Category Archives: The Writer’s Drawer

A discussion of the barriers and pitfalls of self publishing and marketing

Writing a Book Series

Writing a Book Series
I have many people ask me: Is there a different skill set to writing a book series than writing a stand-alone novel?Writing a series of books can be much more difficult than a standalone novel, as the tone of the books, the story lines, and plot twists all need to sustain themselves throughout multiple novels.I feel that a series can take two forms:1) Multiple standalone books featuring the same characters, with nods to a unifying story arch. They usually continue years or weeks in story time after each other. Any of these books can be picked up and enjoyed without necessarily having to read the preceding books in the series.
Examples:
Repairman Jack Series – F.Paul Wilson
The Stainless Steel Rat Series – Harry Harrison
Retief Series – Keith Laumer2) Multiple books that are continuances of the overall story and usually have a Series Title as well as Book Title. There is usually no story time lag between books – they are true continuances. The series books are not standalone, you need to have read the preceding issues.
Examples:
The Belgariad – David Eddings
Shannara Series – Terry Brooks
Game of Thrones – George R.R. Martin

The Rebel, Lies of Lesser Gods Book Two is written and in the process of being edited and definitely falls under the second category. It is actually harder for me to write than The Exile , book one of the series.

The Exile , as the establishing book of Lies of Lesser Gods, set the tone for the remainder of the adventure. For book two, The Rebel, I am now constrained to maintaining this tone. I want to do it right – and that means Rewrites. But regardless, it is a labour of love. I am passionate about the characters and what befalls them, their trials, their loves and hates, and how these forces shape and change them over time. I know I have it right when I get lost in the story, and forget that I’m supposed to be copy editing.

But maintaining all the story lines and arcs can become quite confusing, especially as book three of the series sits in the gate awaiting treatment.

I suppose every author has their own way of dealing with maintaining the story. This is mine.

I have a large card collection, stored in an old recipe box, that contains every character, what they look like, what motivates them, any quirks, and any conflicts. I also have a story map – complete with pins anchoring string of different colours – that shows the evolution of story lines, how they interact with the characters and the outcomes of each. In the end, the strings interact with each other and eventually, hopefully, untangle by the end of the series!
This helps me to maintain the tone of the tale, avoid any logic bombs, and ensure strong motivations and purposes for the characters.

Keep Organized!
Keep Organized!

 

Do you have a better way, or another way? Let me know!

Good Luck with your efforts. Leave a comment, ask a question and if this was helpful, please share it with your friends!

 

 

 

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Hey! Are you here accidentally? Lucky you! Take a moment to enter our latest Giveaway for a chance to win a free copy of The Exile, Amazon Gift Cards and much, much more!

What is the book about? Find out by watching The Exile Book Trailer, or read the free Chapter Preview!

 

Who Influences Your Writing?

Some questions that have been coming up lots lately, is  Who Influences your Writing? Describe the evolution of an author. Who set your feet upon the creative road?

Who Influences Your Writing is different for every author. I think I caught the writing virus back in high school. The librarian at my school noticed that I was going through their entire (limited) science fiction/fantasy section, and that I’d started asking for books that he’d never heard of. Well, they must have received a budget that year. He gave me the book order catalogue and told me to curate the Scifi/Fantasy collection. Imagine – being told to pick any books you wanted to see on the shelves – for future students! I was literally a kid in a candy store. When the new books came in, I had first crack at them.

My other big influencer was a bookstore in my hometown. It was this very old, dusty shop. The shelves were packed solid with every book imaginable. One of the last, great, independent bookstores. The aisles were so narrow, that it was hard for two people to squeeze past each other. I still remember the smell. Dust and fresh-from-the-printer ink. It was an odd blending of old and new. I think I lived in that store throughout my childhood. Back then you could buy about 5 books for a Canadian $20.
It is very unfortunate that this store burned down due to a gas leak. They re-opened in another location, but failed to recapture the magic of the original. Although, I guess I’m looking through the magic lens of remembrance.

