Writing and Publishing – What’s the Rush?

be a successful writer

by Annette Young

We live in a fast-paced society, I think you will all agree but, as a writer, I am starting to believe that collectively, there is a worldwide urge to churn out content as if there is no tomorrow. It’s fine to speed-write, I do it myself but I do spend days meticulously going back through my work and then, I have my wonderful editor/proofreader Maggie Burns who works for the Creative Competitor, cast her steely eyes over much of it.

When I wrote my novel, Who Killed September Falls? I did so in a month – I couldn’t take any more time off from my other client work and I wanted to prove that you could indeed write a full-length work of fiction in a limited time-frame if you really wanted to. With each completed chapter, I emailed my colleague and she edited the words – checking for punctuation errors but, we also discussed my goals as well as queried any discrepancies. This approach ensured speed and efficiency as well as accuracy.  

If you are a writing enthusiast, you’ll know that it’s all too easy to make mistakes. You get so caught up in your plot that you romp ahead without realising that your characters have evolved and the plot has now become more complex and then, with your mindset firmly on your original idea, you trip yourself up with these subtle changes and before you know it, bam, there’s a great big hole of inconsistency running through your plot. 

I blame the roller-coaster entity called digital publishing for this urgency to write and publish. It’s all too easy these days to get work published that somehow, as writers, we have belittled the craftsmanship of the writing process. Now don’t get me wrong, I love the digital publishing options out there. Although as published writers, we all know the flaws of Amazon and other publishing entities, we do know that without these companies, opportunities to carve out a living in the writing arena greatly diminish. In terms of benefits, it does enable good writers who were likely to remain stuck in the slush pile of publishing, to have a good opportunity to succeed. It works and I’ve made money from digital publishing but, and, there is a BIG BUT, I also see published work out there which has blatantly had very little thought going into it. 

I find this difficult to understand.

As an editor, I see a lot of fiction and non-fiction books and I help to bring them to life. I polish those words and I consider the inner message that the writer is trying to convey. I think about the target audience, I think about the consistency and style and whether those words will engage the reader. But these are the lucky books – because they have reached the experienced hands of a professional and, the writers have the commitment and desire to their project to ensure that those words are as good as can possibly be. But there are thousands of books and stories published today that have not had the professional touch. The words may still be ultra raw, a talent in the making, or, the story may have little to no substance and the characters fail to touch the hearts or minds of the readers. 

This will only deter readers from buying unknown names. 

So, this is what happens when we rush a writing project or do not care enough to edit, re-edit and then send it to a professional to give it their seal of approval. I have had some excellent books sent to me but which needed a great deal of help and there’s nothing wrong with that. As editors, we do not judge, we just focus on the task at hand, but as a reader, it is impossible to not judge a published book.

There’s a reason why successful authors the world over have editors and proofreaders. They care. 

I know that it’s difficult to produce a sufficient level of words when you work all hours and have to fit in your writing at odd times and so a lengthy project i.e. a novel, can take up months and years of hard slog but, that’s okay. You must write at your own pace. If you are desperate to get your book written but are seriously struggling, have it ghost-written and sell it in your name. If you have captured a full-length work of fiction or non-fiction to paper but are not sure whether it needs more work, have it professionally critiqued. 

All of these options prove that you care about the end result but for all those who churn out their words and never have it professionally evaluated or edited, you are taking a risk – not just with your own work but you also de-value the face of publishing. Let’s be honest, the publishing industry is filled to over-flowing with books that rarely do much in terms of sales and those that are sold but do not provide an enjoyable read are slated by readers (and rightly so) and this knocks sales dead in their tracks. But it does more than that, it adds an air of amateurism to the whole digital publishing or Indie industry. 

I advocate writing as much as you can when you can. We can’t progress unless we write and learn from our mistakes. Let those words pour from the soul, live and breathe the whole writing process and let your story be told, but don’t think that publishing sub-standard work is alright. To be a real writer, you have to care about your story or your idea, it has to have merit and integrity. To be a successful writer, you must stand by your words and create the best book or work of fiction that you can. I always think that writing is a little part of you, you breathe life into it, you give it soul and you add some of your own experiences and beliefs and maybe, if you truly care, you add a pinch of magic to it too. It’s this extra ingredient that will make your work shine above all others and enable it to rise to the top. The other elements ensure that your book has a right to take its place alongside books from top authors because you have created solid foundations upon which to carve out your writing career. 

