Author Archives: Christine Price

Reasons Why You Should Always Wish Upon a Star

Author Daniel Harvell has recently released his first novel in a new series titled “Wishing Will.” This great read has characters that are easy to relate to, which is great for his target audience, middle grade readers especially boys. His story focuses on a chubby teen, named Will Cricket, who has found the secret to making a wish come true. By searching the internet Will discovers a legend that states on November 11th at 11:11 am and 11:11 pm a wish can be granted.

When Will puts this theory to the test he finds that it worked but it has also attracted some very strange and colorfully cool observers. Will learns this cast of unusual characters are literally stars from an inter-galactic group called Sky Castle Network Enterprises or better known as the SCENE. After careful observation and discussion with Will, they decide to grant his wish. The catch is he has to do something for them. He has to grant wishes to those in need. Unfortunately, it will be those very same kids who pick on him and make his life miserable. In addition to that, there are plenty of rules and regulations he will have to learn before his wish will be granted.

Will is given powers. And as he focuses on his new abilities, he still has to deal with family problems at home, school bullies and a villain, basically an evil genie, who wants to destroy humans and take over the world of SCENE. When Will discovers his grandmother has been kidnapped by the genie that dilemma just adds to pile of things to do. Can Will control his powers, grant the required wishes, save his granny and two worlds without breaking any rules?

“Wishing Will” has everything to engage boys and even girls. There’s humor, adventure, school shenanigans and even a nasty villain. Harvell prides himself on being deligent on following his dream of writing. According to Harvell, ” Like many writers, I have ideas for books, and I just have to get them out. There’s something extremely rewarding in having your story become “real” on the computer screen and then on printed paper.”

If you know a boy who won’t pick up a book, then it will be worth your while to introduce him to “Wishing Will” for a good fun read. This is also a book and a great opportunity for parents, teachers, and caregivers to open up dialogue about bullying, family issues and social issues that develop at school. Parents and teachers can also use this book as a read aloud.

Book Marketing Techniques: Those That Backfire

Authors need to promote their books, but there’s a right and a wrong way to market, and wanting to sell a book is no excuse for not retaining your manners. No one likes a pushy salesman. Here are some examples of ways I’ve seen authors try to sell their books that have been a total turn-off for me. Authors, make sure you aren’t using these techniques. I’ve listed them in order from what are, in my opinion, least to most annoying.

Lying about Your Book’s Greatness

I’ve seen authors lie about how wonderful their books are in several ways.

    1. Having non-credible book endorsements, both on their websites and books’ back covers. By non-credible, I mean having an endorsement signed by “A.K. in Hawaii” or “A Teacher in San Diego.” If these people don’t want to give their names, they probably don’t support your book enough to want to stand by their comments, and they aren’t going to convince me that your book is worth reading. At the very least, you want full names, and a blurb from Tom Smith isn’t going to mean much to me anyway, unless you’ve written a book about healthcare and he’s Dr. Tom Smith from the Cancer Treatment Center of Miami, or something along those lines. If you can’t get experts on your book’s topic or celebrities or other authors to endorse your book, you’re better off just not including any testimonials so it doesn’t look like false promotion.
  1. False testimonials. Yes, I’ve seen false testimonials and heard authors tell me about them. “A.K. in Hawaii” might be the author’s next door neighbor, a real person who really read the book, but he might just as well be someone the author made up. I know of one author who had a comment page on his website, and about once a week, he would post a comment under a false name raving about his book to try to convince his website visitors how popular and wonderful his book was. The sad thing is that this author’s book truly was terrible, full of grammar mistakes and typos and badly printed, so anyone who read the book knew those comments had to be lies or written by completely crazy people.

Showing Off Your Big Ego

Too many authors try to promote themselves in ridiculous ways by writing on their websites how their book is a “must read” and contains the answer to all the reader’s problems. If you have to tell readers that, they aren’t going to believe you. Go find some legitimate testimonials from reliable people who will say those things about your book. You are not qualified to judge your own book because you have a vested interest in it.

The worst example of authors showing their egos that I’ve seen is when they post book reviews for themselves on Amazon and other online bookstores, and of course, they give their books five stars and brag about how great their books are. When I see an author give himself a five-star review, I realize the author is clueless about what is legitimate as a review; he hasn’t done his homework about the publishing industry, and he is trying to use trickery to sell his book. Not only will I not buy the book, but if there’s an option to vote on the review, I will always vote that it was not helpful.

Being In Your Face and Violating Personal Space

No one likes to have his or her personal space violated. However, not everyone has yet learned that the Internet also contains personal space for people. It’s one thing to have your book for sale on your website, at online bookstores, to promote it at websites for book promotion, or to buy Internet ads. It’s another thing to invade other online users’ personal space.