These places fired my imagination. Exposed me to outer space and places of high magic. Exposed me to violent confrontations between Good and Evil. Exposed me to the philosophies and incantations of mathematics, utopias, physics and magic.

So, what authors inspired my writing? That is a tough one. For me, I think it goes chronologically, something like this. I can’t really pick individual stories, so here are some of the authors.
1) Mother Goose – All fantasy and rhymes.
2) Hans Christian Anderson, Aesop’s Fables, Grimm’s Fairy tales, Bulfinch’s Mythology – My father would read us to sleep every night when I was a child. My parents had the old, original texts, that hadn’t been given the PC edit to eliminate all horror violence for us “gentler” generation. We never had nightmares. We lived secure in the knowledge that the witches, wolves and evil-doers who lived in the world were firmly defeated by the powers of good every night before bedtime.
3) The collective works of Edgar Rice Burroughs, HG Wells and Robert E. Howard.
4) Carl Sagan – I watched his tv series, read his books and basically developed an enduring love of Physics, Astronomy and Space. The romance and poetry of the explorer was seductive as hell. I found this Youtube video. See for yourselves. http://bit.ly/1drhejq
5) Robert A. Heinlein – Everything. His entire catalogue.
6) Terry Brooks – Everything!
7) Piers Anthony – Love it!
8) Larry Niven – may need to re-read all of his works!
9) Anne McCaffrey – Everything.
10) David Eddings – Everything.
11) Harry Harrison – Everything. Stainless Steel Rat – when is this going to be a movie!!!
12) Stephen King – ‘nough said.
13) Dean Koontz – ‘nough said.
14) F. Paul Wilson – read The Keep, Repairman Jack Series is a must!

I have to stop now. I find myself skimming the titles on my bookshelf, and pulling out books that amazed, inspired and stretched my imagination – and I can’t list them all – there isn’t enough room.

Everything we read, watch, experience, and live will influence our writing. Because it fires the imagination, it lights a blaze that, as an author, must be shared. It is the warm campfire, on the dark cold night, inviting us to sit a while, and share a story. This then, not the other, is the oldest profession.

Good Luck with your efforts. Leave a comment, ask a question and if this was helpful, please share it with your friends!

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Hey! Are you here accidentally? Lucky you! Take a moment to enter our latest Giveaway for a chance to win a free copy of The Exile, Amazon Gift Cards and much, much more!

What is the book about? Find out by watching The Exile Book Trailer, or read the free Chapter Preview!

Twenty SciFi and Fantasy Plot Pet Peeves

I was just visiting one of my groups and there was a great thread discussing the common plot devices that drive people crazy when they read Science Fiction or Fantasy books.

I thought it would be interesting to cull some of the pet peeves out for everyone to see. Hopefully, if you are an author, you haven’t made use of any of these plot devices. Here are Twenty SciFi and Fantasy Plot Pet Peeves in no particular order.

1) “Aliens who haven’t got reasonable physiology to explain how they have come by their advanced technology. For example: Fish flipper beings who evolved in the oceans…where did they mine, smelt and build their spaceships?” Micah

2)“If a pair of breasts, lovingly described, enters the bar, only incidentally attached to a woman. If she is there solely to be rescued, boinked, or tortured so that the hero can Avenge Her. Watch my dust, I am so out of here.” Brenda

3)“Extruded Fantasy Product. No more quests with halflings and dwarves in the party, eh? No more vaguely Arthurian mythology in a thinly medieval setting.” Brenda

4)“Books that violate their own rules of magic. That’s a big one for me. Or I can only suspend disbelief so far so if you set a world up in such a way that the whole thing could be easily solved by something logical that no one is doing, that will drive me to drop the book.” Jute

5)“Women characters dressed up in long vests…even worse velvet, long vests with long hair, braided down their backs. Um, of all the trends to rely on plus the ability to create any type of clothing fashion you want, this THIS is what you dress them in?!” Holly

