Formatting Services

Last week my editor, Rachel Carter, wrote a post on Megan Duncan’s services. Megan is an ebook formatter – and a fellow author – who helped us get my two books ready for publishing on Amazon. When I first wrote “New Cliches for the 21st Century,” and “Doc, What’s Up?” I never envisioned that they would end up as Kindle books. I’m from a more old-school form of publishing, where books are things you hold in your hands, with pages and spines and that lovely old book smell. But Rachel convinced me that the world had gone digital, and that it was time for me to join it.

But it wasn’t as simple as uploading the books to Amazon. My writing tends to blend a lot of genres – including nonfiction essays, pictures, inventions and my ‘zuckerisms.’ It turned out that formatting them for Amazon was going to be costly and time consuming. Luckily, we heard about Megan, and what could have been a laborious process became fast, efficient, and affordable.

Megan was very professional and quick to respond to any problems. We quickly realized we could trust in her  – always a risk when dealing with strangers online. In the end I couldn’t be happier with her formatting work. Because of her, both New Cliches and Doc, What’s Up? are now available on Kindle.

Publishing is changing, and ebooks are giving more people access to writers they may have never been able to experience otherwise. People like Megan are necessary in facilitating that change. Thanks to her I have now ‘gone digital.’


Two Wrongs That Made a Right

Excerpt from “Doc, What’s Up?”

I never would have chosen “Smalltown, Minnesota” as the place to launch my career in internal medicine. In fact, I’d never heard of it until some shirt tail relations, who lived there, told me that the town was desperate for doctors. So, with only a modest inquiry, I quickly found myself my first job.

I agreed to work on Tuesdays and Thursdays as a pinch hitter for the town’s only doctor in this tiny Southern Minnesota farm community of 750 persons. This gave him time off from his otherwise non-stop duties so that he could follow his passion and fly his small airplane above and beyond all earthly tribulations.

The amicable Dr. John Jacobson was ten years my elder. He was short, pleasantly pudgy and surprisingly openminded. He was genuinely at ease amongst his farmer clientele and it was immediately obvious to me that he’d been raised from the same soil. I was quite the opposite: born and bred in the heart of Brooklyn, fluent in Brooklynese and the brazen product of New York City’s subway system.

Our working arrangement began as a marriage of necessity but, even with our distinctly different styles, it quickly grew into a partnership of mutual respect and admiration. John was thoroughly comfortable with himself as a GP, and didn’t hesitate to seek knowledge and advice when he found himself nonplussed with a patient’s condition. As a result, he often consulted with me on his more perplexing and intricate medical cases.

One of these cases was a six-year-old boy whom, a year and a half earlier, had developed a large disfiguring mass on the right side of his neck. At that time, John had consulted with a visiting surgeon who decided to remove the tumor. The surgeon sent a tissue sample of the tumor to the Mayo Clinic, only a few miles further south through corn country, whose excellent pathology department would determine its nature. The diagnosis came back—unequivocally—the boy had Hodgkin’s disease, cancer of the lymph nodes.

Because this took place a year and a half before I came on board, I could only imagine the shock that the child’s parents experienced when they’d heard such a dire diagnosis, as well as their relief when they were told their son had an excellent chance to be cured.

I didn’t review the boy’s chart until I saw him for his normal six-month check up. Based on a glance at his chart, I assumed that he’d been treated with radiation therapy. After all, he was still alive and doing very well. But when I checked his chart more closely, I saw, to my amazement, that the surgeon had advised that the boy not receive any treatment at all. When I examined him and found no sign of Hodgkin’s disease, I was even more dumfounded.

His parents told me it was a miracle. I thought to myself, either that, or a grave mistake… My investigative instincts were piqued at this point and so I began to search the boy’s records for clues that would reconcile the irreconcilable: a uniformly deadly disease—if left untreated—had disappeared on its own…??

– To read the rest of this story, click here to purchase Doc, What’s Up? 



Hello! My name is Stephen Zuckerman and I’m the author of two books:  These books are a Medical Humor at its Best  blend of personal essays, anecdotes, inventions, and what I like to call Zuckerisms – short, zippy aphorisms that highlight the more droll aspects of life.

In addition to writing, I’m also a practicing doctor, entrepreneur and world traveler. These experiences are what inform my writing, and I find myself inspired by my surroundings every day. This blog is a place for me to share more of my thoughts and my writing, and to share bits and pieces of my world with you.

To learn more about me, click here. And to explore my books, click the images below. In the meantime, welcome to my site! There are good things to come.


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