Announcement

Scrivener Templates and Project Management Pt. 5: Book Reviews

Scrivener has Clip Art Image Copyright by Microsoft. Clip Art Used by Permission of Microsoftbeen a key component to improving my productivity this year. I’ve recently written about various uses for Scrivener such as blog posts, newsletters and even template email messages. Additionally, I’ve shared about using Scrivener templates including some resources for these. In my last post I shared about managing templates. In Part 4 I released my Author Platform Management template. A few posts pastin this series I indicated how I’ll use Scrivener more in the coming year. In my most recent edition I revealed how I’ll approach my increased usage. Today, I’ll reveal a new template and I’m planning another how-to post next week as well as another addition to the Author Platform Management template.

Screenshot: Book Review Template

Screenshot: Book Review Template

I recently had a Twitter conversation with V. Walker who read how I’m using Scrivener more this year. She expressed her interest in the software with a retweet. I noticed that she was, among several things, a reviewer.

What ensued was a short conversation about how she might use Scrivener – as a reviewer. I hadn’t thought of it previously but what another great way to make use of this software. Some people do short reviews on Amazon, Goodreads, etc. But some people review more seriously than others. The Binder is a great way to manage numerous reviews.

Imagine reviewing lots of books but being confused as to what you’ve done already. With Scrivener you could easily track them and schedule your reviews. What an improvement over individual files if you used a single project for each year.

Well that gave me another idea for a template – reviews. It works much like those for newsletters or blogs but I’ve added some specifics that I imagine serious reviewers might need. I’ve include a rudimentary binder organization and a calendar of schedules as well as tracking. Again, it’s free to download. Feel free to make your own suggestions and I’ll be happy to update and share a newer version.

What other ways can you think of using Scrivener?


I’ll make an appearance on 8/13 in RRBC’s Book & Blog Block Party. Then I’ll be on The Lost Bow Blog Tour from 8/14-20. I’ll post more news about the tour as it becomes available.

And one final tidbit – for those who might have seen it on my Twitter feed, I’ve been contacted by a teacher about including The Bow of Destiny in her curriculum. I don’t know much at this time other than it’s being considered. If it is, I’ll share more information ASAP. It’s interesting news at this point and another great reason to write!

To find out more about The Bow of Destiny, click over to one of these online retailers:

Amazon

  BarnesandNoble      Smashwords

ibooksdownload      Kobo

IMG_4154-EditAbout the Author

P. H. Solomon lives in the greater Birmingham, AL area where he strongly dislikes yard work and sanding the deck rail. However, he performs these duties to maintain a nice home for his loved ones as well as the family’s German Shepherds. In his spare time, P. H. rides herd as a Computer Whisperer on large computers called servers (harmonica not required). Additionally, he enjoys reading, running, most sports and fantasy football. Having a degree in Anthropology, he also has a wide array of more “serious” interests in addition to working regularly to hone his writing. The Bow of Destiny is his first novel-length title with more soon to come.

Sign-up to receive my free ebooks today.

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Clip art licensed from Microsoft Office.

Also, in no way do I represent Scrivener or sell the product. All questions about the product, its sales, support and licensing for your own computing needs should be referred to the company.

2 Lessons From DIY Self-Publishing

Available at Smashwords and All Major E-Book Vendors!

Available at Smashwords and All Major E-Book Vendors!

I just published my first e-book entitled The Black Bag which is on Smashwords catalog now. But I had a limited budget on which to complete this project. Since it is a short story I decided to publish it entirely as a DIY project.

Now many people might gasp and say that I needed professional services to produce this e-book and I agree regarding larger projects. However, I wanted the experience of doing the whole publication myself.

So what did I learn? For starters, Mark Coker’s Style Guide is extremely helpful to authors. But there are two aspects of the process that taught me what to expect from hiring other people to do some of the work. Here’s what else I learned.

1. Formatting isn’t that hard. I would feel completely comfortable formatting a full novel based on what I learned from the Style Guide. I was able to create styles and clean up errors in my short story with ease. The only mistake I made was using a template title page. It ended up having a table embedded which was not friendly with Smashwords converter (The Meatgrinder). This was easily remedied by deleting the table along with the text and creating a style after which I re-created the title page so that the problem with conversion was cleared.

2. Coverart is tricky but doable. I used a photo purchased from iStockPhoto but I initially added the text onto it with PowerPoint. Even though my photo was initially large enough, PowerPoint compressed the size so Smashwords did not consider the cover large enough. In the end, I downloaded Gimp and got the text added after which Smashwords accepted the correct size.

Conclusion: due to need I will hire and illustrator and commission my artwork but I may do my own formatting. For this size project it was worth my effort and time to do it myself. Now the question is whether the e-book is good enough. Well, take a look at the cover and the sample to see that all the internal links and formatting are correct. If it finally passes the litmus test with Smashwords and is distributed over the premium catalog then I’d say I did a pretty good job on this small project. NOTE: The e-book has passed muster for membership on the Smashwords premium catalog.

Have you every tried self-publishing as a DIY project? If so, what problems did you have and how did you rectify them? If you haven’t, what’s keeping you from trying?

Please leave comments.

IMG_4154-EditAbout the Author

P. H. Solomon lives in the greater Birmingham, AL area where he strongly dislikes yard work and sanding the deck rail. However, he performs these duties to maintain a nice home for his loved ones as well as the family’s German Shepherds. In his spare time, P. H. rides herd as a Computer Whisperer on large computers called servers (harmonica not required). Additionally, he enjoys reading, running, most sports and fantasy football. Having a degree in Anthropology, he also has a wide array of more “serious” interests in addition to working regularly to hone his writing. The Bow of Destiny is his first novel-length title with more soon to come.

Sign-up to receive my free ebooks today.

I Was Asked To Help & I Said…

UPDATE! Here’s the link to the event and some visuals for you:

‎Fantasy – Flight of Imagination‎ – Virtual FantasyCon 2016 Epic Fantasy: Autumn Birt

ph-solomon

Hello everyone, just making an event announcement today. My author friend, Autumn Birt, contacted me recently asked about helping out with Virtual Fantasy Con 2016 Epic Fantasy where she has a virtual booth. She needed me to take a bit of time to give her a break manning the booth. I was pleased to be invited so I said YES!

I’m happy to share that on 10/9 at 3PM CT, I’ll be part of a Facebook takeover at her virtual booth. I’m making plans not to share about my writing and I’m also giving away a copy of The Bow of Destiny and maybe a few other surprises. It’s going to be a lot of fun so everyone is invited to stop by and join the conversation. If you’ve read The Bow of Destiny this is a great time to ask me questions about it and my upcoming book, An Arrow Against the Wind.

the-bow-of-destiny-by-p-h-solomon  Book Cover Arrow Against The Wind Revised (2)

 

Amazon

  BarnesandNoble      Smashwords

ibooksdownload      Kobo

IMG_4154-EditAbout the Author

P. H. Solomon lives in the greater Birmingham, AL area where he strongly dislikes yard work and sanding the deck rail. However, he performs these duties to maintain a nice home for his loved ones as well as the family’s German Shepherds. In his spare time, P. H. rides herd as a Computer Whisperer on large computers called servers (harmonica not required). Additionally, he enjoys reading, running, most sports and fantasy football. Having a degree in Anthropology, he also has a wide array of more “serious” interests in addition to working regularly to hone his writing. The Bow of Destiny is his first novel-length title with more soon to come.

Sign-up to receive my free ebooks today.

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