MagCloud Offers Free Magazines for iPad Users

Print on demand goes digital for free.

MagCloud Logo

I’ve been using MagCloud for some time now to create marketing material and, for a while, a monthly newsletter about flying around Arizona in a helicopter. It was suggested to me by a reader of my blog and once I saw what it was all about, I ran with it. I’m not the only one. Hundreds of people are releasing monthly or quarterly magazines using MagCloud’s print-on-demand features. Of those, a bunch are also taking advantage of a new feature that makes it possible to automatically publish magazines in an iPad-compatible digital format.

This is a great thing for iPad owners looking for interesting new reading material. There are dozens of beautiful, full-color magazines that you can download for free onto your iPad. All you need is the MagCloud iPad app, which is also free from the iPad App Store.

MagCloud Magazine StoreHere’s how it works.

  1. Download the app and install it on your iPad.
  2. Open the app and use it to visit MacCloud’s Magazine Store.
  3. Browse by topic or search for a specific title.
  4. Tap a magazine you want. It’s downloaded to your iPad.
  5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 as desired to download multiple magazines. They’ll appear in the My Magazines screen.
  6. Landscape ViewTap a downloaded magazine to read it. In portrait mode, it appears as a single page. In landscape mode, it appears as a spread. You can pinch and drag to magnify and scroll.

MagCloud is an excellent print-on-demand publisher for magazine-style publications. I highly recommend it. And if you’re an iPad user, I hope you’ll check out MagCloud’s app and the free magazines you can download.

Be sure to do a search for “helicopter” and take a look at some of mine.

Just Because It’s Free Doesn’t Mean You Should Waste It

I’ve become the power police.

My Neighbor's TrailerThis photo shows the trailer parked in the spot next to mine. It’s been here longer than me and I suspect it isn’t going anywhere soon.

For a while, a family of four and dog lived in it. They kept weird hours. They’d come home between 9 PM and 11 PM, make a bunch of noise, and then go inside and (I assume) sleep. Occasionally, before turning in, one of them would do something in the car with the key in the ignition and the door open so it would beep-beep-beep for 20 minutes at a time. In the morning, around 10 AM to 11 AM, the door would open and they’d begin spilling out in their pajamas. After screwing around at the trailer for a while, they’d leave. The whole process would start again that night.

About a month ago, they started leaving the “porch” light on. This makes sense when you know you’re going to get in late, but what bugged me is that they never turned it off. And while this isn’t a huge deal if they’re parked all by themselves, their porch light is about 10 feet from one of my bedroom windows. It’s so bright outside at night that I actually woke up in the middle of the night last week and thought it was morning.

It was morning. One o’clock in the morning.

I considered asking them to turn if off at night when they got in, but I was too embarrassed. They were a family of four in a 20-year-old 22-foot travel trailer with a dog. I was a family of one in a brand new 36-foot fifth wheel trailer with a parrot. I had no right to whine.

About two weeks ago, they started leaving the air conditioning on all day long, even when they — and their little dog — were out. They also left the two top vents and one of the windows open. Air conditioning on, windows closed isn’t bad. Air conditioning off, windows open is good. But air conditioning on, windows open is wasteful — especially when no one is home.

The campground we’re in is dirt cheap: $200 per month for a full hookup! There’s no electric meter, so you can suck as much power as you want. But that doesn’t mean you should suck power when you don’t need to. Or blatantly waste it.

About a week ago, they stopped coming home. I don’t know where the hell they are. For all I know, they’ve been deported.

So now there’s a vacant trailer next door with its porch light on, shining into my bedroom window, and the air conditioning blowing cold air out the open vents and windows. 24/7.

It gets cool here at night — in the 60s most nights. The kind of night you want to leave your windows open to feel the fresh breeze and hear the wind in the trees.

Of course, with windows and blinds open, I get to hear the air conditioning from next door and have that damn light shining on me.

I mentioned the light to some folks I had dinner with last night. They all told me to pull the bulb out.

But last night, I did something better. I snuck around to their electrical box and turned off their circuit breaker. Instant silence, instant dark.

I slept very well last night.

They didn’t come home. Although I was tempted to leave everything turned off, I know they have an electric refrigerator — the kind you buy for a dorm room; I saw them bring it in the day I moved in — and I was worried that the food inside it (if there was any) would spoil. So before taking my walk this morning, I flicked everything back on.

