Posts Categorized: So you want to be an author…

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 »

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 »

Building a website

Building a website is fun, and, believe it or not, relatively easy. I had no experience building a website when I sat down to attempt to do so, NONE, and, yeah, I was nearly run down by a runaway freight train of emotions before I even started. The locomotive pulling that freight train was lack of self confidence, followed by a long string of cars laden with varying degrees of fear, nervousness, doubt, inadequacy – pick a negative emotion, any negative emotion. The caboose took a long time arriving. A bunch of Yahoos were leaning out its windows and over… Read more »

Selecting a Web Hosting Service

Selecting a web hosting service is our next step on the long and winding road to that cloud-floating castle in the sky where “authors” abide. If you Google “web hosting services” you will find a number of sites listing their assessments of the top 10 best web hosting companies. They generally list the same top companies, albeit in different orders. These sites contain reviews of what each web host offers as well as price comparisons. You can also Google “web hosting reviews” for further comparisons. Take your time to review them so you can winnow the top 10 down to your top… Read more »

Domain names – the first step in building websites

The selection of domain names is the first step when building websites. Your domain name is the title that will identify your website. This sounds simple enough and, in most cases, it is, but there are a couple of aspects of this process you should be aware of. Please note the structure of the first sentence of this post. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) recommends that the title of a post and its first sentence use the same words, the same phraseology. This approach helps maximize the probability of search engines such as Google, Internet Explorer, Firefox, et al, of finding your post. I’m still new to learning about SEO,… Read more »