.

.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Indents, Outdents, Pilcrows, Huh?


[above] Half-inch indents are a holdover from 1960s-era typing classes, when kids were instructed to indent five spaces. They’re OK in a letter, but generally look bad in a book. Half-inch is Word’s default. The ‘proper’ indent is an aesthetic decision, and varies with typeface, type size, page size, margins and more. I generally use .3-inch for books with 12-point type.

Back when type was set from pieces of lead, an em quad was used to insert a blank space of the same width as an uppercase “M.” A one-em indent is generally safe for book text, but as far as I know an em indent is not an easy option if you are formatting with Word.


[above]  Missing tooth? Most paragraphs in most books will be indented, but I don’t indent a paragraph that starts parallel to the top of a graphic element, or the first line at the beginning of a chapter or section, or after a large white space, a chart, a diagram or a photograph. These are aspects of personal style, and can change from book to book. Do some experimenting, look at lots of books, and maybe ask for advice or hire a designer.
Keep in mind, however, that paragraph’s indent signals the beginning of the paragraph, so if the beginning is obvious without the indent, there is no need to indent.

A new paragraph can be introduced by a skipped line, an indent, an outdent, an initial cap or a symbol such as the pilcrow [above]. Although there is generally no need to use more than one indication, it is sometimes necessary to use a skipped line to provide space for an initial cap (which I'll discuss in a future blog) or a  decorative symbol.






Today's material is updated from my upcoming e-book, Typography for Independent Publishers



Thursday, July 30, 2015

After just two words, I stopped reading a blog post




"Hey Peops!"
 
I am not a "peop" (or a "peep") and many years ago my mother taught me that "hay is for horses -- not for people."

If you are a "peop," not bothered by "Hey," and you care to continue, go to http://cheapindieauthor.blogspot.com/2010/11/implementing-your-marketing-plan.html 
Stifle the kiddie crap. If you want to be regarded as a professional writer, write professionally.

- - - - 
horse pic is stock photo from http://www.123rf.com. Thanks.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Banish meaningless words from book titles and websites




A while ago I encountered the website of author, artist, athlete and entrepreneur Angela Lam Turpin. The title of the site, strangely, is "The official website of Angela Lam Turpin." If this is the official site, I have to wonder if there are unofficial Angela Lam Turpin websites.

Angela is a wonderful, accomplished person worthy of admiration; but is Angela important enough to inspire fakers to produce websites not certified by Angela?

I think not.

Google shows about one-hundred-and-forty-seven-fucking-million links for the term "official website."

  • Some, appropriately, are government-sanctioned websites. (The official site of Singapore's Prime Minister was hacked recently.)
  • Many belong to performers such as KISS, The Who, Madonna and Cher -- who apparently don't want fans to think that websites published by other fans are actually sanctioned by the stars.


Is Angela as big a star as Madonna? I think not.

Most things that claim to be "official" something are not official anything. Use of the label is evidence of unchecked ego (or maybe just ignorance).

Amazon.com shows more than about 150,000 links to books with "official" in the title or subtitle.



Some, such as a book for diabetics produced by the American Diabetes Association, can logically claim to be "official." Others, like a book of instructions for speaking Spanish like a Costa Rican, is official nothing.

Unless your book, blog or website is officially blessed by some important person or institution, restrain your ego and don't claim that your work is official.

If you are important enough to attract copycats, then you can claim your work to be officially yours -- but copycats can claim that you approved their work too. Fame is not all fun.

"SECRET" is another extremely popular word. It's an exciting and meaningless word. Keep it o
ff your book covers.


Apparently, lots of authors and publishers think that lots of readers want to know secrets, especially "dirty little secrets."

Amazon.com lists nearly 300,000 books with "secret" in the title (up from a mere 208,000 or so about 128 months ago). Some are fiction, and many are nonfiction. "Secrets of success" is a very popular book title cliche. Thousands of books use the phrase in their titles.

Here's a dirty little secret: none of the books promising secrets actually reveal secrets because no secrets are secret after even one person reads the secret.

