Category Archives: Writer

Romance, love, and mushy stuff

loveromance01I don’t read romance and I although some of my stories have romance, it is not in the romance genre. That being said, I wanted to share a few resources for those who do, who might appreciate some tips and hacks.

Book Cover Design: Canva.com provides some lovely options for graphics but also layouts for book covers. This is great for ebooks. Printed books demand more attention. I also appreciate the costs ($1 for each graphic), so you can create a cover and use it commercially.

Templates can provide you a guide on creating a cover. This can be fun just creating one for fun. Romance Cover at GlassGiant.com.

Name Generator: Not just for romance, the FakeNameGenerator provides a database of names. This includes nationality, gender, and even age.

Marketing: How to Market Your Romance Novel on Pinterest, Goodreads, and more.

Romance plot: How to plot a romance novel.

Historical romance: Writing Historical Fiction provides tips but also the site provides visitors to look up historical fiction based on the era.

Writing Ecourses: Low Country Online Writing Courses for Romance Writers. Courses cost $20

More Resources: Writing-world.com provides a nice list of resources for romance writers.

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Published our fourth anthology

Anthology cover 2016

 

My writer’s group publishes an anthology of our writing each year. Members submit, then I take their stories and assemble the book, design the cover, and upload to Createspace and Amazon Kindle Publishing.

The steps to publish an anthology is as follows;

  1. Edit and revise your stories so that it is the best it can be. As editor, this often means I go through to remove indents, line spacing, spellcheck, and run through punctuation. I then make sure the Title is formatted to HEADER 1, and the author’s name is HEADER 2.
  2. I add pages: Page Numbers. Title page that includes all authors. Copyright page for the book and include book cover design copyright as well. Book dedication page, which often is to the authors who submit, my writer’s group in general, and all would-be authors out there. TABLE OF CONTENTS- This gets added when I add all stories into a single document. This is where the HEADER settings are added into the TABLE OF CONTENTS field. I double check its layout and if its correct.
  3. I revise again for formatting issues.
  4. I download a pre-formatted file from Createspace that includes the gutter (that’s the book seam of a printed book) and margins. I cut/paste the book, then go through the document to check for formatting again.
  5. I send this out to all writers to check their bio page and story, and if they want, they can also check the rest of the book. It is always a good idea to get fresh eyes on the manuscript.
  6. I make revisions again.
  7. I work on book design while authors check the manuscript. Once I get their feedback, I put everything together and upload to Createspace.
  8. I often have to make more revisions if it doesn’t look correct under the online revision screen. This generally includes how the pages look in the book format.
  9. If it looks good, then I click ok, choose ‘channels, which includes book stores or online stores that might want to order the book, libraries, and of course Amazon and Createspace stores online.
  10. I adjust price. I generally keep this as low as possible since the anthology is meant to get the writers some exposure.
  11. Add the eBook version. I have to go through a similar process to get the eBook version up, editing the book cover as well. What I find frustrating is that Amazon and Createspace doesn’t play so well together and you can end up with two listings of the printed version and the eBook version.
  12. I then announce to group and hooray– we have another book released.

Printed anthology 2016

EBook version of anthology 2016

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A Writer’s Dashboard

writer dashboard

For my writer’s group, and the visitors who visit the Western Maryland Writers Site, I designed a writer’s dashboard. You can bookmark it and save it for later, so you can use tools and resources.

Ambience– I’ve included a number of ambience sites that provide background noise for writing. They include background noise of a café to nature sounds, to sites that provide mix-and-match, even with music.

Generators– Here you can find name generators for modern day fiction or fantasy, but also a link to more tools. I’ll add more as I find them.

Members– This is where you can find the group members and links to their sites/blogs.

Programs– I’ve included word processors, but also programs to help organize your writing.

Printables–  Sometimes I have handouts, but I also make other printables such as quotes to have on your desk, or cards to send. More to come.

Writing– This links leads to all things writing, from drafting to publishing and marketing.

Let me know if you want more tools, generators, links, and resources added. If you have suggestions, please post in comments.

 

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Google Drive for Writers

driveforwritersToday I want to share with you some elements of the free Google service known as Drive. This is something like a cloud drive (you can backup files) but also an online program suite. I will be discussing mostly the Docs features.

Google Drive includes:

Docs– This is an online word processor that is compatible with Microsoft Office, OpenOffice, and even Microsoft Works.

Sheets– A spreadsheet compatible with Office, Open office, and Works.

Slides – A presentation service that easily integrates into web sites or shared with others. Compatible to open files from Office and OpenOffice.

Forms – A service to create and compile information from forms. Includes easy to use templates, click and build features, and saves data to the drive for access later.

Drawing– This includes an online service to create or edit graphics. Saves as PDF, JPG, SVG, and PNG.

docs

Google Docs works similar to most word processors, including formatting, templates, and printing. You can open and save, change file formats, and share/collaborate with others online. This also includes revision history. (Saved my butt when I ‘lost’ an entire chapter of a book I was writing).

You can also add ‘add-ons’ which improves function;

Table of Contents – Creates a table of contents that runs as a sidebar.

EasyBib- Bibliography creator

Speech Recognition- So you can talk instead of typing. This works great for those who have issues with typing for long periods of time.

Mind mapping- This is a great tool to plot stories or brainstorm ideas.

ProWritingAid- This is not free, but as an add on that works in the Docs. It corrects grammar, spelling, and punctuation.

Screenplay formatter- For the script writers out there, this add on helps with formatting your doc.

Saves in these formats:

DOCX – Document Microsoft Word file

ODT – OpenOffice Document Text file

RTF – Rich Text Format, works with any word processor

PDF- Portable Document Format, used for downloading files and eBooks

TXT – Text. Very simple with very little formatting but can be read by every word processor.

HTML/ZIP – Hypertext Markup Language is what web sites are built. Often used to upload to publish books.

EPUB – EBook file format that can be read by tablets and smart phones. This is new and is an industry standard.


Google drive can also

Cloud Storage– Back up photos, documents, etc. to your cloud drive. This includes 15 GB free, and you can pay $1.99 monthly for 100 more GB.

Collaborate with others–  Not only can you share files with others, they can view or even edit them. You can also share LIVE with others. Some authors now share their writing in real time for fans to check out their process. Share via email or link on your blog. You can even embed files too

Share anywhere– Google Drive works on PC, Mac, smart phone, and tablets.

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