February 18, 2015

How-To Home Soil Tests

How has everyone fared this winter storm? Being ice bound has given me some lovely, guilt-free time to work on my writing projects. The result is that I am very pleased to announce the fifth ebook in my The Little Series of Homestead How-Tos.

I'm hoping it will be a useful resource for gardeners, homesteaders, homeschoolers, or anyone interested in the soil.


What Is Soil?
How To Determine Soil Texture
    Touch Test
    Ball and Ribbon Test
    Soil Texture By Feel Chart
    Canning Jar Test
    Texture Triangle (chart)
    How To Use the USDA Web Soil Survey
How To Test Soil pH
    How To Dig a Soil Sample
    Kitchen pH Test
    Red Cabbage pH Test
    How To Make Cabbage pH Paper
    Litmus or pH Paper Test
    pH Meter Testing
How To Read Soil Colors
How To Test For Drainage
How To Do an Earthworm Test
How To Read Your Plants
    Symptoms of Deficiency
    What Your Weeds Can Tell You
Why All Soil Lab Results Aren't The Same

Like the other ebooks in the series, it includes a glossary and resources for digging deeper.

List price is $1.99 USD, but I am offering it for free - today and tomorrow only. The free offer is at Smashwords, where you can choose any eReader format, including a PDF version for those who wish to read it on their computer. Simply enter the code RZ77V (expired) at checkout.

It's also available at Amazon, although I don't have an option there for a coupon code there. Still, for $1.99 you can have it auto-delivered directly to your Kindle.

I very much hope you will enjoy it, and that you will consider it worthy of a good review at either Amazon, Smashwords, or both!


Unknown said...

Youve done it again. Well done. Im glad i have you in my corner. Lets hope that the WWW never goes down so we can stay linked. Have you ever thought of a "generosity enabler" similar to Ben Hewitt's. I would support your writing. 99 cents for this work is criminal.

Leigh said...

Lynda, thank you for your kind words and for the review! Those are key to sales.

Pricing eBooks is a bit tricky. Fiction writer, at least, feel they have to offer something like 7000 to 9000 words minimum for 99 cents, or else the public thinks they've been overcharged. Apparently the idea that there are no print costs equates to the right for a cheaper product (never mind all the hours and hours that went into it!). That's fiction, and nonfiction buyers are said to be more forgiving, but even so, my little eBooks are only about half the size. Since I'm just getting this series off the ground, the last thing I need is review dings for price versus content.

I wasn't familiar with Ben Hewitt and had to look the generosity enabler up, LOL. Very clever. Direct sales are a whole 'nother ballgame! For the eBooks I could do a PDF version, but that's about it. For print books, it means becoming a reseller, carrying an inventory, and fulfillment including packaging and trips to the post office. The plus is higher royalties, but it's a big step for this budding author. :)

All that aside, I treasure your encouragement and support!

Farmer Barb said...

I will read it and I will review it, but I won't be able to USE it for about another two months! ICE CRUST!!!!

Thank you!

Unknown said...

Funny it might be but it gives the reader a chance to contribute, participate and to show appreciation for effort. I've generously enabled Ben for 12 months now and im ready to move on.

Caroline J. Baines said...

Thanks, Leigh!

Leigh said...

Thank you Barb! We're bracing for the next winter blast ourselves.

Lynda, you've certainly given me something to think about and I appreciate it.

Caroline, you're welcome!

Karen@ onthebanksofsaltcreek.com said...

Excellent! And this time I figured out how to change the format to something my computer can run....yeah!

Thanx for working so hard on these. We will be soil testing soon since our weather has been so mild.

Sandy Livesay said...


Thank you for providing a great How to book. I wish I had your book several years back when we first moved into this rental home. We found out the hard way the soil here is terrible.

All of our garden beds are raised, and we hauled in new soil, peat, and mixed it all with compost and animal fertilizer.

Now flowers, vegetables, and fruit grow in the soil.

I will be holding on to this great resource and using it at our next place.
Thanks my friend :-)
Hugs to you and Dan.

Thats My Cuppa Tea said...

Thank you for your generosity. I am excited to read your book on soil testing. I am looking to become a better gardener and know that I lack in this area. Thanks again.

Leigh said...

Karen, Sandy, and Kelly, you are very welcome. I just hope you all and everyone else who is downloading a free copy will be kind enough to do a review for me on both Smashwords and Amazon (you don't have to have purchased it from Amazon to leave a review).

Susan said...

I was going to say that you are a wealth of knowledge, but I think I prefer Treasure chest of knowledge! Thank you for sharing all of your hard work. I will definitely leave a review in both places!

Unknown said...

Hi Leigh, I just downloaded your soil book, looking forward to reading and reviewing on my blog. I finished reading your real book last year, but I only just got around to reviewing it, I'll send you the link when I publish it next week :) I love reading about what you're up to over there, lots of great ideas that I can use too.

Mark said...

Hi Leigh! Great timing! Even though we are in a string of single digit temperature days, I've been thinking about the garden and doing some soil tests (when it all thaws out). Bought this one and two more, and I'm looking forward to getting into them.

RanchGirl said...

Hi Leigh,
Thank you so much for your informative blog, book, and this ebook. If Spring ever arrives I will be anxious to try this out.

Kathy "Kretlow" Black

Jane said...

Currently house bound due to a tropical cyclone baring down on us. Lots of much needed rain, we have been drought declared for nearly two years, and strong winds, but not yet destructive. Here's hoping to come through this well watered and not battered.

Leigh said...

Susan, thank you! And thank you so much for the reviews. Very much appreciated. :)

Liz, you just made my day! I hope it will be okay to add your website review to my book's "What readers are saying" webpage. :)

Mark, thanks! We currently have 15° F going on outside so at the moment all of my gardening is in my head and on paper.

Kathy Kretlow! I'm absolutely delighted to find this comment from you. I don't see that you have a blog, but from what my dad said, we have a lot in common. :)

Jane, oh my, that sounds worrisome. I hope it brings an end to your drought and a productive garden and harvest for you in the future.

Thats My Cuppa Tea said...

I have left a review at both Smashwords and Amazon. Your book is going to be very useful to me.
I also purchased your how to make salves book. I can't wait to dive into it.

Leah said...

Wow that's awesome! I will have to make sure I pick it up! This cold winter has meant a lot of homework time for me unfortunately but I have been doing a lot of writing and crafts whenever I get the time to try and balance out my crazy schedule!

Leigh said...

Thats My Cuppa Tea, thank you so much! The reviews help a great deal and I appreciate your taking the time to write them. Your name isn't linked to a blog, or else I'd make a return blog visit. :)

Leah, have to agree on balance! And I hope you enjoy the book!