Here are some book marketing efforts I’ve experienced online that have been a total turn-off for me.

    1. Repetitive and Unwanted Emails. I’ve had this happen more times than I can count. Somehow an author finds my email address and adds it to his email list and I start hearing from him every couple of days about all his book events and why I should buy his book. Even if I want to be on the person’s email list, sending me an email every couple of days is irritating. An email once a month or even once a week isn’t that bad, but I have other things to do than read about your book events on the East Coast when I live in Texas, and I am not going to hop on a plane to attend your book signing, especially if I’ve already read your book and had it signed. And if you’ve added me to your email list without my permission, well, technically, that’s illegal.
    1. Sending Friend Requests at Social Media Sites Solely to Promote Your Book. If people are interested in your book, they will request to be your friend at a social media site. Instead of spam friend requests, take out a Facebook ad that will be targeted toward the people most likely to read your book. It might cost you a little more money, but it will save you time online and provide you with far better results.
    1. Posting Book Covers on Other People’s WallsMy “Wall” is not the place to promote your book. My friends are not posting on my Wall so they can find out about your book. Get off my Wall!
    1. Messaging. No one likes junk mail, so don’t send me a message about how great your book is and how I can buy it. I only want messages from my real friends.
  1. Chatting. This one I especially find irritating. One day I was on Facebook, and an author, whom I didn’t know and who had already sent me three messages trying to tell me how great his book was and to let me know I could get it on Kindle for just $2.99, sent me a chat message about his book. If I don’t reply to your message, I sure don’t want to chat with you. I politely ignored him and logged off Facebook rather than tell him to quit harassing me. I wasn’t going to engage in an argument with him. But let’s be clear-I’m on Facebook to chat with my real friends. Not to read your book.

Sadly, space violations don’t only happen online. I was once at a book festival where an author made a point of going up to people walking by her booth with a set of headphones and quickly placing them over her victims’ ears before they could object so they could listen to her audio book. When I saw what was going on, I quickly turned down the nearest aisle and avoided that side of the room for the rest of the time I was there. I’ve also stopped to look at books at festivals where authors have said things such as “Why don’t you buy this book?” and “What can I do to get you to buy my book?” You can let me be is what you can do. Tell me about the book if you like, give me a chance to read the back cover, and then I’ll buy or move on. I don’t need a pushy sales pitch.

Have you ever met an author who behaves in these ways? I sure have-too many times. Perhaps you are even one of those authors. Hopefully, now you know better. Let’s face it-guerrilla book promotion doesn’t work when you act like you have a gorilla’s manners. Connect with your readers, but do it on their terms, without being pushy or rude. Be friendly, be straightforward, but also be willing to take “No” for an answer. When you are polite, you always make a better impression on your potential readers.

Find the Perfect Book – How to Do It

Don’t you just hate to spend time reading books that you can’t really get in to. Selecting the next read can be both time consuming and the results are often not as one would have hoped. Reading a book is time consuming and you have to give the novel a change before putting it down. But what if by some sort of magic the next read could be picked out for you with a very high probability that the pick would be a massive hit.

What should I read next?
Your next book is only seconds away. By adding up to five of your favorites, a list of perfect novel can be created at your will. And they can be genre specific as well. This can be used as your personal guide or to pick out great books for book clubs.

How does it work?
By taking millions of book reviews and the users who have written them it is possible to find people who has the same taste in books as yourself. Imagine having 100 people that all agreed that your top five favorite books were awesome. No imagine picking out the books that these 100 people agreed also were awesome books. This would give you a list of books that were handpicked for you.

Book recommendations
You can read books in your favorite genre handpicked by users with the same taste as you. That’s a book recommendation that can be trusted.
With This Book Next all this has become a reality that the book community has been waiting for.

Here are the facts

  • Takes a few seconds to get a list
  • Easy to use
  • Free to use
  • Browse by year, genre, author or explore

Get started
By adding up to five books to your list of favorite books, your job is already done. That is all it takes to get a personalized list of books. You can add and remove books from your favorites as you wish to get new lists. Each choice you make will create a whole new list of recommended books. After your list is ready you can choose to only see books from a specific genre. The possibilities are endless. But you don’t have to spent much time on the website. You can be in a out in minutes with your next read picked out for you. After you are finished with the book you can return and pick out your next read.

Top 5 Short Stories and Fairy Tales for Kids

The short stories and fairy tales are beloved around the world. We all enjoyed listening to fairy tales narrated by our parents, grandparents and caretakers. These stories are very interesting and amusing that not only keep the kids entertained but also helps them to enhance their reading skills and speaking skills and build a strong vocabulary. Let’s peep into a magical world of short stories!