Tonight, I’ll flick it off again.

I figure that if they show up, they’ll just assume the circuit breaker popped. Maybe they’ll even get the idea that they shouldn’t leave the air conditioning on when they’re not around.

Copy Editing – Part I: What Is Copy Editing?

Copy editing — an important part of the publishing process.

Prepare yourself for the usual author rant — but with a difference. This one is coming from an author who just completed her 69th book. An author who has worked with about eight different publishers and dozens of copy editors over the course of 15 years.

So no, this isn’t a newbie writer griping about a heavy-handed editor on her first or second book. It’s coming from someone who has been doing this for a long time and feels as if she’s “seen it all.”

I’ve taken this topic and split it into three parts. In this part, I’ll start off with an introduction to the topic of copy editing and tell you what I believe it should be.

Stet!What is Copy Editing?

The purpose of copy editing should be to ensure that the original text is:

  • Free of spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors. Note the use of the word “error” here; that’ll be important later in this discussion.
  • Consistent with a publisher style guide. A style guide, in the world of publishing, is a document that sets forth usage in those gray areas. I’m talking about capitalization issues such as web vs. Web, hyphenation issues such as email vs. e-mail, and design issues such as boldfacing figure references.
  • Clear and easy to understand. This usually involves breaking up long or complex sentences or possibly rearranging sentence components.
  • Unlikely to be misinterpreted. For example, when you say the “Color in pop-up menu,” do you mean a pop-up menu named “Color in” or are you talking about color in a pop-up menu?
  • Consistent with the writing style of the established book or series. This only comes into play when you’re writing for a series that has a predefined format and style. For example, Visual QuickStart Guides (VQSes) tend to be short and to the point, so I don’t have room for personal stories, as I do in other books. VQSes also have level 2 headings that begin with the word “To” and are followed by numbered steps, each of which presents a single task. (I could list about a dozen style issues specific to a VQS, but you get the idea.)

Flowers for AlgernonOf course, what you’re writing should determine how much of the above is required. If you’re writing a novel much of this may not apply at all. Consider the book, Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes. The book’s first person narrator is a retarded man. The book is in journal format and the first few chapters are so full of spelling and punctuation errors (or omissions) that the book is difficult to read. But that’s because of the author’s choices and the method he uses to communicate. Would you expect a retarded man to have perfect spelling, grammar, and punctuation? Of course not. The author is using the character’s shortcomings as a writer to make his character more real — as well a to drive home the changes in the character as the story progresses. This technique was used again more recently in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, which featured an autistic first-person narrator. If a copy editor had done a thorough job on the grammar or punctuation in either of these two books, he would have altered the characters. The same can be said for dialog in most novels, since few people speak using perfect grammar.

So copy editing of fiction is a different subject — one I’m not addressing here. I’m discussing copy editing of non-fiction, primarily technical or how-to books, since that’s where my experience is.

More to Come…

This is the first part of my discussion of copy editing. There are at least two more parts to go. In the next part, I’ll rant a bit about my experiences with one particular book over the ten-year course of its life (so far). You’d think that after 10 years, the process would be trouble-free…

Why not take a moment to tell us what you think copy editing should be. How do you expect it to change or improve your writing? Use the comments link or form to share your thoughts.

eBooks

Some thoughts from a writer (and reader).

Earlier this month, I wrote a post that briefly touched upon my experience as an author finding my copyrighted books freely distributable on a pirate Web site. (Refer to “Copyright for Writers and Bloggers – Part I: Why Copyright is Important.”) The post generated some comments that made me think more about the electronic versions of my books that my publishers sell: eBooks.

About eBooks

An eBook is an electronic book. While some eBooks are published in electronic format only, others are published in print and then are followed up with eBook versions of the same book.

Sometimes both print and eBook versions of a book are put out by the same publisher. This is common with modern-day titles. But there are also a number of eBook publishers out there who take older titles that are still in copyright and make arrangements with the publisher or author to create and sell eBook versions. And, of course, anyone can take an out-of-copyright book, like the works of Mark Twain, Charles Dickens, Edgar Allan Poe — the list goes on and on — and publish them anyway they like: in print, electronically, or even tattooed on someone’s leg. Project Gutenberg came into existence by making out-of-copyright works available to the world and that’s what you’ll find among its thousands of titles.

eBooks are available in a wide variety of formats, from plain text to PDF to Windows Help Viewer format. They can include or exclude illustrations. They can contain hyperlinks to make it easy to move from one topic to another. They can be printable as a single document or by pages or sections.

