Make Your Copyright Page Pop

Check out this helpful post from Chris McMullen’s blog on the topic of Make Your Copyright Page Pop



The copyright is the most boring page in the book. Readers tend to skim through them. Self-published authors tend to spend more time on other obvious design concerns, like the cover.

A short, sweet, and plain copyright page will suffice.

I’ve written dozens of books (mostly math workbooks, but a few science books and even books about self-publishing), and today I felt a bit bored with the typical copyright page.

So I gave it a little thought and tried something different. In the picture above, I put my copyright ‘paragraphs’ into 3D blocks of assorted sizes and then stacked them together. It’s different, anyway.

I’m using blocks for headers, too, so these blocks will fit in with the rest of the design. The algebra and word problems were the easy part of this book, so I put some time into the design. It’s not as plain…

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Updating Character Sheets

Check out this helpful post from The Writer’s Treasure Chest blog on the topic of Updating Character Sheets

Writer's Treasure Chest

In January 2017 I published a blog post, asking if OneNote is a writer’s tool?

Since then many of you know that I use OneNote as a writer’s tool, not only to take notes, but to actively use it to take information, writing notes, reminders, and lists with me.

Since I am a big fan of OneNote, I also use it to create my character sheets.

Writing a series as the one I do now makes it necessary to keep track of my recurring and new characters and what better way is there to keep my characters as close to me as possible at all times than to use OneNotes?

Now, changing from my former desktop to my current laptop has lost me my entire OneNote. It almost broke my heart, until I realized that I did have one local copy on an external memory device. This means I…

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Do you want to be a faster writer?

Check out this post from Jean’s Writing Blog that asks: Do you want to be a faster writer?

Jean's Writing

And get your manuscript done in one draft? Not 10?

Me! Me! I do! I’m so excited to discover writing the way I do is not wrong. Just different. And that’s okay. Now I’m free to be me. And hopefully write faster.

One of my new all-time favorite bloggers is August Birch. I’ve written about him and his tips before.  But if like me you’d love to get your manuscript written in one draft, in one go then keep reading because August has a few great tips he learned from author Dean Wesley Smith.

  • Planning is fine but don’t let it bog you down. (often the best part of a trip is the side roads.) 
  • Outlines are not necessary to be a good successful writer. Yay for the pansters!
  • Keep an open mind about writing techniques. (No one size fits all.)
  • Write with the next book in mind and…

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Converting from MS Word to Mobi Using Kindle Create

Check out this very helpful post from Harmony Kent via the Story Empire blog on converting your Word Manuscript to Amazon’s mobi format.

Story Empire

Hello SErs! Harmony here. Do you struggle to convert your manuscript into a Kindle file? Are you spending lots of money on conversion? Then read on.

As some of you will know already, Kindle have brought out new free software to help its KDP authors convert their manuscripts into mobi files for Kindle. Today, I thought I’d take a quick run through of what it does and doesn’t do.

[Note: I have the Mac version, so screenshots may look a little different if you have a PC version]

Here’s a quick 4 minute video showing how to use the basics …

You can import your Word file and make it look pretty with ease. You can add chapter title and first line fonts, styles, etc. You can also import a PDF and work from that to preserve text and image placement, etc. For novels, I would recommend working from your…

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Someone to Face the Day With*

Check out this great post from the Confessions of a Mystery Novelist blog on the topic of friendships in crime fiction.

Confessions of a Mystery Novelist...

When there’s a murder or other tragedy, the police often start their investigation with the victim’s family members, and that’s as it should be. But most people also have at least one good friend – someone who actually may know more about the victim than the family does. The wise sleuth finds out who the victim’s closest friend is and gets to know that person.

In crime fiction, those friendships can serve the story in several ways. They can add layers of character development, for one thing. For another, in whodunits, at least, the loyal friend can provide clues. Sometimes, it’s even the loyal friend who pushes the investigation along.

In one plot thread of Agatha Christie’s Lord Edgware Dies, for instance, Hercule Poirot investigates the death of Carlotta Adams. She’s an American entertainer famous for her one-actor shows. One morning, her maid finds her dead of an apparent…

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Can Writers Actually Plan Ahead, or is it a Waste of Time Trying?

Check out this post from the Novelty Revisions blog that asks Can Writers Actually Plan Ahead, or is it a Waste of Time Trying?

Novelty Revisions

I am a planner. I rarely accomplish anything if I don’t have a to-do list. I like to know where I’m going before I get there. I plan trips months in advance. I’ve had a list of things I wanted to accomplish before I turned 30 since I was 24.

I am a planner … at least, in every area of my life except for writing.

As a writer, I plan almost nothing in advance. And that’s the way I personally like it.

However, just because I do something a certain way doesn’t mean it’s the best way for everyone. Some people are hyper-organized planners only in their creative endeavors. And many wonder if planning anything out before you sit down to write is even worth it.

Here’s what I have come to believe about balancing organization and spontaneity as a creator.

To me, writing is the most fun when…

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Tips for writing ad copy for an Amazon Sponsored Product Ad #authortoolboxbloghop #writerwednesday #writertips #writerslife

Check out this helpful post from D.E. Haggerty’s blog with tips for writing ad copy for an Amazon sponsored product ad.

D.E. Haggerty

amazon ads 1Writing a blurb for a novel is difficult. How can you possibly condense a novel you’ve poured blood, sweat, and tears into down to just three paragraphs? It’s nearly impossible and sometimes feels more difficult than writing the novel in the first place. But even worse is ad copy. I’m referring here to Amazon Sponsored Products Ads.

My goal in 2019 is to quintuple my royalties. (Crazy, I know.) In order to make that goal happen, I’ve been advertising more and more on Amazon. One of the most frustrating aspects of Amazon ads is writing the actual ad copy. Amazon limits the copy to 150 characters. How can you possibly tell enough of the story to interest a reader with only 150 characters? You can’t. It’s impossible.

But then, I had an epiphany. I was in the shower when I realized my mistake. (I really should get a robe.) Ad…

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