Book Facts

by rob on July 4, 2015

Reading equals growth, never stop.

bookfacts

Currently reading: The Writer’s Journey by Christopher Vogler

Credit to robertbrewer.org. thanks for sharing

#readingisfundamental

 

 

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Trimming the fat

by rob on June 21, 2015

I’ve never had to use crutches in my life (knock on wood) but I have had to wean myself of verbal crutches in my writing.

My favorite crutch is the word “that.” That is over-used and many times can be dropped from your sentences without any impact on meaning. This is really funny because I glanced at a headline for an article on using twitter and “that” is the number one word to drop. Twitter makes you think of economy of characters for sure and superfluous verbiage should be sliced to the core. Ha. Superfluous verbiage. Who uses words like that in conversation? But you see crazy shit when stories are being told. Using 50 cent words when 25 cent words will do doesn’t make you seem smarter; you’re just making your reader work harder.

One of the best compliments I’ve ever received on my writing was “a super easy read.” Some writers might take that as a criticism or something to try to overcome, but people don’t want to work hard when they are reading. (By the way, this was from the review for Blaze Motors. You might want to check it out.)

A bit of fat goes a long way.

A bit of fat goes a long way.

To keep this post brief, “really” “honestly” and “literally” are the other three words that add nothing. It reminds me of people who start a sentence saying “to tell you the truth.” Um, should I distrust everything you say unless it’s preceded by this phrase? “To tell you the truth” tells me you are about to tell me something I should seriously consider to be bullshit. You are telling me “the next part of this dialogue is going to sound impossible, but “trust me” it’s not.” Ha.

I am not saying cut out every word; just make sure you consider the purpose of each word you write. It’s sort of like a nice cut of beef. Marbled beef tastes sweeter… Cut the fat, but leave in some excess for flavor.

 

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It’s about time… travel agency

by rob on June 3, 2015

It's about time...

It’s about time…

It’s an exciting time to be a writer. There are so many outlets for writing, whether you are concerned about paying gigs or just expressing your creativity while building an audience!

I have used multiple sources to find clients. websites like elance or craigslist can hook you up with jobs (as always be careful)

I’ve also found that people can find you through writing on websites like Ezine Articles or even by writing for a podcast.

One thing that you can get out of any of these is building a network. Networking can make things happen. I would use, for example, I got cast in a short film because of being involved with the podcast It’s about time travel agency.  It’s a cool writing gig that landed me a role in a film. how cool is that?

Speaking of It’s about time, the first episode of season two is now online and it’s a nail biter. Loose ends from last season get tied up, and new plots start to unravel.. tune in..

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Determination and Drive

by rob on March 28, 2015

Sometimes it’s not raw talent that wins out, but the dedication to your art, education and the mental drive to get ink to paper (figuratively speaking.)

trailI ran a 10K race today and was unprepared. I had injured my foot somehow (don’t ask how, since I really don’t know.) but the one thing I did have was drive. I refused to not run the race; I made it to the starting area, then I refused to stop running. My pace may not have been record-setting, but the outcome was that I finished the race. It wasn’t talent. I don’t have talent when it comes to physical tasks. It was just a mind-set.

Yeah. This is about writing. It gets done when you get yourself to the starting gate and GO! Pace isn’t as important as being in the race.

Next time, we’ll talk about building an audience and their anticipation for your next book. Cheers!

Now off to soak my aching legs…

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Author’s proof from CreateSpace

by rob on January 23, 2015

So my last post was concerning having books in multiple formats and available from different sources. To that end I decided to go with CreateSpace for my latest books and the first proof to arrive was for “Blaze Motors.” The reason I went with CreateSpace was because the books will link up automatically with my Kindle versions and directing people to Amazon is easy enough. (as demonstrated by the link above. – go buy one of my books now.)

So, on to some images.

First off the cover was designed by my wife, Deb. For some people this would already be a flag. Holy crap, who is the editor, your 8th grade grand-daughter? No. My wife is a graphic designer with over 20 years in the business and she is amazing. The reason I mention that she designed it, is to let you know I didn’t use one of the createspace templates. From my understanding the templates limit your options for fonts and overall design. Not saying you couldn’t have a great cover using those tools; I just didn’t use that route.

