Read Stealer of Flesh Free Online

You can read the first book in the Kormak Saga free online here. This is a result of my project to archive all of my books in markdown format for easy future reference. To create it, I found the original production copy of Stealer of Flesh, converted it to markdown then to HTML and uploaded it to the site.

Unfortunately, the process of creating my archive was not quite as simple as I had hoped. First of all, my various ebooks were scattered all over the place in different formats usually Word or Scrivener. I had to find them and do the conversion.

For the Scrivener files this was easy. I simply compiled them as MultiMarkdown. For the docx files, I used iA Writer, a markdown text processor I bought from the Apple Appstore for the princely sum of £2.99. I used it specifically because it can automatically convert docx files into plain text.  It was after this step that I encountered a few small problems.

It turns out that my word-processor derived method of paragraphing using a carriage return is not quite what markdown expects. Markdown indicates a new paragraph with two line breaks. In addition, I use the classic method of indicating scene breaks with two carriage returns. These were converted into the only true paragraphs in the document. The result of this was something that seemed fine when I looked at it in my text processor but when I came to export it, was a bit messy.  You can see how export filters could get confused under the circumstances.

The solution was not hard. I used the excellent TextWrangler (available free here) to search through the plain text files and replace one line break with two line breaks. I then replaced all quadruple line breaks with section breaks. (The previous double line break paragraph markers had increased to four line breaks during the first step.) That was it. Job done.

Once this was done I stored the finished markdown files inside a dropbox folder, Ulysses and a VoodooPad document so I can find them again easily in the future. The version of Stealer of Flesh you can read online is a product of HTML export from markdown. It was all a little more work than I expected but I now have (hopefully) future proof archives of all my work.


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Comments

  1. You’re bringing back happy (honestly) memories of my technical author days with Veronica. Death to those who defy God and Nature by following a period with two spaces!

  2. I believe you about the happy memories.

    Doesn’t the period and two spaces thing date from the days of typewriters? I seem to recall there was an actual reason for it, I just can’t remember what it was! Or am I hallucinating this whole thing.

  3. I think it was because one space was not enough to appear like a new sentence on a typewriter. Things have changed now.

    And I wish I could have downloaded the book to read later.

    • Hey Jevon–I think you are right. There was something to do with the way spaces are proportioned on typewriters as well. I was reading an explanation of it the other night but promptly forgot the details. Sleep deprivation is a wonderful thing :)!

      Stealer of Flesh is available free on Amazon and Smashwords currently. Smashwords is particularly useful since it does PDFs if you don’t have an ereader.

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