So You Want to Write a Novel?

Writing

Author Editor Annette Youngby Annette Young

I believe we all yearn to write a novel at some point but now, there are even greater reasons for actually doing so. Writers can now get their novels published easily, self-publishing is acceptable and why not? There’s thousands, no, millions of fantastic novels that get turned down by traditional publishers. When you consider that J.K Rowling’s Harry Potter book was turned down by 12 such publishers, you can see that self-publishing really is a writer’s new best friend. Unlimited opportunities and potential for the creatively minded.

So, if you have plans to one day write a novel, harden your resolve and make it become a reality instead of simply thinking about it. Is it easy to write a novel? No, it’s a test of creativity, imagination, skill and dedication. Is it worth the effort? Absolutely yes.

You may be sitting there toying with the possibilities but then, decide you don’t have time, it would be impossible. However, I know that time restrictions or not, if you really want to write a novel, then you will. That’s the difference between someone who contemplates writing a novel one day and the person who puts their words to good use now. I understand completely that time has a way of sabotaging creative pursuit. Even though I write full-time, it happens to me here. I plan my day, perhaps ready to dedicate time to work on my own writing projects and then something unexpected and frustrating throws a spanner in the creative works.

So even though this happens, I know it’s still possible to create and manage time so you can write a novel and, in less time than you might think. It’s all about organisation and freeing up your time. I used to write before I started work. I wrote in my lunch hours and at every other opportunity and you will be amazed at how quickly the word count starts to pile up if you do so. How many words could you realistically write in a day? If you could write one thousand words a day, the first draft of the novel would be completed in just two months. Now, can you see it is possible to write a novel even if you are busy?

The solution is to calculate how many words you could, on average, write in a day and then build this into your schedule. All it takes is a little planning and commitment and you could add novelist to your list of credentials.

 

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Want to Publish? Then Publish Something Good

Author/Editor Annette YoungI have been known to rant a bit, but then I believe passionately in writing and those wonderful feelings of satisfaction achieved after writing and publishing something worthwhile.  Being an author is not easy. Your best work is often the result of laboured productivity where you have to wrench painful, emotional or difficult experiences from deep within and to share them with the world. You put your heart and soul on the line every single time you have something published.

Writing is hard work, you face rejection, you feel the brunt of reader feed-back, you are filled with doubts at times about your own skill-set, oh and the road to making a million is a long and trying one. In short, there are mistakes and set-backs waiting to be made every step of the way.

Self-publishing is a wonderful resource and although some still shy away from self-publishing, I say accept and embrace every single opportunity to get published that you can. If you make mistakes, accept them but don’t stop writing or publishing your books. There’s a global audience just waiting to read your words.

It’s important to be clear however that indie publishing is not a ‘get rich quick scheme’ or, a way to haphazardly create books that have not been created with love, care and attention. If you are going to publish, then publish something good. Why would you not spend the same time and effort with an ebook as you would with a traditional book? The only difference might be that you have a smaller word count with an ebook, the quality of words should be the same.

Understanding why you want to write as well as who you are writing for will certainly help you to have a definite plan of attack. If it’s just some fuzzy idea of being an author, then forget it. Have some pride in your work. Plan your book, live and breathe those words, and have a definitive message to share.

Having work published is akin to leaving a part of you behind long after you have given up your grip on life.  It’s a way of being alive forever, at least in the eyes of the reader who will want to know more about you. Just imagine your book being read 50 years from now, new dedicated readers who desperately wish you were still able to write….or not, depending on the quality.

So think about the end result. Do you want the reader to put your book down and think wow? Do you want them to feel informed and satisfied by the content? If you think about your book from start to finish then they will. If you are an author who thinks that using indie publishing is just a way to churn out any old rubbish or to make a bit of cash then you will simply leave the reader feeling disappointed and cheated.

What type of author do you want to be?

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.

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