The Aww-Do-I-Have-to!? Synopsis (Writing a Book Rundown)

Just the thought of writing a book synopsis—rundown, summary, précis, abstract—can seem daunting.  Consider it a challenge.  Sure, it will take time and commitment, like most things in life.  But it gets the gray matter churning and toiling, and that’s a good thing.

Is a synopsis necessary?  Yes, if the plan is to:

  • submit the book to an agent or traditional publisher
  • do a promo tour (some bloggers and reviewers will request one)
  • do interviews (a synopsis provides a sound overview of how to [succinctly] describe/deliver the book).

It’s said there should be two versions: a long one comprising three to four pages and a short one that’s one to two pages.  If you’re submitting to an agent or publisher, check and adhere to submission guidelines.

Before sitting down to write one, ensure the book is publication-ready (or close to).  Review the book and determine key components—such as opening chapters (that establish conflict, motivation, and quest/mission), main characters, pivotal actions, and that wondrous ending. WPstudious1

The first paragraph—like the opening of the book—should be a “grabber”.  Yes, it’s a summation that conveys basic information about the main characters and how the story unfolds, but has to be interesting if not intriguing.  Think of that “wow” factor: what makes this story worth reading?

Make sure the synopsis is short and sweet, crisp and clear (avoid excessive or redundant wording).  As an example, here’s the opening to the synopsis for The Connecticut Corpse Caper:

“The Connecticut Corpse Caper” chronicles the antics of seven inheritance recipients, as witnessed by weather announcer Jill Jocasta Fonne.  The madcap mystery (approximately 89,000 words in length) begins when she arrives one November afternoon at an eerie (reputedly haunted) Connecticut mansion, primed for a week-long stay.  Two-hundred thousand dollars will be awarded to each person.  Should someone leave, for whatever reason, his or her share will be divided among those remaining.

Ensure the synopsis:

  • begins strongly—state what the novel entails ASAP (describe the conflict and protagonist)
  • makes sense—note relevant events in logical progression
  • encapsulates characters (be concise, not excessive, and don’t describe every last one)
  • captures important twists and turns
  • ties up loose ends.

It seems a lot to jam and cram into one to four pages.  But it’s entirely doable.  If you’re new to writing them, go on-line for examples and get a feel for the flow.  It will come.  As the saying goes, practice makes perfect.

. . . On that note, I’d better get practicing as I have to perfect one for “Forever Poi”.

Vent for the Day

Don’t you hate it when Facebook develops a mind of its own . . . and try as you might, that <bleeping> Write a Post box refuses to cooperate?

Can you spell a-n-n-o-y-i-n-g?

Fortunately, past FB “tantrums” have never lasted more than a day.

. . . Hmm . . . why not post the daily FB Triple Threat Investigation Agency post here?  What a brilliant idea (I do get those once in a blue moon).

 We didn’t find anything suspicious in the lot last night . . . that we entered thanks to Cousin Rey’s “infamous” B&E kit.  Not that we expected to, but as always, HOPED to.  We’re going to keep our eyes on them for a while; see if anything illicit is going on after hours.  Meanwhile, we have a few more garages and auto-part shops to check out.  Someone, somewhere, has to know something.  So far, no one’s talking.  . . . Not that we expected them to do that, either.   

 

See you Saturday with a new post . . . hopefully, not foaming at the mouth.  <LOL>

FBIssue

 

What’s in an Interview . . . except Your Soul?

Hello.  This is Detective Gerald Ives—Ald for short and Hives instead of Ives, if you’re headstrong (bolshie) Reynalda Fonne-Werde.  I’m sure I’ll hear about that one.  <LMAO>  Anyway, the gals from the Triple Threat Investigation Agency are enjoying a spa day (another one, must be nice) and asked, begged, me—given I ask a lot of questions for a living—to conduct an interview with The Boss today.  Evidently, their big B would like some practice.  I’m happy to oblige and it will only cost the threesome a dinner at a five-star restaurant, with a great bottle of wine.

Why do you write mysteries?  Genre of preference?