My first involvement with eBooks was way back in the 1990s when I used a program called DocMaker on the Mac to create my monthly, freely distributable newsletter, Macintosh Tips & Tricks. I later moved to PDF format. 10 Quick Steps, one of my publishers, publishes all of its books as PDFs optimized for onscreen reading. I later published some of my own eBooks in the same format.

eBooks and Copyright

eBooks are usually sold with the same licensing used for software. One copy, one user. This is pretty basic stuff. Although I admit that I’ve never read an EULA for an eBook, I assume that if an buyer is finished with it and wants to give his/her only copy to someone else, he can. After all, that’s how books work. And, as someone who has legally transferred ownership of software by selling it (after removing the original from my computer), I’m pretty sure eBooks have a legal second hand market.

Unfortunately, due to their portable nature — pop them on a CD or compress them and send them in email or leave them on an FTP server for others to download — they are often the victim of piracy and copyright infringement. People put eBooks — whether they obtained them from legal means or not — on pirate Web sites, FTP servers, or other file sharing systems for free or paid download to anyone who wants them.

As this problem becomes more and more widespread, readers begin to think that there’s nothing wrong with downloading and sharing illegally distributed eBooks. They begin looking to illegal sources of eBooks rather than legal sources, hoping to save $10 or $15 or $20. They justify their participation in this illegal activity by saying that “knowledge should be free” or that the publisher makes enough money or that eBooks cost nothing to produce. And soon this affects the sale of both printed and electronically published books.

Who Suffers?

Are you an author concerned about illegal distribution of your eBooks? You may be interested in the new Authors Against Piracy group I’ve started to discuss the issue and share solutions. It’s a private group, so you’ll need an invitation to join. Contact me to introduce yourself. Be sure to identify your most recent published work; the group is open to published authors only.

The real victim of this is the author, who often makes less than a dollar for every book sold.

Most authors these days can’t afford to just write for a living. Some of them have regular day jobs. Others are consultants or speakers or programmers or some combination of those things.

About 95% of my net income comes from writing books and articles. My helicopter charter business, which is still in its infancy, eats up all the cash it brings in. (Helicopters are extremely costly to own and operate.) And between writing and flying, I simply don’t have time to do anything else to earn money.

So when I find my books being illegally distributed on pirate Web sites, I get angry. Can you blame me?

Is It Worth It?

In the comments for my “Copyright is Important” post, reader Nathanael Holt asked this question: “Do your digital sales warrant the increased risk posed by piracy?”

This is a really good question — one I had to go to my royalty statements to answer. And, after a quick glance at that most recent 60-page document, I’d have to say no.

For example, one of my recent titles sold more than 2,600 printed copies in the quarter ending March 31, 2007. That same title sold only 2 electronic “subscriptions.” Another title, which is older and which I have found online on pirate sites, had 9 copies of the PDF sold during the same quarter, earning me less than $15.

My conclusion from this: eBook versions of my books aren’t selling very well. And apparently the ones that get out there are going to pirate Web sites.

I’ve e-mailed my publisher’s royalty department to get lifetime figures for all of my in-print titles. I’m hoping the numbers they deliver will paint a more rosy picture. But I doubt it.

I’m an eBook Reader, Too

This is disappointing for me. You see, I’m an eBook reader.

A while back, I was looking for a book about .htaccess. That’s a normally invisible configuration file found on servers. I wanted to modify the .htaccess file for my Web site so it would do certain things for me.

This is an extremely technical topic and one I didn’t expect to find a book about. But I did: The Definitive Guide to Apache mod_rewrite by Rich Bowen. And after a bit of research, I learned that I could either buy the book from Amazon.com for $40 and wait a week to get it or buy it as an eBook in PDF format from the publisher’s Web site for $20 and download it immediately. I admit that the deciding factor was the length of the book: 160 pages. Since I like to be able to look at a computer-related book (rather than switch back and forth between a book and an application onscreen), I could print it for reference.

And that’s what I did: I downloaded the book as a DRM-protected PDF and sent it to my printer. Within an hour, I had the whole thing in a binder and was editing my .htaccess file to my heart’s content, with all kinds of notes jotted in the margins of my new reference book. (That’s another thing: I’m far more likely to mark up a printed eBook than a printed and bound traditionally-published book.)