So if you suddenly have the temptation to churn out work and publish it immediately, resist that urge. Instead, think about your readers and go for the long haul. This might only mean an extra week or two of polishing but make no mistake, your words will shine and you’ll be proud to be called a writer. 

Need any help with your book? Don’t know who to trust? We can help. Take a look at our list of author services or email any questions to: info@creative-competitor.co.uk

From Word Manuscript to Kindle Ebook in Three Easy Steps

By Marcia Yudkin

If you’ve self-published a short report that you’re selling in PDF format, consider converting it to Kindle format and selling it in Amazon’s digital downloads store. Prices you can realistically charge there range from $.99 to $9.99, with your share of purchases either 35 or 70 percent. But perhaps the greater benefit than the income is the opportunity through the Amazon Kindle store to get your material in front of customers from around the world who wouldn’t otherwise ever run across your ideas and talents.

About a year ago, I struggled to take a paperback book I had nicely designed using the powerhouse publishing program InDesign and convert it so I could sell it on Kindle. I tried three different conversion tools, and all of them produced grossly unacceptable results. Frustrated, yet not ready to shell out the cash to hire someone else to reformat the book, I put this project on the back burner.

More recently, tempted by tales of colleagues experiencing results with short ebooks on Kindle, I decided to test the waters with a collection of articles that I’d compiled into an ebook. After sifting through many how-to articles and videos on Kindle conversions, here are the steps I followed that worked out perfectly not only for my experimental 30-page ebook but for several other short works and then the more complex paperback that had earlier stumped me.

Step One: Setting Up Styles in Your Word Document

One key to success is keeping your Microsoft Word formatting as simple as possible. Don’t worry about selecting fonts or defining fancy formatting. Instead, define and use what Word calls “styles.”

To do this, click on “Styles” from Word’s “Format” menu, then one by one define the following three basic styles:

1) Body Text: Times New Roman 12, single spacing, no other special effects

2) Heading 1: Based on no style, Times New Roman 16 points, bold, page break before

3) Heading 2: Based on no style, Times New Roman 14 points, bold, no page break before

Then code all regular paragraphs in your manuscript as Body Text by highlighting them and clicking on “Body Text” for them in the “Styles” menu. Code your chapter titles as “Heading 1” and any subheads as “Heading 2.”

If you need additional formatting styles, define a new style for it in the “Styles” menu instead of manually clicking buttons on your computer keyboard to make the text look the way you think it should. Unless everything in your Word document is coded consistently in such styles, you’ll see chaos in the Kindle version.

Step Two: Save Your Word File as RTF

When you have finishing coding everything in your Word manuscript, save the file first as a “.doc” file, then as a rich text file – “.rtf.” The RTF file is what you need for Step Three.

Step Three: Convert to Mobi Format using Calibre

Calibre is a free ebook conversion program you can download at   rel=nofollow [http://www.calibre-ebook.com]http://www.calibre-ebook.com. Open the program and click on the “plus” icon in the upper left to load the RTF version of your ebook into Calibre. Then click the “i” icon” in the upper left to fill in such information as your name and the title of the ebook.

With your book title highlighted on the main screen of the program, click on the next icon, with two curved arrows, which gets you to the conversion function. There are a lot of options that come up, but you only need to concern yourself with two of them. In the upper right corner, where it says “Output Format,” select “MOBI.” Then in the left column, click on “Page Setup” and then under “Output Profile,” select “Kindle.”

Click “OK,” and the program converts your file to something you can upload to Kindle. When the rotating circle in the lower right corner stops spinning, double-click on your title on Calibre’s main screen to see how your file will look in the Kindle e-reader.

If the e-reader shows formatting that looks wildly wrong, then you didn’t define and code your styles in Word carefully enough. Go back to the “.doc” file that you saved at the beginning of Step Two and check your styles, then repeat Steps Two and Three. You may need to do some trial and error in redefining the styles to get things like bulleted lists looking right in Kindle.

When your text looks fine in Calibre’s Kindle simulator, you are ready to upload the.mobi version of your ebook to Amazon. You can get that process started by going to   rel=nofollow [http://kdp.amazon.com/]http://kdp.amazon.com/. In just a day or so after you’ve uploaded your ebook, you and the rest of the online universe will see it available for sale in the Kindle store. Happy ebook sales!