Very much so.  I’ve mentioned this previously, but I was a huge fan of Nancy Drew when I was kid.  I loved solving mysteries, putting together puzzles.  Hence, the desire to write them—my genre of definite and delightful preference.

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

When I was probably six or seven.  As an only child, I had to entertain myself.  Writing and drawing were two regular means.  I loved creating stories as much as I enjoyed crayoning and painting.  When I was around twelve, the “writing bug” really grabbed hold . . . and never let go.

 What was your first book-length story and was it published?

The first manuscript was a historical romance with a western theme set in Texas.  Beautiful feisty heroine meets—clashes with—hunky aggressive hero.  It was never published, but I do believe I still have it in a storage box somewhere.  Maybe, one day, I’ll dig it out.  It would be interesting to compare my writing style back then to present day, and see how I’ve developed.

Describe your present-day writing style.

In a word: narrative.  I tell a story and provide descriptions and details that convey conflict and tension, action, humor, a beginning and an end.  Do I have a distinctive or unique voice?  I believe so, but I’d never be able to “describe” it.  It’s simply . . . me.

It’s said some writers have muses.  Do you? WPmuseA1

Wouldn’t know a muse if it bit me on the butt—but power to those that have a guiding spirit or source of inspiration.  Maybe I could borrow one for a day or two . . . ?

Do you draft a plot and outline before you write a book or let an idea take you where it may?

I always have an idea re a Triple Threat Investigation Agency case—for example, have P.I.s JJ, Rey, and Linda find a body by the canal (which is how the fifth book starts).  I’ll have determined who placed the body there, but not necessarily why.  In fact, the “reason” doesn’t usually present itself until a good 200+ pages have been written.  You could unequivocally say, I go with the flow.

What sort of research do you do for your books?

I do a lot—anything from local food to drinks, weapons to wounds.  But it’s on an on-going, what-do-I-need-to-know basis.  More than half the research isn’t used, but it’s quite helpful for painting pictures and assembling puzzle pieces, and providing a knowledge base.

As a writer, what is success to you?  How do you measure it?

One type of success is the accomplishment of having completed a project (in my case a book).  It’s an awesome feeling.  The second is the traditional type, if we could call it that, the one most people would claim is having a fruitful and/or prosperous career.  Fellow writers might say: success is having achieved substantial sales and/or become a recognizable name.  Ultimately, however, it’s being able to do what you love . . . and if it pays well, too, that’s doubly fantastic.

So you’re feeling good about having finished “Forever Poi”?

It’s taken forever to complete, so it feels amazing that it’s finally done.  The marketing and promotional components come into play now, as do getting the front and back covers done, the e-book actually uploaded, and all those little [but numerous] “tasks” that go with the completion of a project.  This part of the project tends to lean towards stressful for me, but it’s all—ultimately—good.

If any of your books were to be adapted into a movie, which one would it be?

The Connecticut Corpse Caper was initially written as a one-off, and is near and dear to my heart, so I’d like to see that made into a movie.  An homage to B&W mysteries, it’s campy enough—I believe—to transcend well onto the screen.  In all honesty, though, I confess that I’d love to see the Triple Threat Investigation Agency books developed into a weekly mystery series.  <LOL>  Hey, we’re entitled to our dreams, and that’s [one of] mine.

What are your other dreams?

To move to Hawaii, of course.  To [finally] find contentment and tranquility.  To give back.  To become a better person/Christian.  To become an American, which I’ve wanted with all my heart and soul since I was five; I cry when I hear the anthem . . . cried when I heard it last night.  Allow me to share an astounding YouTube vid featuring seven-year-old Malea.

Is there anything else you’d like to share?

Despite what may sometimes seem like insurmountable odds, never give up, and constantly keep the faith.  It’s not always easy.  In fact, it can be incredibly [excruciatingly] difficult, but it can be done.  Just believe.

And there you have it, folks.  My first un-work-related interview with the Triple Threat Investigation Agency private eyes’ boss.  You know?  I could get to like this.  . . . Maybe I’ll set up a blog of my own.

Cheers.

