Your Book Description Doesn’t Just Show up at Amazon – Written By Chris McMullen

THE BOOK DESCRIPTION AND ITS JOURNEY AROUND THE WORLD

I was creating a Goodreads giveaway yesterday when I noticed that one of my book descriptions didn’t look quite right. Then I realized that a few of my book descriptions had similar issues. (I haven’t yet looked at all of my books there, but did check my recent releases.)

The problem was that I had formatted my descriptions at Amazon KDP using the limited HTML that is available (boldface, italics, line breaks, bullet points, and ordered lists). While that resulted in improved formatting at Amazon, the HTML had a few undesirable effects at Goodreads. In particular, if you use short bullet points with words or phrases in each point, the words and phrases might not appear on separate lines and there won’t be any bullet point symbols.

So if you meant to make a list like this:

  • red riding hood
  • big bad wolf
  • grandma’s house

It could instead look like this at Goodreads:

red riding hood big bad wolf grandma’s house

It actually can look even worse when it blends together with the previous and following sentences.

Continue reading the entire blog post here

 

DSM Publications – With Don Massenzio


Welcome back, Don Massenzio! It’s good to have you here again. Let’s talk about your new business and how it is part of the writing world.

 

 

 

 


1. With your blog you are helping so many aspiring authors. What made you decide to do more than that?

There were a few factors. I wanted to be sure that I enjoyed editing and formatting the work of author authors. I’ve worked with a few authors and find that I still enjoy helping them bring their work to life. Another factor was the stigma (perceived or actual) that independently published authors face. Traditional publishing purists will tell you that our work is substandard due to the lack of professionalism and quality. I wanted to help the independent author community, as a whole, improve the quality of their work with professional editing and formatting at a price that won’t break the bank. If we can bring each other up, it will improve the entire community. Finally, I have always thought about launching this type of business as a retirement thing, but I lost my day job a few months ago and I accelerated the launch as a way to bring in some income.

2. Did you always plan on offering author services or did this idea just occur?

My author blog started about three years ago. I was very prolific with posts designed to help indie authors improve their quality. After a year or so of doing this, I collected them all into a book. (You can now get that book for free if you sign up for my newsletter). These author services are a way to help authors with the things they typically shouldn’t do for themselves.

3. Does your service include more than just editing?

Beyond proofreading and line editing, I offer developmental editing which encompasses looking for things like redundancies, continuity errors and other elements of writing that are apart from just making sure spelling, punctuation and grammar are correct. Additionally, I offer supplemental and complete ghost writing for writers that have an idea or an outline that they just can’t complete as a finished work. I’ve done some ghost writing in the past and it is gratifying to help someone realize their vision. I also offer formatting services for both print and eBook. The two formats are very different and it’s important to devote some time to formatting so that a book can look as professional and polished as possible.

4. How do you work cooperatively with authors?

Once I begin the editing process, I like to work closely with the author. I will edit their manuscript using Microsoft Word in twenty-page increments. This way, I can give and get feedback during the process and not wait until an entire book has been edited to uncover a problem. For instance, one book that I’ve edited recently involved characters that were from another time. It took a bit of back and forth with the author to land on exactly how old-fashioned spelling and phrases would be handled in a way that wouldn’t confuse or put off readers. Once we established the ground rules, it went very smoothly.

5. How does your editing process work exactly?

As I mentioned, I start by editing the manuscript in 20-page increments. Within the manuscript I use the ‘track changes’ feature in word and suggest edits, word substitutions and other modifications based on the level of editing desired. I then supply a ‘marked up’ copy showing every change and comment and a ‘clean’ copy with all the edits applied. The author can then make the choice of assessing each edit suggestion individually, but they can also read the manuscript from the clean copy with all the edits applied.
Once the manuscript is completely edited and the changes have been approved by the author, I will format the manuscript for print and/or eBook if that is desired. I provide discounts to authors that wish to have both editing and formatting services.

6. Who can contact you for your services?

While I am targeting my services for independent authors, any author that needs these services is welcome to reach out to me.

7. Do you have a website for your services?

I do. You can find it at https://dsm-publications.com/

 

8. Is there anything else you want to tell us about your work?

The indie author community is full of wonderful writers with great stories to tell. My goal is to help those storytellers produce work with the best possible quality so that they can have their work stand toe-to-toe with traditionally published authors.

Thank you so much for this interview! Please come back any time!

Give Your eBook as Much Love as Your Paperback

Jo Robinson from “Lit World Interviews” wrote an excellent article about e-book formatting on Createspace. Thank you so much Jo!

bullets-1

 

Lit World Interviews

WHEN formatting your paperback manuscript for CreateSpace you can get away with a fair amount of fancy formatting. Fancy fonts, dropcaps, inserted widgets, bullets, tables, and all sorts of other things can be used. Pretty much if it’s locked into your PDF it will appear in your book. If you can’t lock it into your PDF then it won’t appear in your paperback. A Kindle eBook on the other hand should be rather thought of as an HTML page – just like a web page. The same way that when you set up a post on your WordPress blog various HTML codes are used for different things, when your eBook gets translated into HTML for publishing it will take anything that would normally be written as code and try to use that, often with disastrous results – rather than the gorgeous bullet list or laboriously tabbed lists that took you…

View original post 764 more words

Formatting Manuscripts – What you need to know!

Claire Plaisted of Plaisted Publishing house has posted a fantastic blog post about formatting for as well traditional as also Indie authors and has done a huge favor to me and I’m sure many other start-up authors as well. This is something that really has tied my stomach in a knot. Thank you Claire for this phenomenal information.

Plaisted Publishing House

What You Need to Know!

This isn’t about how to format.  It’s about what you need to format for some of the different areas of writing, editing and publishing.

Formatting is something all writers need to learn at the start of their career.  It will save you time, money and gain you experience of all the different types of formatting that are around today.  Remember as technology improves, formatting is likely to change too.

I have blogged about formatting before.  As a professional formatter and publisher it can be very irritating when work arrives with tab indents.  To me this is one of the biggest NO’s there is.  The other problem is all the different types of formatting needed for editors, submissions, publishing and even writing, never mind the different genre’s there are in the world today.  

So how do we start?  Great question!

First are you…

View original post 1,479 more words

#amwriting: headers and page numbers

This is a fantastic blog post about how to get a manuscript ready for submission, written by Connie J. Jasperson. She did a great job, complete, with screenshots! Definitely worth reading! Thank you Connie. You’re making my day – and probably the one of many other beginner author as well.

Life in the Realm of Fantasy

Book- onstruction-sign copyI’ve blogged before on this subject, but it is time to talk about it again: making your manuscript ready for submission to an editor, agent, or a publisher. All agents, editors and publishing companies have specific, standardized formatting they want you to use, and these guidelines are posted on their websites.

The submissions page for TOR Forge, one of the Big Boys in the publishing world, clearly says: “Standard manuscript format means margins of at least 1 inch all the way around; indented paragraphs; double-spaced text; and Times New Roman in 12 pitch. Please use one side of the page only. Do not justify the text. Do not bind the manuscript in any way. Make sure the header of the ms. includes your name and/or the title of the book as well as the page number (on every page).”

For the most part this formatting is basically the same from company to…

View original post 702 more words