Last month, in a reference to ChatGPT, I made a flippant comment about being a slow adopter of new technology. And generally I am. But I decided to give ChatGPT a whirl to see what all the hubbub was about. To my surprise, I’ve started keeping a browser tab open for ChatGPT, alongside my Chicago […]
Reduce Book-Related Stress: Add Slack to...
Our client was nervous. With a big book launch event coming up, she was stuck in limbo on the self-publishing platform, waiting for “account approval.” Until then, she was unable to set up her book and order copies of it. After a week of waiting, and with negligible customer support available, “nervous” would soon turn […]
Two Easy, Free Book Marketing Tools
This month I have two cool book marketing tools I want to share. They are easy to use and—bonus—free! To be honest, marketing is not usually my favorite thing, but these make it practically enjoyable. Fun even… (Thanks to Tina Larsson of The Folson Group for letting me show off these tools with her newly […]
How to Make Your Book Accessible for Mor...
Earlier this month I attended the Kennedy Center’s Leadership Exchange in Arts and Disability (LEAD) Conference, an event designed to build the capacity of arts and cultural organizations to fully engage people with disabilities. I was drinking from the proverbial firehose on the topic of accessibility, but it got me thinking specifically about accessibility in […]
Pre-orders on KDP and IngramSpark
Original article February 24, 2022; last updated May 13, 2022. When planning your book launch, one consideration is whether to make your book available for pre-order, which simply means that readers can order your book prior to its publication date. In this article, we’ll discuss why you might want to do pre-orders (or not), and […]
Summary of Recent POD Publishing Platfor...
There have been some recent changes with the two major print-on-demand (POD) platforms, KDP and IngramSpark, and I’ve been updating my articles related to them. Here I give a summary of changes and then links to the articles. Publishing platform changes to be aware of Here are some of the major changes you might want […]
Word Tip: Style Sets Can Save You Time a...
The Styles function is one of my favorite tools in Microsoft Word. With it, you can assign styles (font, color, size, spacing, etc.) to different text elements—the body text, titles, headings, captions, and so on. I’ve written about Styles before as a way to assess your document’s structure and organization using the Automatic Table of […]
Word Tip: Finding Your Word Count
Knowing your word count can help you set guideposts to keep on track, identify areas for potential revision, and create a better reading experience for your audience. In MS Word, to find your word count, from the Review menu, choose the Word Count button. You’ll see a pop-up box with your document’s statistics. If you […]
How Arithmetic Can Help You Write
The more I work with books, the more I realize how helpful arithmetic is (yup, just arithmetic—no algebra, geometry, or calculus needed). Whether you have too little content, too much content, or lopsided content, some addition, subtraction, and division (not finding a use for multiplication yet!) can help set guideposts to keep you on track, […]
Word Tip: The Navigation Pane
My client excitedly told me, “I’ve just found the coolest thing in Word: the navigation pane. It has made my life so much easier—you gotta tell everyone about this!” Okay, I got my marching orders! Tip time. Microsoft Word’s navigation pane has been around for a decade, but I’ve only been using it in the […]
Word Tip: Creating En and Em Dashes
In Word you can automatically generate en and em dashes by using the hyphen key and AutoCorrect. (Read more about en and em dashes in this article about common proofreading oversights.) To make an en dash: Type a word (or number/letter character), space, hyphen, space, word (or number/letter). Example: 1990 – 1995 As you move […]
The MS Word Editor: Going beyond Spellch...
If you use Word, you’re probably used to seeing red squiggly underlines for misspelled words and blue double-underlines for incorrect grammar. These appear courtesy of the “Editor” function, aka spellcheck and grammar check. But the Word Editor can help you even more if you let it… Cool Stuff the Word Editor Can Check For Some of […]