Making for another Ideal Interview: Yours

While on the subject of interviews, I thought a quick post on writing our own personal ones might prove of benefit.  As mentioned, I’m working on my Smashwords interview, but I’m hoping to do a blog tour once “Forever Poi” is completed, so I’ll need at least one [different one] for that.

It’s rather fun putting one together, though it can be a bit challenging, because you have to think of some good, attention-grabbing questions (and answers).  You want to:

  • prompt people to read the interview
  • garner interest in the book / the author (you)
  • generate sales. WPdollarsign1

Basic areas to cover: the book, plot, characters . . . you.  When you’re conducting author interviews, you’re selling them, making them come across as distinctive/outstanding writers.  You want to accomplish the same re yourself, but you might want to appear more humble if you’re posting on your own site and distribution platform(s).  Avoid coming across as arrogant or big-headed.  Do sound excited (attract interest), proud of your accomplishment (modestly so), and detailed enough to evoke curiosity (have the reader/listener want to learn more).

Definitely focus on the book, but offer additional insight.  Maybe you have a humorous or life-changing anecdote to share?  Perhaps you can provide networking/outreach input?  Give thought to what might make your personal interview stand out from others.

An interview can be a powerful tool; it provides exposure.  Use it to your advantage.  In addition to posting it on your site and distribution platform(s), why not ask fellow bloggers or writers if they might be interested in putting your interview on their sites?  Maybe you can exchange interviews and/or promotional posts?  Writing communities tend to be quite supportive, so don’t be shy.

WPfunandfresh2If you’ve never done a blog tour for your book and are planning one, you’ll likely be asked to write your own interview.  Make sure it differs from the one you have on your site and platform(s).  Don’t rehash: be fresh and fun.  Fuel fascination by providing the “ideal” interview.

 

Making for an Ideal Interview

Putting together my own personal Smashwords interview, so it seemed a perfect post subject.

Maybe you’ve been giving thought to conducting author interviews, but have never done one and are wondering what’s what, where to start?

Why not begin with interviewing new authors?  Of course there’s nothing to stop you from approaching known names.  Be aware, though: with an established writer you’ll likely have to go through a publicist, publisher, or agent.  As the saying goes, though, the world is your/our oyster, so have at it: approach whomever you’re feeling passionate about.

How you conduct an interview is entirely up to you—do a standard blog or website interview, go for a podcast, or create an audio interview.  Work with the medium that [best] speaks to you.

Don’t send requests willy-nilly.  Become familiar with the author’s work.  Research.  Check out his/her blog and website.  Follow.  Know what’s happening by doing that due diligence.  Show the author you know your stuff.

Once you’ve connected, always be professional.  Include a list of questions when you submit a request for an interview.  As in anything, it’s nice to be prepared—for those on both sides of the fence.  Try to think of fresh/fun questions, ones that haven’t been asked 105 times.  Yes, you’d definitely want to inquire about their book, but see if you can do so from new angles.  If you’re stumped for questions, Google; there are hundreds of interview questions out there.  Play around with them.  Put a spin on them: yours.

How many questions should you ask?  It’s said seven to ten is a good number, with three intensive ones related specifically to the book.  Prompt detailed answers.

Once an author has agreed to an interview, ask him/her when it’s best to post it.  Maybe he/she has a time frame in mind re a book launch or promotion.  Announce on your blog/website and social media when that interview will be posted (and thank the author again, of course).

Speaking of the author’s featured book, it’s a good thing to have read it before the interview.  Sometimes, however, time is not our friend, so soak up everything you can about it on-line, including the press release if there happens to be one.

Don’t forget to include a photo of the author.  A tour banner and book cover are also good.  Take a gander at book-tour blogs to get an idea of how you might like your own to look.  Get creative/artsy, but not crazy (your site and interview should be attractive and readable).

Remembering that interviews—in a nutshell—are about sharing authors’ experiences and advice, current and/or future projects, and tours, ensure questions are relevant (though there’s no reason to ask the odd unrelated question).  On that note, here are 25 [thought-provoking] questions; do with them what you will.  WP2nd

⇒ What are common traps for aspiring writers?

