You may have noticed that new posts haven’t been occurring around here with the normal regularity, and perhaps you thought I was busy buying gifts (that’s not until Christmas Eve!), training for the Dopey Challenge (aka eating fewer Christmas cookies), or because I had abandoned the blog to pursue my lifelong dream of becoming a professional POGs champion.
Actually, I’ve been hard at work preparing an eBook titled Vacation Kingdom at Christmas. Among other things, this has been taking a lot of my time as I’ve raced to have it ready before Christmas. First, the good news: this one is totally free. Now, the bad news: it’s not done yet.
My original goal was to release it tomorrow as Christmas is fast approaching and most people probably aren’t going to want to read this after Christmas. However, it turns out that creating an eBook takes longer than I remember, especially as I keep going back and tweaking things I’ve written and edit a ton of new photos for the book.
Speaking of photos, there are a lot of them! Thus far, I’ve edited roughly 75 brand new photos for the eBook, and I’m not done. I expect the total number of photos in the eBook to be over 300, but I haven’t taken the time to count, so that’s really just a guess.
Although there will be a lot of photos, this isn’t strictly a coffee table (err…coffee tablet?) eBook. As you can see in my “behind the scenes” design shot above, it also covers the history of Christmas celebrations at Walt Disney World, and offers extensive planning information and tips for doing the holidays at Walt Disney World. It’s sort of like the blog, except organized into one convenient pdf.
If you’re a Disney theme parks book buff like me, you should quickly notice that the cover is a nod to one of the most iconic souvenir books in Walt Disney World history, the eponymously titled Walt Disney World. I’ve gone to great lengths (7 hours and I’m still not happy with my “stencil” designs at the top) to create this cover, but owners of that title will a lot of other nods beyond the cover, from contextual references down to the font.
I did a couple of Disney eBooks a few years ago, but I have to say I’m much more excited about this one. Previously, the eBooks were sold, and with that came a certain pressure to comport with the general public’s expectations. By giving the thing away via the blog, I have no such pressures, and can stick with my vision and voice.
That means it’s written in the normal style of the blog, with obscure and irrelevant references thrown in, plus my rambling, conversational style. That’s either a good or bad thing depending upon your perspective. It has made the process a lot more fun for me, as I feel like I’m writing it for friends. I don’t have to worry about someone leaving a scathing review due to nonsensical references to ALF or an overly long ode to Baby Sinclair (and rest assured, this will have both). I get to go nuts, and hopefully whomever reads it enjoys it. If not, well, it was free–you only wasted your time reading it and I “only” wasted 100+ hours creating it.
With that said, I’ll level with you. We both know that there is no such thing as a free lunch, especially on the internet. There’s always a catch, whether that be providing your credit card number (oh sorry, our servers got hacked and someone in Pakistan bought a $3,000 mink coat with your info!) or trading in your first born child to claim your freebie.
In this case, I want neither your credit card nor your children. (Well, maybe the former but definitely not the latter.) The catch is that you have to sign up for our newsletter, as the link for downloading this free eBook will be sent to subscribers of the newsletter. The internet keeps telling me how important a “strong” email list is, and although I still don’t understand how this is applicable to me, I’m never one to doubt the wisdom of random unicorns. So, here we are.
While we don’t sell your newsletter to all the hottest pharmaceutical manufacturers or anyone else, rest assured that I will spam the heck out of you once I have your info. Like, emails every single day with photos of our cat and dog, political messages, chain mail “curses”, and all sorts of other garbage.
Or…just our newsletter with tips, links, and free wallpaper downloads 1-2 times per month (or less if I get overwhelmed with other stuff and forget to send it out).You probably get worse in your inbox on a daily basis. I view this as win-win: I get to have fun creating an eBook on subjects about which I’m passionate without having to worry about the unpleasant business side of things, and you get a potentially cool, free eBook without compromising your credit card.
Have any suggestions for the Walt Disney World Christmas eBook? Any specific topics you’d like to see covered? Any other feedback? We love hearing from readers, so please share your thoughts in the comments below!