, and it’s time to spread that information. Check back soon for a follow-up post I’m writing which covers more of the technical side of self-publishing. Specifically, self-publishing a DocBook 5 document at the on-demand printing website lulu.com.
Let me be explicitly clear, this is not a promotion for lulu.com.
Rather, the post will review some of the technical challenges I encountered (old examples: #1, #2, #3) during the publishing process, including challenges specific to Lulu. Such as, how I customized the PDF output from dblatex to look more personal and less generically academic, why I had to order three proof copies of the book before the cover matter printed in decent quality, and how to adjust your inner and outer page margins so there’s a reasonable amount of whitespace between the spine/binding and the body text.
I have a feeling that by the time I’m done with the blog posts I’m going to have written another book of documentation about how I wrote a book of documentation