Saturday, March 1, 2014

Five Helpful Tips for Aspiring Independent Author

I'm a fan of The Taste and this season I was rooting for Marina.
"I know what I know and I know what you don't know." ~ Marina / The Taste - Season 2.

 I love her drive and spirit. She is not afraid to showcase her ideas and I find that inspirational. It is a similar drive that fuelled many authors to publish independently. They're making waves in the publishing industry and so can you. It's an ambitious  feat but readers are always looking for the next best read. If it's a goal you would like to achieve, it's important that you prepare yourself for the journey.

Five tips you will find useful:

1. Intermediate knowledge of Microsoft Word will make your experience easier. It will come in handy when you're formatting your document for publishing.


2. With intermediate knowledge of Microsoft Publisher you'll be able to create book covers and other marketing materials. See How to create an eBook cover in Publisher.

I created the following book covers in Publisher:



Proceed with caution! Creating eye catching book covers involves an understanding of complimentary color schemes, font choices and the image must translate to the concept of the story.

3. Learn how to use Windows Movie Maker and you'll be able to create book trailers. P.S the older versions are easier to navigate. The latest version sucks! It doesn't always pay to upgrade. Still, if you can get past the glitches, it's an excellent way to showcase your books. See Does This Book Trailer Make My Book Look Fat?

 4.  It's essential that you learn Createspace, Nook Press and Smashwords formatting guidelines. Personally, I found Smashwords formatting guidelines to be more cumbersome than  Createspace or Nook Press but its worth mastering. ** It will introduce your book into  the international market. Free Smashwords Formatting Guide.
CreateSpace - An Amazon Company

5. Learn how to troubleshoot format markers. They will affect the appearance of your book. For example, adding headings and page breaks can cause the last paragraph of the previous chapter to automatically change to a heading style.

Surely there are other things that I can add to this list but these core skills will save you hundreds of dollars on each project. The money you've saved can go towards investing in a good editor.

Before I go, I'd like to share the following quote with you.

I hope you've found this article helpful.