⇒ How do other authors help you improve your craft?

⇒ Do you belong to any writers’ communities or groups?

⇒ When was the first time you realized you were destined to be a writer?

⇒ How did your first book transform your writing process?

⇒ It’s said writers have muses: tell us about yours.

⇒ Describe your writing style.

⇒ What’s the easiest part of writing?

⇒ Do you outline a plot beforehand or do you just “go with the flow” and let the idea take you where it may?

⇒ What sort of research and prep work do you do for your books?

⇒ What do you believe it takes to become a bestselling author?

⇒ What do you consider quintessential literary success?  Are you pleased with your success?

⇒ What are the best marketing / promotional practices for a book?

⇒ What did you edit from this current novel?

⇒ Which scene proved the most challenging to write?

⇒ Which characters did you like and hate the most?

⇒ Do you choose character names randomly?  Or do you select each carefully and, if so, how?  What’s your process?

⇒ If you weren’t a writer, what would you be and why?

⇒ How long, on average, does it take you to complete a novel—from first draft to final edit?

⇒ Have you ever thrown out any manuscripts?

⇒ If any of your books were to be adapted into a movie, which one would it be?

⇒ Which book of yours might you be tempted to rewrite?

⇒ What genres to you like reading?  Why?

⇒ If you were to opt for a new genre, which one would you go for?

⇒ What’s your next project and when might we see it?

The Quintessential Query

Ever think about trying the traditional publisher route?  I did, many years ago, before e-books became popular.  It was hard to break into the publishing world back then, given the limited number of books that were printed, never mind nowadays.  But that doesn’t mean it can’t happen.

I’m thinking of giving it another try; hence, this post.  If you’re considering it, go for it, and don’t be discouraged or overwhelmed if there are no responses or—drat it all—rejection letters arrive.  They’re a blow to the ego, to say the least.  But take solace in the fact that this has happened to the best.  Many of the greats received rejections: DH Lawrence, Herman Melville, Stephen King, Tim Burton, Ayn Rand, to name but a few.  So, again, don’t be discouraged.  Make Perseverance and Patience your middle names.

A polished, winning query letter takes time and effort: think of it as a sales pitch or a promotional tool.  You’re selling you.  Entice the publisher—to want to read the entire letter and the manuscript.

Do that due diligence.  Determine which publishers you want to approach.  Make certain they represent the genre you’re writing.  Also confirm that they’re bona-fide publishers.  You shouldn’t be paying them to get published, right?  Right.

Grab the publisher’s attention immediately.  Ensure the salutation incorporates his/her name.  If you’ve published before, state this right away.  If not, then—if doable—mention that you’ve met him/her before or that someone’s referred you.  And, if neither of these are possible, then pitch your pitch.  Always include the genre, word count, and target audience. WPbutton2

When pitching your pitch, describe what makes your book unique.  Remember: there are hundreds of writers out there sending similar queries, so you need to stand out.

Give a quick rundown re the plot, main characters, and conflict/tension.  Provide a super-condensed summary (as in one paragraph).  Have a more detailed synopsis on hand, too; you may need it later.

Do you have writing credentials, awards, or reviews?  Provide them.  Or maybe you’re a blogger?  Note this.  What about a huge social media base?  By all means, mention it.

Some quick general tips re your letter:

  • personalize (it shouldn’t sound like a form letter)
  • keep it fairly short, maybe 400 words or so (four to five paragraphs)
  • make sure it adheres to the publisher’s submission guidelines (some may also request a promo plan or an in-depth synopsis)
  • ensure the letter looks neat (the font isn’t fancy or overly small, the wording isn’t excessive/redundant, and there’s ample white-space).

Lastly, proofread and revise as necessary.

Always bear in mind, there’s tons of information on the Internet; use it to your advantage.

As an FYI, here’s a query letter for “Caper”, written before I went for another major rewrite or decided to try e-booking (hey, a new verb).  Is it the quintessential query letter?  Probably not, but as Rey might say: it ain’t bad.

