3 unexpected programs to help you publish a book [PART 2/3]

Last month, I told you how the Microsoft Office suite can help you with your writing. I covered Microsoft Word, and how it’s more powerful than just a standard word processor. By getting to know some of the more obscure features of these (usually) easily obtainable and available programs, writers can take control of their writing without having to purchase expensive computer programs. With Microsoft Word, I covered how Section Breaks, Styles, and Formatting can help a writer create a professional-looking book with less effort. Even though our next program isn’t used directly for the actual writing of a book, it is incredibly valuable for planning and prepping. It can also be used during the polishing phase of a manuscript as well. I refer, of course, to: MICROSOFT EXCEL As an engineer, I love to use spreadsheets, and Excel is the king of the spreadsheet programs. Any time I need to write a list or do some calculations, I open up a new...
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3 unexpected programs to help you publish a book [PART 1/3]

Many months ago, I described the amount of work a writer would need to do by themselves to publish a book. Not only is there research, formatting, and graphic design involved, the writer also has to write said book. This whole process can be daunting, especially in the digital age. We have so many different programs at our fingertips to help us plan, write, and publish. A lot of these programs can cost a significant amount of money. Sure, programs like Aeon Timeline, Evernote, and Scrivener might be worth the money in the long run, but you’ll inevitably have to learn how to use these programs, which can eat into your writing time. What if I were to tell you that there’s a suite of programs you probably already have installed on your computer that can accomplish many of the same functions as the programs that cost a lot more? Many of you probably already use these programs on a regular...
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The problem with self-publishing

As a self-published author, I was almost surprised to find how easy it was to get my book out there. Back in 2011, when I published First Name Basis, I used the tools available to me through my “print on demand” publisher of choice: CreateSpace. From the cover creator to the interior template, all the work I did on my book was my own. Sure, I had a few people read through it and give me some notes on proofreading errors and other minor tweaks, but in the end, I did all my own writing, editing, and formatting so that the story I wrote would be available to a broad audience. Since then, I have learned just how much more work must go into self-publishing a book. Still, it remains a free endeavor for anyone who wants to publish their own book. Self-publishing a book is surprisingly easy. Fast forward to today, and I have read more than my fair share of independent...
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What it takes to do it all

There are days I see the benefits of going with the traditional publishing route. When you are signed on with a publisher, they provide some of the hard work it takes to make a manuscript into a polished and publishable product. From editors to formatters to cover artists to distribution, these publishers have the resources to help an author be successful. But what about the self-published author? One of the common misconceptions about being an author (especially a self-published one) is that we only have to write. In reality, a self-published author needs to perform the entirety of the publishing process by themselves. Now, you may be asking yourself, “OK, you have to do it all, but what does that even mean?” Let’s start at the beginning of the process, and I’ll walk you through it. If you want to self-publish, you have many jobs to do. Many of the most famous authors have a research department (or person). These are the people...
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3 Simple Tips when submitting to an Anthology

3 Simple Tips when submitting to an Anthology

Despite the almost ubiquitous availability of affordable self-publishing these days, sometimes it can be difficult to make your mark as an author. In fact, I would almost argue that the proliferation of self-published works has made it much harder to reach an audience of readers, as they now have a multitude of options when it comes to reading material. With this challenge in mind, one of the ways you can boost your name recognition is through anthologies. While you won’t have as much control over your written work as you would if you self-published a series of your own short stories yourself, the benefit of an anthology is being included in a book with a number of other authors who have fanbases who might be similar to the people you are trying to reach. In fact, someone might buy an anthology because they know one of the authors, only to find that they really like your story as well, thus increasing...
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Hometown Prophets

A few weeks ago, I was perusing some forums and came across a thread that essentially boiled down to this: “I’m pouring all of my energy into my art and my family and friends don’t care and don’t want to support me.” To be honest, this struck a bit of a chord with me as well. When you pick up a book in a store, do you know how long it took the author to write? Do you know how many revisions were needed to polish it into a publishable work? Do you know how much work it takes to get the word out? Granted, if it was sold in a store, there was probably a publisher helping the author to get to that point, but this just highlights the issue that independent and self-published artists face. Mainly, how do we build a base of people who would want to read what we’ve written? Of course, the first thought is that...
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