6)“I have developed a real pet peeve for the notion of a kingdom in peril, threatened on all sides by far superior forces, only to be rescued in the nick of time by the rightful king who has lived in solitude for these past (insert number) years. When you think of it, when in history has a vastly outnumbered army won a war?” Chip

7)“Give me female characters who are people and not props, all-human casts (or if you have to have fantasy characters, have a good reason for them not being human), and settings and cultures beyond the standard fantasyland-medieval, and you’ve gone a long way towards getting me to read and like your book.” Kyra

8)“I’m still seeing too much sexism, racism, and other -isms in SFF. Too much gratuitous rape, violence, sex, and profanity also. Each has its place but if you are going to use it make sure it advances the plot and fits the character and time.” Tasha

9)“…when writers set up a world based on those stories out of a different /ancient religion and *get it wrong* for a “plot twist “…it just falls flat.” Rena

10)“Women/girls being depicted as nothing better than male hero bait that need to be constantly saved because they can’t get out of trouble by themselves.
10a) Another pet peeve is the assumption/plot trick that everybody in the galaxy speaks English on the first encounter, without the need for a translation device.
10b) Another pet peeve of mine, are sci-fi/fantasy stories that are used to push the author(s)personal religious beliefs, misogyny or racist views.” Michel

11)“Some variation on this line: “It was hard to believe that such a big [insert noun] could move so fast!” I see that so often in Fantasy and Science Fiction that I’ve often thought I should compile a list. An elephant can outrun you. Stop being amazed that an 8-foot golem or robot can also move quickly. Yeesh.” Trike

12)“In SF stories set in the way far distant future…like tens or hundreds of thousands of years from now…and all the humans are exactly like they are today. Evolution doesn’t exist in the future? WTF?” Micah

13)“The idea that ‘knowledge is dangerous’ in fantasy, and should be controlled by wizards etc. Maybe if you’re 5000 years old, you can take 20 years off and teach some peasants how to read.” Jen

14)“Data dump. Stop the plot to download three paragraphs of detail of the space gun, or the interstellar drive, or the lineage of the True King, and I will fall asleep.”
14a)“Idiot plot. People do not become blithering idiots for ten minutes just so that your plot can crank along. If Gondor is going to war with Mordor, the regime had better be able to make its case on the editorial page of the GONDOR DAILY NEWS. If a multinational corporation is going to Become Evil and Rule the World wearing black leather uniforms, it had better fly with the board of directors and bring the bottom line into the black. (The Death Star was clearly a boondoggle, probably shoved through the budgeting process by lobbyists.)” Brenda

15)“If a protagonist is the best at everything it is boring & unrealistic.” Gordon

16)“Authors who include just a few pseudo-foreign words ( e.g. fay for day) that sound almost like their originals and then overuse them. There is a place for well thought out alternate titles, or even pronouns, but too often it’s unneccessary, badly done, and distracting.” Julie

17)“And, oh yes, on the ‘men are morons and women are manipulative shrews’ thing. I’ve quit reading more than one book because of that (or at least partly; that sort of shallow characterization is usually only one of many other problems with the book).” Kyra

18)“Anthropomorphic aliens, robots, androids, machines and other nonhumans.
18a)“Earth as planet-state that supersede nation-states but so called united earth governments have overly american/western sensibilities.” Smallo

19)“Utopias by definition are boring stories. Here is every utopia story: “Everyone lived happily ever after, the end.” Trike

20)“HUGE PEEVE – The fantasy quest. If I have to read one more tale about a farm boy who can talk to pigs who needs to find the magic ring, save the princess, and, oh yea, he is a brilliant sorcerer and swordsman despite having slopped pig sh*t his entire life because he’s actually heir to a vast kingdom… Really? That’s what you’re going with?” Linda

Good Luck with your efforts. Leave a comment, ask a question and if this was helpful, please share it with your friends!

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Hey! Are you here accidentally? Lucky you! Take a moment to enter our latest Giveaway for a chance to win a free copy of The Exile, Amazon Gift Cards and much, much more!

What is the book about? Find out by watching The Exile Book Trailer, or read the free Chapter Preview!

