Tag Archives: book cover

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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NaNoWriMo and Published Anthology


I’m not doing the NaNoWriMo this month, but I am working on 1000 words a day as a personal challenge, focusing on fiction writing.  I can choose any of the projects, providing its fiction. I feel its perfectly acceptable to create your own challenge, if it gets you to write.

The National Novel Writing Month spurs authors to complete a novel of 50,000 in thirty days. I think its also pertinent to note here that writing furiously for a month also strips a writer to the bare bones of his or her skill, kind of like boot camp. You push yourself beyond what is enjoyable to ‘work’, and even misery at times. In the end, you learn something of yourself and more importantly, the process of writing.

I did it once- which was enough for me. I’m content this year to spend time focused on fiction writing, and following the general rules, but a more forgiving since I have work and a teenage son to homeschool.

I also compiled another anthology from my writer’s group. This year, we selected Horror for our theme.

Our cover for the Horror Anthologyincludes my cat, Max, who often joins our writing meetings by laying across notebooks and handouts. He often picks the members who are allergic to cats, and gets lot of pets and affection. I asked members what they thought, and many agreed, Max would be on the cover this year.

Last year’s Writers Anthology: 2013 included all genres (which made it difficult to publish into a category).  This includes poetry, one of my short stories, and more choices. For this week, the Kindle version is free.

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Filed under Nanowrimo, Publishing, Writer

Writer’s Block and Homeschool

008I don’t post enough on my blogs. Its not intentional; its all those distractions Life keeps throwing at me.

For the past month, I blame homeschool. We recently switched to an ‘umbrella’ school, since we grew to hate the Board of Education reviews. Where teaching and learning was once joyous and fun, the reviews forced me to stick with paperwork and textbooks. BORING!

I grew to hate teaching, and my son loathed having to start homeschool. The idea of his going to school bothered me greatly, since it was just more of the boring reading, note taking, and reciting stuff.

Learning should be filled with wonder, even a hunger to know more. People naturally learn all the time, from things that interest them, to the relationships they have, to even the entertainment they consume. But the way we were expected to conduct homeschool, too much like public school, and I was so bored. My son was bored.

In his younger years, teaching was a blast, and my son enjoyed the lessons. We explored all sorts of neat things, gobbling up the material in the form of documentaries, games, field trips, even music, stories, etc.  As he grew older, and the reviewer began to demand more text work (you know, but text books), it just sucked out all the fun and creativity for us.

What I found is that it also sucked out my own creativity. My mind and heart had to focus on my son’s education. I began to second guess everything I did, and writing creativity turned into sitting at a blank screen, unable to type anything but Hemmingway-like sentences, written by a third grader.

Where the heck did the creative muse go? Did she forsake me? Did the orthodoxy of school throttle into submission?

Since we passed our review (and my son is now entering high school grades in homeschool), the umbrella school reviewer is by far more open about creative learning. Imagine hearing angels sing as the clouds part, and this epic soundtrack start- yeah, it felt like that- I can be creative again. I was given the freedom to express myself through teaching but also through crafts and my writing.

Maybe I can’t compartmentalize like a true author should be able to, but I don’t care- I can be free of the shackles now, explore words and sentences, and let go of that self-questioning doubt.

And I should remember that this blog is about The Writer’s Journey, the process to share my words, and ups and down that goes with that.

Oh, I almost forgot to mention. I also helped a fellow writer publish his memoir booklet, Walking With Faith. His story tells of his childhood loss of his mother at a young age, his growing up helping community, but later he tells about his battle with cancer, how it helped lead him to helping others with his non-profit, Openheartsopenpalms.org.

He’s a very sweet guy, full of enthusiasm and genuine concern for his fellow man (and woman). He’s working towards building community gardens to feed soup kitchens, and a van to help veterans get to their doctor appointments- just to name a few.

I designed the cover, par his instructions, and published to the Amazon Kindle Singles.

Now I’m on vacation….relaxing, thinking of my own stories to share.

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Filed under Author, Links, Publishing, The Writer's Journey

It’s official; I’m a Kindle-single-amazon publisher!


It was a bit more time-consuming than I expected, but its done and official. My short story, Into the Shade, is now live on Kindlesingles.net.

I’d love if anyone orders it to please leave a good review! Winking smile


Filed under Publishing, Writer