“Cinderella”, also popularly known as The Little Glass Slipper, is one of the most popular folk tales and bedtime stories around the world. It is a tale embodying an element of magical transformations. The story revolves around a young girl, whose misfortunes are suddenly changed to remarkable fortune. It is a short story about magical transformations, rude behavior of stepmother and stepsisters, helpful fairy godmother, royal ball and prince’s hunt for a lost glass slipper.

Little Red Riding Hood
“Little Red Riding Hood”, also known as “Little Red Ridinghood”, “Red Riding Hood”, and “Little Red Cap” is a best-known European fairy tale about a young girl and a Big Bad Wolf. The tale features a little girl and a wicked wolf. In a story, Red Riding Hood walk through the woods to reach her grandmother’s house and deliver her food as she is sick. But she tricked by a wicked wolf, who tries to eat her.

Goldilocks and the Three Bears
“Goldilocks and the Three Bears” is an old fairy tale, popular in English speaking world. The story tells of a Goldilocks, a young girl who enters the house of three bears whilst they are away. She walks all around, eat their porridge, sit on their chairs and falls asleep on the bed. When the bears are returns home and discover Goldilocks, she jumps from the window and runs as fast as she could.

The Ugly Duckling
“The Ugly Duckling” is a fairy tale, written by Hans Christian Andersen, a Danish poet and author. It is a story about a little bird born in a barnyard, who is ill-treated by the other birds around him. A bird is very upset and suffers abuse until he matures into a pretty swan.

The Little Mermaid
“The Little Mermaid” is a fairy tale written by Hans Christian Andersen. It was first published in the year 1837. The story tells about a young mermaid who is ready to give up her life and identity as a mermaid to gain a human soul.

New Book Puts Parents Back in Control With Confidence and Common Sense

Any parent, or even adults who spend time around children, will do well to read Barbara C. Murray’s new book Taking Back Parenting. In concise and thoughtful discussions, Barbara covers a wide range of topics that parents need to be concerned about with their children from how to teach and communicate with your children to creating a safe environment for them, how to maintain your relationship with your spouse, and even how to discuss difficult topics with your children such as sexuality and pornography.

From the first page of this book, I realized Barbara was a real parent. Yes, she has a degree and is a clinical social worker, but she is obviously a parent first, and almost every example in the book that she provides is based upon her own parenting experience. Other examples are based on her experiences with helping clients better parent their own children and what worked or didn’t work for them.

What I loved most about this book is that Barbara makes parents aware of certain issues they need to focus on with their children. She asks parents what they have actually taught their children and explains where there has been a communication breakdown. For example, she tells the story of two parents who came to her for help because they were having issues with their son mooning other children; she explained to them that telling their son not to do it would not solve the problem without explaining why not to do it; the parents needed to have a conversation with him about what mooning means, which parts of the body are private, and why such behavior is inappropriate. Much of Barbara’s research for this book was based in asking parents what they had taught their children, and when she asked them questions such as whether they’d had conversations with their children about values or religion, she mostly got blank stares. I think the strongest point she makes in this regard is about sexuality. She points out that it is not enough just to have “the talk” with your children; it’s necessary to introduce the topic of sexuality at a young age, even as early as infancy or toddler age by identifying parts of the body while bathing a child, and then expanding as children get older into discussions about the body, what to expect in puberty, and what to do when difficult situations arise such as being confronted with pornography.

Barbara is herself a member of the LDS church, which influences her beliefs and her suggestions for parents, but it never interferes with common sense or the main topics of discussion, so nonbelievers will benefit from this book’s practical advice and can skip over information they don’t find useful or may disagree with. Most of the information that has a spiritual tone is about the value of the family and the importance of maintaining strong family relationships. Along those lines, Barbara is an advocate for spouses spending quality time alone together to maintain their relationship, and also spending individual time with children. In the end, she provides a portrait of a healthy and happy spiritually aware family.

Besides the general discussions in the book, Barbara offers exercises at the end of each chapter to help parents put into effect what is learned. She gives lists of topics to discuss with children on family meeting nights where parents spend time teaching children on a wide range of topics, including how to write a letter, the importance of being punctual, eating healthy foods, fire safety, and banking. She challenges parents to think about what their own beliefs are on many topics so they can teach them to their children. She also provides a Parent’s Creed at the end of the book and a list of other books and websites as additional resources.

The bottom line is that this book offers very practical examples of how you can communicate better with your children. Yes, it will take a little time to implement them, but they will save you a great deal of trouble in later years. All parenting issues basically boil down to a failure in communication between parent and child. Barbara teaches how to open the lines of communication at an early age when children are receptive so when they are older, they will not stray into trouble. The reward of reading and implementing the advice in Taking Back Parenting will be a happy family. You just have to invest the time to reap the reward.

