How to Make a Word Template

Last week, I showed you how to make Styles work for you in Microsoft Word. But wouldn’t it be fabulous if you could just open a new document and have your styles already set up for you?

Sure, you can open an old document with the formatting you want to use, delete the original content, and add your new stuff – but then you need to remember to hit “save as” instead of “save” or you’ll lose your original work. (Not that I’ve ever done that.) It would be safer to start with a properly-formatted blank document, wouldn’t it?Of course, it would. Continue reading “How to Make a Word Template”

Paying it Forward Into the New Year

This time last year I was flailing around, trying everything I could think of to find readers for my newly self-published novel. I did the usual Facebook events and .99 cent sales and joined every online group I could find. I was active in Amazon Author Discussion boards, Kindleboards, Yahoo groups, and anywhere else I thought readers might be. The reviews I was receiving on the book were really positive but I couldn’t reach that next level in terms of finding more readers. My background is sales and marketing and I know my way around the internet, but even with all my efforts I couldn’t hit the big numbers that other Indie authors were achieving. In the first six weeks I sold about two hundred books but I knew many of those were friends and family, and other authors who were kind enough to buy it and support me. I was happy to get my work out there but I wanted to find random readers who didn’t know me, and when I checked the Kindleboard monthly listings and saw there were Indie authors selling thousands of ebooks a month I knew that either I had a book that wasn’t going to sell or I was doing something wrong. So, I contacted Robert Bidinotto, and that’s when I learned about “paying it forward”. Continue reading “Paying it Forward Into the New Year”

My Journey to the Center of CreateSpace

398px-'Journey_to_the_Center_of_the_Earth'_by_Édouard_Riou_24Last weekend, I formatted my new novel for CreateSpace in MS Word, and survived mostly unscathed. This is my story.

First, I did the easy part: formatting the book for Smashwords and Kindle. But then – oh, then. Then I had to dust off my high school yearbook staffer hat, and tackle the paperback.

When formatting for print, you have to think in terms of two-page spreads. Your even-numbered pages will be on the left, and your odd-numbered pages will be on your right. That means you want your title page, your dedication (if you have one), the first page of your table of contents, and page 1 of your story all to be right-hand pages. You will need to insert blank pages to make this work. So: Title page, copyright page, dedication page, blank page, Table of Contents. If your ToC is an even number of pages, you’re good; if it’s an odd number of pages, insert another blank page. Then put in a “next page section break.” Continue reading “My Journey to the Center of CreateSpace”

Why Proofreading Matters

Last month, the Evil Mastermind had a fun post called Typopotamus, where he discussed typos and some strategies for eradicating them from your writing, including hiring a good editor and proofer. In one of the comments author Jeff Dawson had the following to say:

“Indie readers sometimes spend too much time looking for errors and what nots. This is good and yet bad at the same time. The good part: they are catching errors writers, beta readers and editors are missing. It provides a chance to quickly make the changes and upload a new version. The bad: some readers and reviewers are focusing on miniscule problems and bashing an otherwise good read.” Continue reading “Why Proofreading Matters”

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