Category Archives: Author Tools

Never Give Up

I think that about two years ago, I almost gave up writing. I’d been building some momentum publishing short works that satellite around a novel I was working on.  Keep in mind this isn’t the first novel I’d written. I have about four of them under my bed, finished and not good enough to publish.  In any event, I pressed on in the spring of 2014 to publish Dragon Guardian.  I won’t say it fell flat, but I didn’t get the sales I’d been hoping for with the amount of work I’d put into the piece.  Enter discouragement.

I really needed an income stream to help with family finances. I’d published my first work through Rebel Ink Press back in 2011.  I had invested considerable time and concentrated effort into writing professionally. Naturally, I counted the beginning years from 2007 until 2011 as amateur hour, dabble dabble, poke poke.  But after being published with my first short work “The Galloping Ghoul of Hockomock Swamp” I put my shoulder to the wheel so to speak and dug in. By 2014 I ached for a big break and I suppose subconsciously placed that hope in Dragon Guardian.

I never expected to be a person influenced by the negativity of others.  However, just like a ball in a grand game of billiards, a little tick at just the right time can change the course of momentum. That little tick presented itself in the form of harsh criticism from an aging Aunt-in-Law who out of the blue contacted me on FB.  It went something like this. ‘I see you are an author.  My friend Suzy Q is an author too.  She is wonderful. She writes such brilliant stories.  She is quite a success. Why don’t you use your talent to write wonderful brilliant stories like Suzy Q instead of such smutty trash.’ I didn’t quote it because that isn’t exactly what she said but it is pretty close to what I heard. Any other time I could have blew it off.  But looking back, I think her words festered in that pocket of discouragement.

Those voices that were the mainstay of my creative muse.  The voices I’d always heard went away.  Stories in my mind I thought I would never lose were gone. It was just all too hard, too much effort for what? nothing really. My life was more stable and happier than it has been for….I don’t know 30 years or more. Yet, I couldn’t write a word. Paralyzed by something that I logically knew better than to hear and give purchase too.

Eden Glenn was lost and no one really knew. No one noticed. Which in turn my negative mind set turned into…No one really cared. Yet, life went on happily. I have a wonderful spouse. Grandchildren have been born that I embraced with joyousness. I had a heart attack that was quite a life changer. We bought a new home and did a massive remodel project, can we say gut job? Work opportunities shuffled and have settled into something that I love. Entrepreneurship has blossomed in terms of divergent businesses in property management and Essential Oil Education. My Narration contracts continued rolling in. Success on every measure but one. No one really knew, no one really noticed that Eden Glenn has gone into hiding.

And then spring arrived early. Two weeks ago, I started writing again. The whispers are returning. The psychologist in me wants to know why. Maybe the author in me is frightened they will retreat again and the creativity will be lost.I think I’ve found more balance and realism as an author and indeed as a person through the experience.

I think the answer is connection.

I actually think Eden Glenn is back because a couple of dear cherished people, I won’t embarrass by naming, went looking for her and took the time to say. We miss you. You are brilliant. I miss your fantastic stories of adventure and sexy romance. You will write more won’t you?

You never know what influence you will have in the smallest way with a kind word or a moment of attention.  Thank you.Cherry blossoms

Marketing for Authors – Two

The first topic I think we should tackle is Social Medial. Time Sucker or Revolution / Image Builder or Implement of SELF DESTRUCTION!

DISCLAIMER; You know I’m pretty strong natured, opinionated. So everything I say from here on out is IMHO i.e. In My Humble Opinion.

I started as an author with a “My Space” Page. Okay, stop laughing long enough to read this post.  That’s all there was way back then when dirt was young and computers had just evolved from a string of beads in a rack (abacus for the children).

Then someone hit me up on “My Space” and said hey, I’m over on “Facebook” it’s pretty cool, come on over. I did because of course I’m an early adopter in technology.  A lot…. A whole lot of folks said — I don’t like it as much because you can’t do as much with it as you can “My Space”.

I said quit laughing.

We all now know how THAT story has ended. IMHO

Seriously, social media. Some people love it, some people hate it.

Here is a fun list of all the social media places I can be found. The Facebook page is the anchor for the first grouping.

