DIYDay Lesson 22: Formatting Books for Print – How Not To Lose Your Everloving Mind

Hello all my fellow authors and followers! It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these, so I thought I would post about something that is of immediate relevance to me, as I am formatting an entire series for print. By myself. It’s going very well, though, thank you for asking. =) But it wasn’t as easy the first couple of times I’ve done it, so I thought I would share a few helpful tips and tricks on how to make the process quicker and much less painful.  So, here we go! For the purposes of this post, I will be using MS Word 2013, but these same tools are available in all versions of MS Word, just in different places. If you’re unsure, Google where to find them. 😉

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DIYDay Lesson 21: Graphics Editing – The Evolution Of A Book Cover

There are gifted individuals out there who can sit down at a brand new task and instantly excel at it. The rest of us learn by trial and error. And if we (yes, I’m mostly speaking about myself here) insist on going it alone, there is a lot of trial and error. What I’m sharing today is the evolution one of my self-made covers has gone through. It wasn’t the only one, by any means, but it was the one with the most revision. I do this to show you that sometimes stubbornness, perseverance, and versatility pay off. Most of the time, actually. Sit back, relax, and watch me screw up.

A lot. And then finally get it right. I give you…


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Author-y Stuff

Happy Friday to all!

WolfenI write to you today for a couple of reasons. The first is to give you an update on Wolfen. Which is that I am about ten chapters away from finishing my first self-edit. And that means after a final read-through to smooth rough edges (hopefully next week), the manuscript will be ready to be sent to my editor! I know it’s stretching long, but I take edits very seriously, as evidenced by a sea of red notes over my manuscript and the wide-eyed look of confused panic people give me when they see it. It’ll get there, I promise 🙂 And it’ll be worth the wait.

The second is to continue my quest to help indie and self-marketing authors out there make a proper splash with their new releases. I want to introduce you all to a new source of background music–with a caveat. Jamendo is a fabulous site, with tons of professional, beautiful tracks, but each artist sets their own type of license for each track they place on the site. Always, always, be it on Jamendo, or any other website, for music, images, animations, etc., check the license to make sure you have permission to use the resource.

And last but not least, in my most recent post about marketing resources I mentioned a little program called Corel Video Studio, which is not free. I know that makes a lot of people wince–it did me, too. But I promised you I would not give you a resource I have not used myself, and to prove to you this program is well worth the investment,  here is a small example, made by me, of what you can do with it:

The ingredients for this came from the following places:

  • Music source: Jamendo (free for some songs)
  • Music editing software: Audacity (free)
  • Images source: (free), Fotolia (paid)
  • Image editing software: GIMP (free)
  • Video animation source: (free)
  • Video editing software: Corel Video Studio (paid)

And in case you were wondering, The Beast Series is now available in eBook (as individual novellas or complete series) and print format (complete series) at all your favorite online retailers.

Until next time! 🙂

DIYDay Lesson 20: Author Websites

And we’re back! This time I thought I’d get into a little more detail of things like style, layout and content. Things every author should know and wield with impunity.

First thing’s first. DISCLAIMER: Everything that follows is totally subjective opinion content based on a few years experience trying to sort my own website into some kind of order, and browsing other authors’ websites and (more often than I care to say) cringing at what I found. Take everything you read here with a grain of salt.

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DIYDay Lesson 19: Excerpt Graphics

Another late post (sorry!!) but I wanted to get this info out there ASAP.

If you’re on any form of social media and following an author, you’ve seen excerpt graphics before. They are basically pictures with text over them, sometimes info about release dates, the book cover, etc. Some are so great you look for the Buy link only to realize it’s still “coming soon!” And some you can barely read. In terms of marketing value, excerpt graphics are right up there with cover images. They make a huge first impression. I’ve done a fair number of these as well, and I’ve learned a trick or two from all the greats, the not so greats, and my own experiences. This is a quick guide on how to catch your audience’s eye.

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