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                      W R I T I N G   W O R L D

A World of Writing Information - For Writers Around the World


Issue 10:21          11,859 subscribers      November 4, 2010
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THE EDITOR'S DESK: Giving Thanks, by Moira Allen
THE INQUIRING WRITER, When Fiction Ideas Don't Come, 
by Dawn Copeman
FEATURE: How to Format Your Self-Published Book, by Moira Allen
COLUMN: Free Stuff for Writers, by Aline Lechaye
THE WRITE SITES -- Online Resources for Writers

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Giving Thanks

This is my favorite time of year.  I love the colors.  I love the
way you can drive down a lane and be utterly surrounded by swathes
of crimson and gold, on the ground and in the air, and swirling on
the breeze.  I love pumpkins and squash and corn.  And apples... My
grocery store, for the first time, has brought in local "Honey
Crisps" and I'm buying them by the peck, storing them in the vegie
bin so that I can snack on crisp sweetness all month long.

Most of all, I love the feeling of energy that comes when the heat
of summer gives way to that first tang of autumn.  I want to tackle
new challenges, new projects.  I drag out my crafts and beads and
start preparing Christmas gifts.  And I start thinking about the
fact that winter isn't far away, and all that stands between me and
cabin fever is the keyboard.

First, however, we hit Thanksgiving.  And it's traditional at this
time of year (well, traditional quite a bit down the road, but this
is my only editorial of the month) to think about what we have to
be thankful for.

Now, writers come in for a fair amount of doom-and-gloom
predictions.  It seems that pundits are ALWAYS predicting the
imminent demise of the written word.  And there's no doubt that
being a writer is far from an easy career.  Pay rates have scarcely
risen in decades; I know plenty of magazines that offer the same
fee today for a 2000-word article that they offered 20 years ago. 
Markets are drying up, and the competition keeps getting stiffer.

Add in the social media phenomenon, and one might suppose that
things are truly looking bleak for us wordsmiths.  The next
generation, we're told, is growing up with Twitter and Facebook and
texting -- they don't even think in entire WORDS, let alone in long
strings of words put together in something as archaic as a BOOK. 
It's short-attention-span time, we're told -- don't even bother
trying to communicate a message you can't shrink to 140 characters.

I have news for the pundits, and for writers who fear their world
will disappear in a wave of blogs and tweets: We've heard it
before.  We'll hear it again.  Let's start with television, that
sure-fire assassin of books and literacy.  The generation raised on
the "idiot box," we were told, would never have the patience to
READ -- they wanted their messages delivered in pictures and
soundbites.  They'd never learn to appreciate literature.  Well,
folks, that generation is US -- and somehow we made it.

Then we were reassured that, thanks to the Internet, people would
never be willing to read more than the amount of text that would
fill the screen.  Scrolling would be too much trouble.  It was time
for multimedia works, we were told: Pictures, animation, audio
clips, and interactive features.  Anything, in short, but actual
WORDS.  And yet the Internet has managed to bring more words, more
literature, more information, and more straight, unadorned text to
the world than just about any invention since the printing press.

Now we're being warned that the rise of Twitter, blogs, Facebook
and texting is going to produce yet another generation that will
never have the patience or the attention-span to read.  And a few
years from now, there will be yet another crisis that spells the
doom of the written word, and then another, and another...

So here's the good news, folks.  The world still needs writers.  It
needs writers no less today than at any other point in history. 
What the "world," and the pundits, tend to forget is how much of
life, including politics and commerce and social interaction AND
social media, is driven by the written word.  Want to set up a
Facebook page?  You'll need to read the instructions -- and
somebody has to WRITE those instructions.  Do you want to blog?  A
productive blogger probably churns out as much as two or three
books' worth of text a year -- and people read it.

Magazines and newspapers are kept alive by advertising -- but that
advertising goes nowhere if no one wants to buy the publication. 
No one subscribes to junk mail, or buys it from the rack.  If
magazines had nothing but ads, they'd end up in the landfills and
recycle bins.  It's writing -- articles that readers want to read,
about subjects that have meaning to those readers -- that keeps the
magazines, and their advertisers, in business.  Without writers,
not only would the magazines and newspapers die, but so would many
of their sponsors.

How about books?  Yes, we keep hearing that fewer and fewer people
are buying books (though pricing paperbacks and $8 or $9 COULD be
part of the problem!) .  But publishers are businesses too. 
Without new readers, they don't stay in business -- and without new
WRITERS, they won't attract new customers.  Publishers still need
you.  Kindle needs you. (I do get a kick out of Kindle's new ad on
Amazon, though: "Buy a book once, read it anywhere..."  Hey, guys,
did you know you've been able to do that with a print book for
centuries?)  Most of all, READERS still need you.