 

(looks at list again) I might have forgotten and left some off the list. Humm. I’ve actually found authors with more social networking sites than I have. So, I’ve got a few more to investigate. Some of you are thinking I’ve lost my mind. Maybe I have.

But in college I learned that people absorb information in different ways. Some of them are readers, others listeners, others hands on.  People are going to live “cyber-world wise” and “solid-world wise”  where they are comfortable. IMHO

I want my information to be out there where they can receive it best and most comfortable for themselves.  Someone who is very graphic oriented might see my cover on Deviantart and jump on my website.  Someone in the solid world might want a book in their hand and find me at a book signing at a local library, public speaking event or author event in a book store. IMHO

So I’ve linked these together through Facebook to make it easier for me to manage them.  For the most part. The others just require updates when a new book releases.

Now a soap box speech about these various worlds. IMHO – I have seen authors melt down their career in ten seconds on FB or Twitter, because of what they said or how they acted (on a social media site).  These are places where you have ONLY words to present who you are. (for the most part…maybe a couple of pictures. Please dear god no boob and dick shots.)

So watch well the words you type here, er there… because you don’t want to have to eat them over and over again. The internet never goes away (till the Zombie Apocalypse starts) and someone is always watching. IMHO

It is a really easy place to tell too much and that is fine line between sympathy and everyone thinking you’re a high maintenance wierdo kook. If you don’t know where that line is….and believe me, you usually DON’T know where that line is. So, keep it shut about your negative reaction to bad reviews and anything else that might haunt you. IMHO

I’ve not done business with people because they turned on the Jesus-freak too loud on their professional page. I’m spiritual don’t get me wrong but there is a fine limit between enough and way too much. There isn’t much in between ground.

I have a friend. We’re going to talk about her personal page for a moment. I’ll leave her anonymous. She’s an atheist. She attends a little church for community and fellowship. It’s not a mainstream Holy Roller christian church. So, she started posting little snippets about what was going on. She’s part of that community, it’s part of her life.  A family member unfriended her because, she was “TOO religious.” Seriously. (insert significant outrage here and no IMHO)

Another person disassociated from her because she isn’t religious enough, cause she’s an atheist.  Are you seeing the fine line here? Now this is her personal page and anyone can go hang for all I care. But if we are talking about your professional page…humm something to think about.

Perception is a very individual thing. And, perception is reality.

Okay so what if it was a professional author page.  You’ve got someone out there telling everyone. “Yeah I really liked her at first  but she got TOO religious (TOO political, pagan, puppy rescuer … substitute what you like).  See what I mean? Now I’m not saying to not put personal flavor on your page. I do. I just don’t post 25 pictures of puppies that need rescued before they’re euthanized.

Woosa, people find balance. And yet I run that same risk with someone reading this blog and saying. “I really liked her at first but she’s just so snarky.” IMHO. LOL

I figure one political rant is worth two puppies are gonna die pictures. You’ve got to find your own balance.  What’s I’m saying is HEY Don’t be a nutzo extremist on any subject.

Remember THIS is a PROFESSIONAL image you are building here. Party girl pictures with your boobs and ass hanging out and you’re wasted on tequila last Friday night– probably won’t improve your image.  I guess maybe that comes down to knowing your audience. LOL Okay if you’re a stripper maybe, post away.

People will buy your books from all walks of life so don’t make yourself appear to be too narrow and exclude the wider variety of customers from relating to you.  How many times have I heard?….okay…okay…I was on a roll and I was going to say a negative but I stopped myself. Let’s turn it around.

How many times have I heard? “I met her at a book signing (elevator, restaurant, youtube video, grocery store, readers cyber chat room, Zombie Run, readers FB page…substitute where every you meet people and it’s everywhere solid world and cyber world) “and she was such a nice person. I’ll read anything she writes and tell everyone how nice she is and to buy her books.” I think you get the idea. If you don’t then you’ve missed the train and you might catch a bus over at 23rd and Main and you can hit up the drive to buy one of your books you’re lugging around in that shopping bag to sell to any unsuspecting stranger that makes the mistake of making eye contact with you. IMHO. Yet I digress once again.

Now, and a big whoa Nellie, Social networking is not I repeat, Not spaming people and shoving news of your latest release down their throats.  Social networking is just that, networking  and making relationships.