SEO is the Gas driving a Search Engine

Maximize your SEO for good search engine returns.
Maximize your SEO for good search engine ranking

Search Engine Optimization – SEO
As a beginner marketer, if you do nothing else during your marketing efforts, pay attention to your SEO. SEO is the Gas that drives a Search Engine. Do you want your website to appear on the first page of the Search Engine results? You need to optimize your SEO. That means optimizing on your websites, videos files, audio files, blogs – everything. Here are some Easy SEO Tips that may improve your Search Engine Ranking.

What is SEO – Search Engine Optimization helps you to improve your Search Engine Ranking. It is a way of adding commonly used words and phrases to your website titles, descriptions, pages and posts, videos etc, that will make it easier for Search Engines – like Google, Bing, Yahoo, Ask.com – to find and display a link to your site when someone does a search using those key words. It also means gaining links, shares, embeds, likes and other social interactions that effect the Search Engine ranking formulas.

I am not an expert so I highly recommend that you take a course. There are plenty out there. The one that I found most helpful was on Lynda.com. But here are some nuggets that I gleaned from my own experiences and from the courses that I took.

First some Jargon busters
Keywords and Phrases – These are words that people type into a Search Engine search window in order to find the content they are looking for.
Clicks per month – The number of times in a month that people search a specific phrase or keyword.
Ranking – When you search a word or phrase in a Search Engine, the pages it returns list all the different sites it has Ranked from most relevant to you to least relevant to you. You want a High Ranking in order to be displayed closest to the top of the page. SEO helps you improve your Search Engine Ranking.

1) Research your best Keywords – how would your audience find you if they were looking? Do a simple Google search and you will see the most commonly used phrases listed right in the search window. Narrow down the one or two phrases or words that most closely describe your content and that will lead a searcher to YOU.

2) Use a site like Google Analytics to determine three things about your favourite Keywords
* Relevance – to your content. The more specific you can make your phrase, the better – but the downside could be less clicks per month.
* Volume – how many clicks per month does this phrase generate – downside of high clicks per month is that you will be competing against a lot of other websites using the same phrases.
* Competition – how many other websites are using the same phrases?  Sometimes going with multiple low volume phrases that will rank you high in the search pages, will end up equalling one High Volume phrase that would burry you in the rankings. If no one ever gets to see your site link because it is on page 10,000 in the rankings, a High Volume click per month phrase doesn’t do you any good.

3) Ensure that your keywords and phrases appear in your Title, Description and Tags. But make sure that you are writing your content for humans, not the search engine trackers. We’ve all seen websites out there that stuff their phrases and keywords into their site description (dog, dogs, barking dog, running barking dog, etc) Guess what? The search engines are too smart for this. Don’t do it, it won’t improve your ranking and the search engines may flag your site and drop you to the bottom of the rankings.

4) Link all your sites together and make it easy for people to navigate from one to the other – Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, YouTube etc. If you have links leading people to Like, follow and share, your search engine rankings will improve.

5) Make it easy for people to interact, leave comments and share. The more shares, likes, comments, embeds and other interactions, the higher your ranking on a search engine.

6) Link your content to other sites with similar content genres – You can quote them, maybe they will quote you – more links mean higher ratings.

7) Post new content OFTEN – the more active your website, the higher your ranking.

For a WordPress website, a beginner easy-to-use SEO plugin is called “All in One SEO Pack”. Installed, it will help you to generate your SEO metadata. You may also want to try “SEO by Yoast” though this is a much more advanced product and you almost need a separate course to understand it, but it works beautifully.

AND NOW – BE PATIENT
SEO is not an exact science and anyone who tells you different is selling a bridge in NY. It is a constantly evolving research and tweaking process. Take your time, and if something doesn’t work, it is easy to be fluid and adjust your plan.

BEWARE of sites who promise to drive traffic to your website for a fee to drive your website up in the Search Engine Rankings. You will end up with a spike in your traffic that rapidly drops off – this is a red flag to search engines and they will drop your ranking. It would only work if you could continue to pay per click for fake traffic and defeats the purpose of actually attracting social interaction with your readers.

