Planning

You Blog With What?

TypingScrivener is a widely used software among writers and people who write frequently. Since it is used for a wide variety of reasons the software is extremely versatile. It can be used for developing fiction and non-fiction books. Also it can be used for short stories, articles and other forms of shorter writing projects. You can download a trial copy here.

Additionally, the software can be used to manage writing projects so it’s up to the user to adjust their development habits to suit what they are writing. Scrivener easily allows writers to break their books into chapters and scenes using the Binder. But not only can these be divided easily they can also be moved around in the scheme so that it serves as a functional outline tool which allows an author to re-organize edit by simply moving containers around. This makes for great structural editing on a book.

Among the uses some people put Scrivener to is blogging. After all, a blog is really just an article written for a website. With the research folder in the Scrivener’s Binder writers can develop their ideas with references, artwork and a host of other files that can be added for use later or just reference. I, and many other, use this to “cast” characters with photos of real people to help visualize their fiction.

Scivener BinderBut as a blogging tool, Scrivener is much more powerful than just developing a blog. If you are planning a blog series, Scrivener is very handy for the reasons noted above. Folders can be created in the Binder that represent individual blog posts. It’s a great way to write a post which is what I’m doing now. I’m also using Scrivener in just the way I’m describing to develop two new blog series which I will start this week. I anticipate the work-flow to be very organized and organic so that my posts will flow into one another and read consistently throughout each series.

However, there’s more to this organization than just a simple way to develop a whole series of posts. I can also look ahead with this basic organization to develop the content further than the blog. If I see that the posts are useful and there is more information to cover I can easily add more posts than I’ve already planned – or reduce as needed. Additionally, I have a ready-made outline to further develop these into short e-books for publication. Since Scrivener also compiles content into e-book formats I can save the blog posts as Word, pdf or full e-book formats. Of course there is other pieces to fit with the content such as cover and proper formatting but with Scrivener I have my content ready to develop into something else beside blogs.

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

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

If you haven’t tried Scrivener, why haven’t you? If you already use this powerful software what other tips to you have for its usage? I’d love to hear from you so won’t you leave a question, idea or strategy in the comment 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!

Thanks for reading!

PHS

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Cover art image licensed from iStockPhoto.com

Clip art licensed via Microsoft Office

Under Construction – Templates and Scrivener

Under ConstructionLike any construction project, your writing is only as good as the foundation. With Scrivener templates can play an important role in creating your next writing project and the ease with which you progress. Templates can be like blueprints for your projects so let’s take a look at them today.

I’ve recently written about uses for Scrivener such as blogging and various email message templates. I received a comment from my most recent post sharing Scrivener templates for blogs, one from AllIndieWriters.com and the other posted at ThaddeusHunt.com. This is excellent information for those interested in blogging with Scrivener.

Templates are easy to make with Scrivener and they provide you a way to design basic projects of various kinds.

But how do you make a template should you want to create one yourself? It’s rather a simple matter. I’ll describe it and provide some links with screenshots.

BlueprintsWhen you have created a project with all the configuration you want for a basic project click on File => Save As Template. Name it and choose the location to where you want to save it. Now you have your template. Click here for a post with screenshots.

When you want to use the template you must import it. Here’s how:

When you start to create a project by clicking File => New Project the New Project window opens.

In the lower left click options to expand a menu and click Import Template.

Navigate to the template to choose it and you are ready to import your template.

Here’s the link for screenshots showing how to import the template.

Interested in more templates for specific projects? Here’s a list of links for templates to download. Some of these lists have some overlap but I’ve found a few interesting ones I’m going to use.

Justinswapp.com

GwenHernandez.com

SMWorth.net

Book Cover Green Top & Bottom CoverIf you know of any templates please share below in the comments. I’m thinking about a bigger use for Scrivener and a template for it. When I’ve completed it I’ll share it in a post with the template for download. 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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Clip art licensed from Microsoft Office.

Complete DIY Self-Publishing Pt. 4: The Cover

This is the fourth part of a series about self-publishing a short e-book as a completely DIY project. Part 1 introduced why you should consider trying to self-publish on your own at least once. Part 2 dealt with some of the tools you will need to gather at some point to accomplish the project. Part 3 addressed the importance of formatting and using the tool of a style guide.

ToolboxVisual Affect and the Cover

The cover of a book may be one of the most important elements in the digital world. A weak cover can dull sales. However, with a smaller project the cover presents some difficulty since the project may not have the budget for a top-end cover. It’s at this point you may consider spending some money on a photo which you can use to develop into a cover. Personally, I went with a photo from iStockPhoto.com but I’ve also written about more sites too (this post was about using free photos for blog posts but these sites should have terms for buying photos for re-use as a cover).

Making the Cover

Once you’ve chosen a suitable photo as the basis of your cover, you’re ready to being working it. Here’s how my process went for The Black Bag.

1. I got in my toolbox and pulled out PowerPoint and created a slide with the photo.

2. Next I create text boxes and added my Title, by-line and additional information.

3. Save the file as a PowerPoint file (.pptx file extension).

4. Next re-save it with “Save As” and choose the .jpg (IMPORTANT: when prompt whether to save all slides or just the current one, choose just the current one).

That’s it for the basic cover.

HammerThe Final Touch

At this point, I had cover ready. However, my original was the incorrect size to up load so it needed some work. This required some photo editing to change the size of the photo. To handle this job, I went to another tool to handle the photo-editing: Gimp. I’m not an expert on this task so this article better explains how to re-size a photo using Gimp. It’s not a very hard process and when you’ve completed this your cover is ready unless you need to make some changes to the cover such as text size (make sure you can see this in thumbnail view of the file on your computer).

More Cover Resources

Need a little more information about covers before tackling this part of the project?

Rayne Hall discusses best practices with covers in her book: Why Does My Book Not Sell?

Here’s an article that shows in detail the process of using PowerPoint to create a cover.

Don’t have PowerPoint and want to use only free software for making your cover? This article shows how to use Gimp exclusively.

Not interested in using Gimp? Try free online Photoshop and watch this video.

My own cover is just below.

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

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

Have you tried making your own cover? Please share your thoughts 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 anew 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 on 11/10/14 so take a look.

Thanks for reading.

P. H. Solomon

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Clip art licensed from Microsoft Office.