Tag Archives: editor

What is all this noise about WordPress 5 and Gutenberg?

2018-12-15

There is a moment in every author’s life when the question of having a web site becomes a hot topic. Most book publishing marketers recommend authors to have a dedicated personal or book related web site.

When it comes to online publications – blogs, personal web pages, business sites, news publications, you name it – the most popular online publishing system is WordPress. However, WordPress is going through a big change that affects existing web sites and new publications that use it. This article outlines what WordPress 5 means for people who already use, or are planning to use WordPress for their online publications.
Wordpress mug, 15 years
WordPress 5 was made available in early December 2018. The thing that makes it important for everyone dealing with this publication system is that version 5.0 was the first step into a new kind of WordPress. Eventually, designing web sites, coding new functionality, and writing content will change in WordPress.

First, the writing tool (editor) changed into a new kind of text editor where everything is made of blocks. A heading is a block, a paragraph is a block, an image is a block, and so on. It is not an intuitive way of writing for authors who are used to text processing applications, like Word, LibreOffice or Pages. The good news is that it is perfectly fine to write a blog post or another page in a familiar word processor, copy-paste the text into the new writing tool known as Gutenberg, and hit publish.

Two main methods of getting a personal WordPress web site that you control are signing up to the WordPress.com service, or running your own web site on a server hosted by an internet service provider.

Having a web site at WordPress.com means you don’t have to worry about operating or administering the system, but focus on writing new posts, inserting new photographs, or changing colors on the pages. There are limits what can be customized, but for simple blogs and homepages, the limitations are not meaningful.

Running your own WordPress web site on a hosted server means you must know something about web servers, databases, and the technology of WordPress. The possibilities to customize the site are practically endless. The actual software can be downloaded from WordPress.org. This option often lets you set up multiple sites, if that is something you need.

Independent of the way a WordPress 5 web site has been activated, it is possible to add new functions (plugins), change the layout and look of the pages (themes), and tweak many settings of the publication.
letters on heads of metal arms in typewriter
Since WordPress is in the process of reinventing itself, it is important to take the following into account if you already have, or are planning to start a web site:

A. If you are new to WordPress, forget the confusing talk that concerns versions prior to 5.0. Go directly to version 5, and stay there.
B. If you already have a WordPress site, the long-term strategy should be version 5 and Gutenberg, but be careful when you go there. This article has good tips for everyone wondering what to do with version 5 and the Gutenberg editor.

All and all, WordPress is much more than a simple blogging tool or a site for a simple homepage. That is why it has a learning curve for anyone who is not familiar with web technologies, but it grows with you wherever your journey takes you.

It takes 5 drafts before a writer can tell the manuscript for a book is ready

2017-07-11

Writing a book is hard work that takes time, requires patience, and persistence. The process of writing is individual, and continuously develops as experience and the number of published books grows. For instance, my own process has always been to write multiple drafts, and edit them until the outcome is what I had envisioned.
a writer stares at her computer screen with a pen in hand
That’s why it is so inspiring to find out that author Jeff Goins has identified five stages in the writing process that each represent a draft for a manuscript that is continuously being improved. The number is very close to the number of drafts I tend to write. Another inspiring thing is that Goins is refreshingly brutal when it comes to describing how the process of writing a book really works.

Here is the summary of Goins’ five-draft book writing process.

Draft 1:
Ideas. Often unstructured, and may only make sense to the writer.

Draft 2:
Structure. The manuscript begins to take shape. If it doesn’t, something is terribly wrong.

Draft 3:
The rough draft. At this point, the text is readable and can be edited. The whole work can be reviewed if something is missing.

Draft 4:
Cut. It is time to make it simple and easy to read which means cutting all the excess words and paragraphs.

Draft 5:
Finetune. Final edits, and the last chance to show it to reviewers for improvements.

The good news for writers who have never had the courage to even begin writing a book is that the threshold is actually low. You are not going to write that book at one go, but it is a step-by-step process where you continue improving your text until the whole work becomes a finished manuscript.

The next step after the five stages of drafts is to work with a publisher’s editor who may have ideas how to further improve the manuscript. A good editor knows that he or she is not always right, and that it is a collaborative process to get the book finished. It means respecting the author’s opinion and voice.

If a writer is not working with a publisher, it is beneficial to get a professional editor to review the manuscript before publishing it.

