About Writing, Life and Writing About Life

Posts tagged ‘books’

Be An Author Interview – Shirley Ford, Author of Every Why and Be Mindful

Shirley Ford
Today we have another interview with a self-published author, Shirley Ford, who also happens to live in the same village as me (what a creative place!) Shirley Ford, originally a director of an import/export company, at the age of fifty-five suddenly changed direction. She became a carer for the elderly in their own homes. It meant much less money, but a far more rewarding career. Whilst working as a carer, she realised how touch was so important to her clients, such as holding a hand, or washing their feet. She took a course in Reflexology so that she could give hands on treatment to her elderly clients. Shirley has moved around extensively around England and Wales, but has now retired and lives in Dorset, where she enjoys long walks on the beach, reading and of course writing. She has attended various writing courses and workshops. Shirley runs a writing group in her local village called the Jurassic Coast Writers. She belongs to a local book club, and an English Country Dance group; but one of her passions is Tai Chi; she regularly attends classes and recently took part in World Tai Chi Day in Exeter in Devon. She has published two novels; Every Why and Be Mindful available as ebooks.

And now on to the interview. Thank you for joining us today Shirley. Can I start by asking:
Where did you first get the idea to write a book? (more…)

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Be An Author Free Kindle Book Giveaway

Be An Author book coverThis week sees another promotion for my book Be An Author – this time it is a free Kindle download through Amazon. That’s right, for five days only, ending on Saturday 23rd March 2013 at approximately 7am UK time, you can download Be An Author to your Kindle or Kindle for PC to read on your computer, absolutely free.

Here is the first review that the book received on Amazon, posted by the winner of our paperback giveaway on this blog a few weeks ago, Ellis Nelson: (more…)

Free Book Giveaway – Be An Author

Win a Free Signed Copy


“Do you feel a great desire – or even a need – to write? Creativity and self expression are wired into the human psyche. As a fledgling writer you may have burning questions about your place in the world of publishing as it is now: (more…)

Be An Author Extract – ePublishing Part 2

Time for another extract from Be An Author. In the last excerpt we discovered what the contributing authors experiences were both in publishing and reading eBooks. Now we are moving on to find out what their feelings are about the phenonenon of digital publishing. (more…)

Edit Your Book Pages To The Correct Format – Part Two

Continuing from last week’s post on beginning to edit your book document to a print-ready format, here is the remainder of this section from my self-publishing download (which I will be finishing and posting as a complete document in the New Year).

6. Now you need to decide what will be on your header or footer. Each time your header or footer changes you will need to have a different section in your book. This means that the simplest option is to just have the page number shown, usually at the bottom of the page. If you have decided to have the book and chapter title included as well then you will just have to create more sections.

7. Divide your book into sections. You do this by inserting a section break on the page before the first chapter starts, and optionally at the end of each subsequent chapter. You do this by positioning your cursor on the end page of the section and using Insert>Break>Section Break Continuous.

8. Now set your header or footer. Use View>Header and Footer, which will bring up the boxes for the header and footer for you to put in what you want. It will also bring up the tool bar. You probably already have a footer on your document with the page number as this helps you with the editing up to this point, so now it is just a matter of adding the other information you need and formatting it correctly. Use the Page Setup button on the Header and Footer Toolbar to allow you to set the fine detail of the formatting. You may need to set them to be different on odd and even pages. This allows you to have the page number left justified on a left hand page and right justified on a right hand page, and to have different text (eg the Book Title and Chapter Title) as well. You may also want to have a different first page header/footer, which will allow you to leave them blank on the chapter title page. You will probably want a smaller font size than your standard text, and can use a different font if you like. You can use the Same as Previous button on the Toolbar to copy the header/footer from a previous section if it is the same throughout the book. Play around with your header or footer until you are happy with the result.

9. Now you are ready to generate your Table of Contents. Go to your Table of Contents page, which just has the heading on it. Position your cursor below the heading, then use Insert>Index and Tables and the Table of Contents tab. Specify the number of levels of headings you want to include and press OK. Your table of contents will be generated and shown in the page. Make sure the formatting is ok and fits with the rest of your document.

10. Now print your formatted book and check everything looks right. Particular things to look out for are whether the chapter title pages are all formatted exactly the same; whether the spacing between paragraphs is consistent; any lines where having the text justified leaves a lot of blank space on the line, which can look odd; and any places where single lines or headings are left hanging at the bottom of a page. Correct any remaining formatting problems you see until you are happy with your book’s inside pages.

Learn How a Book Is Formatted – Part 1

Continuing with the extracts from my download, Publish Your Book on a Shoestring Using Lulu Print-on-Demand, we are now dealing with how the inside of a book is laid out. Part 2 will follow next week and if you want to see the previous extracts you can do so here.

“In order for your book to look right when it is printed, you have to have it in the correct format before you load it up (more…)

Be An Author Extract – Getting Started, The First Idea

Last week I introduced you to the contributors to my new book Be An Author. So now it’s time to start sharing some of the book with you. This section is from the chapter on Getting Started:

“What is not started today is never finished tomorrow”
– Johann Wolfgang Goethe

For many people the idea of writing a book is just that – an idea. You feel you have something to say, and maybe you’ve enjoyed writing some pieces before. But the big one is proving elusive. Maybe you know you want to write a novel, but what genre? Perhaps you are keen on self-help books but worried that everything you know has been said before. So how do you get off the starting block? Let’s turn to our contributing authors to find out how it was for them.

“Where did you first get the idea to write a book?”

Simon : The idea is everything. Mine came when I was talking to a detective about the similarities between the role of journalist and cop – in essence, ask the right questions, read the reactions, get to the hidden truth. From that, came the idea of a TV reporter who covers crimes, and gets so involved in the cases, he ends up helping to solve them.
Wendy : Through working as a life coach and wanting to have a product for clients to take home.
Linda : I’d been thinking about a book to complement the Hysterectomy Association website for some time and it was really the title that came first, 101 Handy Hints for a Happy Hysterectomy – after I got that it took me another two years to actually write it.
Sallyann : I was asked to write booklets as a copywriter, and I was commissioned to write my first book Using Relaxation for Health and Success because it was my area of experience. The publisher only published books from people who were writers and also experienced in their field.
I have written short fiction for years for magazines and in 1995 I wrote my first full-length book. I didn’t continue with it at that time because the idea of being a novelist felt like an indulgence rather than a way of earning a living.

For some the idea comes fully formed, for others it seems to be a progression out of work they are doing already. In my case, I had wanted to write a book for years as a way of generating long-term income while I slept! That idea on its own, though, was never quite enough to get me started.