How digital technologies are changing the way we edit text 

The craft of copy editing requires the ability to read text and make suggestions to improve grammar, punctuation, clarity, and consistency of style. With the ongoing development of digital technologies (hardware and software), people are changing the way they write, and this has had a profound impact on editing. For now, the rules of grammar are holding steady, and for the most part, people agree with having a consistent style throughout a piece. But change is happening in how people view punctuation, style…

Read more

Printing Options for Your Self-Published Book 

Are you ready to print your book but confused by all the options available to self-published authors today? Well, the good thing is that you have so many options because it wasn’t that long ago when independent authors had very little control over the price and quality of printing their books. Now, however, there are many digital printers to choose from, with some even offering limited distribution as well.

Local printer

Support the local economy by going local! If you live in or near a city, then you…

Read more

Should You DIY or Hire a Pro for Your Book Cover Design? 

If you are planning to self-publish a book and have now reached the design phase, you’re probably asking yourself two questions:

  1. Should I hire a professional designer to create my book cover? or
  2. Should I dust off my design skills and give it a go myself?

What is the right answer? Well, you can approach it either way—hire a pro or DIY—it all depends on your publishing goal. 

What kind of book cover design do you need?

The book cover design for your print book includes a front cover, back cover, and…

Read more

Simple Book Design Tips, Part 1 

Whether you decide to design your own paperback book or hire a professional to do it, you should have a pretty good idea of how you want it to look and feel. There are all kinds of decisions to make in the book design process, including the font type and size and the page layout. Here are some tips to help you through the design phase on the way to publishing your book.


Choose a Desktop Publishing Program

You can design your book in Pages (Mac) or MS Word (PC), which are great programs for people using…

Read more

5 Ways an Editor Can Help You Avoid Costly Mistakes 

People often struggle with the idea of hiring an editor. After all, who knows better than you do about what you meant to write, right? Well, you would be amazed at how many little mistakes end up in business and marketing copy and author manuscripts.

Often our mistakes are slight or comical and, hopefully, forgettable. For example, I once wrote that a helicopter pilot was holding a flip chart in his hand as he performed a safety check. So…did you catch the mistake? I said he was holding a “flip chart,”…

Read more

Is Your Book Complete? Welcome to the World of Front and End Matter 

If you’re a writer, chances are you’ve been working away evenings and weekends to write, rewrite, and review all the chapters in your book. You’ve agonized over wording and character development and tension points along the way. Now that you’re ready to hand your work over to an editor to polish up, there’s still one more task left to do—write the front matter and end matter for your book.

Here’s a test for you. Grab a book from around your house and flip through it. As you do, notice all the pages that…

Read more

3 Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Self-Publish a Book 

So you wanna write and publish a book? Well, you're in luck because self-publishing services have come a long way, and you have plenty of options to choose from. But before you fully commit to the idea of self-publishing, you need to first ask yourself three questions. 

If you have been working tirelessly over evenings and weekends to achieve a lifelong goal of writing a book, then congratulations to you for finishing a complete manuscript draft. While there are still a few more steps to go, such as…

Read more

Hello, April, I'm back! 

Dear readers,

I've been writing, editing, planning, travelling, worrying, hustling, scheduling, freelancing, nail-biting, volunteering, and on and on, from December 2015 (my last blog post) until now. So, alas, several months have gone by without a blog post (gasp). But the good thing is that during that break, I came up with lots of new things I want to write about, and I will be revving up my blogging again in the coming weeks.

So yes, you will be seeing my triumphant return to the blogosphere in the…

Read more

How to master the craft of writing 

A few years ago, I won honourable mention at a Writer's Digest writing competition, and the prize was a gift certificate to their bookstore. Admittedly, I wasn't sure if I would find anything useful there (I think I was mixing them up with Reader's Digest), but I ended up buying several books on the topics of character development, plot and story development, and in particular, Mastering the Craft of Writing: How to Write with Clarity, Emphasis, and Style by Stephen Wilbers. I'm happy to say that this…

Read more