Word is an excellent tool for writing and creating the final files for self publishing, but many authors don’t take the time to learn even the basics of using this great software. As a publisher, I get manuscripts full of needless multiple formatting with tabs and single spaces that create problems for final formatting. On more than one occasion I’ve had to clear all the formatting so that I could begin again with clean text. One was so problematic that I copied the entire manuscript and pasted into Notepad to wipe all formatting. Then I copied and pasted it onto a new Word file. I suggest using Normal Style for writing and leave the formatting for after all the editing is complete, especially if you aren’t doing the formatting.
Reading books, blogs, and websites about self publishing reveal a long list of excellent tools you can use to create the files needed to self publish a book or ebook. I use three tools for publishing my books and those of other authors.
My main tool is Microsoft Word which I always use to create my original manuscript. For the Kindle version or Smashwords version, this is the basic tool I need to create the final file for upload and publication. Used correctly, Word will produce excellent results. You can also create your print books with Word, but I prefer a publishing software for this purpose.
For my print version, I prefer to use PagePlus, an excellent desktop publishing software that I began using in 2007. The first version I used was X4, and I am now using X9. Even though there have been improvements with each new version, for print books PagePlusX4, X5, X6, and X7 are perfectly adequate and can be purchased from Amazon.com inexpensively. Serif is a British company, and they are now into a new software called Affinity, and they are selling PagePlusX9 as a legacy application for only 19.99 British Pounds which is $25.74, a great bargain. I may try their Affinity product at some future date, but for now, I’m fine with PagePlusX9.
The third tool, Adobe Photoshop, I use to create covers and manage other images. There are other options including Serif PhotoPlus, which is now available at bargain prices, and GIMP available free. Questions, email@example.com .
The new blog at http://simplifiedwoodworking101.com is now fully functional. Please check it out. The emphasis on this new blog is simplified woodworking methods and I will be posting on it regularly for most of a year sharing valuable information with novice woodworkers and interested professionals who may like my methods. At the end of almost a year I will be using the content of the blog to create a book and ebook on the Woodworking Simplified topic. Please share with your friends who may be interested in woodworking. As with this blog, I welcome comments and questions.
The idea for writing a book will vary considerably depending on the genre in which you write. I write how-to books and for me writing involves helping others to do a specific job, perform a task, or run a business. Some write how to books based on in-depth research, I write based on my first-hand experience. Sometimes I do some research regarding various ways to perform a task but for the most part I write what I know.
As I read posts, comments, articles, and even books, I notice that individuals have questions or sometimes I just notice that information seems complex and I can simplify it with my own information. This is how the idea begins and in the next posts I’ll cover how I take those ideas and apply them to my writing.
Starting a new book is exciting and as a how-to book writer there are certain steps I follow before I start the first draft. Step one is to fully develop the idea for the book. Exactly what are you going to teach others and how will you make certain they learn.
Next, develop and organize a detailed outline on everything you want to teach these individuals. Make this as complete and concise as possible as this step will make your writing much easier.
Now, if you are writing just for the joy of creating a book, you are ready to start the first draft. However, if you are like me and want your books to sell and make a good profit, it’s time for the most important step before writing a single word. You must determine who you will be teaching. Time to find out about the potential customers for your book. Who are they and where are they found. Once this task is completed you can start writing the first draft.
It seems that many writers feel that those who self publish are having a negative impact on the publishing business. Some of these disappointing comments mention that many would-be writers have nothing to say. Let’s assume that there is some truth to that, what does it really mean. If you have an idea for a book and decide to write it and self publish, how does that hurt anyone else? Wanting to do it is reason enough. Once the book or ebook is published, the market will decide if it has value.
Whether the books I choose to write become financial successes or total failures, all the choices, risks, and rewards are mine not those who choose to disparage books or self publishing because they don’t meet some perceived standard.
Once you have that great idea for a book, it’s time to develop a plan. This is an important step and varies depending on your reasons for writing a book. If your objective when writing a book is to make a profit, then the first step in the plan should be to decide who will want to read your book. It’s called knowing your market. The only way to make certain your book will be purchased is to know who is going to purchase it before you write the first sentence.
Once you know who will buy the book you will know the information they want and need and then you are ready to beginning planning the actual writing of the book. The first step in this process is compiling all the information you have on the topic. I prefer to compile all my data in a word processor because once I am ready to organize it the task will be much easier. Don’t worry about organizing all the information initially because it will cause you to overlook important things. Just compile every piece of information that could potentially contribute to your book.
Once you have the information compiled begin organizing using an outline. I begin by creating the outline at the beginning of all my compiled information. I list the headings and cut and paste the information that fits in that heading. I don’t attempt to put it in order at this point but just organize the data under the appropriate headings. Usually during this process I come up with headings that I had not considered because of all the loose information I have gathered.
Once I have all the headings I copy and paste them to form a well organized outline of everything that I want to write. During this process I add even more information to each heading and I wind up with a well organized outline for my book and I can begin writing. In my next post I will cover how I use this outline to write my book.
Why do you want to write a book? There are probably as many answers as there are writers. For me there are three reasons, one is that I enjoy writing about the things I do. The second reason is because I enjoy teaching others how to do the things I have learned to do well. It feels good to pass along valuable knowledge to others. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, I do it for the money. I enjoy selling my books and when people are willing to pay for the information I write about it seems to add value.
Would I continue to write even if my books didn’t sell? I have no doubt that I would. Perhaps it wouldn’t be as much fun but I would still do it. Sitting at a computer and putting down your thoughts and ideas for others to read is too much fun to stop just because the money doesn’t come. Anyway, that’s just me.
What about you? Why do you write? Is it about profit or do you just write for the enjoyment. Or, are you like me and both are important to you. I believe that just wanting to write is reason enough. There is no need to justify writing a book or anything else if it is what you want to do.
The mission of Publishing Simplified is to make independent (self) publishing as simple as possible by presenting useful information and valuable tools based entirely on first-hand experience publishing over forty print and ebooks.
By taking advantage of that extensive experience and developing simple methods to write and publish books and ebooks Bill Benitez has written several books on self publishing, created easy to use publishing tools, and posts as often as possible on this blog to help you do the same. Your questions and are always welcome. Please visit regularly and participate regularly as all aspects of the writing and publishing process are discussed. Thanks.
For those who want all the details on publishing books or ebooks in one compact, concise, and comprehensive package, Bill’s books, How-To Independently Publish Print Books With No Investment and Independent Publishing of Ebooks, contain complete instructions, precise screenshots, and links to help you write, publish and distribute your book or ebook worldwide. Get complete information on these valuable books at: http://booksfor.publishingsimplified.com/ .
Bill’s latest tools are geared to make the creation of Kindle books easy and inexpensive. The two listed below are available now.
Easy Kindle Formatting Kit – The kit includes an easy to use and modify template so you can have control over the final appearance of your ebook and a detailed set of instructions for use with the template or to create your own original file. That’s right, using these instructions you can create your own template to use as often as you choose. Check it out now at http://easykindleformattingkit.com/ .
Easy Kindle Covers – A great, attention getting cover is critical to the success of your Kindle ebook. You can pay a lot for a good cover but now you can save money while still selecting a quality cover from Easy Kindle Covers.
It’s a simple and inexpensive four step process and you pay nothing until you’re satisfied with the cover. Check it out at http://easykindlecovers.com/
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with question or comments.
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