Ebook news digest: why write a book, importance of manuscript editing, nomad culture

2017-04-24

News on ebooks, writing, publishing and travel life

North Portugal, office of a digital nomad on kitchen table

What are your publishing goals?
Kindle Press

Thinking and deciding on your goal – what are you really trying to achieve – for your planned book is one of the best questions to answer before even starting to write.

The Guardian pulls out of Facebook’s Instant Articles and Apple News
Digiday

This is big news in the business of digital media – knowing that other big publishers, like The New York Times have quit Facebook as well. Actually, it is simple: news organizations are publishers who select their distribution channels based on the business opportunity. The same applies to ebook publishers.

The Digital Nomad Life: Combining Work and Travel
The New York Times

The New York Times has followed and interviewed digital nomads who participated in organized around the world remote work trips. Typically, they stay one month in a destination. A participant regarded that it was an excellent way to live like a local and experience local life.

Self-Publishing, Distribution, and Writing for Wealth with Author Joanna Penn
Tara Gentile

Non-fiction author and entrepreneur Joanna Penn talks about her business that was started by her books. Marketing tips for authors.

How to Be a Writer Literary Agents Want
Writer’s Digest

In some markets, a writer needs an agent to get in touch with a number of publishers, and the article shares good tips for it. In many markets, publishers don’t require an agent to represent the author. For instance, if you are planning a non-fiction ebook, read this first.

Meet Susan Hughes – Editor
Life as I Know It

Editing is an elemental part of the process of writing a book. Plan enough time for editing when you start your project. Susan Hughes shares other valuabe tips as well.

Traveling to North Europe? Try Finland, join the nation’s 100th Independence year celebrations
The Lighter Side of Finland

The author of the entertaining ebook believes he has discovered the secret for Finns’ wellbeing.


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Ebooks news digest: writer-editor relationship, travel stories from tourist perspective, changing role of agents

2017-02-04

Ebook news digest February 4, 2017

photographer taking a photo in flower field
A Storyteller’s Guide to Travel and Photography
(Wandering Educators)

Perhaps it is every professional travel photographer’s dream to be able to publish a book full of beautiful photos from exotic places. Travel photographer and writer David Noyes had another idea: he wanted to create a book that features photographs taken only in places where tourist sightseeing buses take travelers. His book is titled The Photographing Tourist – A Storyteller’s Guide to Travel and Photography, but it is only available as a paperback. Klaava would be happy to produce an ebook from the manuscript so that travelers can save a little weight and space in their bags.

4 Truths That Will Change Your Perspective on the Writer/Editor Relationship
(Women Writers)

Good book editors can turn mediocre manuscripts into great, successful books, but only if the working relationship between the author and the editor is seamless. Jessica Strawser is the Editorial Director for Writer’s Digest, and she highlights four key elements that make or break the relationship. It is worth mentioning that writers who are planning to self-publish should give some serious consideration to finding someone who can help to finalize the manuscript. Applies both to fiction and non-fiction.

6 Insights into the Changing Role of Agents in 2017
(DBW)

Digital Book World 2017 conference was organized in the end of January. One of the expert panels comprised literary agents who discussed the state of the book business and its future. It is quite surprising how little the agents believe their world is changing despite the rise of digital media, independent publishers and self publishing. They acknowledge the presence of social media, at least.

10 Undervalued Up & Coming Digital Nomad Locations for 2017
(Maqtoop)

Of ten locations listed in the article I would pick Malaysia, and a place in mainland Malaysia (not Borneo as the article recommends). Excellent Internet (depends on the location, of course), fabulous food, nice people, English spoken widely, low living costs, and good transport connections to the rest of the world. A place in the Kuala Lumpur region could easily serve as a base for exploring the rest of Asia. The top choice in the article for digital nomads is Algarve, Portugal, but can it really match Spain or France as a safe, affordable and civilized destination for remote work can be subject of a heated debate.

5 Things You Can Do to Bring Your Writing Ideas (and Career) to Life
(Writer’s Digest)

Many books have been published on the techniques and details of writing a book, but not so many about the mental challenges a long project sets on aspiring authors. Nina Amir has written a book Creative Visualization for Writers that gives advice on having a right kind of mindset and doing mental exercises that help along in the long and complex process of writing.

woman thinking what to write