Doug Toppin's Blog

My thoughts on technology and other stuff

Trying Out Gitbook for a Short Story

I’ve always had an interest in writing and feel like I have several books and short stories that I would like to work on. Gitbook is a very interesting approach to writing in that you use markdown and Git for publishing. Markdown is a text processing system where you enter your content with embedded commands that are later used to prepare the content for presentation. I am familiar with it as I transitioned my blog to Github pages which can be generated using markdown.

Gitbook describes itself as

A modern publishing toolchain. Simply taking you from ideas to finished, polished books

Some neat aspects to this service include responsive design enabling your content to be easily viewable on different devices that potentially have different display sizes and resolutions. There are a number of ebook style publishing services but this one seems a bit more unique than the standard popular ones.

I decided to give it a try with my first public short story and wanted to pass along my experiences. One of the first things that I noticed was that it was critiquing my writing and told me (via a highlight) that I was using weasel wording with my use of very in a sentence. Getting real time feedback is pretty neat and can be humbling.

If you want to see the story as it evolves you can find it at The Last Tanker Note that it should fit whatever display device that is being used both in font size, page filling and general readability. Try it on your phone, tablet and desktop to get a demonstration of the benefits of responsive design.

More to come.