Paperback Writer…

This won’t be news to the indie authors who’ve published their books in print version within the last year or so. But for those of you following along with me as I went through the process with my latest novel: Breaking Break, here’s an update.

Recently (I’m not exactly sure when) Kindle Direct Publishing began offering its authors a means to create a paperback version of their e-books directly from the Kindle publishing site. Prior to this, authors who wanted to create a print version of their books, needed to use the Amazon subsidiary, CreateSpace. For Breaking Bread I decided to try using the new Kindle tool. Mind you, it is still in ‘beta’ version so obviously they haven’t worked out all the glitches with it just yet.

I probably wouldn’t have even taken note of any problems had I not used a custom book cover. I have a friend with a graphic design business who creates my covers for me (per my direction) and sends me the print ready pdf file to upload to the site. When I uploaded the cover file to the Kindle publisher it gave me the error message that the file was not the right size (as in the actual dimensions of the book) BUT nowhere could I determine what size the cover needed to be! Without that information, I was dead in the water.

And so I reverted to CreateSpace and started the process all over again. CreateSpace adjusted the pdf file to the correct size without any fuss and the paper version is now ready for publishing. Find it here!

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Breaking Bread – Available on Kindle

My latest novel in The Bucks County series is now available in e-book format on Amazon! And within a few days, after working out the kinks with formatting, the print edition will follow.

You can find all the Bucks County Novels in both print and e-book on Amazon. If you have read and enjoyed the books, one of the best ways to support an independent author is to 1) spread the word and 2) leave a good review of the book.

Thank you all for your kindness, honest feedback and friendship during this process.

Breaking Bread:

Maya Kaminsky has finally realized her dream of owning a French bakery cafe, despite the opposition of her rigid, narrow-minded family. But as the business grows and thrives, Maya discovers she has an enemy. Beginning with petty mischief, the cafe becomes targeted by vandals who quickly escalate to dangerous sabotage. To complicate matters, Maya’s childhood friend, Brad Logan, moves back into town and with his recent inheritance, buys her building, intending to help her out. However, Maya’s fierce independence makes it a struggle to accept help from anyone, let alone a man with whom she finds herself falling in love. Nevertheless, Maya will need all the help she can get to save both her business and her life.

About the author:

My name is Margaret but everyone calls me Meg. I am a Pennsylvania native and a Bucks County resident since 1992. I write because I love books. I want to crawl inside them and live among the characters, solve their mysteries, fight their villains, love their heroes… You get the idea! I hope you enjoy The Bucks County novels: a series of romantic suspense stories set in the region where I live.

Research Notes – The Great War (6) The Dread Zeppelin

World War One saw both the introduction of, or the unprecedented use of a host of new deadly weapons. The submarine, for example, had been first used during the American Civil War. However, the First World War would see it become the great predator of the sea. Chemical weapons like chlorine and phosgene gas were deployed on a mass scale. The armored tank replaced the horse in the armies’ cavalries. And air warfare became a threat for the first time in history, bringing death and destruction to the doorsteps of the civilian population. No one was exempt from the ‘total war.’

German zeppelins were capable of traveling at speeds of 85 miles per hour and carrying up to 2 tons of payload. From the early days of the war, these new weapons of mass destruction were deployed in bombing raids on Liege, Antwerp and Paris. In January of 1915, the massive hydrogen filled war machines brought their deadly cargo to the shores of Great Britain, striking the coastal towns of Great Yarmouth and King’s Lynn.

German Zeppelin corps commander, Peter Strasser was quoted as saying, “Nowadays, there is no such thing as a noncombatant. Modern warfare is total warfare.” The German aim in targeting civilian populations was to frighten the British into leaving the war. They upped their game in May, 1915.

As if it were straight out of an H.G. Wells’ science fiction novel, a massive airship darkened the starlit night over London on May 31, 1915. The 650-foot-long zeppelin, the largest ever constructed to date, glided toward the British capital, using the light reflecting off the Thames River as its guide. From the trap doors beneath the gondola of the craft, German troops dropped 90 incendiary bombs and 30 grenades onto the homes of the sleeping citizens below. The break of dawn brought with it the reports of seven deaths and the injury of thirty-five. But more than that, fear gripped the city.

Early on, the zeppelin was nearly unstoppable. It flew higher than artillery could fire, even higher than the airplanes of the day could fly. The planes couldn’t even get close enough to use their machine guns to bring them down. And not wanting to panic the citizenry with robust air raid warnings, the civil authorities’ only action in the face of imminent attack, was to send policemen with whistles out into the streets on bicycles with the cry of “take cover.”

The worst air attack came on September 8, 1915 when a zeppelin targeted London’s financial center. The three ton bomb –the largest deployed so far– caused heavy damage and killed 22 people, including 6 children. Public outcry was enormous, the zeppelins were now referred to as “baby killers” and the people demanded that their government do more to protect them from the menace in the air.

In response to the uproar, anti-aircraft defenses were recalled from the front lines in France, massive searchlights were installed, blackouts were instituted and the water from the lake in St. James’ park was drained so as not to direct the airships to the gates of Buckingham Palace. Additionally, British scientists were put to work developing ways to target the zeppelins’ vulnerable areas, namely the highly flammable hydrogen cells that made the ships lighter than air.

By mid-1916, the game had finally changed. British planes were able to reach higher altitudes and explosive bullets were employed to rip through the outer fabric of the death ships to ignite the hydrogen cells within. And though the Germans tried to press on with their air raids, sailing the zeppelins at higher altitudes, the crews began to suffer from the frigid temperatures and oxygen deprivation.

When the airships were brought down they were brought down in spectacular fashion. For example on September 2, 1916, the largest fleet of zeppelins ever to target London droned toward the city. One of the silver ships was caught in the searchlights and Royal Flying Corps pilot William Leefe Robinson was sent to deal with it. Robinson took his plane over 11,000 feet and drew close enough to fire his guns with the explosive bullets, ripping open the skin and igniting the hydrogen within. The massive fireball plummeted from the sky and could be seen from over 100 miles away.

With Britain’s now superior technology, the dread zeppelin was no longer the threat it once was. By the end of the war, German airships had staged more than 50 attacks on Britain, but at a heavy price with 77 of their 115 craft either shot down or disabled. And although raids on London killed nearly 700 and seriously injured almost 2,000, Germany’s goal of breaking the will of the British people was not achieved.