The Dead Set is now a paperback!


It’s true! You can find it here:!

For those of you who have tried to get reviews for your ebooks, only to have attempts rebuffed by readers who only review physical books, you can meet them half-way! Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing has added a new wrinkle — now you can more easily make your ebook into a print book! If you check your KDP Bookshelf, you should see the ‘Create new title’ section divided into Kindle ebook and paperback.

For existing books, you should find that there is now a ‘+ Create paperback’ button. The wizard behind this button still needs work, it’s true, but it’s already very simple to use, if a little inflexible around cover design (I could add neither ASCII nor Unicode characters to the spine, and a picture for your LLC is not possible; likewise there is no room for graphics except an author graphic on the back cover — which I replaced with a cover swirl).

This is very like a connection or bridge between CreateSpace and KDP, but it is very easy to use for ebookers, and very encouraging! One thing I should like to note is that your manuscript, in Kindle form, is unlikely to be formatted to book size, nor is it likely to have alternating page numbers for printing.


In Word:

  1. Open a copy of your manuscript and click the Layout tab.
  2. Click ‘Size’ in the [Page Setup] section > More paper sizes.
  3. Set the width to 6′ and the height to 9′.
  4. Check every page of your book for blank pages. It will save you time.


If you need to start your page numbers on another page than the first or second page, and you need to alternate page numbers outside to outside for printing, here’s what you do in Word 2016.

  1. Remove any page breaks between, say, your TOC and your Prologue or first chapter. (Anywhere in Word where you clicked Control+Alt+Enter to jump, say, a new chapter heading to a new page).
  2. Put your cursor between the end of the TOC and the beginning of the Prologue or Chapter 1 (you may need to go to Home > Style > Normal to have a normal-sized cursor).
  3. In Word, go to the Layout tab > Breaks > Next Page.
  4. Go to the page where you want to put the first number.
  5. Click the Insert tab > Page Number [Header & Footer section] > Bottom of page > Plain Number 3.
  6. If you still see numbers on the copyright page and the TOC, enter the footers and remove them by selecting them and clicking delete. If the ‘New Page’ break is working, this deletion won’t change the rest of the document’s numbering at all.
  7. Once you are sure the page numbering is as expected, set ‘Different Odd & Even Pages’ in Header and Footer tools.
  8. Insert > Page number > 2 on the second page.
  9. Return to the TOC and make sure it has no number. If it has a number, go to chosen page two and remove it’s ‘Link to Previous’ by clicking Same as Previous on the footer and unchecking ‘Link to Previous’ as it appears in the Navigation section of the Ribbon.

You should be done!

Girl with T-Rex…

NaNoWriMoTileAm I ready to write… a novel?

This question is probably tattooed on my mind.

Right in there between Broca’s area and my reptilian brain.

You know, the bit of brain we’ve been editing since the dawn of time? The part that still secretly believes it’s a very small T-Rex? As in: morning alarm ringing? T-REX FIX: T-REX SMASH! That part. <g> Though I know it’s no longer called a reptilian brain, it just explains so much. (Me <in aside to small, sad T-Rex>: I believe, lil’ buddy.)

When I first encountered NaNoWriMo (apart from thanking them for the existential crisis), I thought ‘How do you know if you’re ready to write a novel?’ It’s not like knowing if you’re ready to have a sneeze, which, come to think… we’re not too keen on that either, scratch that. But it’s not as though the writing fairy comes tinkling to town to thoughtfully put a lien on your car and throw you out of your apartment. How do you know?


Regardless of all the cheerful predictions of my Irish kinfolk (re. keeping a roof over one’s head as a writer), I actually knew The Moment When. There were signs, and if I hadn’t been paying close attention to my inner state in the midst of my busy life, I might have missed them. Which means this was probably a once-in-a-lifetime event right here. <g> Yeah. Go me! XD

First sign: I was writing longer and longer works. Across the space of a year or so, they ranged up from 50- and 60,000 words to 100,000-plus and I was still comfortable that I was on top of the plot. I didn’t feel lost or like I was about to break out in hives. Eventually, I was able to maintain this state, with minor wobbles (due to the real-life gig) until I finished a work. This meant I’d learned to control my writing output a little better!

Second sign: I had a plot. I mean, I had it written down in a OneNote book with notations, character-profiles, clues to resolve the mystery I was writing, and, in some cases, chapter summaries. I had reference material beside my computer, and a list of research links that led to resources online too. So I’d learned to do my homework a little better!

Third sign: I posted stories online and was able to manage the stress of having others read it. Well, handle it most of the time. Now, for someone extroverted, this may not seem like a lot (or it may, actually, extroverts being complicated too), but when you put a work out into the world, you’re facing a lot of anonymous criticism. It’s crushed better writers than I can claim to be. But I’d learned just enough confidence to take the risk!

Fourth sign: The manuscript squeaked if you touched it. I’d been through a lot of copy-edits and logical passes, and I’d come to enjoy the rigour (must… use… u) of cleaning up after myself. It was tiring. But it was oddly rewarding. In terms of writing, I’d learned to keeping going when the going got rough!

Fifth sign: I slowly found myself reading articles about publishing, just on the off chance, you know, the inner T-Rex ever felt so inclined. Prepping was one of the most telling signs I was serious: I began to set money aside for costs I suspected I might accrue (like for a copyright, cover, et cetera). Now, as an inept real-world-planner (unless the real-world-plan involves unicorns shooting out the deus ex machina, at which point I’ve got that) I knew that I was going to publish my squeaking manuscript in the coming months/year. The skies parted: I was preparing.

I suspect this list is going to be different for every writer. Potentially, really different. The point isn’t really to check boxes on a list, though. The point is to listen to your inside-state (and mind the little dinosaur, seeing as it can’t talk to you.) Why is this important? Because you may hear things like:

  • “Adults publish books, <your name here> You’re <xx> years old.”
  • “Sure. Now… you realize, it’s harder for someone like <you>.”
  • “That genre? That genre’s done. Besides your writing is too <thing>.”
  • “It’s just not possible for you to do <something people do>.”
  • “There are the reasons it won’t work, okay? You see, <reasons>.”

about you and your book, even from some of the most important people in your life, but you probably won’t ever hear:

  • OMG you’re right.
  • Do it.
  • You’re ready.