During the time I was writing my first book, I knew nothing about being an author or book publishing. An editor, a cover design developer, and a content editor did the work. All the editing, printing, formatting, etc. was a mystery to me. I knew I had more books to write, and I wanted to know how books do get published. There were many “vanity press” companies which would take your manuscript, and charge you to edit the book and do a number of “registration type things” of which you had never heard. The “publisher” wanted to keep the mystery going so you would pay them to do something you could do for yourself.
I am going to tell you things that took months and maybe years to learn.
- Determine the size of your book page and use that size when writing .
- Download the Scrivener program to help coordinate chapters.
- Transfer Word documents into the appropriate chapter in Scrivener. (You will always be able to transfer the draft from Scrivener back to Word, and update a Scrivener chapter.)
- Use the same page size to create your book cover .
- Your Word product is all that is needed to publish an ebook.
- Create your own publishing company. Get an EIN and a bank account.
- Buy your ISBN and barcode at Bowker. No need to pay someone to do this for you.
- Amazon will publish your ebook from your Word manuscript.
- Other ebook formats can be created for free at Calibre.
- If you want a hard cover book, I suggest using POD (print on demand) at Ingram Spark. The cost of a print book setup is about $50.00.
There are tons of instructional sites and YouTube videos to learn about Scrivener, Calibre, ebooks, etc.
For now, get the story out of your head and into your finger.
I am focusing on non-fiction; stories of events you wish to document.
It took a lot of research to learn the lessons I will include in the basics. I published the first book again, published 3 more, and then published second editions of two books.
This will be a dynamic page, being changed from time to time. Hopefully I will hit the main issue and put more detailed information in as I proceed
List the events. Make an outline of the events, and leave spaces between the events you listed. You will remember more as you write, but you have to begin writing the events.
Always write your narrative of each event in Microsoft Word or the applicable Apple program. You will eventually convert your narrative into a PDF, but do not edit much at all in Adobe. It is too cumbersome, and you can always reconvert your Word product.
The Order of Your Events
Having a book narrative that is strictly chronological can seem a bit boring. Most events, and end results, are the result of many different events. You will be referring to past events during your story.
You might want to begin your story at the end, relating current conditions, and referring to past events which led to the current status. You might want to begin in the middle of the story, always referring back.
Regardless the format and chronological order of the narratives/chapters, you must make a timeline, a chronology and create a draft of events. You will be adding and subtracting from this chronology from time to time, but you have to write down so you do not forget an event. You will add an event as you write, and as you are sitting quietly. Separate each event in your draft, editing each event separately. You will be able to merge events into your story as you begin writing.
Font, Size, Space
The easiest typeface to use in your narrative is Times New Roman 10, with a space of 1.5 You can always increase the size of the font, but a 10 size will allow you to get 250-300 words on the page. One reason I would use 1.5 space is because you might want to print your draft to send someone and the space will allow the person to insert comments.