Good Luck with your efforts. Leave a comment, ask a question and if this was helpful, please share it with your friends!

 

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Hey! Are you here accidentally? Lucky you! Take a moment to enter our latest Giveaway for a chance to win a free copy of The Exile, Amazon Gift Cards and much, much more!

What is the book about? Find out by watching The Exile Book Trailer, or read the free Chapter Preview!

The Book Trailer – yes/no?

 

As an independent publisher, you have the burden of marketing and advertising your book yourself. Should you, or shouldn’t you, create a video book trailer? A book trailer doesn’t need to cost the sun and the moon, and is  a great companion to press releases and interviews, especially for your favourite book review blogger.

How to create one? Well, there are a lot of indie producers out there clamouring for your money to produce your video. If you decide to get a quote for services you need to establish the scope of the project:

1. Budget – how much you will pay for the completion of your trailer.

2. Materials  – Do you want moving video, or a still slide show? Are you willing to pay for royalty free stock photos and video footage, or do you want all unique content? Will you be providing these images, or do you expect the producer to search for or create this content?
****WARNING – make sure you have permissions from original artists for all materials used. This can include video, photos, slides, .pdf, jpegs, music, sound effects. Look for Royalty Free materials.

3. Time Frame – when do you want a completed version. Set Milestone dates for a look at the compiled materials, the rough cut, the final cut and the completed version.

4. The Script – You know your book better than anyone else. Take your synopsis, and edit it to a core concept – one sentence. This is what you will use for your book trailer. Do not try to recreate your entire story, or even your synopsis. This will be far too long. Dean Koontz creates trailers that are only :15 seconds long. Hollywood movie trailers are usually about 2 minutes. Aim your book trailer length to be about 1 minute.

5. Examples – Don’t be afraid to provide links to examples of what you want your trailer to emulate. This is a great way to ensure that you get the product that you asked for. Do not concern yourself on being a copycat, for your script and your images will be completely unique to your project.

6. Final Version Formats – How do you want to receive your video? .wmv, .mov, H.264 (EWWwwweeee Jargon!) Ignore this. All you need to decide is what sites you are going to store your video on, such as YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook etc. The Producer will be able to get the technical specifications from those sites to create the highest quality upload possible. Do not sign off on the project until your video is uploaded and playing back flawlessly.

If you are comfortable creating your own trailer, there are many consumer editing programs such as iMovie. If you want to create a nice still-slide presentation you might want to use a program like iPhoto with a Ken Burns Effect.
Here are some royalty free stock footage and music sites to get you started: shutter stock, istockphoto, dreamstime, pond5, Killer Tracks. You will usually pay a one time fee for their use, and this cost will vary from site to site.

If you decide to hire someone GET A CONTRACT that specifically states how much you are paying, and what they are producing for you. If they are unwilling to sign a contract walk away, as they may try to come back for further funds for extras.

Book Trailers are a fantastic promotional tool, one that I encourage you to take advantage of.

Good Luck with your efforts. Leave a comment, ask a question and if this was helpful, please share it with your friends!

 

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Hey! Are you here accidentally? Lucky you! Take a moment to enter our latest Giveaway for a chance to win a free copy of The Exile, Amazon Gift Cards and much, much more!

What is the book about? Find out by watching The Exile Book Trailer, or read the free Chapter Preview!

Stirring the air, Looking for a Hurricane

Hurricane Floyd - Nasa
Hurricane Floyd – Nasa

Marketing – the dreaded M word. You’ve gone through so much, put your blood, sweat and tears into producing your masterpiece and….no one cares and no on buys it. Except family, good friends, and the sweet lady you chatted to on the bus.

Do not be discouraged. It isn’t your book. People just don’t know it’s there. You need a way to elevate it from the pack of other just released works. You need a way to put your title in front of the buying public at the exact moment that they are looking for something to read and have money to spend. And you are starting from zero. Time to stir the air and hope for a hurricane.

