Editing Manuscripts, For Better Or Worse


Brennan Reid talks us through the process of editing your work ready for publication.

Brennan Reid

There are two ways to edit a manuscript, each of which should be performed in conjunction with one another:

  • Do it yourself.
  • Have someone do it for you.

Pencils are nowhere near as intimidating. Pencils are nowhere near as intimidating.

Simple, right? It should be. I’m not going to preach about editing and prepping a final, publish-ready draft — we’re all serious here about writing, so we already know this. Instead, I’m going to investigate a few different ways I go about editing and why I think it’s the most stressful job in the world.

What To Edit For

I’m an extremely harsh self-editor. I knew this but didn’t realize the extent until I started going through draft and draft of my 75,000 word sci-fi project. I’d change a name, drop a hint, shift a scene, pull words, and do everything I could to become totally confident in the final draft. It was (and still is)…

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Writing and Self-Publishing Ebooks


If you are compiling a blog you may already have enough content to compile your books. One author used her blog content to self-publish 5 books in double quick time (and at low cost), earning over $1000 per month from online sales as a result.

Small Talk, Big Results


It was July 30, 2010 and I sat across from Mark LeBlanc, a business consultant and former National Speaker Association National president.  He looked at me with his hound dog eyes and said, “You need to write a book. And you can do it next month”  It wasn’t a suggestion.  It was a “demandment.”

I stared back at him, thinking: I have no time.  I have no money.  I have no knowledge.

I had no time.  I worked two part-time jobs and had three teenagers at home, one of whom I was homeschooling.

I had no money.  We had a failing technology business.  Later that year we would be filing for bankruptcy.

I had no knowledge.  I didn’t know the first thing about self-publishing.

So with those thoughts swirling in my head, I said: “I think I can do that.”

I don’t know where those words came from, but if…

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8 Reasons This “Writer’s Digest” Article Bothers Me


Brennan Reid discusses a recent post on Writer’s Digest and offers his 8-point advice for new writers.

Brennan Reid

I like reading articles on self-publishing and books. It’s what I do every afternoon. But this one on Writer’s Digest, more so than most articles I come across, plucked me the wrong way. The article was written by a columnist about an author-promoter/marketing expert’s ideas. Fine — these kinds of featurettes show up all of the time.

Book Plans

What bothered me, though, was that the piece drew me in promising “advice” and all I got was a sense of misgiving and the urge to check out the columnist’s inspiration’s book to learn more. A piece on Writer’s Digest — one of the most popular sites for writers and readers — wrote about book promotion and in turn promoted a book.

Fine. I accept that, too. A little easy, maybe, but not so much if the piece actually gave readers advice to go off of. It didn’t. Instead, all it said was “both…

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How Important is it to Promote Your Book Online?


To be a self-published author is far more than just being an author. Learning and applying the skills of promotion of your books are essential to stand any chance of earning from your efforts. Janice discusses how she self-promotes.

Whether you are an Indie Author, Publisher or Illustrator you must promote your book or at least hire someone to do it for you.  I spend hours every day doing online promoting to all sites, e.g., FB, TW, LI, Pinterest, Goodreads, iAuthor, Google +, etc.  There are so many sites out there today that you have a veritable smorgasbord of choices and the world is at your fingertips.

Janice Spinaanice

Published Indie Authors | How Important is it to Promote Your Book Online?.

calibre – Free eBook Management


calibre - E-book management

calibre is a free and open source e-book library management application developed by users of e-books for users of e-books. It has a cornucopia of features divided into the following main categories:

  • Library Management

    calibre manages your e-book collection for you. It is designed around the concept of the logical book, i.e., a single entry in your library that may correspond to actual e-book files in several formats.

    calibre can sort the books in your library by: Title, Author, Date added, Date published, Size, Rating, Series, etc.

    In addition, it supports extra searchable metadata:

    • Tags: A flexible system for categorizing your collection however you like
    • Comments: A long form entry that you can use for book description, notes, reviews, etc.

    You can easily search your book collection for a particular book. calibre supports searching any and all of the fields mentioned above. You can construct advanced search queries by clicking the helpful “Advanced search” button to the left of the search bar.

    You can export arbitrary subsets of your collection to your hard disk arranged in a fully customizable folder structure.

    Finally, calibre will even go out onto the internet to find book metadata based on existing title/author or ISBN information. It can download various types of metadata and covers for your books, automatically. The metadata system is written using plugins so that different types of metadata sources can be supported in the future.

  • E-book conversion

    calibre can convert from a huge number of formats to a huge number of formats. It supports all the major e-book formats. The full list of formats can be found here.

    The conversion engine has lots of powerful features. It can rescale all font sizes, ensuring the output e-book is readable no matter what font sizes the input document uses. It can automatically detect/create book structure, like chapters and Table of Contents. It can insert the book metadata into a “Book Jacket” at the start of the book.

  • Syncing to e-book reader devices

    calibre has a modular device driver design that makes adding support for different e-reader devices easy. At the moment, it has support for a large number of devices. Syncing supports updating metadata on the device from metadata in the library and creation of collections on the device based on the tags defined in the library. If a book has more than one format available, calibre automatically chooses the best format when uploading to the device. If none of the formats is suitable, calibre will automatically convert the e-book to a format suitable for the device before sending it.

  • Downloading news from the web and converting it into e-book form

    calibre can automatically fetch news from websites or RSS feeds, format the news into a ebook and upload to a connected device. The ebooks include the full versions of the articles, not just the summaries. Examples of supported news sites include:

    • The New York Times
    • The Wall Street Journal
    • The Economist
    • Time
    • Newsweek
    • The Guardian
    • ESPN
    • and many, many more…

    calibre has over three hundred news sources and the news system is plugin based, allowing users to easily create and contribute new sources to calibre. As a result the collection of news sources keeps on growing!

    If you are interested in adding support for a news site, read the User Manual. Once you have successfully created a new recipe, you can share it with other users by posting it in the calibre forum or sending it to the calibre developers for inclusion in calibre.

  • Comprehensive e-book viewer

    calibre has a built-in ebook viewer that can display all the major ebook formats. It has full support for Table of Contents, bookmarks, CSS, a reference mode, printing, searching, copying, customizing the rendering via a user style sheet, embedded fonts, etc.

  • Content server for online access to your book collection

    calibre has a built-in web server that allows you to access your ebook collection using a simple browser from any computer anywhere in the world. It can also email your books and downloaded news to you automatically. It has support for mobile devices, so you can browse your collection and download books from your smartphone, Kindle, etc.

  • E-book editor for the major e-book formats

via calibre – E-book management.