Posts By: tmcgann

The Handy-Dandy Snipping Tool

Have you heard of the handy-dandy snipping tool? I had not, and if you haven’t either, you are in for a treat. I just stumbled onto it, and it has proven to be an invaluable find. The snipping tool comes loaded into Windows Vista – and later versions. It has screen shot capability, meaning that it enables the user to take snapshots of any part of the computer screen. It offers several functions not available with the Print Screen key – another tool of which I was unaware until recently even though it stares me in the face every time… Read more »

Formatting your eBook for Kindle

When it comes to formatting eBooks for Kindle, there is a lot of information out there on this subject that is very limited in scope and can be misleading. If you visit YouTube you will find brief (5/10/20 minute) videos that purport to explain how you can format your eBook in 5 or 10 easy steps. You cannot. Amazon uses basic HTML code for publishing eBooks. To format without HTML coding requires following a strict and rather involved regime. Some experts who prefer perfect products, or as close to perfect as one can get, warn against  using “meatgrinder” programs such… Read more »

Motorcycles and rain do not go together

Motorcycles and rain do not go together. Unlike the comfort of a cage (car) in which you can employ your windshield wipers, turn on the defroster, turn up the radio, and stay dry and comfy, none of that is possible on a motorcycle in the rain. Even with the best foul weather gear you are going to get wet. If you are not wearing a full-face helmet and gauntlet gloves each individual rain drop feels like a bee sting on the face and the back of your hands. The rain will find ways to whip around your helmet and down… Read more »

Three grubby bikers discussing forgiveness

Three grubby bikers wound up discussing forgiveness, of all things, after getting delayed by a rainstorm in upstate NY. Their original intent was to gas up, grab some chow, and continue their journey from Fort Ticonderoga up to Au Sable Chasm, but a violent rain storm changed all that. Discussing forgiveness was not even on their radar. They were concerned with how long it was going to take for the front to pass through. When it became apparent from a smart phone weather app that it was probably going to be a lengthy wait (six hours as it turned out),… Read more »

Motorcycle joys mature with age and experience

Motorcycle joys mature with age and experience. Even though I was a fully grown adult when I start riding motorcycles I still had some growing up to do when it came to acting sensibly. I had been interested in riding for years but no one I knew rode a motorcycle until the winter I got a job as a bartender down in Charlotte Amalie, St Thomas. My brother, Brian, was teaching school down there, riding his motorcycle to and from work. That was all the impetus I needed. My time had arrived. At the age of 30, I purchased a… Read more »

Take back roads whenever possible

Take back roads whenever possible. I just got back from a five day, 1000 mile long motorcycle  trip with my two brothers through a bit of New York State’s Adirondack Mountains. Wherever possible we took back roads. As mentioned in the first blog (The Journey is the Destination) on this website, both of my brothers enjoy motorcycling. Each of us took up the hobby at different times, and has had differing experiences, but because of our common interest we ride together whenever possible. Our usual outings are to visit tri-state markers – just because they’re there – and because their… Read more »

International Standard Book Numbers (ISBN)

International Standard Book Numbers (ISBN) are numerical sequences issued as book identifiers. They are required to publish and distribute a book. They consist of thirteen digits that are used to identify the title, author, edition, binding, and publisher of a given work. They are unique to each book and each variation of that book. They are country specific, meaning that an agency in the nation in which the book is published is responsible for issuing ISBNs. In the U.S. the only company authorized to do so is RR Bowker. In order to purchase ISBNs you must create an account with Bowker. ISBNs… Read more »

Publish using your own publishing company

    Publish using your own publishing company. It is easy but is it necessary? You can have your book printed by any print-on-demand (POD) publisher by following the steps outlined on their websites. Pick a POD company like CreateSpace and publish your book under their imprint. It’s as simple as that. For many of us, this is the way to go. But there is also the option of forming your own publishing company. You still use a POD publisher but your title uses the imprint of your own publishing company. So, what are the pros and cons of each option?… Read more »

Proofreading produces professional products

Proofreading produces professional products. It is the final step before your manuscript gets writ in stone and it cannot be ignored. After you finished writing your first draft, then rewriting and rewriting and rewriting, you sent this “finished” work out to a copy editor for review. At least I hope you did. Copy editing is generally considered an essential step in the publishing process. I’ve covered that subject twice in these blogs because copy editing is so crucial. When you got your manuscript back, you made the necessary corrections as proposed by your copy editor. Generally speaking, we make most… Read more »

Building a website using professional help

Building a website using professional help can be expensive. It is sometimes possible, however, to get the help you need on the cheap. In the last blog I described how I was able to build my own website by following the instructions in Kent Mauresmo’s book, “How to Build a Website with WordPress…Fast.” The result is my website www.theriddleofriddles.com, not this website. This website was created by the professionals at Web Hosting Hub. The reason I hired experts was precisely because of the freight train of doubt that almost ran me down. As happy as I was with my efforts… Read more »