Did you know that a message needs to be in front of someone an average of 3 times in order to promote an action? That is why when you watch TV or listen to the radio or read a newspaper, you’ll hear or see the same advert over, and over, and over. But who can afford a mainstream media Ad? Well, you don’t need one. You have never had a better opportunity to self-promote, and reach a worldwide audience instead of just a local one.

But there are many channels out there in Internet land. Facebook, Twitter, Blogs, oh my! What to use, how to use…I don’t know about you but my eyes just crossed and a little drool dribbled out the side of my mouth. It seems complicated, and it can become so if you don’t do one simple things.

INTEGRATE YOUR MESSAGE across all online tools. Use the same colors and fonts, the same messaging, the same pictures BUT be sure to tailor your content to the strengths of the platform you are employing. The more people come to associate certain visuals with your book the more they will recall it.

Just as an example: Twitter is a microblog. What can you message in that space to stir people to action? Not much, but you can use it to promote free cool stuff on a website, or direct people to like you on Facebook, or go to your YouTube channel to view a video book trailer. You can use it to direct people to an online contest for a free book – and now you have an opportunity to market directly to them with email.  But throughout this web of marketing, you must ensure a similar look and messaging so that people know they are in the right place.

This is an INTEGRATED marketing plan.  Create a plan, stick to it, and allow it the TIME it needs to build. Because you, waving your hand in the air is never going to move enough air to create a wind. But if you get enough people out there waving their hands alongside yours, well then it is Hurricane time.

But remember – all of the above are social activities. I had it explained to me this way. How popular would you be at a party if all you did was walk in and try to sell a product to everyone, didn’t ask them who they were, how they were doing, ask about their kids or their new car – you know, socialize. You’d soon be standing alone in the corner getting drunk on vodka and pretending to listen to the music.

Remember how you made your first sales? Family and Friends, and the nice lady you chatted to at the bus stop? Guess what? That is exactly what you are going to continue to do. Socialize. Make friends. Chat to them. Listen to them. INTERACT. You will soon be the most popular person at the party and…OMG…You wrote a book? I’m going to buy it!

Good Luck with your efforts. Leave a comment, ask a question and if this was helpful, please share it with your friends!

 

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Hey! Are you here accidentally? Lucky you! Take a moment to enter our latest Giveaway for a chance to win a free copy of The Exile, Amazon Gift Cards and much, much more!

What is the book about? Find out by watching The Exile Book Trailer, or read the free Chapter Preview!

Tweaking the Baby

TweakingHow long have you been staring at that paragraph? How many times have you re-written it? When is enough tweaking…well… ENOUGH? Is this you? Have you become so embroiled in the editing process that all you can see are trees and the forest is now escaping you? Do you start at 8am, blink and its ten pages later and 5pm?

I am as guilty as the next author of this quicksand trap. Especially on your first book and especially if you are editing it yourself. Everything has to be perfect, and your search for that perfection borders on the psychotic.

The real question is, how do you find the confidence to say, “It’s done!” and submit it for publishing? That’s a tough question, isn’t it? It’s a journey that we all take when publishing for the first time. We are the new parent, shoving our baby out the door to meet that cruel world. Will people like it or hate it? Will they give good reviews or not?

If you have travelled far enough down the tweaking rabbit hole that you are changing a single adverb in a paragraph on a single page…stop. You are just stalling.  Take a deep breath, recognize your amazing accomplishment, and submit your manuscript.

You are an author. Your completed manuscript proves this. The accolades of your peers and the readers should be secondary to the completion of your art – though they are nice to have. But as with every social interaction – and your story is a social interaction – if you are yourself, if you are genuine in how you have told your tale – you will be well liked.  It’s done.

Good Luck with your efforts. Leave a comment, ask a question and if this was helpful, please share it with your friends!

 

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Hey! Are you here accidentally? Lucky you! Take a moment to enter our latest Giveaway for a chance to win a free copy of The Exile, Amazon Gift Cards and much, much more!

What is the book about? Find out by watching The Exile Book Trailer, or read the free Chapter Preview!

