It’s difficult to get the brain working while on codeine and other stuff made especially to kill germs. Because I’m rarely sick, even the common cold comes as a surprise, so this bout with bronchitis really knocked me for a loop. But being a writer means we “man up.” After all, we don’t have to look our best and run off to an office where strangers can peer in at us periodically. and say something like, “Gee, you look terrible,” or “Shouldn’t you be home?” If we need to moan and hold our head, we’re free to do so. We can wear our Batman pjs with the feet in them. Long as we get our work done. Deadlines wait for no one, even when they’re self imposed. The only way to turn out good writing is to work on it every day. Even when the Kleenex box goes empty, the head pounds and that tickle in the throat signals yet another coughing seizure.

Well, enough about me. Hope this post finds all my writer friends and followers feeling much better than I do. I often wish I could afford to hire an assistant, but in this world that ain’t gonna happen. Besides even if I found some eye candy, he wouldn’t do things my way.
Recently I’ve learned a lot about working with Ebook publishers. There’s a lot more to it than getting the formatting done correctly, submitting by email and learning to edit on that evil Word program. You know the one? It draws red circles around your work, makes all sorts of marks on the manuscript, then leaves the befuddled writer to figure it out without any help. I have learned to use Word…sort-of. But it wasn’t created for writers, it was created for big businesses who wanted to produce complicated forms. They have no interest in manuscripts. There are programs that are much more suited to the writer. Word Perfect and Open Office are a couple that come to mind. More manuscript friendly, these leave out the complications needed to  format sales data and the like. But, left to deal with publishers who have adopted Word as their program of choice, we writers, especially those of us working online with Epublishers are left with no choice.
Having trouble with Word? Perhaps you wonder how in the world you can indent the first line of each paragraph. You’d better learn because using the space bar or tab bar is a no-no to the formatting. Most everyone I asked for information on how to do that just shrugged and told me they used the space bar. I did learn, and I’m not going to tell you it’s easy. Even after you learn this little trick, it’s not easy to remember how to do it. Because it’s not a matter of clicking on something, you have to click on several somethings, because Word thinks the best way to format pages is to block the paragraphs with no indents. Why? Because a lot of business writing uses this method.
At the top of your manuscript page, go to Page Layout, then move the cursor over until you come to a box that says Paragraph along the bottom. Up top there’ll be an Indent, but don’t click there, and don’t ask me why. On the right you’ll see Spacing.  Go down to the lower right hand corner, see that tiny arrow?  Click on it. Up will come another box, filled with measurements and directions. You’d better hope that some of the blanks are already filled in. The one you want reads Special. If you click in the blank you’ll get “none, first line and hanging.” Click on First Line. A box to the right of that will come up 0.5″ as a default. Most Ebooks want 0.35″ which you can type in. This will set up your first line indent. On the same box you’ll find line spacing and you can set up single, 1.5 or double spacing.
I am no expert on Word, but once I learned this I felt really smart cause most people have never figured this out all by themselves. I didn’t either. Now will you tell  me why this must be so difficult? And what the heck is the Indent box for on Page Layout? I don’t have the nerve to try it for fear it’ll throw my manuscript into such a mess I’ll never get it fixed. No, I’m teasing. Actually, it’s used to indent left and right when you went to put a letter or journal in the body of you manuscript.  To add even more confusion, if you click on Home at the top of your file, along the top is a box that says…guess what?…Paragraph, and it’s got a bunch of stuff in there I’ll probably never look into. All I know for sure is that the first box in the bottom row must be orange for a manuscript. I know nothing else about the rest of it. Oh, I’m lying, there’s one more symbol that I understand because I use it when formatting for Kindle. It’s that paragraph symbol in the very top row all the way to the right. When that’s clicked, you get that symbol in your manuscript everytime you’ve hit the enter/return key. It’s really handy when editing for Kindle, but that’s another blog altogether. The one that will tell you all the good stuff about Word if you’re a writer, which doesn’t take a lot of room.
Check out my latest books. Order Wolf Song now. If you’re interested in reviewing this book, let me know and I’ll send you either a PDF copy or a CD of the book.It’s a paranormal mainstream set in Pinedale,Wyoming during the Gray Wolf Restoration program carried out by the U.S. Fish and Game Service.  Love, murder and mayhem.
Stone Heart’s Woman will be released in February. This Western Historical  Romance is set during the struggle of the Northern Cheyenne to break free of the reservation and return to their home in the land of the yellow stone. Secrets about Custer, and love on the high plains. Read a first chapter.

About veldabrotherton

For thirty years I've been a writer. Publication of my work began in 1994 . I'm pleased to have recently settled with Oghma Creative Media as my publisher. My brand is SexyDarkGritty and that applies to my western historical romances, mysteries, women's fiction and horror novels. I recently signed a contract to write westerns again, and what fun it's been working on the first one. If I weren't writing my life wouldn't be so exciting.
This entry was posted in formatting to Kindle, indenting first line in Word, paranormal mainstream, Stone Heart's Woman, western historical romance, Wolf Song, Word. Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Word is infuriating, but it gets worse from there on. If you want to format your own books for POD, then you need to learn InDesign, which is truly demonic.William

  2. Denton Gay says:

    Sorry to hear you're under the weather but am impressed with the way you deal with it. Word can be frustrating but there are also many pluses. The editing (review pane) can be very helpful for editing or collaborating with other writers.Hope you're feeling better soon!

  3. Eunice Boeve says:

    I suffered through a nasty cold this past week, so can identify with trying to stick to your post a.k.a.(writing desk/computer/etc.) My new book Crossed Trails coming out in June by Whiskey Creek Press is an e-book and the regular type. Hopefully my brain won't be forced to deal with that confusing and scary stuff you've written about. I like your comments on description. Very good.

  4. Thanks for the comments on this post. I appreciate readers and what they have to say, even if they don't agree with me.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s