Writing

Formatting Pt. 6: Working With Page Breaks

This is an ongoing series about formatting for e-books. In past posts, I’ve touched on a variety of formatting issues for those who are willing to tackle the job. If you want a deeper understanding of formatting try Mark Coker’s Smashwords Style Guide. The other post in the series are: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4 and Part 5. Some of the details of this post assume you’ve read previous posts in the series which cover the use of Styles or the Show/Hide function.

There are a variety of different breaks in your manuscript that you can use – chapter, scene and page. However, if these are misapplied and not corrected they can cause problems in the appearance of an e-book file. These issues will reduce the quality of you finished work and affect reviews and sales.

Format Insert Menu

An incorrect break causes gaps in the manuscript when it is viewed by a reading device. I’m sure you’ve run across e-books that contain a break in content or even the end of a chapter where there’s a blank page before a single line and then a new page to begin the chapter. Try not to use more than four paragraph returns. If you use page breaks defined from the Word tab on the ribbon menu: Insert => Page Break then not all these may be accepted or kept when submitting to Kindle or Amazon. This can cause some spacing issues.

Generally, when you submit an manuscript to either Kindle or Smashwords chapters will be detected. Also, e-readers tend to adjust the content based on user configurations so the design of the final output is intuitive when displayed by the e-reader. However, if you do want to use breaks for a chapter then create these as a Style with a page break from the previous page. These are generally accepted.

Formatting_Page Break Before

To correct other breaks in your manuscript such as those for scenes. Turn on the Show/Hide and check for excessive use of paragraph breaks as mentioned above. Try to minimize the number used and also put in dividing text such as hash-marks (ex: ####). Using the Show/Hide makes large, manual breaks obvious to find and correct.

The Black Bag by P H SolomonPlease share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section. I’d also love to connect with you over social media so check my Contact page for that information. See the News page for announcements and remember to sign-up to receive news and posts by email. I’ve added a new sign-up tab on my FaceBook page to simplify the process. New followers can download The Black Bag via free coupon today! Also, the cover of my book, The Bow of Destiny, was revealed recently so take a look.

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Starting An Author Platform Pt. 5: A Social Media Primer

Businessman Speaking Through Megaphone

This is ongoing series for newer writers interested in developing their writing brand. The previous posts included a general overview, branding through domain registration, branding through email and building your website.

Not to be obvious but if you are building an author platform you need social media accounts. Not only that, but you don’t need to be a wallflower. While you are interested in growth, what social media you choose first is important. You can’t adequately build your social media presence by spreading yourself too thin so you can’t maximize your efforts. But where should you start?

Twitter is your most important channel. Due the its nature as a fast moving social media outlet, Twitter can fuel much of your social media growth. This fact makes it a great avenue to attract visitors to your other social media channels, your website/blog and your content. Without being pushy or overbearing, you can regularly gain followers with consistent engagement.

Your next most important social media venue as a writer is Goodreads. If you’re a writer and not on Goodreads you are missing out – the social media channel for readers. Even if you don’t have a book published it’s the place to be to interact with readers who can become your best advocates. But by interacting I don’t me pushing your books, rather connect with other readers via groups (following their posted rules) and discuss other books. Find out the best practices for being a author on Goodreads and enjoy other readers opinions.

Social Media Icons

The next most important social media channel is up to you, the author. What genre you write dictates what your next account is. For instance, the best channel for speculative fiction is Google+. For more information check out this blog post by my fellow Rave Reviews Book Club member, Nicholas Rossis about what social media formats mesh best with which genres.

Definitely consider Pinterest at some point. The visual nature of Pinterest is wonderful for displaying your covers and related artwork. Additionally, you can post any fan-art you receive to better interact with your readers.

Lastly, if you are taking your time building a website, make sure to go ahead and engage on social media now. The sooner you gain followers the better off you will be when it comes time to actually market your work. But always remember, give more than you take and you won’t turn people off. And above all, make sure your accounts reflect your writing brand consistently.

Available at Amazon, Smashwords and All Major E-Book Vendors!

Available at Amazon, Smashwords and All Major E-Book Vendors!

Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section. I’d also love to connect with you over social media so check my Contact page for that information. See the News page for announcements and remember to sign-up to receive news and posts by email. I’ve added a new sign-up tab on my FaceBook page to simplify the process. New followers can download The Black Bag via free coupon today! Also, the cover of my book, The Bow of Destiny, was revealed recently so take a look.

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Scrivener Quick-Tip: Feed Your Muse

Editing for Deep POV

Editing for Deep POV

Scrivener is such a handy tool. I now use it for almost all my writing and secondary composition activities. I’m constantly in and out of my various projects.

But as with much of writing, it is a task – enjoyable as it may be. Sometimes you just wish you could look outside or have something nearby to keep your muse going. Perhaps you need a picture that reminds you of what you’re writing.

Well, leave it to Literature & Latte to come up with a setting to help us writers along with motivation and muse. How did they do that? By including a setting to add a backdrop while writing in full-screen mode. You can add a picture which lends inspiration and experience a bit of wind in your sails.

Here’s a quick tip to add the backdrop of your choice. Click on View and then go to Full Screen Backdrop. From the fly-out menu click on choose. Browse your computer for the picture of your choice and choose it. Once you’ve set a background picture go into full-screen (F11) and you’ll see your picture around the editor. Want to leave full-screen mode? Just push Escape (ESC) on your keyboard. Here’s screenshot to help you along:

Scrivener Screenshot backgroun

Here’s what it looks like from my laptop – results vary depending on screen size:

 

Scrivener Background

I write about Scrivener about once a week. If you would like to see previous posts just click on the Scrivener category or tag below to find additional content. Also, check back on weekends when I often re-post previous popular posts that often end up being a Scrivener topic.

The Bow of DestinyI hope this quick tip helps you with your writing muse. There are many other settings so take time to learn those according to your project parameters. Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section. I’d also love to connect with you over social media so check my Contact page for that information. See the News page for announcements and remember to sign-up to receive news and posts by email. I’ve added a new sign-up tab on my FaceBook page to simplify the process. New followers can download The Black Bag via free coupon today! Also, the cover of my book, The Bow of Destiny, was revealed recently so take a look.

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