I’m in print for the first time!

My first two publishing credits were for podcasts and my third, “Gifts from a Grim Godfather”, is in both kindle and paperback versions. I just found out the paperback version was out when my two contributor’s copies arrived in the mail today.

The Gothic Blue Book IV: The Folklore Edition is finally out in paperback and contains my “Gifts from a Grim Godfather” story.

Recommended Book: The Chicago Manual of Style, 16th Edition

I read through Publishing for Beginners: What First-Time Authors Need to Know (Kindle Edition) by Lourdes Venard and it lead me to another reference book purchase. She stated that The Chicago Manual of Style is used by the publishers of fiction writing to edit their author’s manuscripts and I thought it best to get my own copy of the must current edition. I received it this week and am doing my best to plug away at it. I don’t think I’ll ever have it memorized but I believe I’ll get a good overview of editing practices and will know when to refer it on an as needed basis.

My research says that I shouldn’t try to edit myself since writers are blind to their own common flaws and errors but I think things will be better if I make my manuscripts as clean as possible.

Smashwords formatting the open source, budget conscious way

I came across two useful links in my quest to self-publish affordably:

For those of us who need further explanation than J. Daniel Sawyer’s Smashwords template for OpenOffice  gives J.M. Porup has created a supplement to the Smashwords Style Guide for Libreoffice/OpenOffice.

Those of us who want to create an epub file to upload directly into Smashwords can follow the instructions in Bryan Behrenshausen’s How to create an eBook the open source way.

I can’t wait to try them out but need to get some of my works edited first.

Smashwords Formatting with Open Software

J. Daniel Sawyer created downloadable Smashwords templates for both OpenOffice and MSWord in this post. I can’t wait to try it out with Libreoffice, but it’s going to be a while before I am ready to try out Smashwords. If anyone does try it out in the near future could they give me feedback on whether it works or not? At least I figured out how to install the template onto Libreoffice, and I will eventually see if it gets passed the Smashwords Meatgrinder.

Check Out Joanna Penn’s site “Creative Penn”.

She’s won awards for her writing/publishing advice long before I personally discovered her but Joanna Penn not only has an impressive body of work of professional quality she also offers publishing advice on the Creative Penn.

I can’t say I’m a fan of her chosen genre but she actually knows how to put her publishing advice into practice and offers books, podcasts and courses to other writers.

Creating Book Widgets within a WordPress Page or Blog Post

This is more of a simple tip than a long tutorial. When I had a blog post about creating a widget for a book on a WordPress web page I wondered what would happen if I needed to cull widgets from the sides but still wanted to advertise earlier works. I played with WordPress’s dashboard and came up with a simple technique for creating a widget within a WordPress page or blog post.

Basically go to the Amazon page of the book you want to advertise and right click it. Chose the “copy image location” option on the menu. Choose whether you want to create a page or post on the WordPress dash board. Click the “add media” button. You will be taken to a new “add media” screen. There will be an “insert from URL” option on the menu on the left choose that. There will be a screen with an entry field for the URL paste the URL of the image there. You can also add a caption to it if you wish.

Now you have the book’s cover posted in your page or post and you will see the cover image of the book when you go back to the main post/page visual editing screen. Copy the URL of the book’s Amazon sale page. Highlight the book cover image. Now you can click the hot link icon that looks like a chain link to paste the URL of the book’s Amazon sale page.

You have now created a widget for your book. This may be useful if you are creating a blog post about a new work being published or else want to create a bibliography page of your works and have a set of widgets instead of just titles.

My widget for demonstration purposes. It has a short story of mine in it.

Holly Lisle’s Publishing While Broke Workshop

I probably sound like a Holly Lisle shill but I couldn’t resist buying her Publishing While Broke workshop when the ad came in my email today. This particular mini-course is very reasonably priced even at full price but is on sale during November.

Supposedly you can self publish with open source products to produce your work and only spend $5 per book, whether it is an ebook or print book.

I downloaded it and it comes with the info, plus templates you can use to format your writing for ebooks and typesetting print books.

Going to try Holly Lisle’s One-Pass Manuscript Revision System

I found Holly Lisle’s One-Pass Manuscript Revision system on her website and intend to use it from now on. At least after I’ve experimented with it, but it seems logical and usable I will have to do a review once I’ve tried it out.

She’s also got an online course that more fully explains the process. I’ve bought classes from her before and found them educational, but the budget conscious may want to explore more economical options first, and I think this simplified to-do list blog is more my speed.

How to create a widget on WordPress for your book

I just figured out how to create a widget for a book that published my short story and it ended up being easy:

When you log into WordPress go to the front end of your site and you will see a drop down list after your site’s name on a banner at the very top of your page. Click it and choose the “widget” option. You will be taken to a list of available widgets, choose the “image” widget option. This will create a drop down menu. First you are asked to choose where you want to place the widget. Choose a location. Then you will be taken to a page that is needed to generate the content of the widget. For your image URL go to the Amazon page where your work is listed and right click on the image of the cover. This will produce a menu choose, “copy image location” and copy and paste the info into the image URL entry field on the “image” widget. You can add a caption explaining the importance of the widget. Then you can copy and paste the URL of the webpage where the book is located in Amazon into the “Link URL” entry field, and it will direct anyone who clicks it to your work’s sales page where they can buy it if they want.

Once that is set up you now have a widget of any published works. It’s simple enough when you know how it’s done, but it may take a while for a newbie to figure it out. The support page I looked this up on left some stuff unsaid so I decided to add an extra WordPress Webdesign tip to this site as a courtesy to any reader who could use the information.