Book Clubs – What They Are and How to Start and Maintain a Book Club

A book club – or more precisely, a book discussion club – is a group of people meeting, in reality or on-line, to discuss a book they all have read. It can also be called a book or literature circle or reading group.

Just do it

It is easy to start one of your own, if you are not happy with the book choices of the book clubs in your area. It’s practically as easy as just deciding you will have one. You do not need to recruit members, buy books for everyone nor register your book club or anything alike. You will just ask your friends or put an announce on a free bulletin board in your area (don’t forget the library bulletin board), or create an online forum/group for your book club, and you are ready to go. Making the book club a good one, that is a totally different issue.

Decisions, decisions

Decide how the books are going to be chosen. Do you choose all the books, are you going to follow an existing list of books or an existing book club, is every member going to choose a book in turns, or are you going to have a common vote on books? Decide if you are going to let the group decide.

Decide the limits of books to be chosen.

It cannot be a rare copy or expensive, so that everyone has the chance to participate. If you decide to let the books go round, and someone wants everyone to read a rare or expensive book he/she owns, and is willing to borrow it to all, then a book like this can be chosen. Otherwise it is best to stay at recent (not very new) books with a pocket print available.Also, you need to set limits to the size of books. A good medium is 350 pages.

If you are going to let everyone choose a book on turn, you need to have a list and keep it well updated, so that everyone gets to choose a book. This is also the only time when the person who selects the book is going to present it too, otherwise you have to do it, unless you manage to enroll someone to volunteer for the job.

You present the book by explaining a little what it is about and why you chose it. It is always fun to know more about the author, what else she/he has written, what books are like this one (in your opinion) and some background information about the places and events taking place in the book. Collect this in a handout. Add pictures and suggested soundtrack or movies, list of main characters, maps and so on. Find the reading guide – or write one yourself – and distribute copies to the whole group.

Choose the first book, and make a list of 12 books all ready to the first meeting, so if you decide you choose all the books, the reading list is already ready. Otherwise, you need to start this list already in the first meeting, so that everyone will get the list to the second meeting. Naturally, it can be hard to choose books without time to think, so ask the choosers call you with their choice, so that you can prepare the list, and also prepare the presentation in advance, if the one choosing for some reason has not done that.

You can also ask people to recommend books out their turn, and write this on a book suggestion list, so that if someone cannot make up their mind of the book, he/she can choose a book from the list. Also, people might be interested in reading books outside the official, agreed book list.

Decide if you are all going to read the same book and then discuss it, or if you are going to have a book list and everyone may read the books on the list on their own time and preferences, or decide if you are going to let the group decide this too.

Decide when you will have the first meeting. Have a preliminary meeting timetable prepared. It is possible that this timetable will change at the first meeting, but you need to have one ready, just in case.

Have meetings as often as you like, but at least once a month. Most people without large problems will be able to read a book in a month, and if you are having a book club, you also need to set deadlines, so that the book club will not fall with your members not keeping up with one another.

Decide where you will have the first meeting and see that the space is available. You can have the meetings in restaurants or in your homes, or try to see if you can find a meeting room. Libraries usually have meeting rooms you can use. The group may want to change this too, to better fit their needs, but you have to make the decision for all the first time. It is a good idea to meet at home, so that a good night doesn’t need to end at closing time.

There must be an access to a toilet and a possibility for smokers to smoke. You can ask your guests to go out to smoke, but you have to know where smoking is allowed around your home.

If you meet in homes, see that everyone is informed about possible smoking, pets and house rules.

You need to decide how many members you want. The group should be about 5-10 people, and have something in common outside the book club. You can decide if you want a same sex group, only read science fiction and fantasy, and so on.

You need to discuss the possibility of the members bringing their friends too.

Have a contact list, where people write their names and telephone numbers, just in case. Give everyone your telephone number, so that they can reach you if need be.

You also need to have a way of finding out if everyone has got the book and that the majority has read the book. If people cannot get a hold of a book, or if most people have not read the book, it’s useless to have the meeting.

Prepare a small introduction of yourself. It should be short and precise: your name and why you want to be part of a book club. Include what kind of books you like to read, who’s your favorite author or book, what you are reading at the moment, what do you plan to read in the future and what do you expect of the book club – good books you would not read without the club, good food, if you plan to have the meetings in restaurants, company of nice people who love books and reading like you do, interesting and active discussions about the books and thoughts the books awakened… Whatever it is you expect. Also, tell the others what you expect of them. The minimum requirement is that they are interested, plan on reading at least most of the books and come prepared to participate in discussions. Also, say what you think about using cell phones during the meeting.

Ask your members these things too, and make notes, especially about the books on their reading list and their expectations. Adjust the book club to this.

Provide name tags for the first meeting, and to be used at every meeting until everyone knows one another.

