About Laura

Laura is a freelance editor, author, and graphic designer. She graduated from university in 1997 and has worked in book and magazine publishing ever since. Her niche specialties include non-fiction, technical, trade, travel, and long-form fiction. She also specializes in website development, copywriting, course development, and SEO optimization.

Writer’s Guide — Tips for Writing Dialogue

Fiction can exist without dialogue, but it’s often the interaction between characters that brings readers into the story. Dialogue helps to move the story along. It also gives your characters a voice and life of their own. So, what exactly is it? Simply put, the dialogue is a conversation between two or more people put down in written form. It’s an exchange of information or ideas. It’s what the character’s say and is most commonly the text between quotation marks.

By |2019-05-29T22:30:49+00:00June 29th, 2018|Publishing, Writing|0 Comments

Understanding Active and Passive Voice in Your Writing

When writing blogs, articles, and novels, understanding the active and passive voice is important. Most style guides, such as the APA Manual of Style or AMA prefer that author’s use the active voice in general. But what does active voice mean? Is it required to always use active voice? Not necessarily. Let’s discuss what the different styles are what when it is appropriate to use one or the other.

By |2019-05-29T22:31:24+00:00June 19th, 2018|Publishing, Writing|0 Comments

Anatomy of a Book — 25 Parts of a Book That Every Writer Needs to Know

Every book is unique. The book arrangement shouldn't be. It's important that the organization follows standard publishing industry practices. Parts of a book should appear in a standard location in every book. Organizing your book using these rules makes finding things easier for your reader. For example, every book has a front cover and a back cover. Prologues and table of contents are up front, indexes are in the back, etc.

By |2019-05-29T22:32:47+00:00August 11th, 2018|Publishing, Writing|0 Comments

How to Add a Drop Shadow in Adobe InDesign

When creating an eBook or similar publication in Adobe InDesign, you may find yourself needing to make text pop just a little to stand out on the page. This is especially useful when you have white text against a medium-dark background. It’s not dark enough for the white text to be readable on its own but not light enough for a darker font. We could take the text into Photoshop and build ourselves a nice frame with a drop shadow. However, here's a much simpler way to add a drop shadow in InDesign.

By |2019-05-29T22:33:41+00:00September 18th, 2018|Design|0 Comments

How to Determine Word Count and Check Spelling in Adobe InDesign

In publishing, you learn that triple-checking your work in Microsoft Word is just the beginning. Once you have begun putting the document into a document layout program like Adobe InDesign, you never know what changes may occur. As people begin reviewing the manuscript in its final stages, little changes can impact the quality of your document. A newly added caption may have a small typo that everyone misses at the last minute. Here’s how to determine word count and check spelling in Adobe InDesign.

By |2019-05-29T22:33:59+00:00September 7th, 2018|Design, Writing|0 Comments

Is your smartphone photo high resolution enough for printing? Probably. Here’s how to find out.

Taking photographs while on the road is a great way to hold on to visual proof of a great vacation or an interesting find. Photos also help you capture the colors, life, and atmosphere of your latest adventure. Having the right camera for documenting equipment and activities is important. Today’s smartphone cameras have improved enough so that they are a good alternative for taking high-resolution images for including in a book, magazine article, or online blog. The eight to twelve megapixels in most smartphones are more than enough for capturing photographs that are the optimum resolution for print and digital publications.

By |2019-05-29T22:35:02+00:00August 28th, 2018|Photography, Tutorial|1 Comment

Copyright, ISBN, and LCCN Basics for Writers

So, you’ve finished your material, and you are ready to publish it. First? You need to protect it. Obtaining copyright, an ISBN, and an LCCN number is critical to protecting your rights. What is copyright? A copyright is an exclusive set of rights, or protection, provided to authors of original work to protect the use of the work by others. These rights include the control of how the work is copied, distributed, publicly displayed, or adapted.

By |2019-05-29T22:35:27+00:00August 20th, 2018|Publishing|0 Comments

Basic Glossary of Book Design and Layout Terms

Whether you are designing your own book in Adobe InDesign or hiring someone else to do so, understanding book design and layout terms can be important. InDesign, for example, will ask you what you want to set your trim or margin size when you start a new design. Then, if you want to find your own printer, you’ll need to understand what they mean when they ask for your trim; if you want bleeds; and, if all the images are CMYK, grayscale, or if you want to use spot color.

By |2019-05-29T22:35:47+00:00August 13th, 2018|Design, Publishing|0 Comments

Tips for Using Punctuation Marks in Your Writing

Proper punctuation can make or break the impact of the message you are trying to convey. No matter how long you have been writing, novels or articles, it’s always good to review proper punctuation marks. There are fourteen common forms of marks used in English grammar. Here are the basic rules followed by a downloadable list.

By |2019-05-29T22:36:10+00:00August 10th, 2018|Writing|0 Comments
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