WPquerylettercaper

Dear XXXXXX,

 Welcome to a Wacky Week at the Mysterious Moone Mansion

A reputedly haunted mansion in Connecticut marks the setting for a week-long collect-your-inheritance gathering of weird and wired guests.  The events, comic and dark, are told through the eyes of Jill Jocasta Fonne, a Wilmington-based weather announcer.

“The Connecticut Corpse Caper”, approximately 84,500 words, is an ode to the B&W mysteries of the 30s and 40s.  Murder and mayhem and madcap moments reign as seven people of different backgrounds spend a week in the Moone mansion to receive a share of the inheritance per eccentric Mathilda Moone’s will stipulation.  Two-hundred thousand dollars will be awarded to each person.  If someone leaves, for whatever reason, his or her share will be divided among those remaining.

Curious, out-of-the-norm characters in “Caper” contribute to the humor and absurdity.  It also has an ending that could lend itself to a sequel (and does—I’m in the midst of outlining one).

The audience?  Readers who enjoy the antics of Stephanie Plum and Kinsey Malone, those who like fun protagonists and a bit of dark or campy humor.

In terms of my background, I work as a freelance editor and writer.  In addition to writing weekly posts for my blog (www.XXXXXX) I have started working on a script version of “The Connecticut Corpse Caper”.  As an FYI, in addition to a varied and extensive writing-editing background, I also spent several years as a technical-writing trainer in the aerospace realm.

Recognizing how many queries you receive daily, Mr./Ms. XXXXXX, I’d like to thank you for your time and consideration.  Per your guidelines, attached are the first three chapters and a one-page synopsis.

Sincerely yours,

XXXXXXX

Being Prepared is Everything

The Boss is caught up in a project and Linda and JJ are in court today to serve as witnesses for a former client.  So today, you’ve got me—Rey—on post patrol.

I thought I’d do something a little different—nothing to do with writing or editing, because that’s not my thing.  Something tweaked my interest more than usual this week: hurricanes.  There’s a nasty one brewing in the Atlantic and one dancing in the nearby distance.

The only hurricanes I’ve experienced are ones on screen and those that were backdrop in two films I appeared in.  They’re as awesome as they’re frightening and dangerous.  The first time I heard we might be hit here on Oahu, I got super stoked.  I’d always wanted to experience one.  Linda thinks I’m nuts and JJ just gives me “looks” (a few years back, her sister got swept out to sea by one).

Being curious (and a damn good P.I.), I put my researcher cap on.  It turns out that it’s pretty rare to get a Category 5 hurricane here, though they do tend to be rare, period.  That said, given the Hawaiian Islands are pretty small . . . teeny targets sitting on this ginormous ocean . . . they’re easy to miss or swing by.  Apparently, a solid sub-tropical high-pressure system in the north also helps push storms elsewhere.

In case you’re not sure what the difference is (I wasn’t): a hurricane watch means there are 48 hours to get ready (as in p-r-e-p-a-r-e) while a hurricane warning means the weather’s likely to become dangerous within 36 hours.

Some basic FYIs . . .

If you’re visiting these amazing Islands and staying in a hotel, there’ll be a hurricane/storm plan in place.  Learn what’s expected.  If one happens along while you’re here, call the airlines before heading to the airport: you don’t want to be stuck there hours on end.  And don’t go into the water (!) even if you see surfers having the time of their lives.  They’re a passionate (if not obsessed) bunch; they love those high, swelling waves. WPsurfersinhawaii

If you live on the Islands, stay informed.  If you’re on a coastline, near a stream/river, or on a flood plain, it’s best to leave.  If you’re in a solid house/building that’s not situated near a coastline or rainfall flooding, you can give thought to staying.  Here’s a good question to ask yourself, though: if you stay, could you do so safely?