The first meeting will be for learning to know one another, so it is not for book discussion, but discussing the last book everyone read might be a good way of learning to know everyone.

Decide how you want the meetings to go.

Let people socialize at the first for a while, but start the meeting by giving a short presentation of the book, and then let everyone give a short opinion on what they thought about the book, then let the speech be free. This way everyone gets to say something, but no-one needs to discuss, if they do not feel like it. Have the meeting in a circle where everyone sees everyone else, and cannot hide or be forgotten.

If people stop talking about the book, let them, but just for a while. Lead the discussion back to the book. You might need to be ruthless with this rule, but be nice about it. It’s okay to interrupt someone with “excuse me, but I have difficulties in keeping up with this… how is this connected to the book?” or “I’ sorry to interrupt you, but could you concise your story a little?”

Have a list of questions about the book prepared – there are several online book clubs with question lists prepared for different books, if you cannot find one for your book, create one. You do not need to use the questions, but they are good if the discussion dries out.

You can also use “book club icebreakers” and “book club games”. There are some available on-line.

After a while you can insert the presentation of the next book and general book club talk, then let the people just talk about whatever they want to.

Food and drink are an important part of every social meeting. You can meet in a restaurant and have the discussion as part of the dinner. It is even better to have a potluck dinner at home, so that the expenses of the food are shared, the poor aren’t left without food, and the cheap cannot get the atmosphere down. Pick food that fits the themes in the book.

Also, for the atmosphere and to get discussion going, try to play with the themes in other ways too. Use pictures and music, dress yourself appropriately and so on.

As with all social gatherings, there will be problems with personal issues and clashing personalities. In most book clubs there is bound to be at least one person who will not be nice about how others feel or think or express their opinions. There will be people who are not pleased with the book choices, even if you allow every member to choose a book, or if the books are chosen by common vote. This is nothing to be worried about, because people are different and react and act on their own manner. You cannot please everyone all the time, so do not even try. When something like this happens, tell the people that they may contact you privately about any complaint they have, that you will listen to them and take them seriously, and then move on in the discussion. Whatever you do, do not discipline the members in public.

Have a block of paper and some extra pens with you to the first meeting, so that people can write down the times, places and books, if they come unprepared.

Do not forget to enjoy the book club meetings and have fun yourself.

Discover – What is an Audio Book?

How would you define an audit book? The easiest way to explain what is an audio book is to tell you that the only difference between an actual book from the library and an electronic book would be the “delivery” of the contents within the book. So you ask again: “What is an audio book?” these are books that you can listen to the contents of any books through your I-pod or car radio as you are driving to work in the morning. Most people enjoy having these books since it is easier to transport an electronic book with you versus a heavy hard back book when you are traveling on vacation or for work. Also, you can easily advance ahead or rewind back to chapters to listen to key points within your favorite novel or investment book. Does this provide you a clear definition of what is an audio book? If not, you will get the idea as you continue to read the article.

Audio books have grown in popularity as more people are accepting living in a technology-driven world where you have navigation systems, video games and I-Phones. In defining what is an audio book and using an electronic book, you will find that you have something that you can keep with you always and it requires no physical storage. This is actually a great advantage compared to a hard back book since over time these types of books become worn and/or damaged. Also, you can download an electronic book to various products such as a computer, MP3 player or I-pod. Finally, you can potentially teach your child or children how to read by using these book so that they can listen to the pronunciation of words as they are learning how to read. Do you now understand what is an audio book? Another way to define this term would be searching various resources for the title “what is an audio book?”. It should be fairly simple to define the term “what is an audio book?” by conducting some independent research on the internet.

What is key when purchasing these books is trying to find out what subject interests you and your ability to effectively listen to this electronic book whenever you have limited time to read a book. For instance, you can purchase these books on various subjects, however, you will probably limit the type of electronic book you purchase based upon your personal time and the usage of purchasing this type of book. Also, you can probably purchase a book titled “What is an audio book?” This might sound silly but there might be plenty of authors who has audio books titled: What is an audio book?”. As you read the book, it might provide information on not only on the definition of what is an audio book but

Some people may be apprehensive on spending money on an item where they have been conditioned to check out books from a library or purchase books. However, you will find that most book stores along with a lot of other retailers are carrying electronic books along with the public library. The uniqueness of having an electronic book is that you will find the author actually narrating their books or someone with a great speaking voice emphasizing the contents of the books and make you more intrigued about your subject of interest. This will truly help you in clearly defining “What is an audio book?”

Before you make your first purchase of an audio book, you should consult with other people who have made similar purchases. This can be accomplished by reviewing certain websites for customer reviews of electronic books. Once you have read these reviews, you should than make your first purchase on your favorite subject or on a book that might have been recommended by your book club. If you are dissatisfied just like with any other product, you can return your purchase but more than likely, you will probably enjoy the experience and have no regrets in purchasing an electronic book.

