Category Archives: Publishing Tips

Four Corners of Getting Published

Four Corners of Getting Published

If you think of writing as a box, the center of the box has to be the writing itself. That's the most impertant aspect, because if you don't write something, nothing else will matter.

Once you've written it, or while you are writing it, the corners of the box come into play. The first corner is one that halps you in you're writing - that's called Editing.

The second corner, once you've got your work well-editted, is Formatting, because you've got to put it in the proper format to get it pirnted. This corner is highly dependent on where you go to publish - whether through someone else, or by yourself.

The third corner is Cover Design. Ever book needs a cover, and its said that the cover helps sale the book. Again, you can hire someone to build your cover, or you can do it yourself.

The final corner is Marketing. This one is optional, since if your only making the book as a gift for family, no real marketing need be done. But if you intend to sell to others, you'll find this takes more effort than most of what's come before, with the exception of the writing itself. Bria Burton will be showing some unique ways to get your name out there.

In the FWA workshop, GET YOURSELF PUBLISHED, being held on Friday, 10/21, in Altamonte Springs, we'll go over all 4 corners. Not only that, you'll get to practice, with guidance, on these corners. But time is running out to register!

Special Bonus for Attendees

As a special bonus for any attendee, if you can find all the mistakes in this post, you'll get a small gift at the workshop. Just bring the number with you and hand it to me on a sheet of paper with your name.

We hope to see you there!

John

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Thank You!

Thank You

… to all those who attended tonight’s presentation. I had a wonderful time showing several software programs (all free) that might help one write in the style they are comfortable in.

I met wonderful people, fielded interesting questions, and offered my opinions on some things, hoping to open up aspiring writers to the wealth of possibilities out there.

Basically, understand what you want from your writing, and look for a way that matches that desire.

In addition to the free download of the presentation on this website (under the DIY publishing tips/free download page), I covered 3 programs and promised to include links here for those who didn’t get a paper with the links on them.

Software for the Way You Write

If you like everything in one program, including storyboard, character bios, locations, plot points, scene missions, etc. you want yWriter. (Click to go to the download page for version 6. This works for Windows. For Mac and Linux, download version 5 and run via Wine.) I call this the Maximalist approach.

If you want just a blank piece of paper, distraction free, you want FocusWriter. Available on all platforms (Linux, Mac, Windows), and also as a portable app for Windows (install on a usb drive and take with you anywhere). I call this the Minimalist approach.

If you want the program to handle the formatting for you, try LyX. This is my preferred one now (relatively new), because in addition to handling the formatting, it also has a sidebar outline view that allows me to see where I’m at in my story as I’m writing. (In other programs you have to toggle between views to see similar things.) I call this the Format-for-Me approach.

Following the presentation we had a lively discussion on software, writing, self publishing, and related topics. It was an honor to present, to share my experiences with fellow writers, and I hope it was helpful. (Feedback seemed to indicate it was for some.)

Once again, thank you, to Bria and FWA, and to those who attended, for this opportunity.

To your writing success…

 

Self Publish for FREE Available

Self Publish for FREE is now available

John Rehg has released a new book, Self Publish for FREE, available on CreateSpace now (here) and Amazon next week. For those who want to create a book but thought publishing it was either too difficult or too expensive, here’s your answer!

Here’s the cover:

Self Publish for FREE

The first in a planned series, John walks you through, step by step, to master the software (that is free) that can get you in print on CreateSpace.

Instructions are included for a word processor (LibreOffice), a layout program (Scribus), and a graphics program (GIMP), all available for free download and use on Windows, Mac, and Linux computers.

You can actually create a book at no cost! (Except for the price of this one, and the price of buying yours once it’s created.)

We’ll continue to post helpful hints on this website, and encourage you to visit the forums of those programs to benefit even more. But if you want to save time and hunting for tutorials, get a copy of Self Publish for FREE.

Book Signing Saturday Nov 7, 2015

Tampa Bay Book Fair is this Saturday at Park Station in Pinellas Park. We’ll have several authors there and we’ll be there, too, signing books and talking about writing and publishing. Park Station is located on Park Blvd. between 58th and 59th streets. Parking behind the building as well as farther back at the senior center.

Come out and join the fun, and you can preview a proof copy of the self publishing book. We’re not sure yet where we’ll be, but will tweet our location once we find out. (Follow @JohnRehg for the update.)

This event will be filled with local authors, and there are supposed to be food and beer trucks on site. The event takes place from 2pm – 8pm. Pick up some Holiday gifts early!

 

Premature Formatting: Headers

premature Formatting

Premature formatting means adding unnecessary work to the process, something you’ll have to remove and regenerate later. Keep in mind when you’re writing your story that you want to keep your formatting to a bare minimum. This means, no headers or footers, and no page numbers.
Why?
Two reasons. First, ebooks do not use page numbers and headers/footers, so you’ll have to remove them before you submit your file to an ebook service (either publisher or aggregator*). Second, if you decide to create a print book, and you use a layout program like Scribus (the one we use here), you’ll add headers or footers and page numbers in the layout program.
So, either way, you’ll have to remove them as you move forward.

Do the Work When It’s Time

Remember, your word processor will show you how many pages you have. There’s no need to add more work to your process.

One caveat – if you use a third party template, they may include this information and have a way of stripping it out for ebook formulation. Always follow their directions when using a template system. And if you have a publisher or agent, follow their advice for formatting.

But if you are generating a book yourself, for friends or family or to push your way to a best seller, hold off on the fancy formatting until you’re ready to produce your book, until the time it’s absolutely necessary.

*aggregator: A company that takes your ebook and sends it to multiple formats/companies, usually for a small percentage of your royalties.

Self Publishing Secrets Revealed

FWA Presentation Reveals Self Publishing Secrets

An attentive audience at last night’s FWA meeting (Thursday, 8/13) listened and questioned John Rehg as he revealed some self publishing secrets, including how to publish a book for free.

John Rehg at FWA meeting

Secrets of Self Publishing for free revealed by author and publisher John Rehg.

Not everyone may be a DIY publishing author, but if they are, John showed them how simple it was to do it for a reduced cost, or even free. Free including any software you needed to produce your book and your cover.

A handout of a page from his upcoming book, Self Publish for Free, A Step-by-Step Guide, due out this fall, was distributed. It listed the software available (both free and commercial) that authors who want to control the layout of their books can use. Due to high attendance the supply ran out.

So, here we will offer it as a free download (currently page 2 in the book), for those who weren’t able to get it, or who couldn’t attend the meeting.

John stated the purpose of the book is to help those who want to do it themselves by reducing the learning curve of new software. It will offer a step-by-step approach, so once one downloads and installs the software, (available on PC, Mac, and Linux) they can immediately use it.

This book combines lessons learned from many places on the web. It will reduce an author’s search for the right tutorial if he or she is producing a simple book. More complicated DIY offerings may come in the future.

Self Publishing Gifts

One area John believes is under appreciated is giving books as gifts. By publishing for free, this becomes an excellent avenue to provide Christmas gifts, birthday gifts, or gifts for any occasion.

These gifts would not only include memoirs, but also stories of travel, email collections, etc. As he said, ‘The sky’s the limit when it comes to what you want to produce.’ You’re only limited by your imagination.

You can download the sample page offered at the meeting here SeflPub4Freepage2preview, (Will open as a pdf file which you can save.)

Or from the DIY Publishing Tips page here. (If you want to get on the mailing list.)

Finally, a big thanks to Bria and the FWA for inviting me to talk with the group. It’s always an honor and a privilege for me to share with others what I’ve learned as an author and publisher.