Showing posts with label Writing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Writing. Show all posts

Monday, October 17, 2022

How To Write A Poem


You can write poetry and become good at it. Whether you write for yourself, to give to others or to sell, you should start writing and keep writing. If you don’t know how to start, begin by deciding how many lines you want to have in your poem. 

In my poem, The Sky Through Bare Branches, I decided to write two stanzas (paragraphs) with five lines each. The lines in this poem do not rhyme, but are free-flowing thoughts. This is called free verse. I also decided that the first line of each stanza (paragraph) would be one long thought and the same thought. This gives my poem continuity. I wrote the other lines as broken up but related thoughts.

I love seeing the sky through bare branches.
I don’t know what it is, but
The white limbs of
The paper birch look silvery
Against the azure blue.

I love seeing the sky through bare branches.
As the scattered leaves
Shiver stiffly in
The cold gust,
I bid fall ado

I wrote what I was thinking and except for the first lines in each stanza (paragraph), I broke my thoughts into short sentences. I substituted similar words along the way that I thought sounded better for the flow. If you keep writing poems, over time you will feel and develop your own flow.

In the beginning you will sometimes edit your poems heavily. Eventually, you’ll need to do very little editing. You will train yourself to write your thoughts into lines of poetry in the way that you want them to be read.

In Blue Winter Sky, I chose to write three stanzas (paragraphs) of four lines each, and this is a rhyming poem. If you want your poem to rhyme, decide on which lines you will rhyme, or the format. You can choose any rhyming format, but some formats are harder to rhyme. You will be rhyming the last words in lines. 

Rhyming the first and fourth lines in a stanza (paragraph) is an example. You can even rhyme the first and third lines, and the second and fourth lines in the same poem. This is quite a challenge. My favorite poet, Robert Frost, often rhymed the first, second and fourth lines, leaving his third lines to stand alone.

Sometimes your thoughts will lean towards a certain rhyming format. I chose the third and fourth lines (the last two lines) in each stanza of Blue Winter Sky. This is a less common rhyming format.

The winter sky is very blue,
As I look out in disbelief
That winter sky could be so rich
In color blue, while trees are sticks.

I stand and gaze on wintry scene,
With brilliant blue across the sky,
With air so very crisp and cold,
With skeletal trees so black and bold.

The sky is such a lovely blue.     
On Heaven's canvas Nature's brush
Has deftly added glorious hue,
Has placed her artist skill on view.

More Poetry Writing Tips:

~ The rhyming words do not have to be spelled similarly, like bold, cold, sold. They only need to sound similar, like hue, view, dew or rich, sticks. You can also rhyme words with different numbers of syllables, like bold, behold, untold.

~ If you can’t think of a word to rhyme with any line, search online for words that rhyme with the word that you're trying to rhyme. You can also buy a rhyming book if you plan to continue writing poetry and would like a handy reference.
~ Capitalize the first word of each line (sentence) of your poems, even if it is a continuation of the previous line (sentence).

~ Use punctuation to help the reader pause and stop to take a breath here and there, according to the flow of your poem’s message.

~ Most of all, write what you want. Poetry is about what you think, feel and know. There will be others who can relate and will appreciate what you have written. If someone does not like or understand what you have written, thank them for reading and keep writing and sharing. 

~ Your work is not meant for everyone. Value your thoughts and your poetry and don’t change your style to please others. Insist to yourself that you have something to write and that it is valuable and keep writing!


Friday, September 16, 2022

8 Steps To Amazon Book Publishing

I started my publishing journey a couple of decades ago by typing up some of my poems and some info about myself, printing the pages out, folding them into 1/2 pages, adding a folded piece of card stock for the cover, stapling them together at the spine and I had a 5 1/2 by 8 1/2" chapbook of my poetry. I gave some away and became a publisher. After years of learning and procrastination, I became a published author at Amazon KDP. It takes time and dedicated learning but you can publish at Amazon too.
The Amazon self-publishing platform is called KDP, which stands for Kindle Direct Publishing. It used to be called CreateSpace. You can now publish hardback books at KDP, in addition to paperbacks and ebooks. Opening an author's account is free. If you already have an Amazon account you can sign in at KDP. There is no fee to publish a book but KDP provides a list of publishing service providers and resources if you need help with your book editing and/or design.

Here are the 8 steps that will help you publish your book. I elaborate on them below the list.

  1. Create an account at Amazon KDP.
  2. Decide what word processing or publishing software you will use to create your manuscripts. 
  3. Start studying the KDP instructions on how to format your manuscript or document. 
  4. Set up your blank document according to KDP's requirements and save it before beginning to type your book.
  5. Decide if you will design your book cover or hire a designer.
  6. Learn how to convert your saved manuscript into a print-ready PDF for uploading to KDP.
  7. Learn how to review and process necessary edits to your document in KDP's manuscript previewer. 
  8. Write your book listing description and approve your manuscript for publishing on Amazon.

Create an account at Amazon KDP.

If you already have an Amazon account you can sign in to KDP. Follow the instructions to set up payment for your royalties and other info. 

Decide what word processing software you will use to create your manuscripts. 

KDP examples and downloadable templates are for Microsoft Word. From KDP: Note: To set your trim size, you typically need to adjust the page or paper size setting in your chosen software (for example, Microsoft Word). You can download a Microsoft Word template in the trim size you need with or without sample content.

Most computers used to come with Microsoft Office installed. If yours did not, you'll have to buy a version of Word. OfficeSuite is a free word processing software that claims to be compatible with Word. You would have to try it to see if it can format documents using KDP's instructions. You can use other word processors or publishing software, but you'll have to learn to adjust your software settings to the KDP instructions. 

