Five Writing Podcasts

I’m not sure about you, but whenever I have to a chore, I like to listen to something. Here’s several writing podcasts that you should check out.

untitled-design-3-e1445105278110#1 is the Very Serious Writing Show

In all seriousness 😉 , this podcast is never always about writing, but it’s pretty much always entertaining. This is definitely my favorite podcast.

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#2 is the Helping Writers Become Authors podcast

It’s hosted by K.M. Weiland (who has become one of my favorite authors). If you’re looking for tips on writing, check this one out. She is a plotter and story structure aficionado, so this podcast is slanted toward that style, but pantsers will learn things as well.

#3 is Writing Excuses

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This is another show that explores the craft of writing. It’s jointly hosted by four authors, so you’re basically listening to them discuss. Certain episodes do contain bad language and other possibly objectionable content.

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#4 is the Creative Pen

The predominant topics on this show are those that pertain to self-publishing, so if that’s the direction you want to take, this one’s for you. Some episodes contain bad language and objectionable content.

#5 is Grammar Girl Quick and Dirty Tips for Wrting

I haven’t listened to this one as much as the previous four, but if you have a question about the nuts and bolts of sentences, listen to this podcast or visit her website.

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Bonus Podcast: Verses in Vox

This last one isn’t really related to helping you write better, but if you’re a fan of classic poetry, you’ll enjoy these dramatized edition of these poems.

If you have any other writing related radio shows or podcasts please share in the comments below.

Self-Publishing for Teens Part 4 – Setting up an Account at CreateSpace and KDP

cropped-reveille-cover-without-words-jpeg2.jpgHappy Monday to you all. Today I’m giving a couple of short tips about opening an account up at these two sites. I hope you don’t mind a post that’s a little shorter.

Tip 1: Have a parent at least help you for part of the setup process. That way you can have their insight.

Tip 2: Both KDP and CreateSpace need a social security number for tax purposes in order for you to publish and make money. I recommend using one of your parents SSN, at least until you turn the legal age to publish by yourself. Just in case.

Yes, I know, it’s annoying, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Taxes on any proceeds from these online sights will be counted as income for whichever parent uses their SSN.

Note: This is all just advice and I am not legal or tax expert AT ALL! Please do your own research! This is what I did.

Thank you for reading my four part series on self-publishing. If there was anything that I didn’t cover, but you would like to learn, leave a comment and I’ll see what I can do!

Writing for His glory,

David B. Hunter

Self-Publishing for Teens Part 3 – Formatting your Book

cropped-reveille-cover-without-words-jpeg2.jpgHappy Monday, all you writers! Here’s a little post on formatting. Hope it’s helpful. 🙂 Have a great week!

Alright, your book has been edited, a great cover has been designed (or you’re in the process). What’s next?

Another important part of publishing is making sure that your formatting is correct. It doesn’t necessarily need to be fancy, but it needs to be functional.

In order to make this process easier (specifically in order to make a table of contents). I bought some writing software called Scrivener. It’s great. There may be a future post on the wonderful world of Scrivener, we’ll see.

Okay, so, whatever word processor you use to write your manuscript, you need to change it into a mobi file in order to publish on Kindle. A great tool to see how your work will look on multiple devices is the Kindle Previewer.

Once you download the previewer you can use it to inspect the interior of your book as if you were reading it on a Kindle, tablet, or phone.

Tip: In order to view what your book will look like on an iOS device, you have to copy and paste a code into the iOS device.

Tip 2: I believe that when you publish on Kindle, a clickable table of contents is automatically created for your book. At least they did for mine. Make sure you check that, so you don’t have two table of contents!

Formatting for CreateSpace is a little more tricky. First of all you need to create a table of contents, mine was functional, but it wasn’t the best (just check the inside of the print book) . Your manuscript needs to be in a pdf file in order to publish with CreateSpace.

A few minutes after entering your file, CreateSpace will allow you to see any possible formatting errors. Try to fix all of these if you can. (Supposedly my fonts weren’t embedded properly, but I went forward anyway.)

Tip 3: Try to format the book’s file in order to fit the size of the book you’re publishing. ex. if you’re publishing a 9 by 5 novel, make sure those are also the dimensions of your file.

Once this is done, you submit your file, and wait. CreateSpace should either approve or deny your manuscript within twenty-four hours.

After CreateSpace has approved your file, you’ll want to proofread your manuscript to make sure that no nasty little errors made it through your editing process. (This is what my mom the night before the deadline) As well as searching for typos, look for things like extra spaces in between words or sentences.

