Beta Readers

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Lit World Interviews

Not all writers use beta readers, and not all writers offer their services as beta readers, but both of these things can serve as a huge help in our writing. Looking at it from the writer’s side first, it’s important to know what it is that you’d like your beta reader to do for your story, if there is anything in particular that you do want. Don’t be shy to ask if you suspect a weakness in any area.

In general, as well as glaring plot holes and so on, your beta reader will spot things like continuity problems, or hair that started out blonde and suddenly changed to auburn half way through the story. These are big deal issues for your future readers and often things that we miss because of our closeness to the story. For the same reason, we may leave out crucial descriptive passages or back…

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How to Create Lines for Interactive Books

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Lit World Interviews

I’m working on a couple of projects that require lined pages for interactive paper books for CreateSpace publishing. Note that I’m not suggesting this method for Kindle books, mainly because I haven’t tried it there yet, and fancy formatting is not a good idea at all for Mobi, but also because a lined eBook isn’t going to do anyone much good. For eBook workbooks, I’d suggest rather including a printable, downloadable PDF workbook in your Kindle book—but we’ll do that another time.

If you want to create a journal or workbook, you’re going to want lined pages, or pages with text, images, and also lines. You could probably just hit the underscore a whole lot of times but that could run into problems, and using Word’s formatting tricks works well with CreateSpace. This way you control the look of your pages very nicely. Here we go.

The first thing to…

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Write On

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Lit World Interviews

Sometimes you read a book. It hooks you from the first sentence, and just keeps on getting better. It makes you laugh. It makes you cry. It inspires you to do better, or be better. When you reach the final page, you feel like you’ve lost the best friend you ever had. Then you open your own manuscript, and find that suddenly, from nowhere, an ominous lead ball has miraculously appeared in your gut. You could never write like the author who penned the fabulous book that you’ve just finished reading. In fact, your writing sucks. Big time. And there it is. You can’t write at all anymore. Every sentence is fiddled with. Or worse, deleted. And the next few weeks are spent trying to write just as beautifully as the magical creator of that perfect book that you can’t get out of your mind. But it’s no good. You…

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Never Use Tabs in Manuscripts for Kindle

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Lit World Interviews

When submitting manuscripts to traditional publishers, you are generally required to number your pages—apart from the title page—and to indent first lines of paragraphs, as well as various other specific to guidelines formatting related things. With this knowledge instilled, a lot of writers will set these things in place when they start writing a new book to save time later. If they’ve never formatted books for Amazon and CreateSpace before, they’re not going to be aware of how tricky it can be to remove these things. Even if you’re planning on outsourcing your formatting, it’s a much better idea to avoid any possible mistakes.

Tabs anywhere on a manuscript for Kindle can cause all sorts of really terrible issues with your published book. It’s a much better idea to stick with only the basic formatting required when you type your book on your computer. For a newbie at formatting for…

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Inserting Links in Word for Kindle

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Lit World Interviews

You can add links to various websites, your books, your table of contents to your eBooks, as well as links within your book to a glossary or section of interest. Once you’re finished with your editing and basic formatting you can start to add your links.

To add a clickable link to your website or books, go to the site or the product page of your book, and right click and save the URL. You then go to the relevant word or words that you want to add the link to. Highlight them—for instance, the title of your book, then right click on what you’ve highlighted. In the box that appears, click on Hyperlink.

H1Paste the URL into the Address box and click OK, and it’s done.


We’ve already shared how to use the hyperlink functions on Word to create the required NCX Table of Contents for Amazon, so the…

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Keeping Your CreateSpace Images at 300dpi

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Lit World Interviews

An author emailed me recently and said that he couldn’t understand why CreateSpace was telling him that the images in his book did not meet their requirements. He had made sure that they were all 300dpi and they were all large resolution files. He’d made sure to insert them into his Word manuscript rather than using copy and paste, so as far as he was concerned all should have been well when he loaded his PDF file. He hit the ignore button and went ahead with publishing his book as it was. When he received his proofs though, he realised that something had gone wrong with image quality after all.

One thing that a lot of new to paper publishing scribblers don’t know is that Microsoft Word will always try to automatically compress any images in your document to 220ppi. Often we’ll just assume that CreateSpace is mistaken as we…

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How to Make a PDF Cover for Your CreateSpace Book

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Lit World Interviews

When you’re ready to have your book printed with CreateSpace and you’re planning on tackling the cover on your own it can seem rather daunting. It certainly terrified me to begin with and I only very recently updated my covers from the originals I made using the CreateSpace online cover creator. There’s nothing wrong with using that though. It depends on you entirely. Today I’ll show you how to make a PDF cover using their online template. Once you’ve finished the interior of your book and have the final page count, go to the CreateSpace Template Generator and fill in all the required fields.

  • Click on screenshots to enlarge.

Build Template

Click on Build Cover and it will download a zipped file containing two templates. One PDF and on PNG. Drag the PNG across to the folder that you’ve allocated for all the elements of your cover design.


For some reason these…

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