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Word...Behind the Scenes

This post is to serve as a quick guide to help you create a clean Word document. Wether you are formatting your manuscript yourself, or sending it to an interior designer, there are a few things that you can do to make the process easier. The just of it is... do not use tabs, the space bar to indent, or hit return (enter) multiple times for page breaks or large spaces between your chapter heading and first line.
You may have added unique fonts or images, but before your designer (or you) can format your manuscript, all of those special things will be erased. Instead of formatting each chapter head to look that certain way, the best thing to do is send a screen shot of one chapter. I'd just hate for you to pre-format your entire novel, just to have me erase all of it.
Now as a designer, I fully expect to rid most documents of these pesky little entries, to a point. But if these elements are through out the entire novel, some times they need to be deleted individually, and that can take several hours. So what you'll want to do before the manuscript is formatted is the see how clean your document is before you start.
So how do you tell if your document has tabs or extra spaces? Once your document is open, click on the paragraph symbol. (see the image below for an example)
Below is an example of the hidden characters that appear when you use Word. You will see a paragraph marker, what it looks like when you press tab, and enter.

Self Publishing Essentials...The Copyright Page

You’ve spent the last year of your life neck deep in a world you created and shared with your characters. Wasn’t it cozy and peaceful? Just the few of you, hidden away all safe. Well it’s time to release it into the wild! Now…the nitty-gritty, aka, non-fun stuff, comes into play. There are many technical aspects that come along with publication, one such thing is the copyright page. I know that single little page can be confusing and a tad intimating. So in efforts to help you along and figure out what you need to do, here a quick post listing all the necessities the copyright page.
A copyright page exists in every published book on the face of the earth, and yes, your self-published masterpiece needs to have one too. Not sure what to include? Below is an example, feel free to copy and paste to use in your novel.
Why do we need a copyright page?
The plain and simple answer…the copyright page exists to let people know that the book has indeed been copyrighted.
What do I include in the copyright page?
The single most important piece of information is the copyright notice itself. Include the year it was copyrighted and the author name.
Example ~ Text copyright © 2016 by (your name)
Beyond the copyright notice you should include the following:
*Title of Book
*Reservation of rights.
*Trademark information (if any)
*Isbn number
Is there any other information that I can or should include?
*font used
*links to people who helped bring your book to publication: editor, cover designer, interior designer, name of cover models
*printing information
*or any other technical or legal notices you wish to convey
Go grab 5 books off your shelf and flip to the copyright page. You will see that beyond the basic information, copyright pages very vastly. You can add more or less; you actually have quite a bit of freedom.
Where do we place it?
In the print version of yout book the copyright page typically is placed on the back of the title page. In your ebook it can follow the title page or it can be placed in the very back. For many authors they find in useful to place the table of contents and copyright page at the end of the book so that when a reader downloads a sample they will get more pages of text, as to front matter.
Where can I copyright my book?
Or go directly to the log in page
Feel free to copy and paste for your own needs. Many people choose to use a smaller font or center the text.
Book Title
Text copyright © 2016 by (your name of name)
No part of this publication may me reproduced, or stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise without permission from the author, except for brief passages included in critical reviews of the book. (if you like you can include how to contact you for permission)
This book is a work of fiction. Any comparison to real persons, living or dead, is coincidental and not intended by the author.
Published by (you or publisher name)
Cover design by (designer name)
Book design by (designer name)
Printed in The United States of America
First edition

The Dreaded Typo...Your Last Line of Defense

So, you’ve written your future bestseller. You’ve sent it to beta readers, the editor, proofreader, and have read it so many times the thought of having to read it once more makes you want to throw up.
The precious has been uploaded and released into the wild and all you have to do is sit back and wait for the reviews to start rolling in.

Then there it is, the dreaded one star. “The book had a typo on page 5. So typical. This is why I don’t read self-published books.” Catch my drift? We can read and read, and yet that pesky little typo still slips through. It’s not because you didn’t try, but because it just happens.

One reason is because when we read the same thing over and over, our eyes have the tendency to skip over certain words, or our brain automatically converts the word to what we think it should be. What is one way to avoid this? Try listening to your manuscript.

What I mean by listening is this. Find an electronic device that has a Text To Speech feature. Upload your manuscript and listen as the device reads the story to you. During this process you will hear the exact words that you typed, not what you meant to type. This will help you hear the difference between closely spelled words, or if a word has been repeated, or entirely left out.

 Devices that I have found to have Text to Speech are: The Kindle Fire, iPhone, iPad, and the writing application Scrivener. Heck, even my old school Kindle, like second generation Kindle, even has the feature. Out of all of these devices my Kindle Fire and Scrivener program have been the easiest to operate.

 How do you do this you ask? Well the first thing you have to do is upload the manuscript to your device. If you are using your Kindle, find your Kindle email address, and email your manuscript to your Kindle. You’ll find your book under Docs. Then turn on Text To Speech. (for this process see video below)

 If you are using an iPhone or iPad, download the Kindle app, then email your manuscript the same way you would to your Kindle. Next open Settings, click on General, click on Accessibility, then click on Voiceover. Turn Voiceover on and let Siri do the talking. This process takes a bit getting used to, but trust me, it’s worth it.

 Do you have any tips or tricks that you like to use when when proofreading? Please share below. Happy Writing!

Smashwords...ePub or Word. Which One's For You?

Smashwords ebook formatting~ A common practice among authors is to upload your files directly to Amazon and Barnes & Noble, then using Smashwords to upload to all other marketplaces. The reason being? There are a lot of booksellers out there and sometimes it's easier to let other people do some of the work for you. You could spend hours tracking all of your sales at the different retailers, and after all, time is money, people! It also eliminates the need to purchase your own ISBN'S.
Smashwords will upload your book to Kobo, iBooks, Oyster, Baker & Taylor, and more, with minimal work for the author. (They will also upload to Amazon and Barnes & Noble, but since that is where most sales come from you will retain a bigger portion of your profit if you upload to them yourself.)
Smashwords gives you the option to upload a specially formatted Word document, or an ePub. (Even though Tattered Page Ink will already provide you with an ePub for Barnes & Noble, the Smashwords file requires additional steps for inclusion into the Premium Library. Thus requiring additional steps and creating a separate ePub.)
One of the biggest benefits to using Smashwords over uploading to iBooks directly is iBooks requires you to use Apple software and to provide your own ISBN number. If you do not use a Mac you will have to find a friend that does, and purchasing your own ISBN number can be costly. Smashwords will provide you with an ISBN for free.
Here is the difference when you upload a Word doc vs. ePub. If you upload an ePub, the file bypasses the meatgrinder and will only be available to read as an ePub. That will get your book into iBooks, Kobo and pretty much every place that you will want to sell your book. There is one downfall to that. A potential reader will not be able to download a sample to their e-reader. Plus, if Tattered Page Ink is designing your masterpiece, the ePub is provided to you at no extra charge.
When you upload a Word doc, the meatgrinder will convert your file into many forms. Epub, mobi, pdf, rtf, lrf, pdb, txt, and html. With today’s e-readers and tablets most of these files are not necessary. Also, while most of the time the files look great, the formatting can be inconsistent. But the plus side of that, retailers can offer a sample of your book.