So as the days grow shorter and darker and colder, don't let the
impending gloom of winter and the ever-present gloom of pundits
lead you to believe that your days as a writer are growing short as
well. (Gloom sells newspapers -- but someone has to write that,
too!)  They aren't.  The world runs on words.  Words are our
business.  And that's something to be thankful for! 

-- Moira Allen, Editor


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THE INQUIRING WRITER: When Fiction Ideas Don't Come,
by Dawn Copeman
Last month Vivian Ungar asked what other fiction writers do when
in-between story ideas. Vivian said she can sometimes go for a long
time without a single story idea.  She has tried "using writing
prompts and topics, but with mixed results."  She writes daily but
worries about keeping her storytelling muscles in trim and wants to
know what other fiction writers do when ideas fail them, or if it
is okay not to write for a while. 

Barbara McAllister thinks it is perfectly okay not to write for a
while.  She wrote: "Vivan's question is heartfelt, as we all feel
empty at times.  This is different from writer's block or
tiredness. In my opinion, it's okay not to write at these times;
it's essential, though, that you move about or go outside of your
writing arena.

"Watching old movies and working PennyPress Word Seek Puzzles (each
puzzle has a theme or fact) are some of my time-outs. A top
favorite puzzle is the Missing Vowels kinds. I'm lousy at the
crosswords. The Pacific Ocean sounds and its never-ending horizon
massage my attitude and keep me at peace.
"Following are a few can-do activities (mental and physical).
They're either free or inexpensive:

*Library: visit the new book section
*Pennypress Word Puzzles magazines: They're found at Wal-Mart and
*2nd hand bookstore: browsing Talk Story's shelves and visiting
with the young vibrant owners galvanizes my "can-do" spirit
*Prospecting Your Heritage: Mine is Native American and we recently
discovered Spanish blood (paternal great-grandfather)
*Investigate deeper into your location's history and culture: The
local corner or a vacated building may have a surprising idea
inventory. My town's main street is three blocks long. It's rich
with history yet such a small, small town. 

"Good question by the way. My preference for writing fiction is
children's stories.  Blessed journey with this question, Vivian. 
In reaching out, we all find answers.

"BTW ;) I recently found that standing and working at my laptop has
greatly helped my physical problems. Silly as this sounds, it's
helped my productivity.  The perspective is different, because my
body's positioned differently."
"In response to Vivan's question, I wanted to say that it's ok to
not write for a while," e-mailed Gargi, "but you should use this
time of not writing on refueling your stock of ideas. Instead of
using prompts, you can make a list of noteworthy incidents in your
life, interesting characters you've met, places you have been to. 

"How do you find these interesting tidbits? These are the things
you most want to talk about or share with people. You can make
lists of these and when the time comes for writing, pick one and
start off. I find it very easy to write about things that have
already happened. You can use what you've written as the foundation
for a personal essay, or even add some twists to turn it into a
short story."

Most of you, however, feel that writing your way out of the
in-between ideas phase is the best option and have come up with
some excellent tips for Vivian to follow. 

Michael Mardel from Australia suggests Vivian gets hold of a copy
of 'Seize The Story' by Victoria Hanley.  It "is full of exercises.
It's for teenagers but I've found it very useful."

Joyce Frohn writes nonfiction, "When the ideas for fiction don't
hit. Not only does it make money but the weirdness of the real
world often is full of ideas."

Sonny advises: "Just look around your neighborhood and watch what
activities are going on. For example, maybe the kid next door
crashed his car last night. It might not be his fault. Many people
are involved. What really happened? The family down the street has
no income at present, what do they do?   Just look around you,
there are stories everywhere."
This lack of ideas has happened to Keetha Mosley before and this is
how she deals with it.  "I keep a notebook and a document on my
computer where I keep ideas - fragments of an overheard
conversation, what if questions, sometimes images, along with
phrases I come across, character names, anything that sparks

"When I'm between projects, I'll read over the list. Sometimes one
item will jump out at me and I'll write about it, free writing.
Other times I'll choose something at random and write about it.

"Going for walks helps, too. Something about noticing what's around
me while not paying it particular attention seems to work."

Paratore suffers from the exact opposite of Vivian Ungar's problem
and hopes that some of her work habits might help Vivian ride out
her idea drought.  Paratore wrote: "Right off the cuff let me make
it known that I am not a 'published' writer. A major part of why I
have not published anything yet is because I cannot decide on what
to write about. I have millions of ideas that rattle around in my
head and I spend a lot of my writing time jotting them down. 

