Sunday, 12 October 2014

09:42 – Barbara comes home tomorrow afternoon, so I plan to spend some time getting the place cleaned up and de-cluttered. I’m not great at house cleaning, but I figure I can at least straighten up, clean the toilets, and so on.

I’ve decided to bag the idea of doing The Ultimate Family Prepping Guide as a Kindle book. I’ve been playing around a bit with formatting it for Kindle, and it just doesn’t work very well. On Barbara’s and my mono Kindles, it’s simply hideous. Even on her Kindle Fire HDX there are a lot of issues with using Kindle format.

So I’m going to publish it in trade paperback on Amazon via their CreateSpace service. It’ll be an 8.5×11″ trade paperback with a four-color cover and monochrome images. I looked into using four-color throughout, but if I did that the book would have to be priced at $70 or thereabouts or I’d end up owing money to Amazon for each copy sold. With monochrome images, I’ll be able to price it at $24.95 and still earn a reasonable royalty.

I do want an electronic version to be available for use on PCs and tablets, so I’ll sell the full four-color PDF on my own website for $4 or $5. That version will have the advantage of color illustrations, clickable links, and probably more frequent updating than the print version.

One of the interesting things about writing this book is that it gives me the opportunity to re-learn skills that I haven’t used in more than 30 years. Stuff like canning and dehydrating food and packaging it for long-term storage, keeping a garden, building a sand/charcoal water filter, reloading ammunition, and so on. I’ve even done stuff like building an outhouse, but I think Barbara would draw the line at me building one in our backyard.

For some skills, though, I’ll just have to depend on memory, because practicing them nowadays would quickly land me in a federal penitentiary if not Guantanamo. You know, things like building IEDs, although we didn’t call them that back then. Besides which, at age 61 I’m now fully aware that I’m not immortal. The idea of building a field-expedient claymore mine from a pound of ammonal (AKA the freely available commercial product Tannerite) and five pounds of buckshot or ball bearings scares me to death nowadays. And I already know it works well, because I did it back in the 60’s and 70’s. Fortunately, the statute of limitations on that stuff expired long ago.