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what's the most surprising thing I learned
converting my first book to kindle?

re writing by Zsolt Kerekes - Feb 24, 2023

Z-shaped word packets on X - my 1st year on Twitter
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SPARC Product Directory - the bookI began self publishing in 1992.

That was print - a book called the SPARC Product Directory - which started with 140 pages and grew. I didn't know much about publishing when I started. Still don't. Learned as I went along...

Luckily for me the publishing side of things got a lot easier when I transitioned my publications to the web. That was in 1996 - and from that point I earned more as a publisher of computing guides than I had ever earned before as a tech designer, manager or company director.

Those crazy days of early dotcom publishing were great fun if you were lucky enough to have readers who were helping to make it all happen. I had a very interesting time online for over 20 years. Learned a lot from my readers. Enjoyed what I did. And then - after a long preannouncement I retired and retreated from the sensible business-plan based life. But not from life itself.

Having then successfully stopped myself from thinking about, over-thinking about and over-writing about the computer market I settled myself down comfortably to do the next thing on my life plan - to continue writing - but a different kind of writing - unburdened by a business plan.

By 2024 - if all goes well - I might have something to show for all that writing that's been going on.

What happens then? The way things are going - the novel in progress - which certainly required story telling skills well beyond my capabilities at the time I started it - is morphing into something bigger - with the prospect of prequels, sequels, side stories etc. So I'm wondering - who's going to care about any of it? And how am I going to be able to justify all this time - tapp tapping - with no visible output?

I made a deal with myself. At the other end of the big novel - I'll press some buttons and publish it and see what happens. But to avoid overwhelming disappointment for me (if not for readers at large) it might be a good idea to practice on the button-pressing side of things on some works which are smaller and simpler and ideally which I've written before.

The tech side of book publishing has changed a lot since I last did it. And when it comes to ebooks I have been a super consumer - but never till this month have I added to the glut of supply.

What's a low risk way to do it? I know. I'll experiment with the button pressing and kindle and audiobooks by using as my raw material some old stories I'd written and finished 20 years or so before. When I reread them recently they still seemed fresh and timeless to me. That's one of the benefits of IP assets which are fiction rather than non fiction. Someone might still want to read them.

Here's where we get to it... last week I signed up into a bunch of new (to me) free authoring platforms. Poked about to judge which features worked best - given my own starting points and preferences and I spent a day or so flitting back and forth between them.

I won't go into all those details here. There are plenty of good blogs and podcasts about self publishing for indie authors. I'll make a list later of those I found most useful. The surprising thing for me is what I learned when I got to the end of having completed my draft and was almost ready to export a file of my ebook.

I had gotten into some bad habits during 3 decades of writing about computers, markets, marketing etc.

I wrote and published thousands of articles without using a spell checker.

It didn't start that way. But it crept up on me.

Here's a word you've misspelled - SPARCstation click - add it to dictionary.

Here's a word you've misspelled - RAID - click

Here's a word you've misspelled - NAND - click

Here are some more words - LSI , SandForce, DWPD , QLC, NVMeoF - click, click...

Jargon had a good side too. It was a useful thing to write about on slow news days. And without these words how do you exchange ideas?

I didn't need those kinds of words in my fiction.

And I was simply converting stories I'd written before. So what could go wrong?

the surprising buttonThere was this button on the right hand side of the screen in my web browser.

I was logged into a platform called Reedsy.

I was just about ready to export my files.

What can go wrong?

I pressed it.

Got a message saying - we have over 200 spelling suggestions.

It seems my spelling is not as good as I thought it was.

Having trained my html editor with thousands of clicks - it was as bad as me.

What was I working on in my conversion process?

A relatively short work. Something with a mixture of words and pictures.

Take a look at my note below.

And if you'd like to encourage me in these bad habits - then please take a look - buy the book and tell all your friends about it.

thanks - Zsolt Kerekes

As you breathe your internet life today do you wonder how it got here? A computer company called Sun Microsystems with its SPARC processors and a coupled ecosysytem of hundreds of compatible manufacturers and thousands of resellers and integrators helped to build the commercial internet faster and accelerated the transition of publications away from paper to online in the 1990s.


After 22 years of a blogging life, and leading up to retirement, I researched the best way to escape its most troublesome demands. Found a foolproof method for those who have acquired twitchy writing syndrome but don't want the hassle of readers. Write books. Hide them on Amazon.

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Alexander Woyte and the Goblins

news:- Feb 23, 2023 - Kindle Edition now available.
It's modern times (as modern as they ever get) in the pointy churched sleepy village of Privett in Hampshire, Olde England. No one believes in goblins any more.

click to see kindle edition blurbThat doesn't stop them causing mischief!

Once every 70 years the goblin king who lives under the Old Bookshop in Petersfield sends out scouts to find a replacement human puppy to kidnap. Ideally a fair haired boy aged 4. Alexander looks like the perfect candidate. His life hasn't been the same since.

Alexander Woyte and the Goblins - first published here on goblinsearch in 2001 is now available as a much more readable kindle ebook. ...click here for details