"When I commit to one of the ideas and dedicate the unobstructed
time to sitting down and writing I find I can get a chapter or more
written. Because time is scarce for writing I need to get as much
out of my head and onto paper as I can. This often results in the
beginning of a great unfinished work. It could be the middle, maybe
even the ending, I'll never know because I seldom return to it, but
it is captured for that future possibility. 

"As you can imagine, I suffer from the very answer to the question
posed. I write 'development' work. It could be on any topic, or
situation that came to mind. This is my suggestion to Vivian. Write
about anything. Create a character. Give it substance. Maybe a
story will develop while you are busy deciding on if this person is
a man or a woman or a child. Maybe it's an animal or visitor from
some other world. Give it as much documentation as you have in your
mind. When that story idea does make itself known, you could very
well have your prognostic ready in the wings waiting for you. 

"Create locations or situations and make them descriptive. Again,
storing them away until the vast wasteland between fiction writing
is crossed. File them in easy to recall fashion so that when they
are needed you can find them again. I leave nothing to memory as
too often a great idea has dissipated into the fog I call a brain. 

"Still, writing bits and pieces might be just the catalyst to form
that next bestseller, and think of the time saved by being able to
use past creations captured when you thought you were suffering
through a dry spell. 

"Just be careful to not become like me. Revisit your bits and
pieces after awhile. They may be just the thing needed to start or
finish the fiction work you're working on."

May Kuroiwa has found her own solution to the fiction writer's
dilemma. She wrote: "Like Vivian Unger I write fiction but I'm
always writing, whether I'm at my desk or not.
"If I'm not drafting a story idea, I'm revising old stories or
pulling chapters out of failed novels and reworking them into
shorts, critiquing other writers' work (I belong to two critique
groups), entering contests, or submitting stories to magazines or
online pubs. There are also poems to write for the bi-weekly
meetings of my poetry group. I began using poetry to work on my
imagery skills, then moved on to developing ideas within the
smallest space.
"I maintain a file of writing ideas -- a list of possible titles,
plot and character descriptions that flash through my mind while
I'm working on something else, overheard snippets of dialogue, and
the best sentences and paragraphs salvaged from failed stories and
"Taking time to wonder about things is not down-time. Richard Peck
wrote: 'We don't write what we know, we write what we wonder
about.' I make an effort to keep up with current events because
that's where most of my ideas come from. 
"Reading is not down-time, either. There are stacks of books and
magazines waiting to be read in my office and living room.  I keep
returning to the Paris Review Interviews collections -- interviews
with the likes of Ernest Hemingway, Dorothy Parker, Kurt Vonnegut,
Rebecca West, and the great editor Robert Gottlieb -- for
inspiration and lessons in the writing life."

Our final tip for Vivian comes from author Randi Platt, whose novel
Hellie Jondoe has just been awarded the 2010 Willa award for best
young adult fiction.  Congratulations, Randi!  Here is what Randi
has to say: "Maybe you could pass along to your inquirer this
little exercise I suggest to people who ask me or take one of my
workshops or who corner me at the library.

"Grab the closest obit section. These obits give a rundown but
don't fill in the years and spaces between major events. You have a
birthdate, a marriage date, military service perhaps, an age, a
photo - sometimes of young and old - a spouse, kids, even a cause
of death.  

"I find it intriguing - if not a bit addicting - to fill in the
empty spaces. So, I have people write a character study of this
person - why did they leave their money to the humane society? Why
did they work for 50 years at the same job? How many times did she
marry? Why didn't he graduate? Anyway, you can take this many
directions. As an aside, I'll mention I get my character names from
the obits - I will mix and match and come up with great names. That
way, a bit of that person might live on. I am also a good one for
clipping photos of faces that intrigue me."

Thanks for all your advice everyone that should keep us all ticking
over nicely with ideas. 

This month's question is in the realm of nonfiction writing.  Ramon
Walker wants to have some 'real' advice on "how to write columns
and once written, how to submit the column for publication with the
ultimate hope of one day being syndicated."

If you can help Ramon, email me with the subject line "Inquiring
Writer" to editorial"at"writing-world.com.

