Mostly Formatting

computerThis week I’ve been mostly concentrating on formatting my novel. To be honest, it’s not been as horrendous as I thought it would be. But then I suppose I’ve been using Microsoft Word for years, even if I haven’t specifically been formatting books.

Anyway, I’ve had a helping hand in the right direction from DIY Book Formats. There are some free templates on this site, and also a great series of videos explaining formatting step by step for whatever method you are using: In Design, Scrivener, or Word.

I had a slightly longer learning curve when I realised I have a version of Word that’s now about ten years out of date (Word 2003 – before they brought out those fancy ribbon toolbars), but a bit of searching allowed me to achieve more or less the same result.

I now have a decent body of text formatted, and my next steps are to look at the front and back matter of the books and smarten those up. I also need to get back to working on my blurb for the back cover. A while back, I had a shot at drafting a blurb as a group exercise with some friends, but now I need to go back over it. I think I’ll try and produce a few different blurbs and see what my critique group make of them (i.e. invite them to rip them apart so I can put it all back together to form something decent!)

Aside from that, I’ve been doing a little editing on another novel and started writing something new as well. The thing with self-publishing is that suddenly you find yourself doing all this other stuff and not actually doing any writing! There is way to more to writing a book than bashing out a first draft … and at the time, that seems like a big enough hurdle on its own.


I also did a bit of research into social media which may interest you. How often you should post on social media for effective engagement?

According to this website:

Twitter – 3 times per day, or more
Engagement decreases slightly after the third tweet.

Facebook – 2 times per day, at most
2x per day is the level before likes & comments begin to drop off dramatically.

Instagram – 1.5 times per day, or more
Major brands post an average of 1.5 times per day to Instagram. There’s no drop-off in engagement for posting more, provided you can keep up the rate of posting.

Blog – 2x per week
Companies that increase blogging from 3-5X/month to 6-8X/month almost double their leads

Obviously, different research gives different answers to this question, and responses vary from person to person. But I was surprised at how low the numbers were, to be honest. Those kind of levels are well within reach, and indicate that consistency is probably more key than frequency.

So, that’s my round up of the week. *raises glass* Have a good week everyone.




  1. Don’t forget to get a proof copy when you’re done. I found a few formatting errors that way with mine, though most of them where connected to the first letter in my chapters. For some reason they’d ended up as all different sizes. Some so slight, you wouldn’t notice, but some were quite obviously larger than others, which made me take a look at all of them.

    1. magicwriter

      Yep, I’m planning on proofreading a paperback copy as the final round of editing… and have a friend who is going to proofread it for me too. Everything I read says that you really have to have the hard copy to check it looks okay.

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