0f4713e80bbfc77a3c5cfc0b32dd6ba20358d132-thumb.jpgThis Smashwords freebie is one of the few wellness titles I have found there that is not either an informercial ad, or priced like one. It’s a full-length, content-rich and well-written motivation guide for anyone interested in health, fitness and wellness issues.

The focus of the book is attaining a healthy lifestyle—not necessarily a size zero lifestyle, but rather a realistic and maintainable one where you are at your personal fittest and best. Pearl, who is a personal trainer, outlines ten steps to ‘transformation’ which include eating regularly, controlling your cravings, reducing temptations and other common-sense but useful suggestions.

The book has many personal anecdotes from both Michelle and her clients (including a former contestant of the Biggest Loser show who has been making media rounds with an eating disorder and a scathing indictment of the show) and is written in a chatty, informal style which works well for the type of book it is. I would have liked to see a sample two-week plan with meals and workout suggestions spelled out in detail—that is standard for ‘real’ books of this type, and Pearl is at times vague on actual specifics—but that aside, I did find the book a good read, especially for a freebie.

My one big complaint is the formatting—it looks fine on the website and iPad, but this book looked absolutely abysmal on the Kindle. Someone needs to go through her code and clean it up a lot! Page breaks in odd places, weird spaces in between lines, images that just don’t look laid out correctly and other glitches abound. I deleted it off the Kindle after less than a dozen pages.

I am going to say 3.5/5 for this one. She loses points for the occasional general idea which could have benefited from being a more specific idea instead, and she loses points too for the absymal formatting. So it’s not a 4, but it’s better than a 3…

Via Joanna’s E-Finds blog

Previous articleWired covers Blio’s first week, pans Sony PRS-350
Next articleiPad magazines too large due to Adobe
"I’m a journalist, a teacher and an e-book fiend. I work as a French teacher at a K-3 private school. I use drama, music, puppets, props and all manner of tech in my job, and I love it. I enjoy moving between all the classes and having a relationship with each child in the school. Kids are hilarious, and I enjoy watching them grow and learn. My current device of choice for reading is my Amazon Kindle Touch, but I have owned or used devices by Sony, Kobo, Aluratek and others. I also read on my tablet devices using the Kindle app, and I enjoy synching between them, so that I’m always up to date no matter where I am or what I have with me."


  1. Curious about the problems you found, I downloaded the ePub version into Calibre. My main complaint — vast tracts of empty white space. I don’t understand why people will publish on Smashwords and completely ignore the free book on proper formatting.

  2. Hello,

    We are the publishers for Michelle Pearl’s book, and we would like to thank you for the feedback about the formatting issues.

    We spent many weeks properly formatting the Kindle version of this book through MOBI which was accepted and directly uploaded onto Amazon. However, while we wait for the book to get into retail channels, we decided to temporarily offer the book for free, but since we are a small publisher Amazon required us to charge for the book, so we elected to post it on the Smashwords free platform.

    Smashwords requires that books be uploaded in Word, formatted totally differently than the Amazon MOBI format, and then they do the conversions into the various formats through their “meatgrinder” software. Until we read your posts, we had no idea that Smashwords was slaughtering the formatting of the book when it converted it to the different formats.

    We appreciate your feedback about this issue and we have now pulled all formats of the book on Smashwords except for the online reading option, for which the book is formatted perfectly. Of course, the correctly formatted Kindle version is also available on Amazon, as well.

    We have also passed a note along to the Smashwords team about the problem so that your feedback will help other authors and publishers planning on using the Smashwords system, as well.

    Sarah Stevens
    Gallery Press Publishing

The TeleRead community values your civil and thoughtful comments. We use a cache, so expect a delay. Problems? E-mail newteleread@gmail.com.