Archives for General

How To Write A Great “About the Author” Page

After seeing several thousand books pass through our doors, if there’s one page in books often overlooked, it’s the “About the Author” page. Sometimes the page is just very short – maybe a single sentence. But other times the page is left out entirely. This is a mistake! Your author page is the best place you have in the book for connecting with the reader and making them realize that you’re a real person who (hopefully) they like enough to want to read your next book. It’s also the perfect place to collect everything about you, and how to find
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What Page Size Should Your Book Be?

A very common question we get asked is “what page/trim size should I use for my book?” There is a very simple (but useless) answer – there is no correct answer! Now that I’ve got that out of the way, allow me to expand a bit 🙂 What I mean is that there is no “you must use this size” answer. There isn’t a formula where you plug in some numbers and get a result. All we can do is give you some guidelines, and then let you make the choice that feels right to you. The four most common
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You Don’t Need To Upload A Word File To Smashwords

A common misconception we run into about Smashwords is that they require authors to upload a Word file if you want to sell your book with them. It’s not surprising this belief is out there – once upon a time your only choice was to upload a Word file, and Smashwords always mention it first as the way to upload a book to their site. That requirement changed at the end of 2012 when they added the option to upload an epub. On first glance, this was great! No more having to deal with the “Meatgrinder” software that causes headaches
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How To Shorten Your Amazon Links

If you ever want to give a reader the link to your book on Amazon, it can be very tempting to just go to Amazon, search for your book, click on your book, and then copy and paste the link from the address bar in your browser. That works, but let’s be honest – the link you get is ugly! For example, here’s the link to my book Gears of Wonderland when I do that. https://www.amazon.com/Gears-Wonderland-steampunk-fantasy-Anderson-ebook/dp/B005USJ5U8/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1491136398&sr=8-1&keywords=gears+of+wonderland What a mess 🙂 Putting a visible link like that into a book would look very ugly. And can you imagine a reader trying
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Beware the Ebook Front Matter Trap

The great thing about self-publishing is that there is no one telling you what you have to do with your book. You can write in whatever genre you like, include whatever type of character you want, and write in any style you prefer. Don’t want to have any chapters at all in your book? No problem. Want to use a lot of very short chapters? That’s fine. Want to write your book entirely in verse, like some of the ancient Greek epics? Go ahead. But like with everything, that freedom comes with a price. It’s easy to fall into traps
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Happy New Year! Welcome to 2017.

Happy New Year! We hope that 2017 is a great year for your writing (and for you and your family in general 🙂 ) We are back from our Christmas break, and ready to get back to work! Obviously we have a bit of email backlog to go through, but we should catch up in the next couple of days.
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A Simple Checklist to Make Sure Your Manuscript is Complete!

Getting your book ready for publishing is an exciting time. But there are a huge number of things to think about as release day approaches. As a result, it’s easy to overlook adding some of the front and/or back matter to your book. This article runs through the common (and not-so-common) sections that you might have forgotten to include. All of them are optional to one degree or another, but most books will have at least the first five items.   Copyright page It’s a basic thing, but we find that the copyright page is probably the most forgotten page
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Unexpected Returns (Common Formatting Problems)

This series of articles is intended to talk about common (and not so common!) problems that can occur when formatting your manuscript as an ebook, and how to get around them. Whether you plan to do your own formatting, or get someone else (like us!) to do it for you, I hope you find the information helpful.   Out of every problem that we run across when formatting manuscripts, unexpected returns in the ebook is by far is the most common one. There are a few variations on this problem, so we’ll take a look at how these can trip
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Writing as a Passion, with K.R. Thompson (From the Trenches)

Today’s interview is with Kim Thompson (who writes as K.R Thompson – don’t worry, I’m not spilling any secrets 🙂 ). After starting to write as an escape, Kim discovered a passion for writing that has continued through multiple novels, novella and other stories. Kim’s advice is the perfect blueprint for a starting author who is unsure how to move forward in their writing career.       Thank you for taking the time to do this interview. To start with, can you tell us a bit about yourself, and how you got started writing? Thanks so much for having me,
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Marketing Tips and Advice from Mark Dawson (From the Trenches)

For the inaugural “From the Trenches” interview, I am very pleased to introduce Mark Dawson. We have had the honor and privilege of working with Mark from the start of his self-publishing career, when he first got back the rights to some books he had published though a publisher. From those small beginnings, Mark has become an extremely successful full-time author, selling hundreds of thousands of books and coming to the attention of TV and movie producers. Time will tell if we will be seeing his stories on the big (or small) screen in the future – fingers crossed!   Thank
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