The author of Secrets of Self Publishing 2 is so proud of his secrecy that he put the title TWICE on the cover of the horrible book. The slim volume is badly written, badly formatted and apparently unedited. I found exactly one alleged secret in the book: "The secrets of self-publishing are the same as the secrets of success. One must be willing to research all outlets, and find a method which fits your program."
 

That's not much of a secret.

Find some way to attract readers to your book without putting "SECRETS" in the title. Avoid "OFFICIAL," too.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Like TV producers, authors should REPRODUCE

All in the Family was a popular and important American TV show. It was produced by Norman Lear and new episodes were broadcast from 1971 through 1979.

Shows spun off from it include:
Maude (1972–1978)
Good Times (1974–1979)
The Jeffersons (1975–1985)
Checking In (1981)
Archie Bunker's Place (1979–1983)
Gloria (1982–1983)
704 Hauser (1994)



Happy Days, created by Garry Marshall, originally aired 1974–1984 and led to:

Laverne and Shirley (1976–1983)
Blansky's Beauties (1977)
Mork and Mindy (1978–1982)
Out of the Blue (1979)
Joanie Loves Chachi (1982-1983)

Before "Days," Ronnie Howard played Opie Taylor on The Andy Griffith Show, a spinoff of The Danny Thomas Show. Ron is no longer acting, but he produces movies and has two human spinoffs who are actresses 

Law & Order, produced by Dick Wolf (originally aired 1990–2010) has given us:

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (1999–present)
Conviction (2006)
Law & Order: LA (2010–2011)
Deadline (2000–2001)
Law & Order: Criminal Intent (2001–2011)
Crime & Punishment (2002–2004)
Law & Order: Trial by Jury (2005–2006)
Paris enquêtes criminelles (2007–2008) (French adaptation of Law & Order: Criminal Intent)
Закон и порядок: Преступный умысел (2007–present) (Russian adaptation of Law & Order: Criminal Intent)
Закон и Порядок: Отдел Оперативных Расследований (2007–present) (Russian adaptation of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit)
Law & Order: UK (2009–present)
Law & Order: Cape Town 

Dick Wolf recently wrote his first novel. Detective Lenny Briscoe, played by Jerry Orbach (above), was on the show from 1992 to 2004 and appeared in three Law & Order spin-offs. Lenny/Jerry died while the show was still in production. Fred Thompson was a senator, then L&A DA Arthur Branch, and then failed to win the Republican presidential nomination in 2008. Post-L&A, Jill Hennessy, Angie Harmon, Sam Waterston, Chris Noth and other actors found work on the screen.

So, what does this have to do with books?

Plenty.

Lots of books are parts of a series, including the well-known James Bond and Harry Potter dynasties.

But even books that are not parts of a fictional series can spin off other books.

My Become a Real Self Publisher was first published in 2009. It has led to at least SEVENTEEN spinoffs, and I'm not through spinning yet.












My first self-pubbed book was I Only Flunk My Brightest Students, published in 2008. It has led to at least six spinoffs.











Spinoffs have been an important part of authoring since the beginning. Homer did it, Shakespeare did it. The New Testament was a spinoff of the Old Testament. 

The words you've already written are some of your greatest assets. Look them over. Think about how you can modify them, repackage them, update them -- and make more money.

- - - 

After I uploaded this I discovered that Forbes published New Year's Resolutions for the Book Publishing Industry. The first one is "publishers should resolve to find new ways to develop more of the intellectual property they own." Forbes is right.


Monday, July 27, 2015

Wannabe an author? What should you write? What shouldn't you write?



