Tag Archives: book formatting

“White Space”: What It Is and Why It Matters

Big dialogue bubble in a blue sky with a red question mark inside.Over at Writers in the Storm, an extremely useful writers’ site, Ellen Buikema touches on a topic I’ve seldom seen addressed in the many blogs I follow: how writers can use “white space” to make pages more inviting to readers. These pointers apply both to fiction and non-fiction (though, of course, there’s that anomaly, the academic article, with which I am very familiar and which I personally enjoyed practicing and responding to).

Maybe you need some white space now? Okay.

Paragraphing decisions and, as a comment mentioned, dialogue contribute to white space. I do notice, though, that too much white space can create a page that feels jumpy and encourages skimming rather than reading for nuance. I say this because I’ve just finished a book in which almost all the paragraphs were one or two lines with runs of short dialogue between. So I like Buikema’s response urging “balance in all things.”

Page 1 of King of the Roses in Adobe InDesign

I kinda like my balance here!

I find that I like books at both ends of that balance. Sarah Waters’ novels ask me to find my way through rich, dense detail, while many of my favorite mysteries, especially noir, choose the terse, keep-moving option.

What are your favorite examples of these choices?

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10 Totally Free Microsoft Word Alternatives For Writers – by Derek Haines…

For years, I’ve used a 2008 version of Word that came with the computer before this one. I’ve successfully uploaded to Smashwords, Ingram, and Amazon using that ancient system. At the same time, my curiosity is whetted. Have you tried any of these programs? Do they work better than Word, and if so, how?

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

on Just Publishing Advice:

Do you really need all those Microsoft Office programs just to write?

Writers write words. Are you a writer?

I’m sure you don’t prepare business plans with charts and graphs. You don’t use online collaboration tools. You don’t schedule meetings for a group of directors.

I doubt if you would ever need to create business presentations with 100 slides.

You write your words down for blog posts, content articles, guest posts, short stories and maybe poems. So why do you pay for MS Office to do these simple writing tasks?

There is no need to pay for a word processor

Continue reading HERE

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Amazon Giveaway! Enter for a chance to win!

Enter through August 27! Step-by-step DIY instructions for formatting your own professional paperback interior.

You CAN Format Your Print-on-Demand Book!

You can do it! I did!

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Avoid Rookie Mistakes When You Format Your POD Book!

Joel Friedlander tells us about the formatting mistakes that make your book look like you made it in your garage. You CAN Format Your POD Book: The Beginner’s Cheat Sheet for Formatting with Adobe Indesignshows you how to fix these mistakes. Check it out!

You CAN Format Your Print-on-Demand Book!

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8 Tips For Formatting Your Book

These tips from Don Massenzio may help you make formatting decisions. I particularly like the idea of using 1.5 line spacing instead of single spacing in print books. Maybe I’ll try that next time!

pile of letters for writing

Check out my Beginner’s Cheat Sheet for formatting your hard copy book in InDesign!

Author Don Massenzio

This blog post is designed to help fellow independently published authors improve the quality of their work, but most of the tips here apply to the formatting of any book. I’m speaking of the formatting of books for the consumption of readers, not formatting your manuscript to send off to an agent or publisher.  There are a whole other set of rules for that exercise.

I’ve put together a list of ten tips that you should consider when putting your book together. They are not in order of priority, but together, they can make your book stand out from the millions of others available through your favorite sales channel.

1. Put Some Thought Into Your Cover

I have to admit, this was something I didn’t waste a lot of time on when I published my first book, Frankly Speaking. I just went ahead and used the Kindle cover creator and cranked…

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February 20, 2017 · 4:43 pm

Author Beware … Publishing Predators Are Breeding…

Thanks, Chris, for another important article. Here is my comment on this article at The Book Shepherd:
I’m amazed that so many people will pay these sums to be published when CreateSpace will do it for free. All you need is a Word file and a cover. Sorry, my CreateSpace book looks just fine. I suppose there are genius cover designers out there who could have done a better cover than DigitalDonna.com did for me, but I’d be surprised to discover them at a reasonable cost.

I went with Ingram first; again, nothing wrong with the 22 books I purchased at cost ($168). At Ingram, you will pay $49 for publication, and you must, indeed should, buy your own ISBN, since if you choose CreateSpace first, they will own the ISBN. Three hundred dollars for 10 ISBNs you can use for your entire series is a lot less than the numbers being discussed in these comments.