Until next time, 


Copyright (c) 2010 by Dawn Copeman


FISH SHORT STORY PRIZE 2010. Ten best stories published in #11 
Fish Anthology. Closes 30 Nov. Judge: Simon Mawer. 5000 word max
1st Prize 3000. 2nd - a week at Anam Cara + 300.
3rd - 300
Entry 20 online or 25 by post: Fish Publishing, Durrus, Bantry, 
Co Cork, Ireland. Critique 50/story. http://www.fishpublishing.com


James Herbert Awarded OBE
James Herbert, the horror writer, was awarded the OBE (Order of the
British Empire) by Prince Charles at Buckingham Palace on 29
October.  After he received his medal the author surprised the
prince by informing him he was a character in Herbert's next book. 
Herbert received his OBE for services to literature. 
For more on the story visit: http://tinyurl.com/38ntdur

Car Handbook Publisher Publishes Service Guide to USS Enterprise
In the UK the Haynes Publishing Group is well-known as the source
of all service manuals for every type of car.  If you buy a
second-hand car in the UK and want to repair or service it
yourself, you buy a Haynes Manual and follow its step-by-step
instructions and complicated diagrams.  Now sci-fi fans the world
over will be able to learn how to configure the warp drive, or fix
the shushing doors, for the USS Enterprise. For more on this story
visit: http://tinyurl.com/3xz7wnz


ALLBOOKS REVIEW is the review and author promo source for POD 
AUTHORS as well as traditionally published authors.  Authors 
around the world use our service. Great coverage for your book 
for 12+ months. Our complete review and author promotional 
package is less than $50 and includes entry in the Allbooks 
Review Editor's Choice Award. http://www.allbookreviews.com.



Dollar Stretcher Seeking Articles
The Dollar Stretcher is seeking articles for its monthly print
magazine and its online ezines.  Payment for articles in the print
edition is $0.10 a word and payment is made on acceptance. For more
information and to view the complete writers' guidelines visit: 

Regency Romance Wanted by Publisher
Aspen Mountain Press launched its new Aurora Regency imprint on
October 15, 2010. Aurora Regency at Aspen Mountain Press is a line
devoted to Regency romance. Traditional Regency romances, as
exemplified by Georgette Heyer's work, are first and foremost
historical fiction about a very specific (and short) era.

The Aurora Regency line is published by Aspen Mountain Press, a
royalty-paying e-publishing company.  We do not charge fees for
set-up or charge for editing your story once it has been accepted
for publication. Our contracts request rights to the contracted
work, including digital and print formats as we will provide some
of our titles in print later this year.  Aurora is looking for
well-researched Regency romances between 35,000 and 70,000 words,
although we will bend on the upper word limit if the story merits
it. For complete guidelines visit: 

Dark Discoveries Open to Submissions
Dark Discoveries is looking for short stories from 500 to 6,500
words.  Stories must be in the horror/dark fantasy/dark sci-fi and
dark mystery veins. They are looking for powerful, well-written
original ideas and new twists on old horror conventions. Payment is
$0.05 per word and is paid 90 days after publication. For more
information visit: 


BE YOUR OWN EDITOR, by Sigrid Macdonald, is a crash course in 
writing basics: everything from run-on sentences to character 
development to organizing essays and nonfiction articles is 
covered here. Buy it at Lulu http://tinyurl.com/yehze36 or 
Amazon: http://tinyurl.com/be-your-own-editor


FEATURE: How to Format Your Self-Published Book
by Moira Allen

As children, we were advised, "Don't judge a book by its cover!"
Yet this is precisely what we do in nearly every area of life
--especially when it comes to books!

If you're contemplating self-publishing--whether via a
print-on-demand or traditional printer--it's vital to keep that in
mind. People WILL judge your book by appearances, and if it appears
slipshod and unprofessional, readers will assume its content is no
better than its presentation.  

Unfortunately, getting a good cover often does mean hiring a pro --
but fortunately, you don't have to shell out big bucks to make the
INTERIOR of your book look good!  All it takes is some common sense
and a basic grasp of Word.  Here's how to make your book look like
it was designed by a pro.

Step 1: Proofread!
A professional "look" won't save a book riddled with errors. 
Before you start formatting, make sure your text is as good as it
can be!  Run a spellchecker to catch obvious typos ("teh" for
"the"); then proofread visually to catch errors like "your" for
"you're" or "bad" for "bald."  Watch for spacing errors, such as
incorrect quotes ("Let's go to the store, "he said.)  Make sure
straight quotes have been converted to smart quotes (" "), double
hyphens (--) into dashes (--), and so on.  You can accomplish this
by running "Auto-Format," but beware -- this command can also make
changes you DON'T want, so always double -- check your document.  

Step 2: Look at a Book!
I'm always amazed by books produced by authors who apparently never
noticed what a professionally published book looks like!  Pull a
few books off the shelf -- preferable the same "trim size" yours
will be (e.g., 6x9).  Measure the margins.  Note the font size and
style.  Pay attention to how chapters begin.  Look at the running
headers.  Note how subheads are handled.  If necessary, photocopy a
few pages to keep as a reference.

Step 3: Establish Your Format
Now it's time to set up a basic layout for the interior of your
book.  In Word, go to the "Page Layout" menu and select "size."
Since there is no 6x9 preset size, select "More Paper Options" and
enter those dimensions.  Name your setting (e.g., "book") and apply
it to the entire document.