I also read eBooks on my Treo (when I’m trapped somewhere with nothing to do).

The only reason I don’t buy and read more eBooks to read onscreen is because I think I spend enough time in front of a computer without using one to read, too.

What Does All this Mean?

Well, first I need some solid information from my publisher regarding lifetime eBook sales. Then I need to sit down with my editor (figuratively, of course — we never see each other in person) and decide whether eBook editions of my work are something we want to continue to publish. If we decide to go forward, we need to come up with a solution that will protect eBooks from piracy.

What Do You Think?

Have you ever bought an eBook? Why did you buy that version instead of a traditional print version? Did you like it? What do you think about eBooks in general: pricing, formats, licensing, etc?

Don’t keep it all to yourself! Use the Comments link or form to share your thoughts with me and other readers.

I Don’t Like Being Seriously Dugg

The activity finally winds down — I think.

In yesterday’s post, “Getting Seriously Dugg,” I reported the history of a blog post that rose quickly to stardom in the world of Digg users. But that report was done early in the day, before the shit hit the fan (so to speak).

The Heat is On

The Digg count continued to rise throughout the day. And the hits kept coming. All morning long, there were at least 100 visitors online at my site at once. This is not normal here. And it was rather frightening. I kept expecting something to break.

But it wasn’t just the popular Digg post that was getting hits. It was the post about getting Dugg, too. Soon, it had more hits than the dugg post — even though it wasn’t dug by anyone at all. I’m still trying to figure that one out.

Things came to a head at 11:15 AM when I got an e-mail message from my ISP:

Our Hosting Operations Admins have alerted us to an issue with your hosting account. The account has overutilized resources within the shared environment. As a result, the account has been moved to an isolated server for Terms of Service violators. You have 30 days to research and resolve this issue. After this time, the account will be evaluated again. If the issue is resolved, the account will be migrated back to the shared environment. If it persists, you will need to move to a full Dedicated server.

I got on the phone immediately and called my ISP. To my knowledge, I hadn’t violated any terms of service by getting hits. My plan allows 2,000 GB of bandwidth per month. The billing month starts on the third — that day. So far, in all the years I’ve hosted there, I’ve never exceeded 6% of my monthly allowance. Just because I was getting 30 times the usual number of hits I get in a day, it was still not much more than I’d get in a total month. So there was no way I’d even come close to 10% of the monthly allowance — let alone exceed it.

The guy who answered the phone was extremely polite but equally clueless. He had to talk to Advanced Hosting. He couldn’t let me talk to them. They gave him a song and dance about too many domain names pointing to the same site. He attempted to hand the same thing to me. I told him that that shouldn’t matter since none of those domain names were advertised anywhere. Besides, there were only about a dozen of them pointing to one site and maybe 15 pointing to another. I wasn’t aware of any limitation.

“I’ve been dugg,” I told him. When I got no answer, I asked, “Do you know what that means?”

“No,” he said.

I explained that it meant that one of my blog’s posts had become very popular and that people were flocking to my site to read it. I told him this was a temporary thing and that it should be back to normal by the end of the day. I hoped.

He told me that if I continued to get so many hits to my site, I’d have to get a dedicated server. I told him I’d evaluate after I’d seen my stats for the day. (My account is updated daily in the middle of the night.)

We hung up.

A Brief Intermission

I went flying. I took a couple from Virginia on an hour-long helicopter tour in the Wickenburg area. I showed them mine sites and canyons from the air. We saw a lot of cows, too. Afterward, I goofed off at the airport, chatting with two jet pilots who’d come in and were waiting for passengers. Then I went shopping for dinner. I got home and had a snack. Then I looked at Digg. It was 4 PM.

What Happened in Five Hours

The post that had started it all now had more than 1,200 diggs. It had been viewed almost 30,000 times. The post about that post, which hadn’t been dugg at all, had been viewed more than 40,000 times.

But thankfully, there were only 33 people online. So the flood had begun to subside.

On the Digg Technology page, my dugg post was listed near the bottom, under newly popular. (Ironically, on the same page, near the top, was a post about how Digg was losing popularity. That had more than 1,200 diggs, too.)

The Morning After

It’s the next day. I can now look back objectively on my blog’s day with a Digg Top 10 Tech post by studying some of the stats for the day and how the differ from other days.

