Small tales

The desire to publish short stories leads me to develop my own frictionless publishing solution using Netlify, GitHub and Dropbox.

Small tales

I mentioned in a recent post I was thinking about a way to publish flash fiction. If you read that post, you’ll recall I was weighing up the merits for embedding flash fiction within this site or spinning them off as a subdomain. Well, call it intellectual curiosity, but I decided to the try the latter.

My design goal was to create something as frictionless as possible. I wanted something with no UI, no back-end management, nothing. Just drop a story in a folder and let some automation do the heavy lifting.

I settled on a solution whereby I build the site from code stored in GitHub and deploy it to Netlify as a static site for free. There’s nothing magic about — it’s how I used to run my last blog.

The difference this time while GitHub stores the code, I use DropBox to store my stories. Dropbox, GitHub and Netlify talk to each other with some webhooks and a little JavaScript. This way, all I have to do I write a story in Ulysses, export it to markdown and dump it in a special folder in Dropbox and about 15 seconds later the site is built. That’s about as frictionless as I can make web publishing, and I’m quite pleased with the results.

So, I give you the fruits of my labour, Small Tales. I’m not sure how much I’ll use it, but it’s my hope it will encourage me to write and publish more short stories in overly long periods between my book launches.

Let me know what you think.