A Traveler and his Cat exploring America.

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Free eBooks - A Two Year Project

It was January of 2018 camping here in the desert that one day I walked over to visit my neighbor Tim.  He was sitting outside reading on a tablet.  I asked about it.  It was a Paperwhite Kindle.  Where this kindle differed from others was it was back-lit.  There was no glare and the pages looked very much like a normal paperback book page.  Now this I liked.  I went back to camp and ordered one from Amazon.  It arrived at the local post office in Ehrenburg in a couple of days.

One of the very first eBooks I downloaded to my new kindle device (for free of course) was Spirit of the Road by Rick Huffman.  The author told about his learning to drive a semi truck and trailer and taking his cat along with him for cross country hauls.  At the end of the book he told a little bit about himself saying that he had never written anything before let alone self-publishing an eBook.  I thought to myself if he can do it, why can't I?  And so this two-year long project was born.

I had the material in my journals.  It was just a matter of putting it all together, editing it (several times), proof-reading it (several times more), then learning how to format it for publishing.  I read all I could on how to self-publish an eBook.  I watched YouTube videos on the subject.  In the end I didn't feel I had the confidence in doing the formatting.  Last year I camped near a lady who had self-published several mystery eBooks.  This year I thought maybe I could find someone like her I could pay to do the formatting for me.  But how?  Finally one day last December I came across an online site who would format your manuscript for a reasonable price.  Not only that but creating a cover for your book was included.  All other sites were expensive geared to the professional writer.  I gave them a shot at it with the first of the Beans and I on the Loose book series.  I was greatly impressed with the finished product.  Mind you, this was not without a lot of frustration on my part being not very computer knowledgeable but the folks at Word-2-Kindle were very patient in working with me.  This part alone took several months for all four books but here we are done, completed and published.

The books appear to the right in the sidebar.  By clicking on the image this will initiate a download for the book...I think...I hope.  I tested it on a couple and it seemed to work.  They are free.  I put them on Amazon Kindle Books but Amazon will not allow them to be free.  I had to set a price at 99 cents.  Don't go there for my eBooks. There is a way around this by people reporting the book at a lower price elsewhere and Amazon will eventually match that.  But that's not important to me as already the books have been downloaded through the Smashword links in the sidebar.  Let me tell you I was extremely surprised to see after the one day on there the books had been downloaded 9, 4, 7 and 6 times respectively.  Wow!  Just goes to show the desperation in some people brought on by a self-isolation quarantine of a global pandemic.  Seeing this made all of the work and aggravation over the last two years worth it to me.

Sinbad and I on the Loose is made up of seventeen stories plus a bonus book over a twelve year period of travels with Sinbad.  It is the longest of the four books at around 232 pages.

The Beans and I on the Loose series of books are much shorter.  
Each book covers one year of travel and adventures for the two of us.
Getting to Know You (27 pages) is about our first year together on the road.

A Hot Mess (48 pages) tells of our journey north to the Great Lakes region looping south 
where we encounter horrible humid weather and our escape from that to the Rocky Mountains.

With a big lesson learned from the previous year in Seven Months of Summer (56 pages) we embark on a mission to drive much less and simply follow ideal temperatures north to Montana and then back south to our winter home in Arizona.

Right now we are living the next book to come out later this year, if we survive the pandemic.


  1. Well that is funny, creating your own books! It looks good. I have once had my first blogs printed out in books with the photos, but it became to expensive to continue it.

  2. That's a major project. Congratulations. There's a lot of satisfaction in publishing your own writing. When it's downloading it's a win.

  3. Of course you will survive!!!Dont think otherwise

    I love this "if he can do it, why can't I?"Thats my way :)

    It will be fun reading your stuff in time of course..
    There is a long sommer and winther coming up
    Thanx for sharing

  4. Best news I've read in a long time! Many congrats to you and having the tenacity to stick with it until it was done. Big pats on the back sent your way.

  5. What a great project and congratulations on publishing. Enjoy your day!


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