My ISP reports that for the first day of my billing period — yesterday — I used up .55% (that’s just over half a percent, folks) of my monthly bandwidth. That means that if every day was like yesterday, I’d still come in at less than 20% allowable bandwidth. So I don’t know what “terms of service violation” they were whining about.

W3Counter, which I use to track page hits and visits, says I got just over 27,000 page hits yesterday. Look at the chart below; it makes my site look flat-line dead before yesterday. Honestly — it wasn’t that dead.

Hits

Today’s hits are about 3 times a normal day. Nice, but I’m willing to bet it drops down to normal within the next few days.

W3Counter also sent me an e-mail message warning me that their free service doesn’t cover sites that get more than 5,000 hits a day.They say I need to upgrade to a pro account for $4.95/month. We’ll see how long before they disable my current account — I’m not paying them to tell me how many hits I get when I can easily set up some stat software with a free WordPress plugin. (ShortStats, which we wrote about in our WordPress book, comes to mind.)

(I have not been able to reconcile page hits as reported by W3Counter with article reads as reported by a WordPress plugin. I have a sneaking suspicion that the WordPress plugin counts bots.)

Digg, as a source of hits, kicked Google out of the top spot on my site. Google used to account for 54% of my visitors. Now, for the 14-day period tracked by W3Counter, Digg is the big source. Google doesn’t even make the list any more, with all the different Digg URLs people used to find my site. So my sources stat is completely skewed and pretty much useless for the next 13 days. And 93% of the hits in the past 14 days have been to the 18-year-old mouse story.

Meanwhile, WP-UserOnline reports that yesterday saw the most users online at once on this site: 375. I don’t think this site will ever see that many concurrent users again.

My RSS feed subscriptions have more than doubled. That’s great. (If you’re a new subscriber, thanks for tuning in. And don’t worry — I don’t write about Digg every day.) It’ll be interesting to see if that number continues to climb or if I manage to scare all the new folks off by failing to provide more Diggable content on a daily basis.

My Google AdSense revenue for yesterday was right in line with an average high day. When you consider that I got about 20 times my normal number of page hits yesterday, you might think that I’d get 20 times the revenue. I didn’t. Obviously, Digg users don’t click Google ads.

The last I checked, the 18-year-old mouse story got just over 1,357 Diggs. I think that I actually encouraged the extra Diggs by placing the Digg icon at the top of the post. I’ve since taken it away from all posts.

I’ve realized that I don’t want to be seriously Dugg. Other than the surge in new RSS subscribers, there really isn’t any benefit to it.

What do you think?

Have you been slammed by being dugg? How did it affect your hosting account or other services? Use the Comments link or form to let the rest of us know.

Harry Potter Fever

I’m done.

I’ll admit it: I’m a Harry Potter fan. I think the books are well-written and entertaining. And I think the movies are extremely well done, faithful to the books in such a way to satisfactorily bring the author’s scenes to life.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Book 7)I’ll admit this, too: I ordered the final Harry Potter book three months ago. I ordered it from Amazon.com with another item, chose free shipping, and waited. I wasn’t in a rush. I just wanted my collection complete. Amazon shipped the other item immediately and put my HP order on hold until it was time to ship it.

Last week, Amazon sent me an e-mail suggesting that I upgrade shipping so I’d get the book on its publication date. I wasn’t in a hurry to get the book so I ignored the e-mail.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Book 6)Meanwhile, I was listening to the Slate Political Gabfast podcast. One of the staff mentioned that the audio books for Harry Potter were excellent. Since I didn’t remember much of the sixth Harry Potter book, I figured I’d try it as an audio book. I ordered it from Amazon.com. They gave me a free trial to Amazon Prime. Free 2-day shipping for a month (when I’ll cancel to avoid the outrageous $79 annual fee). I figured the audio book would arrive before the printed book. I could listen to book 6 and read book 7.

I got an e-mail from Amazon.com on Thursday to let me know that my HP book had shipped. I could expect it by July 26. Fine. I was in no hurry.

So imagine my surprise when I opened my mailbox yesterday — two days after being told the book had shipped — and the book was in there. On the publication date. With free shipping. And the darn thing had cost me less than $20 — about half the retail price. Not bad.

So now I faced a dilemma.: read the book right away or wait until after listening to the Book 6 audio, which still hadn’t arrived.