Next, set your margins.  One tell-tale sign of a self-published
book is tiny, tiny margins! Your book has two types of margins:
Exterior (top, bottom, and outer edge) and interior or "gutter,"
where the book is bound.  Exterior margins should be at least half
an inch (three quarters is better), and the gutter should be at
least one quarter inch deeper than the exterior margins.  

Go to "Page Layout" again; select "Margins," then "Custom Margins."
 Choose "Mirror Margins" from the "page" option -- this establishes
that you have left (even) and right (odd) pages.  Set your margins
to the desired width and apply to the entire document.  

Finally, if your book is prose, you'll want the text to be
full-justified (smooth left AND right margins).  You can select
your entire document and justify it using the toolbar, or go to the
"Styles" menu, select "Normal," then "modify" and change the
alignment there.  The second approach ensures that justification
applies only to your regular text, not to chapter headings and
subheads -- and it will also apply the style to any text you insert

You may also wish to turn off the format command that prevents
"widows and orphans."  This command ensures that a single line from
a paragraph is never left "dangling" at the top or bottom of a
page.  However, this can also result in an uneven bottom margin,
particularly if a three-line paragraph is bumped to the next page. 
If you'd rather have smooth bottom margins, even if it means the
occasional dangling line, turn off this command.

Step 4: Fonts and Tabs
Amateur self-publishers are often tempted to "dress up" their books
with an abundance of fancy fonts.  Resist this temptation!  You
want readers to notice your words, not the fonts they're dressed
in; fancy fonts, or too many fonts, simply distract the reader. 
The interior of your book should have no more than two or three
fonts (one for your "normal" text, one for chapter headings, and
possibly one for subheadings or captions).  Note that most books
set "normal" text in a "serif" font (e.g., Times, Palatino,
Schoolbook) rather than a "sans serif" font (like Arial, Geneva or
Helvetica).  Unless your book is meant to be for children or large
type, your text font should be no larger than 10 or 12 points. 
Keep in mind that different fonts have different sizes, so a
10-point setting in one font may be as large as a 12-point setting
in another.

To choose a font, set up several test pages.  Pull two full pages
of text from your book and save them as a separate file.  For each
font you'd like to test, convert the text to that font (and size)
and save it under the font name.  (It's also helpful to type the
name of the test font at the top of the file itself, so that you
can easily see what you're comparing.)  Now print out your test
pages and compare them.  

To compare fonts, glance quickly at the page.  Can you read the
text easily?  Does your eye begin to follow the words?  Or is your
attention wavering, your eye jumping from one part of the page to
another without taking in the content?  Do you have to bring the
page closer, or squint, to read it?  Does the text look crisp and
clean, or is it dense and cluttered?

Another factor is how a font contributes to the overall length of
your book.  You'll quickly note that different fonts extend your
text to different lengths.  While one of your test documents may
print out at less than two full pages (e.g., it may shrink to one
and a half pages), another may print out at more.  If cost is an
issue, choosing a font can mean striking a compromise between a
font that is readable and one that won't add too many extra pages
to your book.   

A final step is to set your tabs.  I've seen tab settings ranging
from the old high school standby of "five spaces" to a book where
the tabs were only two characters deep (because someone had told
the author that this was "standard").  Typically, tabs should be
between .18 and .25 inches.  (Again, look at a published book, and
measure!)  To set your tabs, you can either "select all" and go
into the "Paragraph" menu, or go back to the "Style" menu and set
them within the "Normal" font style.

Step 5: Chapter Titles and Subheads
In a published book, chapters generally begin one-third to halfway
down the page.  Since there's no easy way to measure, say, three
inches from the top of the page in Word, the easiest way to
position your chapter headings is to start them at the top of the
page and then drop them down by a specific number of lines
(carriage returns).  

Here, you can be a bit more creative with fonts.  A fancy font is
fine for a chapter heading, providing it is appropriate to your
text (e.g., an "Old English" font won't make much sense in a book
on computer techniques) and not too fancy to read.  Avoid script
fonts with lots of swirls and curls.  You'll also want to use a
larger font size, but don't get too large; your chapter title,
ideally, shouldn't take up more than two lines.  You may also want
to set the words "Chapter X" in a smaller, plainer font above the
chapter title, or incorporate the number into the chapter title
itself (e.g., "1: Organizing Your Book").  