Oh heck. Questions anyone? Comments. Let’s fire it up with some discussion! I’m not an expert. That’s why I’ve kept my comments framed with IMHO (In My Humble Opinion)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Marketing for Authors – One

One of my friend and a fellow Rebel Ink Press author Lori J. Gordon asked the following question. While I quote her. I very easily could have written these same words. We all FEEL this.

“I’m going to ask for help here….I am sadly failing at promoting. I see a lot of you doing so well and have to ask what are you doing? (Please keep in mind I’m on a very tight budget.) I admit I could be a bit lazy about this but it’s past time I got serious. Need advice on where to start?”

Haven’t we all been in that place. I was. Heck! I still AM!!!

Okay. Let me say first loud and clear and unequivocally. I have NO IDEA what works in promoting and marketing. Is it a mystery? Some divine club that senior members give you the golden ticket and it helps us all know what to do? I don’t think so.

The industry is changing moment by moment. I’m not sure its not all about Promoting and Marketing, really. We’re asking ourselves. How do I be a professional author? How to I gain a following of readers? How can I have sales and be successful at writing books? What can I do that will make a difference?

So, let’s explore this concept together over the next few weeks. Watch for the articles I’ll post on Wednesday’s for awhile while we explore the mystery of Marketing and Promoting.  Let’s see if we can find any answers together. Certainly we can share what we do. Maybe ten years from now we’ll know if it accomplished our objective. LOL

I’ll tell you what I do as step one. First, foremost and your greatest priority is 1. Write the next good book. No amount of marketing will work if your book sucks the big stink or never gets written at all. And, we are all learning. I still haven’t necessarily figured out where to put commas. Sometimes my sentences faill to be … well… sentences. I have echo words that have to be culled out and boy do I miss a few.

The point is, I can’t think of too many authors who have totally “Arrived”. Well, except … well there are a few. The divine Queen Nora. Yeah, that woman has arrived.  I think she’s defined the word, arrived. She’s witty, humble, smart. She might not say she’s arrived but in my book. Oh yeah, she has. But I digress.

The POINT IS! we are all still learning and growing. I read craft books. I study. I dissect other books. What was good? What was bad? What hooked me? What made me want to throw it at the wall? I watch what others do. Observation and critical thinking.

So, READ is the second most important thing you can do to help yourself.

Write good books. Read Good Books.

Future Topics on this thread:

Here are some of my thoughts for topics. If you have others, pop them into the comments so we can dig into them together. I think with time and a little effort we can nail this jello to a board.
Social Media, Time Sucker?, Volume, Conduct, The Avalanche
Book Signings
Press Kits and Releases
Website
Blog
Relationships/Networking
Reviews
 

Lessons from an Author Signing Event

This is kindof a long article. But it does hit the nuts and bolts of promoting at an Author Event from A to Z all in one package.

When I set the date for my print release of the direct publication project, “Dragon Guardian” I also started networking with local independent books stores to host book release parties for the event.

Blue Ridge Books in Waynesville was set for the event for May 3rd on release day, a Saturday afternoon at 3pm  and then the upcoming City Lights Bookstore in Sylva is set for May 16th in the evening.

I thought I would share a few things that I did for the book signings and what may or may not have been successful.

Even while I was in final edits and production I started organizing the marketing materials for the book signings.

The first thing I did was design and order a pop up banner that I can use for any in person events…from book signings to guest speaker events. Pop up banners are vertical rectangle stand up banners.

My purpose was to have something that would last longer than the next book. Longevity was important. Something that would mark my brand as author.

I designed it with tools on the web available at Staples. I had them produce it. Also, I purchased a stand to hold the banner.

This is what I came up with.

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It has my name: Eden Glenn. Below that Erotic Romance Author. Then a graphic of a girls back. Below that is my tag line “Romance So Hot It Burns Off The Page”.  Across the bottom is my website in white. The colors are very bold, Yellow, Red and white. The font is very large to be visible from across the room.

I used Photoshop to design the banner and it is very important to be specific in the largest possible images and the highest resolution so that the banner is clear.

The second thing I started with was different kinds of promotional literature. I redesigned my business card, so it was current and clean. I designed a rack card for my book series from Rebel Ink Press, The Amethyst Desire Collection. I also designed one for the Dragon Guardian release.  Rack cards are rectangle cards that are sized to put in racks at various outlets. You see them a lot at tourist centers and restaurants.

