Monday, August 10, 2020

What Writers Need to Know About Indexing a Book

So, What is Book Indexing?

The concept of indexing is probably familiar to most people, but a phrase that is rather difficult to pin down and explain.  Essential things like classification, order, table of contents, items, pages, references, are all core components of books.  These are the most common elements of book creation, particularly non-fiction books.  However, indexing any book can be a long and convoluted process that isn't easy to express in just a few words.

Roadmap to a Book

Originally from the Latin 'indicare', which means to point to, or indicate something.  An index is something that simply points out, or guides you towards some kind of information.  Any indexer who knows their stuff should be able to tell the difference between trivial items or important references when putting an index together. 

Best Means of Organizing Information

From the beginning of time single books were used to store important information.  After the invention of the Gutenberg movable-type press other bibliographical tools were put into print.  Making indexing the main tool for storing and managing information.

Monday, August 03, 2020

Find Your Writing Hero

Before the internet, there was nothing but books.  As a child, my head would be buried in the pages of books like Anne of Green Gables or The Chronicles of Narnia.  I would look upon authors with starry eyed wonder, imagining what it would be like to be a writer of one of those books, or even a textbook, thinking all books were written, somewhere, by a person of great knowledge (a bit like an oracle).  I knew for sure that these writer's were special, and I wanted to write just like them.

Over the year's my reading habits changed, but my thirst for knowledge and imagination still thrives to this day.  So it's no surprise that the internet has played a key part in this.  Discovering how other writer's have been successful, or learning how to improve myself as a writer, has been a key part of reading for a number of years now.  But I haven't lost my appetite for reading fiction.  Recently delving into the pages of Alexandre Dumas works'.

Monday, July 27, 2020

Self-Publishing: What You Need to Know About DRM

DRM (or Digital Rights Management as it is known) is the method used by Amazon to physically prevent any user from copying Kindle book files.  This means you can only read an ebook on a Kindle device or device running a Kindle app linked to your Amazon account.  Not every author chooses to enable DRM on their ebooks, limiting the purchaser to the amount of devices the ebook can be viewed on over time.

Where Does the Idea of DRM Come From?

Kindle ebooks work on a similar foundation to computer software, which means you do not exactly buy the book, but rather purchase a license to read your ebook on one or more devices.  This is why Kindle Direct Publishing offers it's author's the ability to enable DRM on their books if they wish.  The DRM code is found within the ebook itself, and has to pair with the specific device before it can be read.

Monday, July 20, 2020

The Evolution of the Book Publishing Industry

Following the birth of the internet there have been massive changes in the way we read books, one of the biggest changes to happen was the birth of the ebook.  Online publishing has changed the industry like nothing else, but for most creators it's a blessing in disguise.  Here are some of the biggest advancements.

Huge Changes in Customer Buying and Reading Behaviour

Ebooks have changed the publishing industry forever, but love them or hate them, they're here to stay.  Like every other newfangled contraption, ebooks have had a pretty bumpy ride.  With a drop in sales from 17.4% to 16.8% in the first quarter of 2020, according to the Hachette Book Group.  Things were starting to look bleak until Covid-19 hit and bookstores started closing.  Making digital books an instant bestseller, all thanks to an instant purchase, and availability on apps, tablet or e-readers.

What I forgot to mention is the fact that the rest of the world is starting to catch up with this global phenomenon,  making it easier than ever to purchase a book via mobile phone.

Monday, July 13, 2020

Copyediting: How to Improve Your Readability as a Writer

Readability, What is it?

Simply put, readability is the measure of how easy a piece of text is to read.  This is done by a mathematical equation that can calculate the readability score of any Tweet, blog post, email, article or book.  All you need to do is put your text in a box and a readability tool will do the rest.

  • If your score is 70 or more you're in the excellent range, and will easily be understood by most 7th graders.
  • A score of 50 or more is good, and will be understood by most high school students.
  • If you're in the 40 or less category, a university-educated student will have trouble understanding what you've written.
Can you really judge your writing by a number?

Well no.

Your readability score is a useful starting point, to ascertain whether your writing is going to be understood by most people. However, there is a lot more to learn about readability than it just being a number.  Which is what we're going to look at below.

Being able to communicate your thoughts and ideas is the key to great writing, and the secret to this is being able to write so that your audience understands what you mean.  Your writing should also be simple and uncomplicated to read.

That should be your main objective.  Your readers should be able to effortlessly follow your writing as it guides them through blog posts, tweets, newsletters, books, short stories etc.