If you want to generate a table of contents automatically,
designate your chapter titles as "Heading 1" in Word (again, you
can go into the Styles menu to select the font, style, etc.).  Make
sure that nothing else is set in this style!  If you use subheads
in your text, they can be designated as "Heading 2" -- which will
enable you to include them in your table of contents if you wish. 
Some people use a sans serif font for subheads, to contrast with
the text font; others simply use the same font as for the text,
only larger and in bold.  Subheads and chapter headings should be
left-justified rather than full-justified.  Typically, subheads
should be no more than 16 points in size, but you may need to go
larger if you have several layers of subheads; you can also use
italics and even underlining to set off sub-sub-heads.

Some books always start a new chapter on the right-hand page, even
if this means leaving a blank page.  It's perfectly OK, however, to
start a new chapter on whichever page it happens to fall (though
your forward, introduction, and first chapter should each begin on
the right.)

A final touch you may wish to add is to begin each chapter with a
"drop cap."  This enlarges the first letter of your chapter and
insets it into the text.  Just go to the "Insert" menu and select
"Drop Cap."  You can also set this initial in a different font, but
be careful; choosing a font that has a different size range from
your normal text can throw off your formatting.

Step 6: Headers, Footers and Page Numbers
The easiest way to number pages is to insert the page number in a
footer at the bottom of every page.  Insert ONLY the page number (I
recently received a book that actually said "Page 1, Page 2, Page
3...")!  Just go to the "Insert" menu and select "Page Number,"
then choose the option of inserting it, centered, at the bottom of
each page.  Use font and format commands to format it to the
desired font and size.

However, most books have a "running header" that includes not only
the page number, but, typically, the title of the book on one side
and the title of the current chapter on the other.  While there's
no rule on this, let's assume you'd like to put your book title on
the left (even) page and your chapter title on the right (odd)
page.  You'll also note that there is NO header on the first page
of every chapter.

To set up running headers, you'll need to start each new chapter as
a new "section."  To do this, position your cursor at the beginning
of the chapter, go to "Page Layout," choose "Breaks," then "Section
Breaks," and choose the option of starting a new section on a new

Next, go to the "Insert" menu, and at the beginning of the first
page on which you wish a header to appear, click "Header."  This
brings up the header/footer menu.  Click "blank" ([type text]). 
Under options, select "Different First Page" and "Different Odd and
Even Pages."  Now, click "Page Number."  For your even (left-hand)
page, select the option to position the page number on the left;
then, simply type in the book title, and format as desired.  Then,
go to the next (odd/right-hand) page and repeat the process, this
time positioning the page number on the right and entering your
chapter title.  Next, go to the first page of your chapter; if you
see the words "type text" at the top of the page, delete them.  
Finally, click the red "close header and footer" button to return
to your text and check your headers.  

Repeat this process for each chapter.  When you start a new
chapter, click the "Link to Previous" button under the header that
you want to change (e.g., your chapter title).  This enables you to
specify that you do not want to pick up header from the previous
chapter on that page.  

Setting up running headers can be complicated, and you'll also
notice that Word offers a host of preformatted headers that you may
wish to use. For more help with this step, go into the
header/footer menu and click F1 for a help menu.  

Step 7: Illustrations
If your book includes illustrations, the easiest way to handle this
in Word is to set up a blank page for every illustration or photo. 
(You can include more than one illustration per page.)  This is
much easier than trying to embed illustrations within your text. 
Just insert a page break before and after the "illustration" page,
then import the image from an image-processing program, and type in
your caption (if any), and any necessary photo credits.  

If you have Adobe PDF and will be creating your own PDF file, it
becomes even simpler.  You can process your illustrations in
another program, convert them to individual PDF files, then replace
the blank pages in your Word document after you have converted that
to PDF.  Just make sure your image pages are the same size as the
rest of your document.

Step 8: Front Matter
Front matter includes your title page, copyright page, table of
contents, and optional pages such as a dedication or
acknowledgement, a list of figures or illustrations, etc.  These
pages should not be numbered, so they must be in a separate section
that has no header or footer.

While commercially published books usually have a "short" title
page, followed by the full title page that includes the author name
and publisher's logo, you may wish to start with the actual title
page.  If you run your own publishing company and have a logo, use
it here -- but don't bother including the logo of the company that
is printing your book.  Again, avoid the temptation to get too
fancy with fonts; it's usually best to use the same font as for
your chapter headings (keep it readable!) and a plainer font for
your own name.  

The copyright page appears on the reverse of the title page.  Don't
simply copy everything you see on a published book's copyright
page, as much of that won't apply to your book.  Instead, include a
basic copyright statement, such as: 

 2010 by (your name)

All rights reserved.  Copyright under Berne Copyright Convention,
Universal Copyright Convention, and Pan-American Copyright
Convention.  No part of this book may be reproduced, stored in a
retrieval system, or transmitted in any form, or by any means,
electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise,
without prior permission of the author.

