Skip to main content

Now Available for Kindle: 5 Acres & A Dream The Book

My first paperback is now available for Kindle! If you're a member of Kindle Unlimited or Amazon Prime, it's free!

I'm sure some of you are wondering, why only for Kindle when there are so many different types of eReaders out there? It's not because I'm particularly a fan of Kindle or of Amazon, so here's the story.

When 5 Acres & A Dream The Book first came out at the tail end of 2013, eReaders and were still pretty basic, as was the process of converting a book file to an eBook format. There were several factors in my decision to only publish in paperback, the primary technical one being that the file size was too large. At that time eBook text files were limited to 50 MB (Smashwords still sets its limits at 15 MB). The file for 5 Acres & A Dream The Book is over 250 MB.

Over the years, print-on-demand companies have developed more sophisticated conversion software and can take larger files. But there were still problems, and these had to do with file preparation. For both formats, the book file must be ready to go. Every page of the book must be edited and have everything in place (paragraphs, pictures, page numbers, etc.) and to specs. For an eBook, the file can be html, epub, .doc, or .docx. For a print book, the file must be PDF/X.

Word processors can export PDF, but not PDF/X, which meant I had to use a desktop publisher to create a print-ready file. Page by page I added the text I'd written on my word processor, added the images created by my photo editor, then captions and page numbers. I also created title and copyright pages, table of contents, appendices, and index. It was a big learning curve, but one that I enjoyed tremendously.

When I started writing The Little Series of Homestead How-Tos, it was primarily to learn how to create eBooks, because the specs and formatting are completely different than print books. With a print book, each page is fixed so that the pages print out uniformly. Because eReaders vary in size, eBook files must be flowable to allow the book to adjust to the readers device. So different rules apply. I can create an eBook file in my word processor and save it as a .doc file to upload to Smashwords and Kindle Direct Publishing. Because my paperback book files were created with my desktop publisher, I would have to start from scratch to create an eBook file. I couldn't see that happening.

Since then, Kindle Direct Publishing has come out with software to create "Print Replica" eBooks. These aren't flowable pages, but exact replicas of the printed pages. Zoom is available for these books if the eReader is capable, which means all of my Master Plans can be viewed. Acceptable file sizes have been increased, so why not?

There was still a challenge! The KDP software is available only for PC or Mac. The problem was that my operating system is Xubuntu Linux. The solution? Virtualization software. Oracle's VirtualBox was just what I needed. With only a minimum of head scratching I was able to install VirtualBox, and into that I installed Windows 10. It worked perfectly and I was easily able to create my print replica Kindle file.

#1 on Amazon's "Hot New Kindle Releases" in
Sustainable Agriculture one week after being released.

Retail price is $8.95, but Amazon currently has it on sale for $7.77. That's the same price to which they've  discounted the paperback edition.  Even so, lending is enabled for the Kindle edition, so if you don't have Amazon Prime or Kindle Unlimited, find someone who does and ask to borrow it. You don't need a Kindle to do that; you can download a Kindle reading app for free.

You can find the Kindle edition of 5 Acres & A Dream The Book here. If you're not in the U.S., it's also available at Amazon UK, CA, AU, MX, BR, NL, FR, DE, ES, IN, IT, and JP. You will find links to those sites here.