How to Format a Book

Learn how to format a book and save hundreds when you self-publish!

  • Formatting a book includes:
  • the book size,
  • margins,
  • typography,
  • line spacing,
  • page numbers,
  • headers and footers,
  • page layout,
  • parts of a book,
  • cover design,
  • your choice of paper,
  • and anything else that affects the appearance of your book.

Don’t panic! Every book you own is a training aid.

Format a Book: Size

Your first design decision is the size of your book. The most common size for trade paperbacks is 6 X 9 inches. If you are writing for children or seniors, you might prefer a larger trim size. You also have to take photographs and illustrations into consideration.

Format a Book: Margins

Margins are a primary element of book design. They will be affected by your selection of page size. Normally, the larger the book, the larger the margins. For the sizes 5″ X 8″ through 8″ X 10,” margins between.5″ and 1.25″ are the norm.

The header and footer margins can be left at their default, or set at half of the margin..

Format a Book: Headers and Footers

I like different odd and even headers to put the book title on top of the left pages and the chapter titles on top of the right pages. Fiction does not require the use of headers and footers, except for page numbers. I like different odd and even footers to put the page numbers on the outside margins at the bottom of the page. Putting page numbers on the bottom of the page simplifies formatting in that some pages are allowed to have page numbers at the bottom but not at the top of the page.

Format a Book: The Parts of a Book

The inside of your book is called a book block. The book block is divided into three parts: front matter, main body text, and back matter.

Format a Book: Front Matter

Front matter consists of all the pages that come before the main body of text. The pages are traditionally numbered in lowercase roman numerals. Each page is counted; however, blank pages do not show their page numbers. Headers are not normally used in this section, and there are no footers except for the page numbers. The half title page is the first page of your book and is always put on a new right hand page. This page includes the title only. It omits the subtitle, author’s name, and publisher. It is an optional page, but a nice touch. Page two may contain other books by the author or left blank. The title page is always put on a new right hand page. It contains the book’s full title, subtitle, if it has one, the name of the author, and the publisher.

The copyright page can be put on the backside of the title page. It contains your copyright notice, date published, publisher, and where published. The purpose of the copyright page is to protect the author from plagiarism. Book numbers, photo credits, and illustrator credits can also go here. The type may be smaller than the main body text, if desired.

The dedication should be on a new right hand page. The author has full discretion whether or not to have a dedication page, and to whom to dedicate his book. The foreword, if included, should be put on a new right hand page. It is an introduction written by a recognized authority, other than the author, that explains the importance of the book. The preface is also put on a new right hand page. The purpose of the preface is to give the author’s reason for writing the book. It is an optional page. Acknowledgments are also put on a new right hand page. This is an opportunity for the author to show his appreciation for all who helped in the creation of his book either directly or indirectly.

The table of contents is put on a new right hand page. The table of contents includes an accurate listing of chapters and the pages on which they begin. If the book is divided into parts or sections, they would also be included. A table of contents should reflect the structure of a book at a glance. You are not required to have all of the above pages in your book. At a minimum, you should have a title page, a copyright page, and a table of contents.

Whenever you are required to begin an element on a new right hand page, you are often left with a blank page preceding it. Blank pages are a nuisance because they should not have any headers or footers on them. They should be completely blank. This usually means using section breaks to make each blank page a section of its own.

Format a Book: The Main Body

Body text can be divided into parts, sections, and or chapters. If the introduction is written by someone other than the author, then it should be treated as part of the front matter. If it is written by the author, it is part of the main body text. The main body text is numbered with Arabic numerals beginning with the number 1, and numbered sequentially to the end of the book. NOTE: When you are asked for the total number of pages in your book, be sure to add the front matter pages, body text pages, blank pages, and the back matter pages.

Parts are usually larger than chapters and should begin on a new right hand page. Parts usually contain introductions to several related chapters. Sections can be either larger or smaller than chapters. Chapters are the main divisions of most books and should be numbered sequentially, even if they are divided into parts. The first chapter in a book, or a major part, should start on a new right hand page. The remaining chapters can start on either the left or right hand page. Chapters are usually further divided by headings and subheadings of descending weight.

Format a Book: Back Matter

The back matter consists of the appendix, notes, bibliography, glossary, index, and a colophon. You are already familiar with these, although, you might not have come across a colophon as they are not as common as they used to be. A novel would not need any of these. A technical manual might use all of them. An “About the Author” page could go on the back cover, if the author is famous or an authority; otherwise it might go in the back of the book ahead of the items listed above. The appendix comes directly after the text and consists of letters, documents, and miscellaneous material that relates to the material in the book. It begins on a new right hand page. Notes are footnotes, which because of their extent, have been placed at the back of the book. This section is often divided into chapters.

