Book Formatting Checklist

list-clipart-list-mdOnce we’re done writing a book, it’s time for eBook and print edition formatting. Going back through again and again to check all the small details and make sure it’s all correct can be a frustrating time sink. I’ve found that if I try to check on everything as I read back through, I tend to miss things, so I developed a process where I go through once to check on just the headers, another time to check just the footers, a third time to check on just the formatting of the chapter titles, then again for whatever else might be required in that particular book. Very time-consuming.

It got me thinking about a post RJ Crayton wrote a while back about doing a story bible. The story bible is more about the content of the book: the names, ages, descriptions of the characters, relevant plot points, dates, locations — anything, really, that you need to keep track of while you’re writing. I realized we could do a similar thing for the double-checking process at the end, and it was really brought home to me when I was beta-reading a book for a friend and I found glaring inconsistencies throughout. One chapter header was bold, the next was not; one chapter header had two blank lines after it, the next had none. I realized a detailed checklist could help a writer go back through the book and catch (hopefully) every little formatting slip-up that sometimes slips in. Continue reading “Book Formatting Checklist”

Tutorial: How to Create Image Quotes

regret_tlt_quoteYesterday, we talked about using image quotes as a way to get your book-related text out on image-based sites. Today, we’ll go through a very simple method of creating these quote images.

You can make your own image quotes on programs like GIMP (free download), PhotoShop (a paid program), or even PowerPoint. You just need a program that allows you to add a background color and save your document as a JPEG. (You can even use the techniques in this MS Publisher book cover tutorial.) The process is not particularly difficult, so I’m going to offer some barebones instructions on how to do this on Google Drive, which is free, internet-based software available to anyone with a Gmail account. Continue reading “Tutorial: How to Create Image Quotes”

Lessons Learned from Academic Editing

mr pish mortarboardLong ago, before I’d thought about writing (and long before the internet and eBooks), I needed a spot of extra income. It had to be a job I could do from home at night, what with the whole single-parent thing, so I took a course in proofreading and copy-editing. Those were the days of the marvellous red pen and lovely squiggles in the margins…yeah, I took to it. I worked mostly with academic departments and non-fiction publishers in England, learned my trade, advanced to pukka editing and earned my extra pennies.

Years later, when similarly in need of a boost to the earnings, I thought about going back to the red pen. I was, however, resident in North America by this time and completely unaware that this might pose a problem beyond the bonkers spelling. I applied for a proofreading job at a local advertising company and toddled along to do their ‘little test’. Who knew? They used different squiggles! I failed utterly and decided that my editing days were over. Continue reading “Lessons Learned from Academic Editing”