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TOPIC: Self Publishing Part 2a: Common self-publishing mistakes
Most common self publishing mistakes 1 to 4.
5 to 9 coming soon.
1. Not understanding the process of creating a book from a manuscript.
2. Poor (or lack of) proof-reading and editing, ei. leaving errors in the manuscript (they will be there).
3. Inconsistency in document layout - eg paragraphing, headings etc.
4. Incorrect "front matter" and copyright information. (As far as copyright and getting an ISBN, I can't help you outside of Australia. You'll have to do your own digging around for those sources. Apologies)
1. Have your manuscript complete before you go trying to reformat, ie, changing the page size. It's much easier to go though when no more changes need to be made.
The standard sizing for most printed books these days is 6" by 9", though A5 is completely acceptable. (If anyone needs to know how to change page size in Microsoft Word, let me know, and I'll do a tutorial.)
2. Proof-reading is essential. A quite conservative writer I knew, had her book printed, and had in it "tits curtains" which no one seemed to pick up as odd in their half assed editing. She had meant "chints curtains" I don't know what chints curtains are, maybe some kind of lace. Whatever, she has a print run of books with "tits curtains" in it, once printed it can't be un-printed.
3. Always indent paragraphs the same way (for short stories, prose etc, first line of the story IS NOT indented, every paragraph after that is, unless you need a break to indicate a time span or change in perspective, such as character perspective, then you start the process over).
Use the same font and font sizing throughout.
For poetry leave the right amount of lines in between, no double spacing either. No indentation either. If you want to do turn your poem into a picture of words as well, do it after you've resized, and edited etc.
4. Best I can offer on "front matter" is do your research, look at other books, see how they do it, from the first thing you see when you open the book right up the contents page and the first page of reading.
Text wise, some will have them left margin aligned. Some will have it centered. It's a personal choice.
Hope this helps. Any questions. Leave them in the comments, and I'll do my best to answer them.
Joined: 23rd Feb 2010
Forum Posts: 359
Interesting and useful advice, Indie. BTW, the word is 'chintz' and it's a kind of glazed cotton. It was a popular form of furniture covering in England in the early 20th century and came to represent a certain kind of stifling, overly correct, straitlaced approach to life. If someone said about a woman: 'She's a very chintz and porcelain teapot kind of person,' that was all you needed to know.
How much does copyrighting cost?
Thank you Eric. So basically I should take everything I have and put it under
...one title even if im going to make a few books out of it?
Thanks for bringing your knowledge to us Eric and Indie!
Death Plane for Teddy
Tyrant of Words
Joined: 4th Dec 2009
Forum Posts: 4369
ChristianFalco said: How much does copyrighting cost?
Copyrighting doesn't cost anything, it's an automatic property
of any work you create.
It's the registration that costs: Currently, in the U.S., it costs
$35 USD if you do it electronically using the U.S. Copyright Office
Anyone can register a U.S. Copyright, you don't have to be a citizen.
IMHO it doesn't make much sense to register unless your work is
worth money (which, in the case of poetry, it isn't) AND you actually
I use a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial copyright license
on my stuff because I want people to feel free to copy, distribute,
display, and perform my stuff should the fit strike them: http://wordbiscuit.com/license.htm
Here's a nice description of Creative Commons copyright licenses:
You can get a license link at Creative Commons:
From U.S. Copyright Office FAQ:
When is my work protected?
Your work is under copyright protection the moment it is
created and fixed in a tangible form that it is perceptible
either directly or with the aid of a machine or device.
Do I have to register with your office to be protected?
No. In general, registration is voluntary. Copyright exists
from the moment the work is created. You will have to register,
however, if you wish to bring a lawsuit for infringement of a
Why should I register my work if copyright protection is automatic?
Registration is recommended for a number of reasons. Many choose to
register their works because they wish to have the facts of their
copyright on the public record and have a certificate of registration.
Registered works may be eligible for statutory damages and attorney's
fees in successful litigation. Finally, if registration occurs within
5 years of publication, it is considered prima facie evidence in a court
Can foreigners register their works in the United States?
Any work that is protected by U.S. copyright law can be registered.
This includes many works of foreign origin. All works that are unpublished, regardless of the nationality of the author, are protected in the United
States. Works that are first published in the United States or in a
country with which we have a copyright treaty or that are created by a
citizen or domiciliary of a country with which we have a copyright treaty
are also protected and may therefore be registered with the U.S. Copyright Office.
FAQ list from the U.S. Copyright Office:
Truth is for suckers, feed me your lies. (Slowly.)
Okay, so my comment there was redundant, lol. Thank you Ray for that info.
You can copyright a collection or a single work, but once a collection is copyrighted you can't add things in or take them out.
Ah Ha! So it is crucial to do any and all editing first? With an intellectual copywright (thats what its called right Indie?) you can change it as much as you like right?
Thank you for the info Ray!
Intellectual copyright is different to legal copyright, but as long as you can prove that you wrote it, you can edit it, and change it as much as you want.
Thanks Indie! You have no idea how helpful you've been the past couple weeks to me.
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