How Politically Correct Should Writers Be?

Thank you, Jo Robinson from Lit World Interview, for your great and clear opinion about us writers and political correctness. What an impressive blog post!

Lit World Interviews

A while ago a well-known author published a book about a rich, handsome man who pretty much had anything anyone could wish for becoming paralyzed in an accident. He and the woman hired to care for him then fell in love, but at the end he chose to commit suicide rather than carry on. This caused quite a few disabled people to be deeply offended, and this was pretty obvious in the reviews. Several suggested that she hadn’t done her research properly, or she would have realized that it was very insulting to those in similar circumstances in that it suggested that living in that way was so unbearable that death was preferable. Most of those real, live people strive for the best lives that they can. They don’t generally give up, and I’m sure that they have just as much joy during the course of their lives as anyone…

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DRM or Not for Amazon

DRM or not for Amazon? Jo Robinson has the answer. Thank you for an excellent article, Jo!

Lit World Interviews

When you load your book up to Amazon you will get to choose whether or not to enable Digital Rights Management.


It is important to note here that this particular choice cannot be undone. Short of unpublishing and republishing this cannot be changed. Once you have some nice reviews and lots of sales on any particular book unpublishing it is not a great idea, so give some thought to this before setting it in stone. So, what is DRM?

Amazon says that Digital Rights Management “is intended to inhibit unauthorized access to or copying of digital content files”. While this sounds great in terms of combating piracy, in reality it’s about as effective in this regard as a straw hut would be at keeping you dry in a hurricane. My African Me & Satellite TV was published with DRM enabled and it is my most pirated book. Stripping DRM is…

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A Little Hook

Read this informative and interesting blog post, written by Jo Robinson on ‘first chapters’ and writing process. Thank you Jo!

Writing

Lit World Interviews

Every writer has his or her own process. Ideas come, sometimes in the form of virtual Mack trucks that appear out of nowhere, usually at the most inopportune of times, creating the need for you to stop whatever it is that you’re doing and run away to write all that good stuff down before it disappears back to wherever it was that it came from. Kind of thing that gets us scribblers labeled as odd, at the very least. The inspiration for new stories is the easy part of writing—I have PILES of fabulous story outlines that are unlikely to ever see the light of day. Getting them going is what’s needed for them ever to become real books. Just those few first paragraphs are often all that we need to give us the push to write on through to the end.

Those first paragraphs are probably the most important…

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Embedding Your Fonts for Paperback Books

Jo Robinson from LitWorldInterviews posted a very useful articles on how to use different fonts for paperback books on Create Space. Thank you very much Jo!

Lit World Interviews

There are lots of fabulous fonts around these days for us to use in our paperback books, and I think that making them visually attractive as well as wonderful to read is a great idea. Using a plain font for most of the body text is best, but there is no reason not to create great looking chapter headings, or using old typewriter fonts to make letters or notes stand out in your stories. Some fonts are made by hobbyists and offered online free for use commercially so it’s always necessary to check that they are embedded in your manuscript when you load it up to CreateSpace or any other POD system.

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CreateSpace says,

“In order to print your book, our printing presses need information about how to properly render the fonts used in your file. Information about fonts is not always included in documents by default, and you may…

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CreateSpace – Final Things to Check

Jo Robinson of LitWorldInterview provides us with a useful and informative article about the final things to check on Createspace. Thank you, Jo!

Lit World Interviews

So you’ve finally got your page numbers right. Check that you’ve Justified your text for your CreateSpace book. I know that some authors choose not to justify text in their eBooks (not me), but a paper book really must be justified or it’s going to look messy. Choose your font and font size. You have lots of fonts that you can use in your paperback, but it’s a good idea to stick with something plain, other than for dropcaps or chapter headings.

Decide what trim size your book is going to be and set your manuscript’s size accordingly. From the Page Layout tab, click on the little arrow to the right of Page Setup, then select Paper from the three tabs at the top of the page setup box. Change the Width and Height settings to 6” x 9” or 5” x 8” or whatever size your book will be…

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Quick Tips for Paperback Page Numbering

Jo Robinson from LitWorldInterview once more provides us with excellent and helpful tips for self publishing. This time it’s the page numbering! Thank you Jo!! We are grateful for all your informative work!

Lit World Interviews

When numbering the pages of your paperback manuscript, the thing quite a lot of Indies have trouble with is that they use Page Breaks rather than Section Breaks. A Page Break is just that—starting a new page within the same section of a book. With a Section Break you can have totally different numbers and Headers and Footers for each section. The way to ensure that your numbering doesn’t bounce back from the first chapter of your book to the front matter is to get rid of all the Page Breaks in first pages and replace them with Section Breaks.

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Section Break after title page, and again after the table of contents, and every other page you have in your front matter.

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Then double click into your Headers and Footers up to and including the first page of your first chapter, and unlick Link to Previous. This will ensure that…

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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!

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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…

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Should You Buy Your Own ISBN Numbers?

Jo Robinson of Lit World Interview published an interesting, informative and very useful post about ISBN numbers. Thank you for your great guidance, Jo!

Books

Lit World Interviews

Your book’s ISBN (International Standard Book Number) is the 10 or 13 digit number assigned to every published book, and identifies things like edition, publisher and physical properties. Each particular edition of any published book has to have its own unique number, so you can’t use the same number if you choose to republish an already published book. The new book must have its own new number. I have seen writers on various forums claim that they’ve used the same ISBN number for both their paperback and their eBook versions, but if they did indeed get away with that they shouldn’t have. A quick squiz at Bowker’s rules (internationally applicable) will show quite clearly that a separate ISBN number is required for each format as well. eBook, audiobook, paperback and hardback. Getting even more picky, you could have MOBI and ePub versions published on different platforms. You could end up…

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How to Add a Bullet List to Your Kindle Book

Jo Robinson of Lit World Interviews provides us kindly with a very helpful article about how to add a bullet list to the kindle book. Thank you Jo!

 

Insert Symbol Menu

Lit World Interviews

Here’s a short tip for you Indie writers this week. With a couple of non-fiction books in the pipeline I spent some time a while ago researching how to put bulleted lists in a Kindle book, but came up with the take home that they are a no-no. I know that use of any type of Word auto formatting in an eBook can cause havoc in the end result. It is possible to create a really good looking bulleted list in my paint software and import it as an image without anyone being the wiser, but it is extra work that I’ve just now discovered doesn’t need to be done. The secret is to avoid the auto formatting.

You could have at a bit of HTML coding if you’re so inclined, as per the example below, but I really am not so inclined right now, so I kept looking. Some…

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Pretty Paragraphs – Inserting Drop Caps

Jo Robinson of Lit World Interviews published a blog post about “Inserting Drop Caps” which I find worth re-blogging. It’s a great help for newbies like me; and maybe a few pro’s too. 🙂

Drop Cap 3

Lit World Interviews

The best place to look for information on how to publish your book for paper with CreateSpace is actually in your collection of traditionally published fiction and non-fiction. In their eBook, Building Your Book for Kindle, Amazon suggests both indenting the first sentence of paragraphs and also inserting empty space between paragraphs. A lot of Indies, myself included, made the mistake of using the same system for our paper books.

It’s not the end of the world, and doesn’t look terrible, but the way it’s usually done is either using indents with no spaces between paragraphs – apart from the first paragraphs of every chapter, which are not indented, or having the spaces between, but not indenting any of the paragraphs. Amazon recommend paragraph indents of 0.5” in Kindle books, and again, a lot of us carried that figure over when we formatted for our paper books. It also doesn’t…

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