I used these as beginning advertisement sitting at the book store as a teaser before I had the books in. I dropped them off a couple weeks before the event along with a eight by ten photo quality image of the cover that I laminated with the self seal lamination pockets.  This way the store had my cover on a little table top easel (wire easel purchased from the Dollar Tree) and then the info rack cards for customers to pick up. I place a bright shaped tag on the corner of the cover with the statement “Author Event” the date and time. You can see a sample of the tag on the poster below.  Of course the one I used for the 8 X 10 was much smaller than this full sized poster.

The next thing I did was work with staples to create a poster of the book cover. I used medium size and it came out really nice. Medium is 24 X 18 inches in size.

10250194_10100309096894582_698316391998768885_n You can see the poster on an Easel here in the picture.  I bought some very bright shapes from The Dollar Tree and printed very clearly Author Event May 3rd 3 to 4pm.  This poster was placed in the book store window a week before the event for everyone to see. The smaller shapes in the same package were the ones I used on the 8 X 10 photo print of the cover for early publicity.

After that I gathered some items for give away.  I used 2 X 4 adhesive labels and printed small cover images and QR codes to save space and maximize the use of the label.  Each one held two covers and two QR codes for my website.

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I purchased small notepads from the Dollar Tree.  Two pads in a package for a buck. Not bad.  They have a little magnetic snap to close them. I put a sticker of my cover on the outside of the pad. It had a nice metallic swirly pattern on the book.  On the inside I had a label with my QR code and tag line/website. http://www.EdenGlenn.com — Romance So Hot It Burns Off The Page. I was able to find a package of generic adhesive address labels also at the Dollar Tree. So I used their online template. The labels are smaller about 1″ x 2 5/8″ , just big enough for a small sound bite.

My feeling is that people like getting things that are useful.

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I purchased a few other odds and ends and made sure I put my labels on each thing. I used my QR code to direct everyone to my website. I always made sure I placed my website address with it so people could key in the address if they didn’t read QR codes.

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Hot Damn Designs created a calendar featuring some covers they’d designed. I arranged advertising to have my Dragon Guardian cover on the back of the calendar.  They are going to give these away at Romantic Times Book Lovers Convention. They were kind enough to give me a few copies. So I had a few for give away and I put one in the gift basket and had a couple others to put in the variety of prizes that I’d chosen for give away. This way the folks who purchased books would be in the drawing for the wine but I would have the other items and gift basket for give away regardless of whether the guests purchased a book or not. My plan was to make sure everyone attending went home with something that had my promotion on it and website access.

The story is a menage’ romance so I purchased a bottle of Menage’ a Trois wine and autographed the bottle. Each person that purchased a book got a ticket to be in the drawing for the bottle of wine. Our winner at the Waynesville signing was THRILLED!

The last thing I organized was a gift basket with each of the give away items, a t-shirt the rack cards etc. I organized the stuff into a dollar tree basket and covered it in the shrink wrap that you heat with the hair drier.

I also bought a 12 pack of small water’s. I used avery.com and designed a water bottle label with my tag line and website on it.  I took the generic labels off the water bottles and put my special one on with rubber cement.

A couple weeks ahead of time I started getting the event posted on all the community calendars. I created a press packet for the book store to control press releases and emailed it to my contact person at the individual stores.  In your press packet you should have: 1. jpeg of the book cover suitable for print release in the papers. 2. Bio photo with the same. 3. Blurb for the book 4. bio 5. buy links if you have them and certainly web site address.

The book store handling the press releases to local print media was helpful.  However, I arranged events on Facebook to make sure everyone that might be local could hear about the event.  I did the press release for local NPR to announce. I also contacted every local list that I’m a member of through Ya’hoo and told them about the event. My friends at church, Franklin Friends, The Alps professional women, All those social groups that I participate with.

I invited friends in person. I really promoted the event a lot.  I also received good press over it.  There were web releases at both book store websites, their FB pages, both Waynesville papers, the Sylva paper, and a guide magazine of events.

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The coverage was great and worth a lot.

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I had dropped off ten copies of the book a few days before the signing so they could process them into their system.  The organization would be the only source that guests would purchase the book, I would then sign it so we kept a clear count.

