Kindle E-book problems

I have officially published my first E-book on Kindle at Amazon (click here). BUT, while the pretest was passed, I have no confidence it will work well on the new Kindle Paperwhite. The newest Previewer seems to say my file is fine for the other devices but on Paperwhite setting it refuses to change font size or font face. I will not know if it works on the actual device until I get one just after Christmas.

I have tried everything I can find. the free Word Reader (6.24) will also create html files from doc files, so I tried it and it does work on Paperwhite, but it has taken out all the footnote references!

The only option I have left to try is to see if I upload the doc file to Kindle, it will come out better…rather than having WORD create an html.

Hot off the (electronic) press!

I have just turned loose my first E-book…the first installment of my Revisiting Scripture material. I focus on the content at the Revisiting Scripture site, but here I want to share a few of the unexpected challenges.

Formatting in WORD: here my several-decade infatuation with styles has paid off, since I automatically used the hierarchy of HEADINGS and a consistent style for body text and for Scripture quotations. I was pleased to discover that at least as early as 2003 WORD included features to save as files in html format and to create a table of contents with links instead of page numbers.

Editing: WORD was very useful for the spelling and grammar checks. Just for this final edit I turned on the passive voice and gender detection. I am usually driven crazy by the first one, but I decided my prose should be more dynamic even if it meant re-phrasing in 100 places! The latter is not a burning issue for me but it did encourage me to replace “mankind” with “humanity”—a reasonable change. The biggest help was the meticulous editing of my wife who inserted a few commas, added a few, “I don’t understand” notes in places where I could easily expand and clarify, and encouraged me to cut out a few specific references where I had been especially cutting…my goal is not to attack but rather encourage folks of all sorts to revisit both Scripture and their beliefs in a non-threatening setting.  Continue reading Hot off the (electronic) press!

Disqus seems to work!

After a week or two with comments handled by Disqus I have not had any spam. Considering that each site used to get 10 or more a day, that is pretty amazing. It should free me up to spend more time writing.

Boat-building Village

I’m forging ahead on the idea of a village…like Old Sturbridge Village or King’s Landing…to recreate shipbuilding in the mid 1800s. Tonight I ordered some books on traditional shipbuilding:

“American Small Sailing Craft: Their Design, Development and Construction”
Chapelle, Howard I.

“Architectura Navalis Mercatoria: The Classic of Eighteenth-Century Naval Architecture (Dover Maritime)”
Chapman, Fredrik Henrik af

“A Practical Course in Wooden Boat and Ship Building”
Van Gaasbeek, Richard M

“Boatbuilding: A Complete Handbook of Wooden Boat Construction”
Chapelle, Howard I.

They are all going to my son’s place in the US to get cheaper…read free…shipping, so I can’t start reading them yet.

My current plan is to shift the focus from one large half-finished ship to perhaps constructing smaller work-boat-style vessels using traditional construction techniques and actually completing them…perhaps one a year. I suppose they will have to be finished with epoxy or other modern preservation coatings so they don’t rot out in 7 years like the original wooden ships of the 1800s! The advantage of smaller vessels would be both reduced cost and reduced labor…if the construction can still show the process as it was 150 years ago, it should suffice. I want to run it by the Lunenberg Shipyard Alliance for ideas.

Home stretch for first E-book

Well, I’m coming down the home stretch on the first of my Revisiting Scripture series. I’ve edited through it about three times now and my wife is going to go through it…in a printed form…once. I seldom have a big project  that isn’t in a hurry, so it was fun to apply some of the editing advice. I have The 28 Biggest Writing Blunders (And How to Avoid Them) by William Noble, and found his selection on eliminating ‘smoky words’ especially useful…very, just,rather,really…words that try to make a verb or noun stronger when they are stronger by themselves.

Then he is the first author to encourage extensive use of ellipsis (…) and dashes (–). They seem to make the compound sentences…and inserted thoughts…much easier to read.

Finally I turned ON the passive-voice detector in WORD…usually it is OFF due to being so annoying when first writing a draft…it slows me down to have to fix a sentence right in the middle of the original writing.

And then I went into the Kindle Direct Publishing pages and did the actual information entry. Everything is free and the royalty is 70% if you give them the exclusive–at least for 90 days.I debated using other platforms with multiple file formats but I’ll try this first. Since I prepared the book in WORD using their heading styles, the table of contents is easy to make and the book converts easily from .doc to .html to .mobi. I expect to offer it for $2.99…over 50,000 words. The cover is uploaded, but the editing has to finish before the first release. One feature…it seems very easy to upload a revision at any time…no cost at all and no one suggesting you shouldn’t do it. People who have already bought ‘edition 1″ can upload “edition 2” for free, so I don’t leave a customer stuck with the old version.

So it is getting closer!

Book status report

Color: Over the last few months I have gotten into publishing color books…even with the color going right to the edges…bleeds. And my primary printer, Lightning Source, has come up with a lower-cost color option. So I definitely think the book will graduate to color pictures of the trips and construction. 

Trip: My around-the-island trip has yet to happen, and I have pretty much lost the services of my first mate, who mutinied after getting seasick the year before this. But that cloud has a silver lining since she can serve as my ground crew if something goes wrong or I need supplies. After all, Prince Edward Island is no more than a 4 hour drive from end to end and with her living on the island there is no water to cross…a trip to Newfoundland would be a different story, So my resolve is strengthening to do the trip next summer.

Grant: The Southern Kings Arts Council has advertised grants to support struggling artists and they consider writers as qualifying. The grants are up to $1200 if one qualifies, and so I have applied for the sailing book. The color option will increase the price and none of these publishing activities are great profit activities. While my current focus is on the Revisiting Scripturebook(s), a grant would be the incentive to get going on the sailing book as well.

autumn last leaves


Projects:So as of now the boat sits in the side yard, waiting for the snow, with only minor work to do…the trailer modifications are about done and the radio replacement can happen in the spring. The last of the autumn leaves are still a brilliant yellow on the maple trees, but winter feels close.


New book: Old Glory

Loman’s newest book

Loman Bell is just about to release his new children’s historical/marine picture book entitled Old Glory. In it we are treated to a voyage on a sailing ship of the 1800s. The great part of the book is the illustrations…Loman has developed a dramatic bold painting style which sets his book…the first in a planned series..apart. There is no way to describe it except as a COLOUR book…COLOR to you people in the states. I include a couple pictures just to give you a feel for the work. It will be available directly from Loman as well as through Amazon.

One of his bold illustrations


Comments moved to Disqus

I am trying the Disqus plug-in for comments in hopes that it will encourage more comments and block the multitude of spam that I have to delete every day. If it asks you for a login or some special procedure, my experience is that only once will do it for all sites that use it, but if you have trouble, please email me at


Trying Disqus for comments

I am trying the Disqus plug-in for comments in hopes that it will encourage more comments and block the multitude of spam that I have to delete every day. If it asks you for a login or some special procedure, my experience is that only once will do it for all sites that use it, but if you have trouble, please email me at