Ebook Conversion Tool Reviews





From The Book Designer

Previously, I’ve compared some of the computer apps that you can use to convert your manuscript into an ebook.

This month I’ll talk about online conversion tools — all of the ones I’m going to discuss are attached to the retailers and distributors that you are going to be interested in.

Eye of the Hurricane: Top Ebook Retailers

Let’s start with the most popular retailers and their conversion tools (or lack thereof).

Once again, I’m assuming that you’re in the US — which isn’t a given, I know. (Most of this information is true for non-US publishers as well.) Also, I’m defining “manuscript” as synonymous with “Microsoft Word document” (either .doc or .docx), since that’s the most common file format for authors to work with, and that’s the format I used in comparing the desktop conversion tools. Continue Reading →

ProWritingAid Tutorial




ProWritingAid Tutorial by me.

So, I’ve been going on about ProWritingAid for the last few weeks and it’s because I love it so much. I just finished editing Legion with it and it saved me so much time and improved my writing so much. Many of my colleagues have already grabbed a copy for themselves, but I realise that making a purchase ($35 per year, although you get 1st month free) is difficult without seeing a product in action. Because I know how useful this tool will be to new and old writers alike, I have put together a video explaining some of the main tools in use on my Scrivener manuscript (Word and Google Docs plugins also included).

It really is fantastic for improving your sentence structure, word choice, and style. It has already improved me as a writer after just a few months (really wished I’d discovered it five years ago). Anyway, this is the first video tutorial I have ever done, so go easy on me in the comments.

Please know that the links at the bottom are affiliate links and I will get a small commission if you do end up buying a copy. If you don’t like that, no problem, I still recommend the program and all you need to do is google ‘Prowritingaid’ to get to the website without my affiliate link. Otherwise just click either of the two banners contained within this post.

Writing Improvement Software

UPDATE: ProWritingAid are currently offering a free ebook about editing. FYI, downloading it also comes with a hefty discount off the price of the software if you were considering getting it: http://prowritingaid.com/en/Landing/Ebook?afid=2379

Writing Improvement Software





Demon Knight Movie Review – 10 reasons I love it!




Demon Knight Movie Review – 10 reasons I love it!

I can’t believe Demon Knight is more than 20 years old. I must have been about 10 when I first saw it on television late one night. It was unsuitable for a kid to watch, yet I wasn’t disturbed by it–I was excited. I had never seen a film like it or had so much fun. Even today it’s probably my favourite ‘people trapped in a house’ horror movie. Billy Zane and William Sadler are great too.

The plot concerns a drifter stumbling into a bar, apparently on the run. The man after him is Billy Zane, which is scarier than it sounds because Zane is a demon knight trying to reclaim a special key. The reason the key is so special is because of the blood inside of it (who’s blood you might ask?). Demon Knight is a 90s movie, which for me was a great era in horror. It was a time where special effects had come along but CGI was not yet prevalent, so we still got great practical effects. This movie reminds me very much of From Dusk till Dawn and Critters (get all 4 movies here), but it does enough to stand as a unique and original movie all on its own. The most modern comparison is the move Feast.

I will spoil no more and merely list the 10 reasons why I love it. Continue Reading →

Legion: Chapter 1





The room stank of death. A syrupy sweet odour melding with a brown, noxious rot. Sweat, blood, piss, and filth. It was all there. The blanket stench of the infirm.

Hospitals. If ever there were a place John Windsor loathed, it was hospitals. Prime Ministerial obligation was the only reason he inhabited one now, and the last time he had entered one voluntarily his granny Margaret gave in to the smoker’s curse and let lung cancer take her. He’d been twenty years old, but he remembered it as being the very last time he had cried. His Law degree completed not long after, he had begun his journey to the courtrooms, where emotion was a hindrance. Now, twenty years later he was the youngest Prime Minister of the 21st Century, the prospects of his own hospital stay still many years distant. Being faced with other people’s impending death was an unwelcome task, even if a necessary part of the job, and he was counting the minutes until he could leave.

A sycophantic nurse waddled over, a proud grin on her chubby face. No doubt she felt important, getting the job of shaking the PM’s hand, but the truth was she would be forgotten the moment he turned his back. Some people held such small ambition, yet he did not deny her the small moment of victory. Leaning forward, he paired the hearty handshake with a peck on the cheek that sent the woman giddy. He fought the urge to wipe his mouth on his sleeve afterwards.

The plump woman gushed. “We’re so glad to have you here, Prime Minister.”

John smiled, certain he could taste the woman’s sweat on his lips. “It’s my pleasure, Joan.” Good spot on the name badge. Plebs love it when you used their names. “It’s a wonderful job you’re doing here.”

“We do what we can. It’s a hard job, but so vital. We had our funding cut last-”

“Shall we take the tour?” said John, waving a hand towards the ward. Cramped tent cubicles filled it, and likely housed various dying occupants. So much money just to park the nearly dead. So inefficient.
“Oh yes, of course, the tour.” The nurse nodded. “This is the oncology ward where we care for stage 4 patients. I would introduce you to our guests, but most will be sleeping. Best not to disturb them.”

John nodded gravely although it was great news. He had held little desire to look upon the diseased. “Of course, Joan. You are an angel to these people.”

“Me? Oh no, I’m just one woman doing what she-”

“Shall we move on?”

“Yes, Prime Minister, of course. There is lots to see.”

And lots to see there was—a dreadful amount in fact. John endured over an hour of sweaty handshakes and prattling small talk. In the children’s ward, he had to go so far as to kiss a collection of clammy foreheads (his PR Secretary’s idea, not his). By the time John looped back around to where he had begun, exhaustion had set in. Two bodyguards accompanied him the entire time and looked just as bored as he was.

It was time to go. Continue Reading →