 

The author of 15 books and nine multimedia home study courses, Marcia Yudkin has been selling information in one form or another since 1981. Download a free recording of her answers to the most commonly asked questions about information marketing by entering your information into the privacy-assured request box at [http://www.yudkin.com/infomarketing.htm]http://www.yudkin.com/infomarketing.htm.

Article Source: [http://EzineArticles.com/?From-Word-Manuscript-to-Kindle-Ebook-in-Three-Easy-Steps&id=6678065] From Word Manuscript to Kindle Ebook in Three Easy Steps

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Publishing Your Ebook On Kindle and Reading It On iPad

By Jens E Huebner

The key to saving yourself a whole lot of time is to learn a bit about formatting for Kindle before you start to write. Sure, you can go back and change the formatting but it can take hours, and you want to concentrate on writing the novel or short story, and not on reformatting. These tips apply if you have Word (and perhaps others like Open Office but I don’t know that for sure) and you can save the first of your two versions in doc or docx. More about that other version later.

Epublishing came to be extremely popular in the last few years. It’s quite a bit different to print publishing, as most of us know. With Kindle’s direct to the Kindle/Amazon site, anyone can publish their own books in almost an instant. What a way to read aspiring new authors as well as seasoned vets! Printed books are always popular, and now anyone can add the electronic versions as well. This will increase sales, and give encouragement to your writing efforts. Pick a genre for your novel, such as a thriller or romance, and setting — Ancient Egypt, for instance.

Formats for Epublishing depend a lot on which platform you are publishing on, so I can tell you a little about Kindle only, at the moment. When you publish on Kindle you can also tell customers on your website how to download an app for their iPad. This enables the stunning graphics which iPad possesses, to really highlight your Kindle-published book. This iPad Kindle app is free from the app store.

The nitty-gritty:

� Using Word, and saving in doc or docx, set your margins to a half inch and page size to 5″ by 7″. This will give you the approximate visual look of an ebook.
� Do not put any kind of header or footer or page numbers in there. These are useless for ebooks as the customer can resize the page as they wish.
� You can put a table of contents in the front, but do not use Word’s auto function as this won’t work. Just type in your table of contents manually at the front of your book.
� You can use embedded-in-Word jpegs, more on that later. How to incorporate charts and bullet points is a more complex issue, so explore that as a separate and additional body of knowledge.
� Use single spacing and Times New Roman 12 point font, and insert a page break at the end of each chapter so your text does not run on.
� Lastly, and this is the most important — do not use tabs for your paragraph indents. If you know how to use Word’s style function then work on a template for an ebook. If you don’t know how to do this and don’t want to spend hours learning how, then manually pop in 5-7 spaces as your indent.

Download a free reader called Mobipocket Reader and check how your book will look, before you hop on to the Kindle self-publishing site. There are ways to link your chapters (listed in the table of contents) to your chapter headings, but that can get a bit complicated so for now, this is the basic stuff. When you are happy with your finished Word doc or docx, then save it and then save again in the Word menu as “Web Page, Filtered”. Ignore the Word box about “this will remove formatting etc.) as this is what you need to do. You will have two versions, now — a regular Word file and an HTML one.

When you upload you’ll be using the HTML file. If you have embedded photos in the Word doc then look for a separate folder that’s been saved automatically with your photos in it. Try and file it next to your HTML doc, so you can upload together when you’re at the Kindle self-publishing site. These photos will then, hopefully, plop themselves right back into your document/novel/short story/best seller, in exactly the right place. They will automatically appear in the reader you use to check before publishing. As you write, by the way, make your characters’ names appropriate to your novel’s setting. I used Meryneith, Kemsa, Quasshie, Thoth, Aapep, and Asim to make my book about Ancient Egypt come alive.

If you’d like to find out more things about publishing in general, plus other musings, and also how to download my latest book, a thriller called [http://www.meryneith.com]The Mummy Maker’s Daughter then check out my blog, and watch the movie trailer as well.

Article Source: [http://EzineArticles.com/?Publishing-Your-Ebook-On-Kindle,-and-Reading-It-On-iPad&id=6546260] Publishing Your Ebook On Kindle, and Reading It On iPad