Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The Formatting Blues

Hey stranger. Come on in and sit down a spell. I got some things to tell you. I won't take much of your time. I imagine you're picturing a comforting man talking to you in a night club right about now. Maybe that man's voice is similar to Morgan Freeman's. But that's not important right now. What is important is that I have your attention.

You know as well as I do that whether you are an aspiring writer or a self-publisher there is one thing we all have to come to grips with at some point in our career; formatting.

It isn't pleasant and hardly anyone wants to spend time to get it right. I'm guilty of that myself. But, y'see, old Andy Dufrense never...


Sorry, I'll get back to this formatting business.

Y'see the thing is we rarely picture the part of formatting as one of our chief concerns. We are interested in writing. Because that's what we are: writers.

We tumble and toil with words all day. But in the end, we naively think the story itself will hold up the structure. Well, I'm here to tell you that just isn't true. Good formatting gives a perfect presentation to your story. It compliments it, you see.

Ordinarily I've experimented with file types such as Mobi., EPub or even PDF. But still I'd find glitches in the system.

One of the biggest regrets was releasing Wearing Donnie Torr as a Mobi file and not giving it a final proper scan through. People have commented that there are terrible formatting issues with it. Mostly that the font kept changing size. That gave me a bit of the blues.

I've read all the how to books on formatting until I was blue in the face. I was just about to make the leap to HTML coding.

Then I began to wonder if maybe I was going about this the wrong way. I've read hundreds of pages on what you SHOULD DO while formatting but it was never made quite that clear. I'm a visual person. So I sat down and started looking up formatting videos.

Wouldn't you know it? In just five minutes I found what I was looking for.

A video by C. J. Lyons on how to format your document so it will look more presentable on the amazon Kindle. I tinkered with one of my word documents and found out that it worked. The conversion to kindle was perfect.

This video was a much needed relief.

Now as soon as I find that original word document of Wearing Donnie Torr I'll make the changes and re-upload it to kindle and breathe a little easier.

Since this benefited me greatly, I'm considering checking out C. J. Lyons books. I suggest you do the same. I consider this video the one-stop shop for all my formatting woes.

In the meantime, here is the video for your viewing pleasure. Hope it helps you solve a case of formatting blues....

Get busy living or get busy dying...whoops...there I go again.


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