Category Archives: Writing Tips

Writing tips: how to write robust paragraphs in Word

[In this post, I’m going to address a topic that some of you might consider pretty basic: how to write a paragraph using Microsoft Word. It certainly is fundamental but I would say around 15% of the manuscripts I receive … Continue reading

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Tips for self-publishers: Typography 103 — Kerning and Spacing

If you look back at the advanced font tab in Microsoft Word, there’s an entry there for Kerning. This isn’t specific to OpenType fonts and is something you should keep an eye on with your titles (for example, chapter headings, … Continue reading

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Tips for self-publishers: Typography 102 – OpenType

Special Effects with OpenType If you look up the fonts on your computer you will see nearly all are defined as Truetype or OpenType (in Windows you do this from the Fonts section of the Control Panel app). For our … Continue reading

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Tips for self-publishers: Typography 101

We’re going to be talking about fonts in the next few posts. Before we do, it makes sense to introduce a few basic terms and concepts in typography: the science and art of lettering. Let’s look at a letter Don’t … Continue reading

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Tips for self-publishers: How to publish your back catalog

I’ve worked with a number of authors who have a back catalog of traditionally printed books for which the rights have now reverted to them. This throws up a number of problems when they wish to republish their books, whether … Continue reading

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Kindle support for Unicode pt2: how to use Unicode

Last time I posted about how Kindles can support Unicode, despite rumors to the contrary. This time I’m going to give some practical advice on what Unicode is, and how if you are self-publishing eBooks you can use it in … Continue reading

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Kindle support for Unicode pt1: dispelling a myth

I seem to be working through a mountain of jobs to format and edit eBooks and paperbacks at the moment. It’s gratifying that people trust me with their precious writing, but because I work with so many books, I get … Continue reading

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Tips for self-publishers: Table of Contents in Word

For anthologies and most non-fiction, a table of contents (TOC) is essential for readers to find their way around your paperback book. It’s also a way of showing off the contents of your book for potential browsers, and that includes … Continue reading

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Self-publishing paperbacks: faux fonts and small caps

There’s a wealth of guidance online to help you lay out your book manuscript. One of the terms you will come across is ‘faux’ meaning your word processor (or typesetting software) can’t access a properly designed glyph and so has … Continue reading

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Why JK Rowling has my sympathies

Book lovers will have noticed that JK Rowling has just released a new novel, and it is neither a children’s book nor connected with the Harry Potter universe. Casual Vacancy has polarized opinion; it’s a triumph for some, an author … Continue reading

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