Skip to main content

Word Tip: Style Sets Can Save You Time a...

Word Tip: Style Sets Can Save You Time and Headaches

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

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

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

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

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...

The MS Word Editor: Going beyond Spellcheck

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 […]

KDP and IngramSpark Printing Options

KDP and IngramSpark Printing Options

This article is part of a series on KDP and IngramSpark (IS) as print-on-demand (POD) platforms for independent authors. For an overview of the two platforms and summary of key issues, read KDP vs. IngramSpark: Which Publishing Platform Is Right for You? Here, we cover KDP and IngramSpark printing options in greater detail. For the […]

KDP vs. IngramSpark: Which Publishing Pl...

KDP vs. IngramSpark: Which Publishing Platform Is Right for You?

To keep things simple for first-time authors, I often suggest they stick with Amazon’s ecosystem, using Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) for both ebooks and print books. (The KDP print service recently replaced CreateSpace, which was also owned by Amazon.) However, there is another major player in the print-on-demand (POD) space: IngramSpark (IS), which is the […]

Position Your Book for Top Billing on th...

Position Your Book for Top Billing on the Publishing Stage – Part 2: Behind-the-Scenes Metadata

This two-part series looks at how to position your book for top billing online. In Part 1, we looked at front-of-house elements that make your book appealing to your audience: cover design, title, description. In Part 2, we cover the behind-the-scenes elements that make your book findable: metadata. You’re at a Broadway show. In the […]

The Amazon Ecosystem for Authors: A Fiel...

The Amazon Ecosystem for Authors: A Field Guide

Updated June 4, 2020, to incorporate the change of CreateSpace to KDP. With 83% of the U.S. ebook market, Amazon is the behemoth in the indie book space. There are other self-publishing companies of course, but I so frequently get questions about Amazon that I thought it might be helpful to give an overview of […]

Trouble Getting That First Draft on the ...

Trouble Getting That First Draft on the Page? Speak Your Book

When new acquaintances learn that I help business professionals write books, they often remark, “I have so many good ideas, but when I sit down to write, they just don’t come out the way I want them to!” After asking a few questions, I often suggest that instead of writing their initial content, they speak […]

The Automatic Table of Contents: Your Se...

The Automatic Table of Contents: Your Secret Writing Weapon

You start with a writing plan—maybe it’s a mind map, maybe a detailed point-by-point outline, maybe just five key points and a few jotted subpoints. It’s your choice, depending on whether you’re a pantser or a plotter, whether you’re doing self-contained or emergent writing. Now you start writing. As the pages grow (because you are super-committed […]