Advice for authors of books and short stories



hi my name is Stephen thank you for looking at my video hi um just finished a short story 6,000 words science fiction not known as a science fiction writer but I've had this story in my head since about 2003 and it's been rewritten numerous times but I couldn't quite figure out an ending for it but with a bit of time on my hands just recently got that job done so 6,000 words beginning middle and an end science fiction story for young teenagers and I was all set to go you know I'd written it laid it out in indesign for a PDF ready to do an ePub as well had brought the story into amazon's kindle app to create a kindle version and that's a bit of a pig to work with but um got there in the end to make it nicely laid out and readable in increasing the gap between each lines make it a bit easier to read I did a few pictures in and slowly got there great I'm all ready to go and then I thought oh you know what maybe maybe I just need to have a friend look over the story before I publish it I've read it dozens of times like I say I've been working with it on and off for 17 years can you believe can't believe we're the times gone anyway gave printed it out and the word doc and gave it to two friends they read over it and they came back with some very good comments different comments one even picked up a spelling mistake could you believe it and so now of course I'm updating the Word document I'm updating InDesign file re exported to PDF and epub and then going into the Kindle app to update that as well in fact it is pointless I didn't update it in fact I just deleted all the text and brought all fresh new text in the game and then there to go through the painful process of reformatting it all again and so printed it out and then I found some things that I weren't entirely happy with so did it all again printed it out go respect to my friends they said oh yeah that's really good but this on reflection this paragraph here it's a bit confusing and maybe that needs reworking okay then so into InDesign into Kindle and the word document updated as well and painful process because when I wrote my first book in the mid-1980s the small business guide to the media that was written laid out and sent to the printer and why only only one version existed and that was the printed one warts-and-all as it turns out but of course now we need print and various electronic versions PDF epub and kindle so now you're juggling three four at least versions of one book so my point is if you're writing a book about to write a book finishing your book getting ready to complete your book don't get so excited and start laying it out print out the word document if it is word you're working with and get that word document get that story completely and utterly finished 100% so you're completely utterly happy with it and is nothing more you can do to it it's absolutely perfect and then and only then bring it into if you're designing it yourself bring it into the page layout program you're using are using design fine program and then bring it then then you can export with some confidence the PDF high-res for printing low-res for selling as a digital PDF and as an ePub and then bring it into Kindle and then you can do all the formatting and making it'll make it look really pretty and knowing full well there's not a word to be changed anywhere in that document otherwise you end up like me with multiple version and it gets very complicated very quickly and that's frankly a bit frustrating so I've basically deleted all the epubs in indesign's and pdfs and Kindle versions I've got my doc version now talking about about the word version of your story the habit I've got into which I think might help you is I will work on my story today that lets say that 25th of June and at the end of the day when I finished I do a save as and that that version is saved as the 25th of June so 25 June 2019 dot doc but my story is called maeín and the Legion of Alice which you'll find on Amazon and Kindle and all sorts of places by now so my story is May and 25th of June 2019 doc and then I opened that far on the 26th of June and do a save as and called it 26 of June 2019 and that way that way I can tell at a glance which is the latest version I should be working with yes you can do version one two three four or five and I've done that myself but sometimes you save a doc in the wrong place and you go oh what's version 7 the latest or was it was it eight or was i working on six and then you're hunting around just double checking you guys are open the the real latest version and so if I call giving your file name you know the the the date if you see yesterday's date on it well you know for a fact that is the latest version nowhere no matter where that version might be saved and talking of saving good practice to save your story not just on your computer not just on our spare hair hard drive in your house and not even just on a spare USB stick you might have knocking around to should the worst happen and you lose those drives and USB sticks for whatever reason wouldn't it be a good idea to have a copy in Dropbox or some other cloud service so you really the story really is protected outside of your four walls okay so tips there for wannabe bookmakers finish your story in word get it 110 percent perfect absolutely pristine so there's not one more thing to do with it then and only then if you're laying out the book yourself start laying out and create the other versions you need for digital sales as well and keep a copy of your book off-site a spare drive when your desk is not good enough if the worst happens if them you know there's a tragic events at your home or your office okay look out for maeín and the legion of alice my first science fiction book probably my last it was just one science fiction story I had in me that I've been keen to get done short story at six thousand words and great if you could have a look alright thank you good luck with your endeavors see you next time

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