#1 Do you have a story or idea in mind?

Yes. Continue to # 2. No. Stay on this step, or come back to it now and then, until the answer is yes. You can write pieces while you figure this out, but consider it practice. You can read ahead in this list of questions to see what else you need to be prepared toContinue reading “#1 Do you have a story or idea in mind?”

I want to be a writer. Where do I start?

Most important—Don’t be fooled into thinking there is only one way. There is no single guaranteed path to producing a best selling book. Asking yourself a few questions before you start, after you start, once you finish your first draft, after your book is published, and in the years that follow may help you findContinue reading “I want to be a writer. Where do I start?”

MS Word Tip #5: Smart Quotes, Straight Quotes, and Apostrophes

Controlling use of smart vs straight quotes MS Word offers two styles of quotation marks: smart quotes and straight quotes. Smart quotes, sometimes called curly quotes, curve or lean depending on whether they are at the beginning or the end of quoted text. Smart quotes are typical of printed matter, such as the text inContinue reading “MS Word Tip #5: Smart Quotes, Straight Quotes, and Apostrophes”

MS Word Tips #4: Paragraph Formatting Features

Document Vs Paragraph Formatting All the formatting information for the document is stored with the final character on that document. That final character is not visible, but you can see it with MS Word’s Show-Hide feature (3-MS Word Tips: The Show-Hide Feature) turned on. It appears as the final paragraph symbol on the document. OnlyContinue reading “MS Word Tips #4: Paragraph Formatting Features”

MS Word Tips #3: Setting Up Pages and Formatting Documents

MS Word provides two separate options for formatting documents. The first is Page Setup or Layout which includes setting the parameters for how each physical page will print. The image at the top of this post shows a collage of menu screens for Page Layout with MS Word for a Mac. The second is DocumentContinue reading “MS Word Tips #3: Setting Up Pages and Formatting Documents”

MS Word Tip #2: Understanding Templates

Why do I need to know about Microsoft templates? MS Word templates are like cookie cutters. Everytime you begin a new document in MS Word, formatting options such as the indentation of each paragraph, the spacing between paragraphs, the spacing between lines within a paragraph, the font style and size, and much more are determinedContinue reading “MS Word Tip #2: Understanding Templates”

MS Word Tip #1: The Show-Hide Feature

You’re ready to submit a piece to a contest or for consideration in the Guild’s anthology, and the submission guidelines say the piece must have 1-inch margins on top, bottom, left, and right; be double spaced, with the first line of each paragraph indented 1/2 inch; and the font must be Times New Roman, 12Continue reading “MS Word Tip #1: The Show-Hide Feature”

Guest Post by Kevin G. Chapman: More on Bargain Book Platforms for Marketing

I recently met an author of a police thriller series, Kevin G. Chapman, through AXP’s Typo-Killer program. I signed up as a reader for that program in part to get more experience with proofreading and in part because I’m just an English language nerd. Kevin’s next novel, Fatal Infraction, the fourth in his series ofContinue reading “Guest Post by Kevin G. Chapman: More on Bargain Book Platforms for Marketing”

Bargain Book Platforms

As a reader, I’ve been experimenting with bargain book platforms for a couple of reasons. First, I want to see which platform appears to be most reader friendly since I may want to use one of them when I complete my work-in-progress. Second, I want to gather information about the value authors ascribe to them.Continue reading “Bargain Book Platforms”