Yesterday afternoon, after a pleasant day Jeeping on dirt roads and an even more pleasant shower, I cracked open the 700+ page final book of the Harry Potter series. The reason I didn’t wait: I was afraid that someone would spoil it for me by telling me the end.

I was 1/3 finished when I went to bed at about 10 PM last night. This morning, I got right back into it with my breakfast. By 12:30 PM, I was finished.

I won’t tell the ending. In my opinion, anyone who does is a major-league asshole. That includes the people who ripped off copies before they were released and published them on the Web. It also includes the reviewers for the New York Times who released plot points in a review the day before the book was released.

I will say that the ending works. That’s it.

I think J.K. Rowling has done a fine job on this series. Although a lot of the books were a bit longer than they needed to be, I think that gave readers — especially those who can’t crank through a 700+ page book in 8 hours — more for their money. It helped them stay in the fantasy world of Harry Potter and his friends for just a little bit longer.

Is the whole Harry Potter thing worth the ridiculous hype? In my opinion, no.

But then again, in today’s world, people seem anxious to grab on to any hype they can. It’s better to latch on to Harry Potter’s struggle against evil than Paris Hilton’s short prison stay — or to stand in line for an iPhone.

Isn’t it?

As for that Book 6 Audio…I look forward to hearing it. If it’s half as good as the Slate podcaster claims, I’ll enjoy it immensely.

Quick Dill Sauce

Good on salmon.

Everyone knows what it’s like to be at the right place at the right time. It’s when special things happen.

We were at the right place — Mike’s mom’s apartment — at the right time — when a neighbor came by with vacuum-sealed packages of freshly frozen salmon. The neighbor and her husband had just returned from a trip to Alaska, where her husband had gone salmon fishing. He’d had 50 pounds of salmon shipped home. Evidently, their freezer wasn’t big enough to accommodate it all.

The salmon looked beautiful and was frozen solid. She was gracious enough to give us three packages of it — enough to feed six people. We stopped off at the local supermarket for a cooler bag and stored the fish and some ice in it for the trip back to Arizona.

One piece remained pretty much frozen solid. The other two were defrosted, but very cold. We had one for dinner last night and will probably eat the other tomorrow.

During dinner last night, Mike said it might have been the best salmon he’d ever had in his life. I certainly can’t remember having any salmon that was better.

Fresh Dill WeedTo go with it, I wanted to make some dill sauce. Dill goes really well with fish, especially salmon. A nice sauce would be a change in the way we usually eat salmon — just grilled with salt, pepper, and lemon. I asked Mike to pick up a packet of Knorr dill sauce mix at the local supermarket. As might be expected, they didn’t have any. They didn’t have any fresh dill, either. So Mike came home with a squeeze tube of “dill blend.” I read the ingredients. Dill was one of them. I couldn’t pronounce many of the others. But, in an effort to make the best of a not-perfect situation, I set about finding a dill sauce recipe that I could make with what I had in the house, which did not include cream, sour cream, yogurt, or anything resembling cream.

I tracked down a recipe that used mayonnaise. We had some of that. Although the recipe didn’t sound very enticing, we had plenty of dill blend to spare and I figured it was worth a shot.

Here’s the recipe as I modified it:

  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise. The original recipe called for 1-1/2 cups, which was way too much for my taste. (Keep in mind that when I was a kid, I wouldn’t touch mayo. I was an adult before I started using it (sparingly) on sandwiches.)
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice. That seemed about right, even with less mayonnaise.
  • 2 tablespoons dill weed. The original recipe called for 1/2 teaspoon, which wasn’t nearly enough. I assumed the recipe called for dried dill weed rather than fresh (my preferred type) or “blend.” I just squeezed in a bunch of the green stuff Mike had brought home and added more, after stirring, to get the right color. I wanted to be able to see and taste the dill.

Combine all ingredients, mix well, and refrigerate for an hour. I think the hour is very important if you’re using dry dill weed, as it will provide enough time for the oils in the mayo to hydrate the dill and release its flavors. If you’re using fresh, chop it up before adding it. And, of course, if you’re using tubed “dill blend,” the flavors have already been released in the factory, where some of them may have remained, along with that fresh dill aroma.

The resulting mix reminded me a bit of tartar sauce (which is another thing I only recently started eating). But it tasted very good with the salmon. I’ll make it again with the real deal dill sometime in the future.

Or maybe I’ll just make a proper dill sauce with the right ingredients next time.