To prepare, make sure you (among other things):

  • secure heavy outdoor objects (like lawn tables and chairs, pots, bins and cans)
  • see that your vehicle has a full tank of fuel (and set extra fuel aside)
  • have items (like boards, lumber, and shutters) on hand to board windows and doors
  • make sure there’s lots of food and water on hand (it’s suggested two weeks of water or 14 gallons per person)
  • invest in a small cooler—with cooling packs—to house refrigerated items
  • have lots of batteries on the ready (for flashlights, radios, Coleman stoves, cell-phone charger, lanterns)
  • make certain to have a full/proper first-aid kit and an emergency survival kit on hand
  • consider keeping cash handy (credit and bank cards won’t be of much use if there’s a blackout / electrical outage). WPHurricanestuff

Things to do when a hurricane is near:

  • Listen to Civil Defense.  Leave if instructed to.
  • Make sure to board up those windows and doors (and batten down anything outside that might be blown or swept away).
  • Stay clear of areas where storm-surge flooding can occur.
  • Evacuate sooner than later, if that’s on the agenda.  Note that shelters don’t take pets, so leave lots of food and water.  (I can’t imagine leaving Bonzo behind, but do what you have to, I guess.)
  • Share plans with someone “just in case”.

When it arrives:

  • Stay clear of windows and doors (and keep them closed, blocked and braced).
  • Tuck yourself in a small room or closet.
  • Lie on the floor under a table or a mattress.

If the eye of a hurricane is passing over and it’s calm for a spell, stay inside (it’s temporary, so don’t be fooled).  And be aware that it could take several hours for the storm to pass.

You truly do learn something new every day, like being prepared is everything.  On that note . . . I’m off to Walmart to stock up on supplies (coz ya just never know).

Stay safe! WPstormafterRey

 

Coming . . . Soon?

You’ve seen them—those signs advising that a restaurant or retail store is, yup, opening soon.  In fact, you’ve seen them day after day, week after week, and month after month.  Sometimes, yup, even year after year.

I can now totally relate to that.  It seems as if “Forever Poi” has been “forever coming soon”.   <LMAO>

There are times when I want to smack my head into a brick wall.  Never, ever, has it taken me this long to get a project completed.  Never, ever, have I “lollygagged” (what a great word) when it comes to my passion of writing. WPCrazyFaceC

Okay, okay, it’s not that I’ve truly been lollygagging.  It’s that I’ve been finding it difficult to find [sufficient] time to work on my labor-of-love, a fact I’ve shared, ad nauseam.  Another reason to smack my head.  Maybe the action will put a stop to that sense of madness, the kind you experience when too many disruptions/diversions distract from the ability to get something urgent, significant, or special done.

But, as they say, everything in its own sweet time.  So what if my e-book is behind a year?  It’ll get there.  So what if my blog isn’t where I want it to be?  It’ll get there.  So what if I’ve not been able to network, promote or market as I’d like to (dream of)?  It’ll [all] get there.

Patience, as they also say, is a virtue.  I readily acknowledge, however, that I am not very virtuous (though it genuinely is at the top of the personal-development plan).  <LOL>

I’ve returned to to-do lists.  Small ones.  Workable ones.  This week’s list encompasses:

  • researching formatters / cover designers
  • writing an interview (maybe two)
  • doing another installment of “Odd Woman Out”
  • continuing with Facebook Triple Threat Investigation Agency posts
  • learning something new, even if only a valuable tidbit (as opposed to a Timbit, which is a good [and very yummy] thing, too).

<LOL>   You know, I should indulge in copious amounts of caffeine more often: this post has been a breeze to pen.  It’s amazing how jazzed you feel, as if you truly can truly do anything.

Here’s to always opening sooner than later, my friends.

. . . Now, where’d I put that can of Red Bull?

 

When I’m Calling You-ou-ou

Not gonna happen.  <ROTFL>

Today, an aside from the regular writing/editing or Triple Threat Investigation Agency post.  . . . Or, could be, I just want to avoid thinking about—and disclosing—all the things that need doing re “Forever Poi”.  Like getting it done.

Confession: I can’t stand talking on the phone.  I will avoid answering the blasted thing, tell it to go away, curse it, tuck it in a drawer when not at work (and sometimes even then), and fire off damaging laser beams at it with a wrathful gaze.