I chose some passages to read from the book. We got everything set up.  The book store handled setting up the chairs.

So on the day of the event we set up. I had a table in the back for signing. I decided what my autograph would be. I wanted to sign in red ink.  I chose clothes that would be professional. I had a helper have guests print their name; email and zip code on the back of old business cards that were outdated by my new ones. This way I had names to build my mailing list and a way to draw winners for the give away items I’d organized.

I also purchased several small festive wine glasses from Dollar Tree. I stuffed a bright piece of tissue paper into the glass and filled it with Hershey Kisses. I used these as thank you gifts for the clerks at the book store who were assigned to help me host the event and one for the book store owner. They were touched. They said no one had ever done anything like that for them before.  I thought it was a nice gesture.

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I read a few passages from the book about 20 minutes worth. I tried to give a flavor of the main protagonists, some of the humor, some of the sexual tension. I interacted with the guests in answering questions.  I also printed out eight by tens of my other upcoming covers. I was blessed that Rebel Ink Press was releasing “Shifter’s Legacy” the same day so I showed that cover and talked about the series. I showed the cover for “Emma’s New Year”. I also have a free read that is part of the “Drakins of Wyrmarach” series – “Dragon Betrayal” I leaked that cover and the cover to the upcoming “Dragon Emergence”. These covers haven’t been seen on the internet and were special teasers for the participants of the Book Release Party.

I really enjoyed this opportunity. It was a clear sunny Sat afternoon. There was a lot competing against me. I didn’t have a great turn out. However, I did sell four books. I got some fantastic advertisement. I probably spent about 40$ combined for the two events. That’s not counting the pop up banner or the posters of the covers.

I am hoping to have a better turn out at the Sylva location at City Lights Book Store because it will be on a Fri night at 6:30. We’ll have to see.

Now a few days after the event, I am mailing out a thank you card to the owner in appreciation for hosting me for the “Release Party”

 

Lessons Learned in Direct Publication: Kindle Format

Kindle format. or ebook if you will requires a little different skill than what we’ve learned for print publication.

I’ve noticed or should say that I believe that my publisher uses a pdf for submission to ebook formats. So far I’ve only stuck my toe in the waters of Kindle. There may be more blogs as I branch out…later. LOL

So I chose the option of transferring the book from print to Kindle. Not surprising that didn’t work very well. The main reason is there are different format components required for Kindle. Like a table of contents.

So start with your final word document. Re-name it something immediately so you don’t accidentally save over your print formatted copy.

FRONT MATTER:  This stays pretty much the same as the print document. However, I remove any empty pages. You needed them in print form to make sure your work was positioned on the correct page of the leaves of the book.  E-books scroll so you don’t need the empty pages.

Table of Contents: Now, you will also need a table of contents so that readers can advance through the document with links to the various chapters.

Make sure to place your curser on the page in your document where you want your “Table of Contents” to be placed. I put mine right after Disclaimer / Copyright page.

To insert this look at your word tabs and click on “References”. At the far left you will see “Table of Contents” Click on that. Choose the option “Insert Table of Contents” at the bottom. Then, unclick the option on the middle left for “Show Page Numbers” you don’t need them. Make sure the box for “Use hyperlinks instead of page numbers” is clicked. It is at the middle right side of the pop up box. The next thing is how many levels to show. That is found at the bottom under general. I chose one level because I only want the chapter heading to show.

You don’t have to name your chapters. It can be simple as “Chapter One” just be sure you follow the same style for each chapter.

To finish this up you can “Modify” by clicking that and “Modify” again so you can choose font, size, and line spacings between all your components of the table of contents.

Once you ok, ok all the way out the program will insert your table of contents where you placed your curser at the beginning of this instruction.

Blurb: Something else to consider. Since you don’t have a full cover like print. You might want to work the back cover blurb into the front matter.

HEADERS/FOOTERS

E-books don’t have headers or page number footers so strip those out.

BODY: You also loose your pretty formatting for the beginnings of chapters and at the scene breaks. It automatically converts the small caps at the beginning of each scene into caps.

So, for reader convenience I run through using the “Navigation” tab and reinsert symbols at the change of scene.  Some people use four bold asterisks **** I chose a symbol that fits into the story line.