If you have an ISBN, include it here, above the copyright
statement.  If you have a "Cataloguing in Publication" number from
the Library of Congress, it belongs here as well (the information
to include will be on the form).  You may also wish to include the
name of the company publishing your book, as well as your own
contact information or website if you wish people to be able to
contact you about reprints or discounts.

Next comes the Table of Contents.  If you have used level-one
headers in your text, you can generate this automatically in Word. 
You can also specify the inclusion of one or more levels of
subheads (one is usually sufficient!)  Word will automatically
repaginate your text when inserting a table of contents, so if you
reformat the table later, make sure that you don't change the
number of pages!  In a nonfiction book, you may also wish to
include a table of illustrations or figures.  Next, insert your
acknowledgements/ dedication page, if you want one, then your
forward (if any), your introduction, and finally, Chapter One!

Step 9: Back Matter
If your book is fiction, it probably ends on the last page.  If it
is nonfiction, you may wish to include an index.  You can generate
an index automatically by inserting index entries in Word
throughout your text; you can even specify that all instances of a
word or phrase be indexed by clicking "Mark All" on the "Mark Index
Entry" menu (under "References").  Another option is to complete
your index manually, after your book has been completely formatted
and you know that the pagination is final.  Whichever method you
choose, be sure to review your index after you've completed it to
make sure that entries appear exactly as you want them. 

Step 10: You Thought You Were Finished...
So you've chosen a font, justified your text, set up your margins
and chapter headings, mastered the running header, inserted your
illustrations and prepared the front matter and index.  All done,
right?  Wrong!  The final step is to go through your document and
check EVERY SINGLE PAGE to make sure it looks EXACTLY the way you
want it to.  You may find, for example, that you have a subhead
sitting inexplicably on the right margin, or a running header
listing the wrong chapter, or an illustration that isn't where it's
supposed to be.  Every time you make a change, review your book yet
again, as every format change tends to create new (and unwanted)
changes "downstream."  Then close the file, get a good night's
sleep -- and check it again in the morning!

The good news is that with print-on-demand technology, if you
discover an error AFTER you've sent your book to the printer, you
can usually send in a corrected edition.  You aren't doomed to have
5000 copies printed with a mistake.  But it's always best to get it
right the first time!


Moira Allen, editor of Writing-World.com, has published more than
350 articles and columns and eight books, including How to Write
for Magazines, Starting Your Career as a Freelance Writer, The
Writer's Guide to Queries, Pitches and Proposals (of which the
second edition has recently been published), and Writing to Win:
The Colossal Guide to Writing Contests. Allen has served as
columnist and contributing editor for The Writer and has written
for Writer's Digest, Byline, and various other writing
publications. She can be contacted at editors "at"

Copyright (c) 2010 by Moira Allen

For more information on formatting your book for publication, check
out http://www.writing-world.com/publish/index.shtml


WORLDWIDE FREELANCE WRITER - You can download a free list of 
writing markets if you subscribe this week. Discover almost 
2,000 writing markets from USA, Canada, UK, Europe, Australasia. 


Free Stuff for Writers:  Write This Month
By Aline Lechaye

Yep, it's that time of the year again -- nope, not Thanksgiving,
not Christmas -- not yet, anyway. It's NaNoWriMo! For those of you
who are puzzled by that acronym (is that some kind of foreign
language?) NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month, and
it's basically a challenge to write a 50,000 word novel from
scratch in one month's time (November). Veterans, sharpen your
pencils; newbies, why not try something new this year? Who knows,
you just might end up with a great novel! Learn more about (or take
the plunge and sign up for) NaNoWriMo at http://www.nanowrimo.org/  

50,000 words sounds like a lot. But let's take it one step at a
time. To be precise, let's take it one PAGE at a time. One Page per
Day (http://www.onepageperday.com/) is a site that encourages you
to do just that. Log in to the site using your Google or Twitter
account, then type away until you get to one page (or more).
Reminders will be e-mailed to you to keep you writing your page
every day. 

Stumped for a plot? Get inspiration from the Automatic Story
Generator at http://geoffrey.com.au/storyselect.php?id=1. All you
have to do is fill in the blanks according to the instructions, and
a story will be generated. True, the results are pretty much just
word soup, but sometimes even that can trigger a more logical idea
for a plot. Alternatively, get random/crazy/cool generators over at
http://www.seventhsanctum.com/, which has an amazing variety of
name, plot, and character generators. 

