Format Your Manuscript Using This Tool Indie Book Authors Cannot Do Without

Gone were the days when self-publishing has been scoffed at because it was believed to be the simpler alternative to an impatient or rejected author who wants to bypass the processes of traditional publishing.

In its place is an era about authors taking charge with what they would often consider their “babies,” “pride and joy,” “glory” and more. Would you think that these authors will undermine the handling of their precious ones? While traditional publishing will limit the authors about their say on certain aspects of their books, independent publishing is a call and commitment to excellence in editorial, cover design and more. For then again, majority of authors are artists and less of business people. Their works are manifestation, often revelation and extension of who they are as individuals. For this impetus, the readers can expect a work of art which goes beyond mediocrity from a real author… a self-published author.

I have recently joined the rostrum of authors who have chosen the independent publishing route. By independent publishing, we can categorize it through print books and electronic books. In this article, I would like to discuss the eBook platform and publishing.

Contrary to what others may think, self-publishing is not a simpler route. In fact, it can be a daunting journey if one focuses on the aspect of being “on your own.” However, it is also a great and rewarding experience. When one has conquered the first step, going up the other levels is like opening a gift encased in different wrappings- coaxing and intriguing one to mystery, joy and fulfillment.

The very first step an indie book author will take when she is ready to publish is to format her manuscript suitable to self-publishing. And here lies the encounter of a caveman who has first been exposed to light. While you thought you have your manuscript ready and polished, you are confronted with seeing in your reader previewer that your baby is no where near being excellent.

Let me then introduce you to your best friend – the best tool you cannot do without when formatting. This little sign in your toolbar that appears like an inverted P which you’ve never even thought will come in handy to you. (This is for authors who use Microsoft Word only.)

Click it and you will begin to see the skeleton of what you have done so far. This is the pilcrow – your best editing buddy for Word. You will see the kind of paragraph, lay-out, fonts, tabs, spacing you have used in your manuscript. The automated platform will not see your manuscript from your viewpoint. But opening the pilcrow will make you see the and help turn your work into an artwork.

Stay tuned for more of these techniques in independent publishing.