Keep Calm and Carry On

Overused catch phrase or not, it is true.Keep-calm-and-carry-on-scan

You wrote the book, and now you have to use the other side of your brain to get the formatting right, and it HURTS! Once you have decided upon a self publishing site, now you have to Read all the specs on the publishing site, make sure you have your work Formatted properly, that the margins work, that the finished copy will upload properly….. YARG!!!

The publishing site says one thing, and the people on the forums say something else… Everyone has a different perspective on what program you should have used to write your piece – I used Word, cretin that I am, and it worked fine. I downloaded the work templates from the publishing site – that were in Word format – and plugged my work into it.

In any case, it can be overwhelming. Don’t try to do it all in a day. Space the tasks out, and chomp at it a bit at a time. Set yourself Milestones and work only towards that goal, then the next. Don’t get caught up in minutia. Unless you are using an outrageous script font, no one will recognize the difference between Helvetica, Times and Arial.

I have to admit that formatting my work was the most laborious part of the exercise, especially after I justified the text, figured out how to turn off the “Widows and Orphans” feature on Word, and ensured that there were not to many Rivers in my text caused by the justification, and that the few hyphens I used didn’t spill between pages.

Okay, Jargon translation time:
Widows and Orphans – this feature in Word ensures that the top of every page begins with a fresh paragraph. Which can leave huge gaps on the bottom of the previous page.

Justify – When you justify text, it makes the right margin of the text as flush as the left margin of the text. To do this, your program opens up spaces between the words on a line. It promotes readability but can cause Rivers.

River – If the openings between words on a line, match up with openings on the lines above and below it creates a “River” of white space through your paragraph that can pop your reader out of their experience. To fix this, try adding a hyphen to the first word of a line, to see if you can get it to default half the word to the line above, thereby shortening the justification space – just be sure not to create hyphenated words on every line. Space them out.

I spent a day deciding what size my font should be. Well maybe not quite a whole day, but after researching the forums and nobody giving me a straight answer, I finally pulled a random book off my bookshelf, measured it with a ruler, and figured out the font size. In the end I used Times 10.5. I was trying to keep my page count down to reduce production costs.

Well there it is. Formatting. You gotta do it.

Good Luck with your efforts. Leave a comment, ask a question and if this was helpful, please share it with your friends!

 

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Hey! Are you here accidentally? Lucky you! Take a moment to enter our latest Giveaway for a chance to win a free copy of The Exile, Amazon Gift Cards and much, much more!

What is the book about? Find out by watching The Exile Book Trailer, or read the free Chapter Preview!

Do it yourself Publishing

Does your drawer look like this? It may be time to self publish.
Does your drawer look like this? It may be time to self publish.

After years of watching your work sit in a drawer, gathering dust bunnies, is it any wonder that many new and established authors are cutting out the big publishing companies and doing it themselves? Are you thinking of self publishing? Well answer, these two simple questions:

1) Do you believe in what you’ve created?  If you are like many authors, you’ve sent out your query letters, tried to get an agent, and have a stack of rejection letters piled up on your desk. BUT you KNOW you have a great story and all you want is to get it out there!

2) Can you market what you’ve created?  This is the business side. How much do you know about marketing, can you learn, and can you apply it to your product? Are you willing to put in the sweat equity to make it happen? Marketing your book to reach your audience is an ongoing process. Like a garden, it needs a little attention every day – pull the weeds, harvest what is ready, and make sure you water and get plenty of sunshine.

If you have answered yes to these two simple questions, then you are ready to self publish. There are a few platforms out there to help you get started. For The Exile, I originally published through Amazon’s CreateSpace and then added Kindle and Kobo into the mix.

It’s okay to just dip your toes in, you don’t have to drink the Kool-Aid just yet. Do some exploring, join some author forums and ask others who have gone through the process. The community is like the board of directors of your firm. Ask a question and you will get some great answers that you can apply to your endeavour.

Good Luck with your efforts. Leave a comment, ask a question and if this was helpful, please share it with your friends!

 

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