I formatted my own interior, which cost me $20 a month for my subscription to Adobe InDesign. On my blog [this blog!], I’m doing a series on how I conquered InDesign.

Believe me, it’s not that hard.

I hope writers will use the funds they are paying for these services to find good professional editors and cover designers. And I second Judith’s point that being traditionally published does NOT mean that you will get stellar marketing. In the end, you will do that for yourself. Why not do it all?

(And I second a comment that recommended Smashwords. Not only will Mark Coker walk you through the ebook-creation process, he will publish your ebook absolutely free!)

What about you? Do you have any tales to tell about your publishing adventures? Help us all “beware.”

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

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Article extract from Judith Briles on The Book Shepherd site:

Oh, what a tangled web they weave … publishing predators are breeding with the surge of authors now by-passing traditional publishing. Over half of books published today are by the self and indie publishers. Traditional publishers are taking notice and are now gearing up to offer their own “self-publishing” opportunities. Some, like Simon & Schuster, Hay House and Penguin, have had a “vanity press” relationship for years in place via Author Solutions (ASI). Expect to see all of this push into a higher gear–after all … there is money in wannabe author’s pockets.

It’s a never-ending story … the emails, phone calls, postings within the Author U Group on LinkedIn and my personal group on Facebook: Publishing with The Book Shepherd (join it) … and I’ve worked with several private clients and fielded numerous phone calls/emails from authors who have…

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New Writers’ Comprehensive Reality Check!

Whimsical road Depositphotos_17645691_s-2015Joel Friedlander at The Book Designer shares this comprehensive discussion of myths and truths for first-time novelists from Florence Osmund. I would argue that you CAN format your books yourself if they’re not graphically complicated (i.e., just text). Check out my InDesign Beginner’s Cheat Sheet series. But this advice is worth taking to heart!

 

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Why you need both CreateSpace and IngramSpark…

Here’s a post on POD printing options from Build Book Buzz featured on The Story Reading Ape. This post provides reasons why my decision to go with Ingram first rather than CreateSpace in publishing a print version of King of the Roses (and eventually Blood Lies) was a sound one. Follow my series on my “Crazy Journey” through the Ingram process: it doesn’t look all that crazy when seen through the eyes of book-marketing expert Amy Collins!

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

Extract of an article by Author Amy Collins in Build Book Buzz:

I have been asked one question more than any other: “Do I need IngramSpark if I have CreateSpace?”

I know it’s tempting to avoid the extra expense and hassle of taking on a second print on demand (POD) provider, but I want to take a moment and share some of the experiences we’ve had at New Shelves Books with our POD work. I hope these statements help you determine if you need one or both.

So . . . do you need both?

See the full article (and read the comments already there) by clicking the link, or Amy’s photo below:

Why you need both CreateSpace and IngramSpark

Amy-Collins-Photo-240x300

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Filed under Blood Lies, business of writing, indie publishing, King of the Roses, Marketing books, Money issues for writers, Print on Demand for fiction writers, Publishing, Self-publishing, Writing, writing novels

How you can avoid my mistakes

Check out these software tools from Jean. Do you use any of them? What was your experience like? Do you have others to recommend?

Jean's Writing

And boy do I make a lot of them. Or so it seems.

I hope by sharing with you, these posts will stand as a reminder to myself, not to repeat the same mistakes over again.big mistakes

Why? Because mistakes are costly.

Mistakes cost when you have to do something over and over, not just in time but often in money too.

How you can avoid my mistakes…

  • Use the right software for the right job.

I tried to use “workaround” software but that only make the job harder and take longer. You know what I mean like using a shoe to hang a picture instead of hunting down that long-lost hammer in the garage.

  • A little investment is worth your time and sanity.

No one software does everything. Pick the one that works best for each task.

Listed at the bottom are some of the ones I discovered and love.

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Formatting in Word for PC users

Here’s a detailed post by Melinda Clayton from Indies Unlimited on stripping unwanted formatting from your Word document before submitting it to Kindle. Her directions apply to PC users. I use a Mac, and was able to format my books fairly easily following Mark Coker’s directions for Smashwords. In both cases, making sure you have a clean document is essential.

beautiful business woman scared

My InDesign experience is much more complicated. I’m close to submitting to Ingram and will see how it works. More on my crazy journey into InDesign for IngramSpark coming soon!

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Filed under Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing, business of writing, ebooks publishing and selling, indie publishing, Print on Demand for fiction writers, Publishing, Self-publishing, Smashwords, Writing, writing novels