Yes, writing can be a lonely pastime. It can also drive you a
little insane to stare at a white screen day after day, with
nothing but white noise to fill your eardrums. Why not get a word
processor that has cute backgrounds and plays soothing music while
you type? Try out OmmWriter, a Mac software that does just that.
Watch the introduction video, or download OmmWriter, at 

Run your writing through a text analyzer such as 
http://textalyser.net/ to see the "readability" level of your work,
sentence length, word count, as well as the number of times certain
words appear throughout the piece. You might find that you are
using the same adjectives over and over, or writing at a higher
reading level than your readers might be at. 

English grammar can be confusing, even to native speakers. Do I use
a comma here? A semicolon? Is that the correct verb tense? What is
a dangling modifier? Get your grammar questions answered at The
Grammar Girl site: http://grammar.quickanddirtytips.com/. A grammar
article/podcast is posted weekly, and all podcasts can be
downloaded for free in the form of mp3 files. The advertising
segments can get a little annoying, but overall the podcasts are
informative and jargon-free. Search the existing database, or
submit your questions by clicking the button on the top right
corner. (By the way, the same site that hosts Grammar Girl also
hosts similar sites for math, law, finance, health, and more, so if
you're interested, take a look.) 

On the subject of grammar and style, for those of you who tossed
away your copy of E. B. White's "The Elements of Style" when
Freshman English ended, you can read it online for free at 

Sure, we all know what a computer looks like. But we may not know
the names for certain parts. What does the motherboard look like,
for instance? And where does it go? Look it up on Merriam-Webster's
Visual Dictionary Online (
http://visual.merriam-webster.com/index.php). The website provides
detailed picture explanations on a number of themes, including
astronomy, science, and machinery. 

Happy writing!


Aline Lechaye is a translator, writer, and writing tutor who
resides in Asia. She can be reached at alinelechaye"at"gmail.com.

Copyright (c) 2010 by Aline Lechaye



This is a fun and quirky take on the realities of life as a
freelance writer.  It is easy to read, addictive and contains lots
of useful information including a freelance rates calculator, free
e-books and a jobs board.  Check it out when you have five minutes
to spare.

Here is another useful blog, on the trials and tribulations of
being a technical writer.  This blog has lots of useful podcasts
and posts as well as an entire section for those who wish to
re-train to this type of writing - click on the Students link. 

This is a site I've only come across recently and it is one I will
visit regularly.  It has articles posted frequently, interviews
with authors and regularly updated freelance job listings.  The
working writers cover all genres and it is relatively easy to find
the posts linked to your genre just by clicking on the categories
button. Recent posts in freelance writing cover how to connect with
your reader and how much do freelancers really earn.

Yahong Chi
Yahong Chi reviews children's books in her blog, and also for such
publications as What If, Stone Soup, and Canadian Review of
Materials. No e-books, short story collections or poetry.  Visit
her blog for details.

Writing and Publishing News, by Patricia Fry
This blot always makes me feel guilty - for not having enough time
to read all the great articles, and for not having anywhere near
the incredible output of this author.  Where does SHE find the
time? If you want to find more ways to promote your book, or tips
on publishing in general, it's a great place to start.


WIN PRIZES AND GET PUBLISHED! Find out how to submit your stories,
poetry, articles and books to hundreds of writing contests in the
US and internationally. Newly updated for 2010, WRITING TO WIN
by Moira Allen is the one-stop resource you need for contests
and contest tips. Visit Writing-World.com's bookstore for details:


SERIOUS ABOUT WRITING? Join the National Association of Independent
Writers and Editors, the professional association with a
career-building difference. We partner with you to create a
strategic online presence with genuine credibility. You get a free
NAIWE-linked website (and more) so you'll be where people come to
find writers. Join us today at http://naiwe.com!


AUTHOR'S BOOKSHELF: Books by Our Readers
What's the Story? Try Your Hand at Fiction and Learn the Art of
Writing, by Rudolph Weingartner

The Writer's Guide to Queries, Pitches and Proposals
(Second Edition), By Moira Allen

Find these and more great books at

Have you just had a book published?  If so, let our readers know: 
just click on the link below to list your book.


on how to reach more than 100,000 writers a month with your 
product, service or book title, visit


Writing World is a publication of Writing-World.com

Editor and Publisher: MOIRA ALLEN (editors"at"writing-world.com) 

Newsletter Editor: DAWN COPEMAN (editorial"at"writing-world.com) 

Copyright 2010 Moira Allen
Individual articles copyrighted by their authors.
Back issues archived at

Writing World is hosted by Aweber.com

Subscribers are welcome to re-circulate.

Copyright © 2017 by Moira Allen. All rights reserved.
All materials on this site are the property of their authors
and may not be reprinted without the author's written permission,
unless otherwise indicated.
For more information please contact Moira Allen, Editor