Posts Categorized: So you want to be an author…

Formatting your manuscript for paperback publication

Formatting your manuscript for paperback publication with CreateSpace (CS) is a completely different project from formatting it for Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP). You can save yourself a lot of work by approaching paperback publication correctly. I tackled both projects without much forethought and it created a ton of extra work for me. I just sat down and started typing my manuscript. I should have formatted MS Word first before I typed a single letter. This would have saved me hours of work later in reformatting the manuscript to get it correct. In addition, I formatted my manuscript for Kindle first in order to get… Read more »

On Creativity

Approximately two weeks ago, Arthur Obermayer, a friend of Isaac Asimov, published an essay by Asimov entitled On Creativity. The essay, as described by Obermayer, was in response to an invitation Asimov had received to participate in a government think-tank concerning nuclear weapons. Isaac Asimov, besides being a prolific writer, had a PhD in biochemistry, was a professor at Boston University, a member of Mensa, and was widely considered one of the intellectuals of his time. As the author of hundreds of books, mostly science fiction, he came to realized early on that the secrecy of the think-tank might interfere… Read more »

To copyright or not to copyright, that is the question

To copyright or not to copyright, that is the question, but it should not be a question. To copyright is the only answer. My post, Book Titles, Fonts and Copyright Changes, created a heady discussion about copyright problems, international and domestic, to a degree I had not anticipated, one that requires a continuing dialogue. The Berne Convention of 1886 set forth basic international law regarding copyright, recognizing the copyrights of works of authors of all nations, in the same way that it recognizes the copyrights of its own citizens. It also required automatic, strong minimum standards while prohibiting mandatory registration…. Read more »

Uploading your manuscript to Kindle

Uploading your manuscript to Kindle sounds like a simple process and it should be. However, if there are images in your manuscript there are extra steps involved that can cause problems. As reported in a previous post, I used the nuclear option to format my manuscript and it worked just fine. However, I did not know how to proceed from there. So, I consulted Amazon’s KDP instructions and purchased Building Your Book for Kindle . I had been searching YouTube and elsewhere on the web with only limited success before I decided to download this book to my own Kindle. It proved… Read more »

Manuscript Image Manipulation

As mentioned in the previous blog, manuscript image manipulation is not my strong suit, but the use of images is a necessary part of our business. At the very least, we need to know how to utilize the images we use for our book covers. For some authors, the use of images in the body of our works is also a necessity. I am one. Amazon has certain rules for the insertion of images in both eBooks and paperbacks. This is some of what I have learned so far. First off, do not copy and then paste images into your… Read more »

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 »

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 »