Finally, after you’ve proofread your manuscript, you complete the final steps, and let CreateSpace finalize your book. In a few days your book should be available for purchase on Amazon as well as the CreateSpace store.

If this post has been helpful please subscribe and tell your friends about this blog. Your support is much appreciated!

Keep on writing for His glory!

David B. Hunter

Self-Publishing For Teens Part 2 – Covers: Where to Find a Quality Cover?

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Great covers make or break books. A good cover may cause a customer to take a second look at your book. While a bad cover could get you overlooked or worse, scorned.

Of course, some the best covers are made by professionals, but these cost money. Something which we, teenage authors, sometimes lack.

I have never made a cover and have no idea how to run Photoshop. That said, it is a possible resource to make covers.

My cover (which I love) was made by a NaNoWriMo YWP participant. If I you are part of NaNoWriMo YWP, I highly recommend checking out the art part of the forum, where many teens are willing to make covers.

Kindle Cover Creator: I have never used this tool, but I believe that you can take one of your pictures or from their selection of images and use it as the background for your cover, before further customizing it. (See link for more information)

CreateSpace Cover Creator: I did use this for my first book. It worked quite well, once I submitted the right image. At this stage I did not have a back cover made, so I used one of their templates.

Unfortunately, the Kindle cover I had didn’t work (I think the words were maybe too close to the sides of the cover) . In order to use the template I chose, I got just the background image of my cover, not the words. This worked and was able to add a tile, author’s name, back blurb.

Once that was figured out, the cover turned out great (you can go to Amazon and compare the paperback with the ebook cover, both are great, though they are slightly different) .

Tip: Make sure that your cover is the correct size as well as having the recommended DPI.

Tip 2: Be patient with the cover and make sure that it’s a good one.

Next week there will be a post on formatting your book. So I hope that you’ll come back and check it out.

Please comment if you have any questions. I hope that this post was helpful. If it was, please tell your friends about the blog and subscribe.

Writing for His glory,

David B. Hunter

Self-Publishing for Teens – Part 1: Edit Your Book

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This may seem obvious, but this is really important. Your book needs to be good, not perfect, but good. My first book was definitely not perfect. It had typos and other issues, but it was a lot better than the first draft.

Please, I beg you. Do not finish your rough draft and say, “This is perfect. Now I just have to upload this to Amazon and it’ll be a snap.”

Your rough draft may be good, or great, but there is a reason that it’s called a rough draft. They are usually rife with problems. Mine certainly was! At the end of the first draft I had about 29,000 words, by the time the book was finished, it was slightly over 45,000 words long! I added acknowledgements, a table of contents, and bibliography, but still, that’s a large difference in word count.

If possible have another person look at you manuscript. Maybe a parent, friend, or relative. Ideally, one which knows grammar and punctuation. They can spot errors that you could have missed.

Tip: Don’t be rushed. Give yourself plenty of time. It was the night before my deadline and my book still needed to be proofread. It still had a lot of errors.  My mom (she was my editor) stayed up, proofing the manuscript. Don’t do that!

Tip 2: Don’t be afraid to go back and fix typos after you’ve published the book. Especially in the Kindle format. I’ve changed the files like four times.

Tip 3: Try to find all typos and fix all of your mistakes before you publish, but don’t expect your first book to be perfect. It’s an accomplishment just to publish a book at your age.

Tip 4: Don’t get too hung up on errors and mistakes (like I often am). You don’t want errors, but it’s worse not to write. Find and fix errors, learn from your mistakes, and make your next book even better.

“The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing.” – Henry Ford

Don’t stop writing. Don’t stop improving. Always keep learning.

I hope this post was helpful and encouraging, please post any questions or comments. (If it was helpful please tell your friends about this blog. I would really appreciate it!)

Writing for His glory,

David B. Hunter

Why I write

It’s a neat dream to be a professional author, right? You get to stay at home all day and peck on your keyboard. Besides, you can make some great money entertaining your readers.

Those may be some good reasons, but I have a higher one. I want to positively impact the lives of my readers, not just entertain, but inspire. Not only making earthly treasure, but amassing heavenly gain.

I want to bring hope to the despairing. Write characters to role model. Shine a light in the sometimes dark world of books.

This won’t just be a just a job, but a mission field. To spread the good news of Christ, encouraging believers, and just giving kids something wholesome to fill their minds with.

Through all my books, future and past, I want to glorify God. Whether that’s in an overtly Christian book, or one which has Christian themes, it really doesn’t matter as long as God uses my words for His purposes.David Author Picture

So, yes, that’s why I write and I pray that God will use my writing for His glory.

I suggest you ask yourself why you are really writing. For God’s glory or your own?