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Updated: 4 Reasons Why I Published a Short Ebook

With The Black Bag released almost a year I wanted I’m re-sharing why I choose the timing. This story has been published in other venues over the last few years and serves as a resource for my author platform so here are four reasons why I chose to publish it last year well in advance of The Bow of Destiny.

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Black Bag Cover

1. For the experience – I wanted to learn more about actually self-publishing and what better way than to format the text and create my own cover. I used Mark Coker’s Style Guide in working through this small project and found it very helpful in understanding all that goes into finishing a product for release.

I’ve learned a lot about self-publishing a book over the last year which has been very beneficial.

2. For the exposure – as an author there are several ways I gain exposure. The first is by beginning to identify my platform with a product. Next a title available during crowdfunding is helpful as a finished product to offer in a reward package and a tangible example of my writing for prospective supporters . Lastly, having a product available is great for extending the reach of my platform during pre-marketing The Bow of Destiny which can be shared on social media, especially Pinterest where a visual representation can be displayed.

Self-publishing a short book gave me access to such venues as Rave Reviews Book Club and having an author page on Goodreads.

3. For promotional value – As I note above, this short story can be packaged a reward in crowdfunding. Also the ebook can be used as a giveaway during pre-release orders and early after the release of The Bow of Destiny.

As you’ll see below I’m going to release at least one short story as an ebook this summer that’s related to my upcoming novel due out in Sepetember.

4. Finally, it serves as a small income stream when not being used for promotional purposes.

UPDATE: This short story e-book was released last year, 6/24/2014. During that time I’ve learned a lot about self-publishing. I plan to release another short story entitled, What Is Needed (though I’m toying with a title change). This new story is related to my novel, The Bow of Destiny, due out in late September (2015).

Have you self-published a short story? 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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Can Your Character Survive A Flaw?

These days, all characters have flaws be it physical, mental or emotional. So if you give your main character a flaw that is integral to your story can your character survive said flaw?

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George R. R. Martin gives us a great example in Tyrion from A Song of Fire and Ice series (better known as HBO’s Game of Thrones). He’s a dwarf with physical limitations to his legs. Not only this but he’s viewed negatively by most everyone around him because of his flaws. He even gains a few more during the course of the series through battle as well as toting a load of emotional baggage. As effective as this characterization is, could he actually survive this flaw as long as he has in real life?

FightingI’m glad you asked. There’s a more recent archaeological discovery that has subsequently brought just such a real-life case to light. Richard III of England’s grave was discovered under a parking lot 2011. For those who are unfamiliar with Richard, he died in the Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485 which pretty much ended the Wars of the Roses. One way he was identified was by a specific physical handicap – severe scoliosis or curvature of the spine. By severe I mean a 30% curvature – very noticeable. The unusual thing is that all accounts of the battle indicate that Richard fought with great skill and nearly won the battle. He unhorsed a jousting champion, killed Henry Tudor’s standard-bearer and almost killed Henry.

A recent episode of Secrets of the Dead actually examined whether Richard III could actually have functioned as a knight on the battlefield. They found a volunteer with very similar scoliosis and began to determine what his physical capabilities were. They realized that Richard would have needed specially designed armor and that the medieval saddle would have benefited him with greater support. In the show, they were able to outfit their volunteer and give him some basic training as a re-enactor. They were even able to show that Richard would have been able to ride in the charge and effectively use weaponry.

knights fightingHowever, physical limitations were also discovered. The re-enactor had less stamina due to the scoliosis affecting his ability to breathe well during exertion. In spite of Richard’s skills and training he may well have been just as limited.

Richard lost the battle for a number of reasons one of which was Lord Stanley’s failure to advance behind the initial charge. But Richard favored fast charges and ending battles quickly. If you lacked stamina for long physical exertions you would likely choose the same strategy. However, in this instance the charge actually took much longer. I could see Richard almost making it to victory only to be thwarted by his own malady as much as other circumstances. This one time, Richard likely misjudged the circumstances due to “the fog of war”. Had he known or thought it through better he might have chosen a different strategy. But maybe all outcomes would have been the same if Lord Stanley was indeed a traitor.

So as a writer of fantasy, I’m looking harder at my future characters and the flaws I can give them just to twist my plots tighter. Can my character’s survive their flaws? Will they be trapped into exposing their difficulties to enemies through lack of choices – political and otherwise? It’s certainly a way to add more spice to conflict in a story.

Book Cover Green Top & Bottom Cover - CopyPlease 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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photos via Morguefile.com – free section and Microsoft Office clipart

coverart commissioned

 

Configuring You Document Templates in Scrivener

Scrivener is a powerful writing tool. I write about it weekly with tips and usage ideas. To read more of my posts click the Scrivener tag or category at the end of the page.

I had a question from a new follower to the blog in the comments section about formatting a document template. She wanted to know how to work with the document template to retain formatting. I’ve answered the question but I thought I’d go a little further with it in a post to add more details.

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As for formatting a document template there are any number of ways to accomplish this to suit your needs. You may simply want to add specific content, fonts, spacing, etc. Depending on what your needs are there are several points to discuss.

1. If you desire the font to be formatted consistently this is a straightforward matter. While clicked into the document template (cursor blinking like you’re ready to type), you can change the font settings from the Format Bar that is usually turned on by default. If yours isn’t turned on click on Format and slide down the menu and click on Format Bar. It will appear at the top of the editor. From here you can change what the font is, the size and whether it’s set to Bold, Itlacs or Underline (or any combination of the three). Additionally, you can also set the alignment and any other miscellaneous settings available.

Scriv Format Bar

2. If you want specific space formatted you’ll need to access that by clicking on Format, sliding to Text to get the fly-out menu and click on spacing. From the window that appears you can configure spacing for indention, single/double space, etc.

     Scriv Format Menu     Scriv Line Space Win

Scriv Presets3. If you work with presets (which appear in the left end of the Format Bar), you can choose one of Scrivener’s default ones or create a new one yourself.

4. If you are adding a table or list to your document template you can format these from the Format Bar

5. Explore other settings in the Format menu or the Format Bar – these may not be needed for a document template since many are for changing formatting in existing documents (more on these another day).

6. Add re-usable content such as a common introduction or ending for a blog post to the document template. Remember what you add as content or formatting to your document template will be automatically in any new documents you create using it. With this fact in mind, be aware of what you add and format. Can you add more content? Think about what you click to change whenever you create a new document – that’s what you want to configure in your document template.

Book Cover Green Top & Bottom Cover - CopyWhat do you configure or add in you new documents? Can you add put these changes into your document templates? 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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Just as a note: I am not affiliated with Scrivener in any official capacity. For support questions, pricing and other concerns please contact the vendor.