Your new novel may have
3,000-year-old competition

1. Nonfiction outsells fiction in terms of dollar volume and number of titles, but not in the number of books (because there are so many 99-cent novels). Poetry sales are tiny. It’s been said that poets and novelists are interesting to talk to, but nonfiction writers have nicer homes. Fiction and poetry are not necessary to readers. People who want to read a novel may be content to borrow a copy from a friend or the library instead of buying it—even if they have to wait a few weeks. Fiction books are entertainment. That means they are options. They are expendable when money is tight; and they have to compete with movies, ball games, video games, music and more.
2. Novels may be read just once or twice. A nonfiction book—particularly an important reference—might be referred to hundreds of times and be a vital part of a personal or business library.
3. Fiction is usually timeless. We still read the works of Dickens and Homer (above). Your new novel must compete with other books written centuries or even millennia ago. 

4. Nonfiction is usually information or instruction, and may have a lim­ited lifespan before it becomes ob­solete. Readers want the latest information. They may replace your book bought just a year ago with your new version—or a new book from another author.
5. People will generally pay more money for information than for entertainment. The more important the information is, the more you can charge for it. However, the more people who are likely to be read­ers of your book, the more expensive it will be to reach them.
6. Obviously, if you are a self-publishing writer, you can publish anything you want to. HOWEVER, if you want to make money rather than just fulfill a dream, impress your family or inflate your ego, it’s better to think carefully about what you publish.
7. It’s extremely difficult to sell many copies of self-pub­lished fiction or poetry—or the memoir of a non-famous person—on paper. In order to sell thousands of copies, you’ll have to be either extremely lucky (not likely) or generate a huge amount of “buzz” through viral marketing, public relations and advertising (time-consuming and often expensive), or you’ll have to impress one or more reviewers enough to praise you in the media.
8.  If you are a novelist, poet or memoirist, your ebooks can sell for much less money than printed books, and may allow you to build an audience and make money. It’s easier for an unknown author to sell 99-cent ebooks than $19.95 pbooks (books printed on paper).
9.  Another reason not to self-publish fiction (unless aimed at a narrow and easy-to-reach audience) is that most fiction is aimed at the mass market. You’ll be competing with big publishing companies with much more experience, much bigger budgets and much better distribution than you have. The world is not waiting for your novel, poetry or memoir to be published. If your book should appeal to “everyone,” can you afford to let everyone know about it?
10.  It’s much easier to target a market and devise a promotional strategy for nonfiction. If you write a book for owners of small businesses, Little League coaches, obstetricians or pig farmers, it’s much easier to reach them with your marketing. Novels, memoirs and poems depend on push marketing—you have to “push” books on a public that has no need for them. On the other hand, if you write nonfiction about an interesting and important subject or—even better—a how-to book, you can use much simpler pull marketing and have a much greater chance of success. With pull marketing, you take advantage of an existing desire by the public to know more about a subject. Readers will “pull” the books from you.
11. Find a niche! People who want to know more about growing strawberries, raising an autistic child, getting a college scholarship or traveling with a dog will search for that information on Google, Amazon.com or elsewhere, and there’s a good chance they’ll find your book. (But that doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll buy it.)
12. Timing is important. The world’s best written, most authoritative book about Sarah Palin probably sold a lot better before she lost the election in 2008. If she runs for office again, the Palin specialists get another chance to sell books.
13. Pick a hot topic, and one that may stay hot, or at least warm, for a few years. Consider combining two hot topics such as “Gay weddings on a tight budget.”


14.  It’s important to investigate the competition before you start publishing. Pick something you know about, which you can contribute something new about, which lots of people care about, and which lots of people have not already written about. If there are other books on the same topic (and there probably are), make sure you have something important to add so your book can be better than the others.
15. Price, value and speed count, too. A $2.99 ebook is available instantly and competes against pbooks that cost three and four times as much and don't have color or hyperlinks.
16. If you go ahead, don’t print lots of copies the first time. For test marketing, print on demand (POD) or an ebook will be much less expensive than a large “offset” print run.
17. If you’ve put information online with websites and blogs that people can read for free, your book will be competing with your own free words. Make your book more complete than what you give away. Modify your online content to plug your book and to point out that the pay-for book is better than the online freebie.

From my 1001 Powerful Pieces of Author Advice


(Bust of Homer from The British Museum, Palin photo from AmericanTimes.org, Gay guys from Shutterstock.com)

Friday, July 24, 2015

Try writing something you think you can't write, or hate to write. Even poetry.


