May 13, 2019

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.

© May 2019 by Leigh at


  1. congratulation for your book...
    Have a wonderful day

  2. I got your book when it came out. A paperback copy. I was intrigued by your title. Even before I got to know you as a blogger. I am always interested in the stories of folks who live different lives from mine. I enjoyed your book - even though I would never become a homesteader. Sort of like an armchair traveler gets to 'travel' through the writing of others - that is how I homestead - through your words. That is how I 'hike' the Appalachian Trail, how I discover what it is like to be a trucker, to be a settler in the Alaskan wilderness, how to live in cult and escape from it. The adventure of living through the experiences of others. Thank you for sharing.

  3. Congratulations on this accomplishment...I have a book started, but this looks like something I might like! And I have Amazon Prime....

  4. I wouldn't trade my hard copy for a million bucks! I just really love holding the book in my hand... old school for sure...haha!

  5. Tanza, thank you!

    RT, those are the kinds of books I like to read too. The stories of others are always so interesting, and I always learn something.

    Rose, thank you! I hope you'll write a review on Amazon for me when you finish. :)

    Wyomingheart, me too! Definitely a hard copy gal. I like not having to rely on a computer or other battery powered hunk of plastic to read! lol

  6. I can only imagine the hours of work, that went into transferring it over. When involving a subject you feel passionate about though, it makes it all worthwhile! Now it's digital, I may be able to read it for myself. I have the Kindle for PC download. I notice it, on the link you supplied.

    I wanted to highlight it for those who find android devices difficult on the eyes. I find it's much easier to read on a PC, for the larger text, and less scrolling involved.

    Good work anyway, and it may just well get a sale from me, because of this conversion. Although, it's terrible hourly rate, if it's just me, lol.

  7. Chris, I already had the PDF of the book, so the hardest part was figuring out how to install VirtualBox and then how to create a folder for sharing between the two operating systems. After that, the conversion software was easy to use. I'll do the same for Critter Tales one of these days.

    I had the Kindle reader on my Android device for a brief while. I didn't realize that the book wasn't actually downloaded to the device and that it ate up most of my data allotment (even though I have the device set to use wifi first - which it didn't). Since I'm pay-as-you-go, it wasn't a good way to go. We don't have such restriction with our internet provider, so maybe now that I have Windows on VirtualBox I could install the Kindle Reader through that. Not that I necessarily want to spend more time at my computer! lol

  8. Well done. You have quite a library of your work going now, online and in paper!

  9. Congrats! Sometimes it's too much technology 😁

  10. The only reason I have ever converted anything to Kindle is that if I use Amazon's template it is not too difficult. Otherwise, it would be quite the chore. Cheers on your innovation and effort!

  11. Kev, thanks! Now to work on new additions to my library of work. :)

    Nancy, I agree! Technology can be a great thing, but it can also be cumbersome and (I think) counterproductive. But then, I'm easily satisfied with life. lol

    TB, that is something in KDP's favor. When I first started eBook publishing with Smashwords, I had a terrible time getting an acceptable file. But then, they convert to numerous file types, so it has to satisfy all requirements. KPD is much less fussy in that regard. I was glad that their Kindle Create software was so simple and so intuitive.

  12. I'm glad you replied with what you did Leigh, as it made me realise I view mine, using Linux too. So no need to download the Kindle for PC App, and convert it to Linux. Just go to Kindle Cloud Reader, it uses any browser.

    For instructions on how to do this, use this Amazon tutorial.

    It's been a while since I figured out how to read Kindle books on a Linux computer. So I naturally confused the PC App, with the Cloud Reader. This is so easy, all you need is an Amazon account to sign-into the Kindle Cloud Reader.

  13. I didn't understand a word of your post im a technophope I write my blog on my phone.i don't have a computer but I do have an Amazon tablet so will be reading your book on that.
    Thanks Mark

  14. Chris, I didn't realize Amazon had Cloud Reader for Linux! Thank you for that. I already use both Chrome and Firefox web browsers. :)

    Mark, when it comes to a phone, I'm absolutely clueless and constantly frustrated with the thing, so we're even! Mastering one device is probably plenty for most of us. ;)

  15. You have come a long way! Congrats. I on the other hand have threatened both my laptop and my phone with death by drowning in the creek. I have a phone that does things I have no clue about and well the laptop does the same sometimes.

    Good job all around!

  16. Goatldi, those phones, oh my. They seem so counterintuitive. I've even had trouble, some times, getting mine to hang up! Not a useful device in my thinking.

    1. We could have an uprising. Tin cans and a really long string!

  17. Ha! I'd love a way to protest! What annoys me (among other things) is they use of it to send ads. And there's no way to turn them off!


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