I make promises to call people, and at the time I make the pledge, I truly do mean (and expect) to do so.  Then, something—chores, Mom, email perusal, a newly realized task—throws a wrench in the works, er, promise, er . . . .

Fact: it’s not that I don’t want to talk to people, it’s that I don’t want to talk.  Period.  I’m simply not a chatterer.  Or maybe it’s that I feel I don’t have anything interesting to share.  And it’s not that I don’t want to hear all the wonderful things everyone’s up to, it’s that I . . . simply put . . . hate the phone.

Must be the writer in me.  I’d rather type a 100 emails than spend two minutes on the blower, as they used to call it.  In an email, you can create a mood, edit repeatedly before replying, get creative/fancy or keep it simple, state that all’s hunky-dory even if it’s not.  On the phone, voice and tone betray disposition and attitude unless, of course, one’s a stellar actor.

Why am I revealing this little quirk?  Guilt, I guess.  I was supposed to phone someone Saturday, but come the agreed-to time, I simply couldn’t get my fingers to comply, but then, there was some vacuuming that was crying out to be done.   (Honestly, I think visiting a dental surgeon would be easier, if not more enjoyable.)

Funny, huh?  I suppose we all have our idiosyncrasies.  <LOL>

On that note, my friends, feel free to email or message me as often as you like.  I’ll [very] happily reply.

Starting from Scratch

It sucks when you lose someone you’ve come to like/depend on for your e-books.  Okay, I haven’t exactly lost her; she’s just MIA (or totally ignoring me), which I suppose amounts to one and the same: loss.

Time is already tough to juggle for this non-juggler (can you hear those balls dropping?).  It’ll be a daunting task to locate a new resource. WPSatPoss

Sigh, sigh, sighhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.  Okay, self-pity moment over.  <LOL>  Pulling up socks, lacing up [army] boots.

The positive side: yes, I do have to start from scratch, but I’ll also relearn everything . . . recall all that’s been forgotten over the year-and-a-half since attempting to get “Forever Poi” completed.  Once I get over the “trepidation factor”, it’ll all prove a positive and insightful experience.

On that note, I’m returning to the beginning of the end: formatting an e-book that’s ready for publication.

There are quite a number of sites that will do this for free.  Free is nice.  Who doesn’t like f-r-e-e?  That said, though, I’m not sure I’m ready (or willing) to go it alone.  I’d prefer to have someone hold my hand, so to speak.  But please don’t let my lack of confidence hold you back from taking the free route.

Some things to note if this is your first e-publishing adventure.  E-books will look different on different devices; as such, text has to meet certain e-book formatting requirements (to ensure the document is neat and readable).  Some e-book publishers will request you stick to a specific format.  You may want to avoid getting super fancy and providing too much “pizzazz” (like a sundry of fancy fonts).  Keep it [fairly] simple.

You’d be best to start with a Word document/file which, of course, you’ve previously formatted for formatting.  <LOL>  You can use an epub, too, but they aren’t as easy to work with; changes are harder to make (this I can attest to).  Formatting is fairly simple, if all goes right—fortunately, there’s a ton of info out there that will guide you from one step to the next.

PDF or epub are the options for formatting your e-book.  The former is said to work best with complex, image-heavy e-books while the latter is perfect for simpler ones.  But do  check what e-publishers want/require (Kindle will have different “rules” from Smashwords, for example).

Visit various sites to see which free formatting folks you’d like to go with, or find a professional formatter.  They’re not that expensive.  (I initially found mine through Smashwords and she was great, so I may return there before checking out other sites.)

Next task after formatting: cover and back designs.  Unless you’re skilled or adventurous enough to do it yourself (I’m not) . . . or fellow writers recommend someone reputable (anyone have one?). . . do that due diligence.  You don’t want to end up paying an exorbitant fee, unless you’re Rockefeller rich, of course.  (Me, I’m going to pull out Piggy and start counting pennies.)

Given “Forever Poi” is approximately two-three weeks away from final completion, I’d better get those scuttling ducks [back] in a row.

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