Start studying the KDP instructions on how to format your manuscript or document. 

Depending on the trim size (book dimensions) that you choose, you'll need to carefully set up the format in your word processor. Set up your blank document according to KDP's requirements and save it before beginning to type your book. You'll save your manuscript as you type it. From KDP: If your book does not contain bleed, you can upload your manuscript as a PDF, DOC, DOCX, RTF, HTML, or TXT file. KDP will automatically convert these file types to PDF prior to publishing/printing. If your book contains bleed, you will need to convert it to PDF format before uploading. The help pages explain about bleed.

You can also choose to format your book onsite using KDP's downloadable Kindle Create tool. From KDP: Kindle Create is a free interior formatting tool that works well with most books you want to publish on Amazon, but there are requirements and supported features we want you to know about before you download. Professionally designed themes with chapter titles, drop caps and image placement options....

Decide if you will design your book cover or hire a designer.

KDP offers a free cover creator tool. You could also hire a book cover designer for an affordable price through creative service sites like Fiverr, UpWork and Freelancer

Learn how to convert your saved manuscript into a print-ready PDF for uploading to KDP, if needed.

WikiHow: How To Convert A Microsoft Word Document To PDF Format 

 Microsoft Support: Save Or Convert To PDF Or XPS In Office Desktop Apps

Learn how to review and process necessary edits to your document in KDP's manuscript previewer. 

Fix Paperback and Hardcover Formatting Issues

Write your book listing description and approve your manuscript for publishing on Amazon.

Write A Book Description

Previewing And Publishing Your Book

Additional Tips

You also will need to learn how to upload changes and corrections to your book and/or book listing description.

You should also market your book in any way that you can think of. Don't only rely on Amazon, where millions of books are competing for attention.

Competition is very stiff and you should take part in getting your book in the public eye and keeping it there.

Read around at the KDP Community forums for valuable info from book publishing veterans and newbies too.

Visit the KDP Help Center Home for detailed guidance on everything that you need to know to publish and manage your book listings. 

Subscribe to Amazon KDP at Youtube. The videos help make the Help Center instructions much clearer. KDP also shares some videos within the Help Center guidelines.

Start your publishing journey today! Put those book ideas on paper and get to writing!




Tuesday, March 8, 2022

Self-Publish Or Submit To Publisher?

If you've ever wished you could publish a book but always feel discouraged, it's not beyond you to realize your dream. Self-publishing today is easier than ever. Years ago, I feebly tried pursuing the submitting manuscripts for review. My heart was never in the process of begging agents or publishers to accept my manuscripts.

I discovered self-publishing decades ago simply by brainstorming what I wanted to do that I didn't want anyone else to do for me. I did not want to have my content chopped and edited into something that did not reflect me.

I did not want to be employed through giving over my content into partial ownership with publishing houses. I did not want to be told what to do and how to think about my own publications.

Yes, there's a price to pay for choosing not to pursue publishing houses. If we can write a blockbuster, a bestseller, we could become wealthy through the payouts from a major publishing house. If, however, we are not seeking that, then there is not a price to pay for choosing the self-publishing route. There is a price to pay for not self-publishing.

When I condensed what I wanted to do as a writer, I realized that publishing wasn't the rigid process that I thought it had to be. I understood that publishing was open to me to do it however I wanted to, in a way that suited me. I perceived that I would not break any laws by finding ways to publish and market my own ebooks, paperback books and hardback books.

James Dillehay shares the many positives of publishing your own books in his article,

Self-Publishing vs Submitting Manuscript to a Publisher


Read about James remarkable journey here:

About James Dillehay


If you are a crafter/maker, learn how to increase your links, traffic and sales through James' website:



James' author page at:



Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Effective Ebook Cover Design

Need inspiration for your ebook cover? Payhip owner Abs Farah has written a blog post on effective ebook cover design. There are some excellent examples to motivate you to think more creatively about the first page that your potential customers will see. It's the cover but it is really the first page that helps lead readers to the other pages inside.

My favs are The Future of Data, for its simply-important design, The Burger Book, for strikingly-crisp photography, Pay Me Or Else, for its ransom note journaling design, which is a technique that I use in altered art, and Attention-Driven Design, for that smart graphic with the arrow pointing the eye in a persuasive direction.

Ebook cover design is no less important than paperback and hardback cover design. This post will help you to focus on how the design, whether simple or complex, should cleverly and effectively illustrate your manuscript.

10 Inspirational Ideas For Ebook Design by Abs Farah


Monday, September 27, 2021

How To Write Ebooks That Sell

If you want to begin writing and selling successful ebooks or improve the success rate of your current ones, you need to read this well-written article. It's from Abs Farah at Payhip and is an easily-readible length. Packed with essential info on how to choose ebook subjects, it will guide you on writing ebooks that are in demand and that will sell.

Top Ebook Topic Ideas in 2021: What do readers want?

Some key points are:

Successful ebooks have a narrow focus. For the reader there’s a clear promise about what they’ll learn or how they’ll benefit. 

If there’s something you know a lot about there are almost certainly people out there looking to learn.

Bloggers, it could be that you have a lot of existing material that you’ve published on your blog. Pull all of this together, organise and edit it so that it has a very specific focus, give it a snappy title

No matter what you learn and what you decide to publish, remember the most important tip that Farah shares:

If your ebook lives up to the promise you’ll get great reviews, recommendations from your readers and more sales.

Abs Farah is one of the owners of Payhip, an online venue where creatives can sell ebooks, memberships, software, design assets, music or any type of digital products. This can be done directly to customers via individual links or their store builder.

Read the article, improve your publishing skills and open your Payhip account. Start selling from the best digital platform for e-commerce.