Tag Archives: ebook

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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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.


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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Real or fake writers

booksMy writer’s group brought up a number of times the topic of what makes a ‘real’ writer. Personally, I feel if you’re writing, either for enjoyment or for money, you’re still a writer, because it’s the act of writing and putting those thoughts, ideas, and stories to paper.

As one writer put it- “You get the validation of a publishing company if you’re officially published”. Well, yes. You can say that you’ve passed the rejection phase and endured the trial by fire all authors must face when getting their work to print, but consider this-

Many authors- great authors- were rejected a number of times by publishing companies. Doesn’t that show that they are not the end-all-be-all of what the manuscript is worth? I often wonder how many other great stories are out there, or thrown out, because the author was rejected for whatever reason.

I love the idea through ebook publishing and self publishing the cream rises to the top. Readers, then, decide what makes a story great, and determines its worth. Publishing companies might see themselves as shoved out of the way in favor of the general public making the decision of what makes a story great.

And I like that idea.

To think we might never have books like War of the Worlds, The Time Machine, or even Edgar Allen Poe’s works- all faced rejections. Even Beatrix Potter received enough rejection she self-published. All those publishing companies would deny the world these books for whatever reason they deemed the stories and writing ‘unworthy’.

I’d like to judge myself, thank you.

What do you think? What are your thoughts on self-publishing vs publishing, or rejections?


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The wondrous Ebook

1272645826599789Forgive the late posting. My son has been sick, and I’ve been fending off the illness while caring after him. Not fun.

Today I want to talk about Ebooks. They’re not new; they’ve been around for some time, but what makes them so wondrous is we’re entering a new era where Ebooks are quickly dominating the publishing market.

Amazon rewrites publishing rules where authors can easily publish either by printed book (Createspace) or ebook (Kindle), or even publish blog (Amazon Blog publishing), without involving the traditional publishing companies.

This doesn’t bode well for publish companies, however it enables authors freedom to publish and reach their audience through the Web. “But publishing companies get your book on the shelves of stores” you might say. Being we lost our local Borders, and we have few and far between bookstores to buy new books (plenty of old books though), I see publishing via the Web a viable option.

Creating an ebook and selling via a web page is simple. Marketing, however, is key. You need to know how to get the word out. Publishing via Amazon, who already has the established search and tons of customers, certainly helps.

Do you think you will try e-publishing or do you hope to publish the old fashioned way via a publishing company?

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