The bibliography is a list of books and periodicals, which the author has used as source material or has recommended to his readers. There are many great style guides for listing references, so I will not cover reference styles here. The glossary is a list of terms and their definitions used in the text.
The index is an alphabetical list of references and their page numbers that the author deems important. It is usually the last part of the book to be assembled. An index is one of the things MS Word does well.
Colophons describe the fonts, papers, ink, bindings, etc. that were used to produce the book.

Format a Book: Paper Choice

Cream colored paper is the usual choice for novels and other types of fiction. White paper is often used for technical, “How To books,” and other non-fiction books.

Format a Book with the Book Design Wizard

The Book Design Wizard simplifies book design and book formatting, so that anyone can prepare a manuscript for publication using Microsoft word. It is a huge time saver, even for experienced book designers. If you don’t have time to learn how to format a book in MS Word, the Book Design Wizard will save you hundreds of dollars.

The Wizard works inside MS Word and opens with a form where you select your book size, margins, fonts, line spacing, etc. It also has a place where you fill in the title and chapter headings. When you have completed the form, you press the “Create Book” button, and it creates a professional looking, customized Microsoft Word template for your book. Then it is just a matter of using the Wizard’s tools to cut and paste your text under the chapter headings.

Top Ten Ways Authors Irritate Book Marketers

To promote a book, an author needs help, and that help comes from people in the media-from book reviewers to journalists, conference planners to bloggers, and many, many others. Approaching these people properly and following their guidelines is essential for winning them over so they will cheerfully help you to promote your book. While good manners and common sense should prevail, all book promoters have their horror stories about difficult authors. Following are the Top Ten most common complaints I have heard from various publicists and book promoters about authors with whom they have worked or refused to work.

1. Making Cold Calls: The telephone is a great means of communication, but it’s also a great interrupter. Before you call someone, visit his website and read all the guidelines. If you can’t get an answer to a question, send an email. People are busy, so when you call them, you interrupt them. Most people will reply to your email in a timely manner, and if a phone call is needed, you can ask in an email when is the best time to call.

2. Being a Bad Guest: Sometimes it’s not all about the author and the book. TV and radio hosts need guests and they like experts. They especially rely on authors of non-fiction books who can inform their audience. In these cases, authors need to remember it’s not about them or their book; it’s about the topic they were invited to discuss. Don’t try to plug your book during the show; just inform the audience. The host will doubtless mention your book when he or she introduces you and again when the program ends. Be a good guest by following protocol and fulfilling the host’s need to give his audience what it wants and you might even be invited back.

3. Being Impatient: Everyone is busy today. Magazines and other publications are often planning out issues six months in advance. Newspaper reporters are struggling to meet today’s deadline. And book reviewers have stacks of books to review. Don’t expect people to respond to you immediately. Don’t expect them to drop everything to read your book or even your press release. Give them a reasonable amount of time. If you contact someone and you don’t hear back from her right away, wait a couple of weeks and then follow up, or ask upfront what is the timeframe for when your book review or the news story might appear. Being impatient will only irritate people, and even if they do run your news story to make you quit bothering them, they might not be willing to do so the next time around.

4. Mailing Out Unsolicited Books and Manuscripts: In submitting books to publishers, usually a query letter is sufficient. Nothing is worse than getting stacks of unsolicited manuscripts in the mail without return postage. The same is true with books for reviewers, especially when accompanied by a letter that says, “Thanks for requesting my book” when the book wasn’t requested. Furthermore, as the author, you’re wasting money. Most unsolicited books end up never being read and instead are donated to a library or Goodwill store, while the manuscripts end up in the circular file, and you’ll be lucky to receive back a formal rejection letter.

5. Posting Your Own Book Reviews: Any author with a grain of sense should know better than to post book reviews at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other online bookstores and give his book five stars. Nothing makes an author look worse. And almost as bad is when Mom, your brother, and Uncle Joe post the reviews for you-you can often tell because Mom will say, “I’m so proud of you, Mary, for writing a book.” The same is true for your website if you have a guestbook to sign-tell your family to stay away from it. Your publicist who wants you to look professional will be pulling out his hair if he has to deal with your mom promoting your book.

6. Printing Non-Credible Blurbs and Testimonials: I know you’ve seen them. The testimonial from A.K. in Hawaii who doesn’t want anyone to know he loves a book but still writes a book review. Who is A.K.? Why do readers care? Find testimonials from authors and experts in your field who are willing to give you their full name. If you don’t know anyone who can give you a testimonial, get busy looking for someone. If you still can’t find anyone, don’t print any testimonials on the back of your book. No blurb is better than a bad or fake blurb. A.K. may be a real person, but for all the reader knows, the author could have made up A.K.

