Tag Archives: self publish

Thoughts on Editing for Self Published Authors

Within my writer’s group, we discuss methods of editing for self-published authors. This is a challenge for those wishing to keep costs low, but there are a few things I can offer to help in the process:

Understand the different types of editing. Not all editors are the same.

Learn how to edit. You must remember, as a writing, words, sentences, paragraphs, storylines, character development…all are considered your craft. If you don’t’ know it- learn it. With the Internet, you can find plenty of resources to master the craft of writing, so take some courses, write, write some more, read, read some more, and understand that the process can take a while, but worth it.



Use programs. Although programs are stupid, you can still catch some errors, misspellings, and punctuation issues. It won’t catch homonyms. For instance, conscious or conscience sound similar but used in sentences to mean different things. But programs can help catch things like finding passive voice, weak verbs, punctuation, and other elements of crafting a story.




Find an editor you can afford. I would suggest looking at colleges for English Majors who want more practice with editing, or check sites like Fiverr.com to hire someone to look at your manuscript. Other options include asking other self-published authors if they found an editor, and check how much for cost and is it worth it?


Writers Beware!

Warning signs you’re being scammed.

TheCreativePenn list of editors (check reviews and costs)

If you have any suggestions or have your own experiences you’d like to share, please post in comments.


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How to create an index (MS Word)


I write mostly non-fiction, which doesn’t often utilize the element of an index. If you write non-fiction, however, or intend to some day, this post might help.

What is an index?


Non-fiction books often require the author to establish one, and old-school publishing may ask you to include an index or list of words to be included. This can also cost you money.

If you self-publish, you want to create the index so your reader and cross reference information.

This video shows a basic tutorial on how to create and edit an index in MS Word;

I recommend you browse their channel playlists for more tutorials that are helpful for writers.

Click here for a PDF that includes a basic outline on how to add an index.

But don’t worry, Openoffice (free word processor and office software suite) can also can create indexes much the same way. Here is a PDF document which shows you how to add index, but also table of contents.

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Self-published anthology

Today, I got the ‘proof’ copy of the anthology , printed at Createspace.com. It is larger than expected. I thought it would thin. I’m pretty happy with it, although it does need a few more tweaks.

I realized they didn’t add page numbers. I assumed that was automatic with their process. That’s easy enough to fix. So far, everything else looks pretty good.

I still need to go through and check for anything else that needs fixing. Its not easy for me. With my bad eyesight, and stupid eye floaters, reading and seeing details proves challenging.

I think our next anthology will include sections, where the poetry will be in one section, science fiction in another, or some other format. This one is a bit of a hodge podge.

But the goal was to have a printed book of my fellow authors’ work, so I can ask them to sign in. I then have a nifty keepsake. I also found that I gained tons of experience with compiling, editing, and setting things up via Amazon Kindle and Createspace.com.

So here’s my advice;

Start with the Createspace.com, with a printed book first. Because the process involves more detail, you get a better result. You also get a Kindle eBook linked to your account, automatically.

Have a novel length project to publish. You can use this online calculator to see what you’ll be earning for a book based on size and number of pages. A book length of 250 pages, 5 x 8, earns only $.95 if you list the price at $8.00. A book with fewer pages simply won’t be worth purchasing.

Thinner books (short stories) can still publish as eBook via Amazon Kindle. This convinces me that submissions to future anthologies must be enough to create a printed book- otherwise, we just go with an electronic version.

I’m not sure when I’ll have the printed version available, but the online version can be found here;

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Createspace- self publishing to print or electronic book

CreateSpace-LogoI’m finishing up all the anthology publishing for the 2013 edition, and I’m learning a lot about the process.

Printed version first. I found I could’ve easily added the eBook version during the process of setting up the printed version. I did the eBook first via Kindle. I think now the two won’t be connected where you have the option on the page on Amazon. I think? Either way, if given the choice, be sure to do the printed version first. You will get the chance to select an eBook version for Kindle through the process- which makes things so much easier.

And don’t worry. If you screw up, the process will offer corrections and even a template you can work with.

Book covers. The graphic file for the eBook must be within the proper dimensions. According to this page, 1500×2400 at 300 dpi. If you don’t understand what that is, you might need to consider a graphic designer to design your cover for you.

The printed book, on the other hand, required a different dimension, which depended on the number of pages but also what size printed book. I selected a 5 x 8 size, with 200 pages. Fortunately, they provide a template based on your selection (click on this page), that you can edit and adapt as needed.

This did, however, create a few problems I didn’t anticipate. Being the graphic for the cover was mostly white with text and a basic graphic at its center, I was required to add a darker frame. (This was for the eBook). In addition, another author in my group found her black cover with red lettering wouldn’t show up on the basic Kindle. So consider carefully your colors, fonts, and designs.

You want them clear, concise, and work well with the color and graphics.

I’ll post more as I go.

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