I once wrote a poem about a wiper. Could you?
When I was in eighth grade, my English teacher was a miserable bitch -- hated by almost every kid in the class.

We were once assigned to write an essay about poetry. At the time, I pretty much hated poetry, except for funny stuff like one of the world's shortest poems, by Ogden Nash:

"The Bronx?
No thonx."

Basically my essay said something like I hated poetry because it is artificial and is much less efficient than prose for delivering a message.

I DESPISED faked/fudged/phony constructions like:

"My country 'tis of thee,
Sweet land of liberty."

I got an "F" on the essay.

Elliot, one of my classmates, got an "A" for a few pages of bullshit about poetry "opening a golden door into the soul of the poet."


I was sent to the guidance counselor for guidance and discipline.

I did not get any discipline but I got some valuable guidance: Give the bitch the same kind of bullshit that earned Elliot the "A."

In other words, if you want to succeed in life, give the audience what it wants, even if you have to lie or sell out.

I didn't think it was good advice then or now. An audience can usually determine if a performer's heart is not in a performance.

A few weeks later, we were assigned to write poems. That was even worse than having to write about poems.

Rhyming is probably a natural activity and source of amusement for every kid.

But going from "Roses are red, violets are blue. Sugar is sweet but I hate you" to something of homework quality would have been a major leap for me.

I was desperate to avoid a second flunk from the bitch, so with help from my father I did come up with something that I still think is pretty good. It was about a windshield wiper destroying rain drops. I don't remember it all, but it started with:

"Oh wiper, you viper,
You snake on the glass.
You strike hard and swiftly.
You kill with each pass."

I got an unexpected "A" on that one.

I also got an "A" on a second poem that involved some event in international relations in 1959 or '60. Apparently President Eisenhower was being pressured by the dreaded commies to give in on some diplomatic negotiating.

I need a word to rhyme with "now," and my father suggested the phrase "but Ike would not kowtow."

I had never heard "kowtow" before, and thought my father had made it up just for my poem. Pop explained that it came from a Chinese word meaning "submit" and I kept the word. The bitch knew what it meant and was impressed.

(Impressing teachers is not necessarily a major achievement. One time in college I used "lifestyle" in an essay and the professor put a note on the page about it being an excellent choice of words. In my mind I gave the professor a lower grade for being impressed by such routine terminology. Apparently "lifestyle" was a big deal in Bethlehem, PA in the 1960s.)

In high school I became a pretty good rhymer. I wrote some silly poems and songs about bad teachers.

I've never bought a poetry book, but I do have appreciation for rhyming lyrics, especially:

"Lady Madonna, baby at your breast
Wonders how you manage to feed the rest"
(Lennon & McCartney)

and

"When your rooster crows at the break of dawn
Look out your window and I'll be gone"
(Dylan)

I have no plans to write serious poetry, but being forced to succeed at something I hated has probably been useful to me as person and as a writer. I have gained appreciation for those who do write poems well, and I sometimes insert rhymes in my prose just for the fun of it.

This is probably the third time in over 50 years that I used the word "kowtow." It's not part of my normal writing vocabulary, but if I encounter it, I don't need to get a dictionary.

. . . . . 
wiper photo from HowStuffWorks.com Thanks.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Will your nom de plume drive readers away?


It’s not unusual for a writer to use a pen name (nom de plume in French). Mark Twain is probab­ly the most famous fake. Twain’s real name was Samuel Langhorne Clem­ens, but he also used Sieur Louis de Conte.

