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Greetings all!

I’m trying to get into the habit of posting twice a week – Saturdays and Tuesdays. During the summer I’ll be able to post a lot more! I’ve got an update on Brass Legionnaire for everyone and I’ll talk a bit about my experience with the formatting process.

Just as a side note, I know that many people do their own formatting. For me, it was a simple look at the payoff versus work balance. As a full-time teacher, I don’t have much weekday time to pump out a solid amount of formatting, nor do I have time to check and double check. As everyone knows – you only make a first impression once – so when I was looking at cover art, I was fortunate enough to find a team that did my cover, illustrations, and formatting. Simplifies my list of outside consultants immensely. And I’m paying a flat rate, not an hourly fee.

As many people may know, Brass Legionnaire has been finished edit-wise for sometime. The illustrations/maps have just been completed as well, and now all that is needed is for the book to be properly formatted into ebook/smashwords/amazon style and print style. I’ve seen the first proofs for each one, and because they required minimal changes (More just a ‘what goes where’ type thing), and they are almost finished. So what have I learned from the process already?

1. If you’ve got acknowledgements, terminology, illustrations, etc, state exactly where you want them to go in the beginning. The Print and Ebook version will be a bit different, so think about how you want them to be. Here’s a checklist (not in any specific order)

  • Cover (You should already have this, silly!)
  • Table of contents
  • Maps/Prologue?
  • Copyright
  • Acknowledgements (Optional, but surely there is someone you’d like to thank for their efforts?)
  • Illustrations (optional!)
  • How you want your chapter breaks to be – new page? Paragraph break?
  • Terminology or epilogue? Sneak peak of your next book? What will you put at the end?
  • A ‘the end’ page
  • Don’t forget for a print book you’ll need a back cover blurb and perhaps a review or two to place on it!

2. Expect things to go a bit slowly. You want your work to be done well, correct? Which is why you didn’t pay for someone to do it in an hour. If you can do it in an hour, awesome! If you’re not quite so skilled, you can outsource it, but look around for the best deal.

3. Be confident in asking for something to be done. After all, it is your book. I myself accidentally sent my formatter (verb? noun?) off on a wild goose chase after mistakenly sending him two completely different instruction sets.

Whether finding a professional or doing it yourself, formatting your book takes time and effort, and is critical. People don’t want to have to fight your book in order to read it. You’ll lose readers and get negative reviews. Do it right the first time and you won’t have to worry about it again.

UPDATE #2 – I’m looking for a few beta readers for Copper Centurion, book two in the Brass Legionnaire series. If you are interested, shoot me a message here or on my twitter account. All I need is your email and a promise you will be honest with your criticism and not share my hard work with anyone (Need I say that?) I’d send you chapters as I finish them for your input on them, you’ll get mentioned in the acknowledgements of book two, and there might even be some cool swag in the deal for you. I’m looking for three to five people. Let me know if you are interested!