To navigate the document in Windows, you can find the bar by clicking find to bring up that panel on the far left. The tab on the far left is the Headings in your document tab. If you used the styles function as discussed earlier you will see all your sections and scene breaks to navigate your document easily. I pop to each scene and paste that symbol to break the scenes.

END MATTER: The End matter gives you some pretty exciting options in an E-book. Remember not to get carried away with how much stuff you put back there. Folks don’t want to have 30 pages of “junk” at the end of their ebook that inflates the page count any more than they want it in a print book.

However, I did choose to put a brief blurb of my next book coming out in the series. Where you have a back list of work is the place that the party happens. I listed my past back list of work and hot linked each title to the sales page at Amazon for that work. As I use other publishers for the e-book I will link to the books that are for sale at their cites. I also hot linked book trailers for each work.

What this mean in application?  Okay, I just finished reading my ebook from the famous (infamous – LOL) Eden Glenn. I liked it (I HOPE) and I see she has another menage story. Without having to go get on my computer I can click and immediately watch the trailer on the book. I like what I see!!! so I can click the purchase link and buy that puppy. Immediately….almost automatically.

Then, because I don’t have the benefit of the back cover. I make sure I have my About the Author page in the back and again, I made a hot link to my website for the reader’s convenience.

Now the whole thing is read to go. Save it as a “Web Page” It is in the drop down box  under the “Save as” down at the bottom. That makes the document into HTML code. It doesn’t look as pretty to the “Naked” eye this way but it uploads beautifully and is one of the suggested formats from Kindle.

That’s about it for the internal workings of formatting for Kindle. I’d love to hear your comments on this series. Have I missed anything? any questions?

Check out my other articles on formatting in print:

Front Matter; Body; Scene Breaks; Headers/Footers; End Matter; Value of Advanced Reader’s Copy

Lessons Learned in Direct Publication: End Matter

We’ve been discussing formatting a manuscript for direct publication to print. I’ve spent time going over Front Matter, Formatting the Body of the text, Scene Breaks, Headers/Footers, and the value of Advanced Reader’s Copy. Today we discuss End Matter.

I did a review of books out there for sale in stores and with book vendors. There were some things in common with those books. The end of the book contained several components referred to as End Matter.

There were usually a couple of pages dedicated to a preview of books the author will have out for sale, their to be released information. This is often followed by a page that expands a bit on other books the author has for sale. Usually a title and a short blurb. Sometimes art work from the cover. I used both of these in my forthcoming manuscript.

Then often there will be a short excerpt from that forthcoming to be released title. I didn’t do that because I wasn’t ready to release that excerpt. It may be a marketing opportunity missed.

There is a great video that I gleaned some of this information from. I learned a few tricks beyond what the video had to offer but it is still a great listen to pick up the specific how too’s for some of the things I’ve discussed in these articles.

Next I will be talking about how all this print format stuff relates to the Kindle e-book publication.

Lessons Learned in Direct Publication: The Advanced Reader’s Copy

I’m putting myself out here pretty vulnerable today. I’ve been working very hard on my first direct publication release. I can’t tell you the countless hours I have spent editing, (my partner has spent, my critique partner has spent, … get the idea.  Lots of people…lots of read through time, out loud and on the screen.)

Now I want to preface this by saying that this Direct Publication project is actually my eighth release. The previous titles were handled through a publisher. So, I’m not the new kid on the block but still in my toddler-hood of publishing.

I couldn’t resist taking a peek and reading some of the finally published book last night. Imagine my horrrrrrification when I found an error, and another, and another. Little things perhaps, huge in my mind. My baby has a flaw. It’s not perfect, it’s freakin messed UP!~

Oh what it done is done. What can I do now. Learn from it is the best advice I can give myself.

First off I am going to fix the errors.

Next, learn that no matter how many times I’ve edited…me and my crew…there are going to be mistakes. Accept that as part of life. The Navaho create beautiful art and leave one tiny flaw on purpose so as to not mock the Gods…human’s aren’t perfect.

Second, never under estimate the value of advanced reader copy.

Perhaps I would have found those errors by printing the whole smole from the Create Space final proof.  Certainly if I had allowed time in my process to order one printed copy of the book to read one FINAL time myself, I would have found the errors.

Some how the words do look different in print compared to the computer screen.