There are many reasons for using a pen name:
  • To make the author’s name more distinctive, more glamorous or more interesting
  • To disguise the author’s gender Some disguises do not disguise much. Initials often indicate a female writer who doesn't want to be known as a female, like J. K. Rowling in the beginning of her career.
  • To protect the author from retribution, especially if the book is an exposé
  • To avoid confusion with other authors or famous people
  • To hide ethnicity or alter apparent ethnicity
  • To develop different personas for different genres such as fiction and nonfiction, or chick lit and sci-fi
  • To have a name more appropriate to a genre (male western writer Zane Grey was born Pearl Zane Gray)
  • To avoid overexposure by having too many books on sale at one time
  • To avoid embarrassment, such as when a professor writes porn, or to shield the author’s family from revelations of an unconventional or illegal past
  • If your name is hard to spell, remember, pronounce or seems too “foreign” or “ethnic.” The original family name of author Irving Wallace was Wallechinsky. His kids write as David Wallechinsky and Amy Wallace.
  • If you’re afraid that the book could jeopardize your success in another field
English punk rocker Declan MacManus morphed into a more-memorable Elvis Costello.


Don Novello wrote books as Lazlo Toth, and appeared on TV as Father Guido Sarducci. Punk-rock bass player Sid Vicious was born John Ritchie. Cher was Cherilyn Sarkisian.

Sometimes just a slight change can do the job. F. Scott Fitzgerald is probably a better choice than Francis or Frankie Fitzgerald. Edward Jay Epstein has written more than a dozen books, perhaps with more success than hundreds of ordinary Ed Epsteins.



When I checked, “Edward Epstein” was the #254,818-ranked full name in www.whitepages.com, with 123 occurrences. On the other hand, Juan Epstein, from Welcome Back, Kotter, is unique, with just one listed person in the United States. It may not be a real name, however. Maybe Juan’s real name is George Bush or Sally Smith. Or even J. K. Rowling.





"Jor-El," Superman's Kryptonian father's name, is unique and distinctive. And so is "Marlon Brando," who played the part. (Marlon Brando was his birth name -- a lucky advantage over Marion Morrison who had to become John "Duke" Wayne.)

Two tough guys, one born Marlon, one born Marion
Stephen King's name is neither unique nor distinctive. But after selling perhaps 300 million books, he probably doesn't suffer from the existence of others with the same name. (Wikipedia lists over a dozen others including a Congressman, a pedophile and eight athletes.) If you use the name Stephen, you have the additional problem of people thinking you are a Steven. The same goes for Jon and John, and Bette, Betty and Bettye.

If you have a common name like Bill Smith, you might be better remembered and found if you change to Xavier Huynh Bacciagalupe or Hamburger Smith. Hamburger is easier to spell than Huynh.

Some people think I'm a Marcos or Marquez. In the early 70's my full time job was assistant editor at High Fidelity Trade News. I was not supposed to freelance, but Rolling Stone offered me a gig to write a column about audio and video equipment. I became Mitchell Newman. Neuman is my middle name, so I was not deeply undercover.

A friend who did PR for several hi-fi brands thought I was two people. Later I worked for Rolling Stone full-time and briefly wrote as "Microphone Marcus," and then settled on my present brand name, with the distinctive middle initial to separate me from all of the other Michael Marcuses. I know of just one other Michael N. Marcus. He's a shrink.

When picking a nom de plume, think about it carefully, think about it for a few weeks, see how it looks on a website, in a press release, a book review and on a book cover. 

The fake name must be BELIEVABLE.



[above] How many people will buy a book allegedly written by Satan -- especially a $30 paperback with a horrible cover?



[Above] I just don't think "Tarchon the Etruscan" ranks with "Attila the Hun," "Vlad the Impaler" or "Henry the Eighth" in reader motivation. Maybe Tarchon thought that readers would confuse him with Archon Eponymous, the big boss in ancient Athens.



[above] And, when the absurd name goes on a really horrible press release from a company known for horrible press releases, it's literary suicide. Bye-bye, Tarchon. Maybe your name can be sold to a company that makes video games.



Devil mask from costumes4less.com. Thanks!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

How many people don't buy your Kindle books because they think they need a Kindle device to read them?

