I am writing this right after our February meeting and it is pleasing to be involved in a group that is so enthusiastic about its topic.

This meeting looked at some of the fine tuning you need to do if you are preparing a manuscript for uploading to a commercial site such as Smashwords, Lulu or Amazon.

Our focal point was the preparation and formatting of a template that can be used to produce a clean and appealing manuscript through using proper heading and paragraph styles as well as page set up options. Our software version was Word 10.

During the course of this discussion we also looked at how to use page and section breaks to good effect. We also looked at how to strip the finished text so it could be quickly uploaded to our preferred distribution channel.

Our topic next month will follow on naturally from this one and we will focus more on page layout as well as front and back end matter needed if you are intending to produce a print-on-demand version.

Our discussion also looked at the different options for editing and how to instruct an editor to ensure they produce what you want rather than what they want. The editor is the ‘reader’s eyes’ and should always view their tasks from the standpoint of the reader but, and it is a big BUT, they should not alter the author’s meaning nor should they ignore any specific instructions regarding the layout and presentation. Editors can suggest but at the end of the day, the work belongs to the author. We will take this topic further too when we meet next month.

We may have a couple of vacancies coming up in our group and if anyone is interested in joining, please contact me at thecreativegenie@gmail.com and we will contact you. The only caveat is that this is a group for people who write and who are interested in self-publishing. It is a working group rather than a social one.

Until next month…

Mike Clancy