If I had budgeted my time, planned better then those typo errors would have been found. Maybe? most of them? perhaps. But I let myself get pinched on the end. I took two weeks off when my daughter had a horrible motorcycle accident. That wasn’t in my time budget and it caused me to crimp things on the end.

I didn’t take the time….have the time…make the time… to order that final advanced readers copy. Now, I’m sad.

I’ve exposed myself here and made myself very transparent. I think it’s important to talk about those hard things.

So, learn form my mistake. I hope I do.

See my other articles on this wonderful creative process of direct publication:

Front Matter; Body; Scene Breaks; Headers/Footers; End Matter; Formatting for Kindle

Lessons Learned in Direct Publication – Headers/Footers

I’ve been discussing all the things I’ve learned in the course of formatting my manuscript for direct publication in print. I’ve discussed Front Matter; The Body of the Manuscript; How to handle Scene Breaks.  The value of Advanced Readers Copy shouldn’t be overlooked.

I was slightly familiar with Headers and Footers but I didn’t know quite how that might apply to my manuscript.

What I did notice in my review of books out there for sale pertaining to headers and footers might seem confusing. Lets start with page numbers. The page numbers can be at the top of the page or at the bottom they can be centered or on the outside corner of the page. They are not usually on the inside corner of the pages. Wherever they are they are contained in the headers at the top or footers at the bottom.

I placed mine in the center of the bottom of the page…In the footer. I found a cool symbol that tied in with the theme of my manuscript to use around the page number. It was part of the footer set up application.

That left my Header tool (top of the page) to use for other purposes. I programmed it to print my manuscript title on the even pages and my author name on the odd pages. The lettering font was different from the manuscript text but the same choice as the page numbers at the bottom. Nice crisp and clear in capital letters. I chose the Calibri 10pt font for this purpose.

Its able to be programmed for different information on the even pages vs the odd pages. That’s how I could do the title on one and the name on the other.

I will be talking about End Matter next and then more about formatting for Kindle.

Lessons Learned in Direct Publication: Scene Breaks

I’ve been talking about how to handle formatting a manuscript for direct publication for print. We’ve discussed Front Matter; The Body of the Manuscript. Today I’m discussing Scene Breaks.

In reviewing books out there for sale I noticed something very interesting about how publishers formatted the breaks between scenes. When the scene’s change at the bottom or very top of a page there is a symbol inserted to indicate the change of scene. Because when that change occurs at the ending of a page or the beginning of the next it’s important to warn the reader of that transition. It doesn’t matter if the symbol is at the bottom of the page or at the top.  Often four **** formatted in BOLD are sufficient. I found a symbol that ties into the theme of my story. The symbol was followed by an extra empty line.

However, when the scene changed in the middle of a page there was a different treatment. The change was preceded by an empty line. Then the first few words of the first sentence of the new scene was formatted through the font drop down function where you check “small capital”.  Then those words selected would change to small capital letters.

Naturally any formatting of this nature with scene breaks etc has to be the last touch of formatting. If anything else changes after this it might change where the scene break is positioned thereby changing whether you need a symbol to mark the break or just the change to small capital font.

More later on Headers/Footers and End Matter also the value of Advanced Reader’s Copy as well as formatting for Kindle.

Lessons Learned In Direct Publication: The Body

Last time I discussed how to handle Front Matter in formatting your manuscript for Direct publication to print. Continuing on with that theme. The body of the manuscript. I learned a whole lot about MS-Word in the process of this project. One of the most interesting things was about “Style”. Setting up the “Style” tabs for various parts of your manuscript builds the table of contents automatically. It also allows you to make global changes with a couple of clicks. The third advantage is being able to move around the manuscript from the headings bar on the left with one click. IT is a beautiful thing!!

I set up one “Style” Tab for my chapter headings. It allows me to program how many spaces down the page it will appear. How many lines between the heading and the body of the text. I can set the size and choice of font as well as placement. I set up another style for the body of the manuscript text. I was also able to program at what level I wanted the various “styles” to set out at.

The next thing I noticed from my earlier review of books in print was the way the manuscript was handled within the body of text. At the beginning of each chapter there were several words emphasized in a different font.  I liked the look of the Copperplate Gothic light.

More later about how to handle scene breaks, the headers/footers for formatting a manuscript and the end matter, the value of Advanced Readers Copy and getting everything ready for Kindle.