Some of the 150-plus books I can read almost anywhere
  • In 2013 ebooks provided about 15 percent of American publishers’ income. Because ebooks generally sell for less than pbooks do, the percentage of ebook unit sales was probably 30% or more.
  • Millions of e-readers, tablets and smartphones are in use. 
Despite the e-boom, not everyone wants to read ebooks (or knows how to do it).

I received an email from someone who was interested in one of my Kindle-only books.
He urged me to publish a pbook version because he doesn't have a Kindle, tablet or smartphone and said he can't afford one.



While new Kindles are now priced as low as $69, Nooks have been sold for as little as $59, no-name tablets may be bought for less than $70, and smartphones are available for FREE (with a new contract), authors face a bigger problem from readers who lack information than from readers who lack money.

This reader -- and maybe hundreds, thousands or millions of others -- did not know that he could read my ebook on the same PC he used to send me the email, without spending a penny on new equipment or software.

The advertising for exciting products from Amazon, Apple, Samsung and others is obscuring the fact that people can read ebooks without any of them.

While it may be tempting to dismiss readers who lack the latest tech toys, they do know how to read, and do buy books.

One solution is to publish both e and p (and I do that for some of my books, below).


Another solution, which is simpler and free, is to be sure to mention that your ebooks can be read on almost any computer, and the bigger screen may provide a better reading experience than a small screen can.

This is the notice I've put in the product descriptions for my recent Kindle books: "
NOTE: you don't need to own a Kindle e-reader to read a Kindle-formatted book like this one. You can use a PC, iPad or other tablet, smart phone, Nook, etc."  You have my permission to copy it.

I'm typing this while viewing a 27-inch monitor. My iPad is standing up immediately to the right of the monitor, and my Kindle Fire and smartphone are being charged about eight feet from here. My smaller portables are great if I'm in a car, on a plane, in a hotel or doctor's office. But if I want to read an ebook while sitting at this desk, I prefer the giant screen.

It takes a lot of effort to write and promote a book. It would be a tragedy to lose sales to interested readers who think they can't read your ebooks -- but can.

Lots of people who like to read do not require portability. Let them know how easy and inexpensive it is to read what you write.

Free Kindle software for PC

Free Kindle software for Mac

Free Nook software for PC

Free Nook software for Mac

Free Adobe Digital Editions software for PC or Mac



Tuesday, July 21, 2015

You might shun the N-word and F-word, but should understand the important P-words in Publishing




Unless your eyes and ears have been closed, you are probably aware of the "N-word" and the "F-word" (sometimes referred to as the "F-bomb") and maybe even the "C-word."  

Book publishing involves several related and sometimes confusing or nearly synonymous “p” words.

Someone does promotion (which often includes public relations) to achieve publicity for a product.
  • Publicity is lots of people knowing about your book and hopefully buying copies and/or urging others to buy.
  • Promotion is all of the efforts intended to achieve publicity.
  • Although publicity is the end result of promotion, many people call themselves book publicists and relatively few call themselves book promoters. (Publicists used to be called "press agents").
  • The public must be receptive to and stimulated by promotion in order to be convinced to buy your books.
A publicist or promoter can guarantee to provide promotion, or public relations, but cannot guarantee that you or your book will achieve publicity. For book promotion to work, the promotion must stand out among many simultaneous promotions for other books (as well as movies, foods, vacations, sports teams, software, smartphones, stores, cars, banks, restaurants, cosmetics, websites, candidates, countries and maybe even wars). 

Despite its name, public relations is not directly concerned with relations with the public.
 

Media are intermediaries. Writers and their publicists hope to attract the attention of media people by sending out press releases, or by contacting journalists, editors, bloggers, talk show hosts, TV producers and movie makers.

Promotion includes more than public relations. It may include public appearances, publicity stunts and platform building. 

Platform is a major buzzword in current publishing. It’s not the same as a political party’s platform. Think of it as a metaphor for a structure that will boost you up and make you visible to potential readers, sources of publicity and bookstore buyers. Components in your platform include websites, blogs, business connections, social media, radio and TV appearances, quotes in media, online men­tions, speeches, articles, friends, neighbors, etc. Your first book is part of your platform and should help sell your later books.

