The Ericksons

Formatting your Ebook

There are several things to keep in mind as you approach formatting your ebook. An ebook isn’t just a paperback that you can read on your e-reader. It has distinct properties that make it not only different but in some cases, better than a print book. After all, a paperback can’t transport you to a linked website. You also can’t change the font style and size nor have a linked table of contents in a paperback. These unique aspects of an ebook bring with them some, “side effects” if you don’t format your ebook properly.For example, because the reader can change the font style and size, your book won’t look the same on the reader’s device as it does in the paperback. Bullets and lists could end up out of whack. Page numbers are irrelevant. So is anything else you have in your headers and footers.Take OutTo start out on the right foot, when formatting your ebook, begin with a “stripped” copy of your print book. Hopefully, you have formatted your print book properly from the start, using the preset “Styles” from the “Home” tab in Microsoft Word. It will be very important when it’s time to create your Table Read more…


Amazon Author Page

Today I will be exploring Amazon Author Central. What is it? How do you set up an Amazon Author Page? What can it do for you and your audience?Let’s start with Amazon Author Central. What is it?Amazon Author Central is your go-to place as an author who is selling books on the world’s largest online bookstore. There, you can find links to tools you can use as an author to write your books and sell them on Amazon. You can find the reviews people have left for your books as well as your sales statistics. I think the most interesting and useful thing on Amazon Author Central is your Amazon Author page. Here is an overview of what you and your readers can find on your Amazon Author Page.Readers will find:Your profile, including your profile picture and your website address(es). You can also include video, such as a book trailer if you choose. There is also a follow button so that your readers can get your latest posts and be notified when you publish a new book.Your books and their prices. These are found at the top for quick reference.Your Blog Feed. Yes! Your posts (or at least the first couple Read more…


webspam

Recently, another website copied one of my blog posts. They copied it word for word, including the images, with a few exceptions. They removed all of my links and said that they had authored the piece. The other strange thing was that there was no way to reach anyone in charge of their site. There was no contact page or any links leading to anyone with whom I could communicate. This is called webspam. It’s different than linking to a post or even reposting. Webspam is stealing.It’s a real problem and needs to be dealt with.  Or does it? At first, I wondered if it was even a big deal. Disturbing, yes, but isn’t imitation the highest form of flattery? Not when it comes to webspam. Sites use webspam in an attempt to trick Google and other search engines into ranking one of their pages higher than the page which originally produced and published the content.Credit where Credit is DueYou might think, “But I was the original author. I published that post 2 months ago. Surely Google will know that I should be ranking higher for this content.” Unfortunately, that’s not the case. Google’s bots are smart, but this kind Read more…


It’s the 1st Wednesday of the month again. That’s when I take part in Alex J. Cavanaugh’s Insecure Writer’s Support Group. I encourage you to check out their website and even sign up for the IWSG Newsletter. Today I’m going to explore my writing goals, past, present, and future as I answer the #IWSG question for July.What are your ultimate writing goals, and how have they changed over time (if at all)?When I was youngI wrote a lot of poetry.My writing goals were very romantic.I can’t imagine writing a poem now.Perhaps I’ve grown too jaded, too defensive;Throwing up walls to protect my heart.I may still be a poet on the inside,But, on the outside, it’s, “Just the facts ma’am. It was 1993I graduated from the Minnesota Center for Arts Education. I knew that I wanted to write, and journalism seemed like the practical route to take. I had no idea of the politics I would encounter in that area of study. And, like most journalists, I couldn’t keep what I thought to myself. That alienated me from the people I needed to know to get ahead and achieve my writing goals.  I was young, foolish. I gave birth to my first daughter. Two Read more…


Putting Your Best Font Forward

In today’s post, I will be giving you a behind-the-scenes look at me putting together my next book, Facing Cancer as a Parent: Helping Your Children Cope with your Cancer. Today, it’s all about making your book look good with the right formatting.Making Your Book Look Good starts with no formatting at allI’ve found this to be incredibly important. To help you see the transformations process that happens when you are making your book look good I have taken some screenshots of my manuscript along with some hints.Putting Your Best Font ForwardWith print projects, I often forget about the importance of font until it’s time to publish. Then I scramble to make it more visually appealing. Originally the paragraph font was Courier New, 12 pt. with the lines at 1.5. The chapter headings were 20 pt.It was boring and screamed, “self-published!” So, I decided to play around with it. I recommend looking at other professionally published books in your genre to see what they are using.After a little trial and error, I decided that Cambria was the font to go with for my non-fiction book. This change, alone, made a big difference.I then decided to change the font to 11 pt. and chapter Read more…

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