Blaze Motors by Robert Britt The cover looks great and the book feels great. Quality heavy duty paper, not cheap or flimsy. Picture is outstanding and the cover is sharp looking. I had some concerns whether this would turn out well, but the look and feel is very nice.

The spine also looks very good. If you use the template you are sort of stuck with what they offer as far as limited fonts and spacing, but this looks really nice and reflects the cool fonts on the cover.

DSCF4933

The back cover also looks good. The font is Pallatino. The image in the back was supposed to be sort of a watermark look, but looks a bit darker than it did in Photoshop. I just didn’t want a plain black background, so this works well..

DSCF4934

So on to the interior. I used a size 12 Georgia font after scouring the internet trying to figure out what would look okay. I’ll get more into the formatting I used in Word at the end of this post. 12 worked. It could be smaller and still be easily legible. I’m going with 11 for future works. Something I wasn’t sure of was whether CreateSpace would add a page at the beginning to put in the legaleze and publisher information. They didn’t. So likely in the future I’ll add a title page and also some copyright information.

DSCF4936 DSCF4935

Finally, the binding. This is also quality. It reminds me of the soft cover text books I had in college. Very pleased.

DSCF4938

So on to formatting. I used the 6X9 book size and set up my word document as such. I had to use the ‘custom size’ feature. I set the header and footer margins at .35, and the other dimensions as below.

create space page setup

Gutter spacing depends on page count.

gutter

For paragraph spacing I did 10 points after. (that’s in the page layout section of Word)

Couple things. This is supposed to automatically link to a Kindle book within 5 days, if you’ve already done a kindle version. One cool thing – if you haven’t done a kindle version of your book, Createspace will do it for you. Not sure how the formatting and all would work out with that, but it is a possibility.

Different fonts work better on Kindle than print. I used Verdana 12 for Kindle and Georgia 12 for paperback. What would createspace choose or do you get to make that choice? I don’t know the answer to that.

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Lessons learned.

I did 10 point spacing after the paragraph. Probably too much. Not going to change the books I’ve done, but for future reference I think I’ll do 6 points.

I didn’t do any headers. Most books have author name and book title on alternating pages. Maybe in the future….

Add title page up front along with legal gobbledegook. (probably)

Don’t “select all” to change font type and think it’s going to be okay. Have to edit the new font for spacing, page breaks, etc. This was a pain, but also was an additional editing chance and possibility to see errors which may have been missed.

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Any questions, comments, etc? I’d be happy to share my experience.

 

 

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Format and audience

December 27, 2014

So if you’ve been reading here for a while you know that I am a big fan of the e-book format and especially the Kindle reader, but you really have to think about your audience when you are writing (and more importantly marketing.) There are lots of people out there who don’t own an e-reader […]

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Peter J Fox Workshop

November 7, 2014

So last Saturday I spent the day at a screenwriting workshop with Peter J. Fox  and it made me look at screenplays, and maybe writing overall, in a brand new way. This also falls into the panster or plotter strategy choice with this obviously being plotster. Movies tend to be very structured with most falling […]

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Writer’s Block? Try these tricks

October 20, 2014

We all get to it sometimes. The dreaded “writer’s block.” But what can you do about it? Here are a couple ideas. Move to a new project. One of the biggest causes of writer’s block is that you aren’t sure what path to take. Have you ever gotten up in the morning with a burning […]

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Collaboration

September 27, 2014

Ah, collaboration. Writing is a lonely sort of profession, or pastime … or punishment. But some people don’t work alone. I have recently joined that ‘club’ and have been collaborating with a group of people to write a podcast serial comedy series, It’s about time travel agency.  This is my first foray into collaboration and […]

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Expanding your writing

September 10, 2014

So, if you are following along, you might remember that the last post was about The Big Lebowski. If you were reading carefully you know that it wasn’t about the Big Lebowski at all, but more about the plot idea the Coen brothers use, which is someone solving a problem in the worst possible way. […]

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