If you want to learn more about press releases, this inexpensive ebook will help:  

Monday, July 20, 2015

Sometimes a backwards flag is correct (and other design tips)





Sometimes a flag is supposed to be “backwards.”

When the American flag is on the right side of an airplane (including Air Force One) or on the right sleeve of a uniform, the stars go on the right. This mimics the way the flag would fly in the breeze from a mast on a moving ship or when carried into battle. A few years ago an irate reader of the New York Daily News complained about an allegedly reversed photo of a uniform-wearer -- but the ignorant letters editor did not know the proper response.
In designing books, ads, websites, packages and other graphic projects, it's common to do a left-right "flip" to make a picture or layout look better. Unfortunately, it is also common for photos to get accidentally flipped, and sometimes no one notices the flopped flip until publication -- when it's too late. I often notice, so watch out!



If you flip a photo, watch out for a text reversal in such things as name tags, keyboards, initial jewelry, clocks, wristwatches or signs or license plates in the background. Watch for reversed flags or logos. Make sure wedding rings are on the correct hand (usually the left in the U. S.)
Some products, even if made by hundreds of different manufacturers, have standard formats. Don’t reverse a telephone and end up with the handset on the right side instead of on the left, as shown above.

On old televisions, knobs were almost always on the right.

Be careful if you flip a photo of a car or a truck. Remember which side the steering wheel is supposed to be on.


(above) It’s important not to have a person or a vehicle looking or traveling “off the page.” It’s natural for the reader to follow the eyes of the person (or the headlights of the car), so don’t direct a reader’s eyes away from the page. If you are using stock photos or clip art, you can easily flip the photo to keep the readers’ eyes focused inward. Be careful of the effects on your flipping if you change pages from recto (right) to verso (left).

(below) 
If you use a photo of a well-known person where the flipping would be noticeable (such as moving a pimple, wart, pierced eyelid, missing tooth, eye patch, tattoo or nose ring from the left to the right), rearrange the page so the eyes lead into some text instead of off the page. 

I really wish that Cindy Crawford and Barack Obama would get rid of their zits. They are not "beauty marks."



Friday, July 17, 2015

Self-proclaimed publishing queens can kiss my royal ass



Years ago, "Queen for a Day" was a popular radio and TV game show, where ordinary women competed to be treated royally.

Today, there is no need to impress a studio audience, or be the daughter or bride of genuine royalty. If you want to be a queen, just proclaim it and so be it.
  • Kylee Legge calls herself "The Publishing Queen" and lies that she "has been involved in writing and publishing books since the day she was born." She thinks she can teach people how to write a book in just seven days. She's an extreme egomaniac and an extremely sloppy writer and editor.
  • Heather Covington beats Kylee in the Queening competition, two-to-one! She has TWO realms, as both "Print-On-Demand Queen" and "The Queen of Murderotica Suspense." She also brags that she is a "YouTube marketing expert, editor-in-chief and publisher." Her Egomaniacal Highness has also claimed to be "Literary Diva," "The Literary Heat" and "Babe Charisse Worthington."  This queen wants us to know that she is an entertainment journalist, author, motivational speaker, awards official and promoter. Like Queen Kylee, Queen Heather is an extremely sloppy writer and editor.
  • Queen Elizabeth II became queen the old-fashioned way -- she was born into royalty, as the first daughter of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth I. This Queen is Head of State of the United Kingdom and 15 other Commonwealth countries including Australia, Canada, Tuvalu and Jamaica. Her son and grandson are scheduled to become kings. Liz seems to have her ego under control, and I don't know anything about her writing or editing ability.

  • Queen Heather lives in the Bronx, New York. I was born in the Bronx, in the ROYAL HOSPITAL, and lived in the Bronx from 1946 to 1952, and then again from 1970 to 1975.

    I am therefore even more royal than Heather Covington, and I hereby proclaim myself to be Publishing King.

    Bow down, Kylee and Heather, and prepare to kiss my royal ass.


...