7. Indulging in Self-Praise: Authors who praise themselves and their books only prove to people what big egos they have. This lack of emotional intelligence likely also shows up in a lack of good judgment in writing the book. Don’t make your website read like a commercial for your book. Make it informative, but beginning with “My book is the best one ever written on this topic” and “This wonderful novel was written with touching scenes, engaging characters, etc.” is a turn-off. It’s fine if you have testimonials from others saying those things. Just don’t say them yourself. The same is true with the book’s cover. Tell people what your book is about, but save the praise for your endorsers.

8. Having Insufficient Material: Nothing irritates a book promoter more than trying to promote a book that is not promotable. What makes a book unable to be promoted? No website to visit; no placement in bookstores, either physical or online. No email address to contact the author. Believe it or not, I’ve seen authors who say, “Readers can mail me a check for $19.95 to my address at P.O. Box etc., if they want a copy.” People want a chance to look at the book and read about it before they mail you a check, and they want to pay online because it’s faster and easier than mailing a check. Create an Internet and bookstore profile or your books will rot in your basement.

9. Hiding Your Identity: No one can promote your book if you won’t promote it. Readers care as much about the author these days as they do about the book. You need to be a visible presence in your book’s promotion. No pseudonyms. Your face needs to be on your website and on the book’s cover with a short biography. You need to blog and promote via social media so you appear like a real person online. You need to make appearances at book signings and other events. It’s difficult for a publicist or a radio host to say “This is a great book” and make people interested. It’s easier for them to say, “I’ve read this great book and here is the author who is going to tell you about it.” Your book is your child. Don’t send your child out into the world alone. Hold its hand and go with it.

10. Expecting Something for Nothing: Nothing is going to irritate a book promoter more than an author who acts like he and his book deserve publicity and deserve it for free. It takes a long time to read a book and write a review or a blog. It costs money to operate a website and pay people to maintain it. Even if a service is free, such as a journalist writing a newspaper article about your book, appreciate the value of that person’s time and send a thank you note after the story appears. Always give book promoters a free copy of your book. And do not complain about prices. If you can’t afford the service, find one you can afford, but don’t argue over the fees. Remember that the publishing world is a small place-you don’t want word to get around that you are cheap or a deadbeat.

Authors, now that you know what irritates book promoters, ask yourself whether you’re guilty. Are people not returning your calls because you’re being pushy or you’re clueless about the proper ways to promote your book? Now you know. There’s no more excuses. Go out and promote your book with new confidence and proper promotion etiquette.

How to Create a Synopsis That Hooks Readers

When people pick up your book they want to know is what it is about. This is why books have a synopsis or description on the back cover. But if the text featured on the back cover doesn’t hook the reader’s interest right away, chances are they won’t buy the book.

After seeing your book cover or hearing your book title, the first thing readers do is pick up the book and flip it over to read the back cover, or if they are online, they will look for the product description, also called a short summary or synopsis (about a paragraph long). Some authors put only their biographies on their back covers. Depending on the book, the author’s Bio might give credibility but not only will the reader still wonder what the book is about; the author is also missing out on the best opportunity to hook readers. Below are some tips on writing a synopsis with a hook:

1- Make it Short. Remember, the possible buyer will not spend more than few seconds looking at the back cover, so make it sweet, short and to the point.

2- Make it Relevant. Most people look for stories relevant to their lives, so it is important to show how the book can relate to current times on the synopsis.

3- Make it Credible. Even sci-fi needs to sound credible to call the interest of a reader. So make sure that how you describe your story (no matter the genre), sounds credible to the reader.

4- Make its Uniqueness Evident. What makes your story different from other books in that genre? That is the question to answer in the synopsis.

To give an example on using the above tips to create a synopsis, below is my book’s back cover/Amazon Synopsis:

“Growing up under WWII Italian survivors was not easy. For Susan, the hardest part was the feeling of alienation as she desperate tried to relate to her parents to no avail. Through the years Susan was able to relate with her mother, but her father remained an enigma until one day he gave her five tapes containing his memoirs. Based on Nino’s first tape, Innocent War is a boy’s adventure, showing a child’s point of view through the war’s hardships, dangers, and tragedies, combined with his own humor, innocence and awakening as he grows up. Join Susan as she gets to know her father, and finds herself within the family she thought she knew.”

1- Make it Short: It is 114 words and states all topics within the stories.

2- Make it Relevant: It states how I was trying to get to know my father (relevant to all who have parents)… even though it is about WWII, currently we are in war against Terrorists.

3- Make it Credible: I state that the story comes from first-hand accounts and there are tapes to back it up…

4- Make its Uniqueness Evident: WWII under the Italian point of View, A child’s experience.