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Messages - Carradee

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Calibre is a great library-management tool. […] But I would never use it to format a book for publication. Like Word -- like Jutoh, like Vellum, like every other automagical software with the possible exception of Atlantis Word Processor -- it produces awful html.

It certainly does. It's the best option some folks have, though, within their situation and budget.

I happen to like building EPUBs from scratch, but that's overkill for a lot of projects.

Calibre is a common go-to and can convert a lot of formats, sometimes with Sigil (also free) for final tweaking if you realize after conversion that you didn't quite set the original formatting or converter filters properly.

It's also possible to convert the DOC into the specialized package of HTML, CSS, and other files and make the EPUB manually, but that's doubtless more in depth (and technical, and time consuming) than you're seeking.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Coronavirus Restrictions (what's okay to publish?)
« on: April 16, 2020, 06:55:35 pm »
Yet typing "coronavirus" into Amazon's kindle search bar returns quite a few results, both fiction & non-fiction

"Coronavirus" is a really large category of viruses. COVID-19 is a specific coronavirus, which is why it gets called "the" coronavirus--it's the only one dominating conversation right now, so which coronavirus is defined by context. The common cold is caused by a coronavirus.

So setting a bot to block that term would probably have a lot of problematic side effects. That might be why it isn't blocked.

I'm surprised that nobody's yet brought up that these terms are actually standard English and in dictionaries.

Since the OP is asking about US English, I'm going to reference Merriam-Webster, which is what's generally preferred by US publications. Specific niches prefer other dictionaries. (I'm a line editor whose years and types of experience give me reason to know this.)

Both "callout" and "shout-out" are nouns. Idioms are rarely in Merriam-Webster and more likely to be found in Oxford (which is more commonly preferred by publications using non-US English, particularly UK English).

"Callout" also has a verb phrase, "call out", and both refer to public criticism or faulting of a person or group. The verb phrase "call out" is always transitive, and thus it necessarily must include whom is called out. The negative-meaning verb having a specific structure of "call [whom or what?] out".

There are some nuances in which it doesn't have negative meaning, but non-negative uses of the verb have a different structure: "call out [whom or what?]" instead of the necessarily negative "call [whom or what?] out". The verb's non-negative meanings involve summoning specific groups to action, to strike, or to a duel. A specific option in print publication design of articles is called a "callout", and that isn't negative, either. (See
The noun "shout-out" (or "shoutout"; both spellings are acceptable) neutral or positive, not negative, and it involves public greeting, praise, or acknowledgement, especially to an audience. (See

Altogether, the speakers the OP heard misused "call out". They used the correct structure for non-negative meaning, but what they meant was to "give a shout-out to" someone, not to "call out" someone.

Some people think that related words are necessarily interchangeable and can be swapped around like that without affecting meaning. I assume the folks the OP heard either were this sort or were mirroring the verbiage of someone who was this sort.

Note that I'm not saying these folks are stupid, just misinformed. Some were outright taught that thesauruses give necessarily interchangeable synonyms—despite how false that is—and are unaware of how compound words and jargon work. It's an understandable nuance to slip in overcrowded classrooms with overloaded teachers, but the long-term side effects can be problematic.

Congrats on taking that step to get your work out there! :)

Writers' Cafe / Re: What are people reading during a pandemic?
« on: March 21, 2020, 08:34:26 pm »
What people read during a pandemic depends on them and their personality. Some will read news until things settle. Some will go for more escapist things than usual, however they define "escapist". And some will stick to their usual reading.

As for what percentage of the population will fall into each "some" category, I have no clue.

Edited. Drop me a PM if you have any questions. - Becca

To what extent are you willing to lie to sell books

I'm not.

If a sale doesn't have an end date, I don't claim otherwise. I'm not going to lie to try to invent some perception of scarcity.

That said, genuinely temporary sales is a tactic some authors use. Some authors use them rarely; some use them frequently enough that it can seem as if they have the sales constantly even though they don't.

I'm not saying that nobody lies, just pointing out that there are multiple models you could be following. If the lying is normal in the model you're following and you don't want to do that, maybe you should look at changing your model.

I'm also thinking of doing these type of book, but what software do you use? Just Word?

Sorry for the delayed response, but what you use depends on how you're planning to publish it. If you want to set it up as a hyperlinked e-book, like "turn to page X" or "click here for option A", then Word could work.

Other options include seeking publication via Choice of Games or another publisher; publishers have their own specific formats. Some use code; some use spreadsheets.

I personally like using Twine, which will also construct the story as a web app.

Writers' Cafe / Re: 1st or 3rd Person Blurb for 1st Person Stories?
« on: January 31, 2020, 03:47:20 pm »
Would it bother you if some books in the same series had a first person blurb and some others in the same series had a third person blurb?

Not if it fits the point of view of the stories themselves. I'm more interested in "Does it work?"

If the blurb changes point of view mid-series, I expect the stories to also be shifting in point of view sufficiently to justify the shift.

Writers' Cafe / Re: 1st or 3rd Person Blurb for 1st Person Stories?
« on: January 31, 2020, 03:01:30 pm »
I default to third person, myself, even when the story is in first. After all, the narrator of the story isn't also narrating the blurb.

I have some ideas that, if I write them, may have first-person blurbs due to it "fitting" for the narrator to write the blurb, too, but I'll decide that when I get there. I only remember noticing first-person blurbs on genres like romance or dark literary erotica.

I'm fine with whatever fits the story. As long as it fits the character and situation, I won't notice the point of view or tense unless it catches my attention by being particularly well done (e.g. Chime by Billingsley) or clumsy. I'll only browse based on point of view or tense if I'm in the mood for particular style aspects that are more common in (or innate to) a particular person or tense.

Technically, I do generally find present tense a better "fit" for first person than past is; first person present has you hanging out in the narrator's head, while first person past causes the question of "So when and where is the narrator now, that they're telling this? And why are they telling me?" But this isn't something I'm "stuck" on.

Interactive fiction games are a thing. I prefer Twine for creating text-based ones.

If you want to include images and such like a visual novel, then it's common to use Ren'py.

As for genres… I admittedly mainly read interactive fiction in the game-like format, but I mainly see it use speculative fiction (sci-fi, fantasy, horror). These stories may or may not be romantic or erotic subgenres.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Daily word count tools?
« on: January 19, 2020, 08:43:53 am »
Scrivener 3 automatically keeps track within a project. (At least for Mac. I don't know about the other versions.)

I have a Numbers spreadsheet for compiling numbers from various spreadsheets when I want to, which is designed with plenty of custom formulas for the data I want when I do that, where I just have to put in the date, project, and word count (and can track start and end time if/when I want, as well as what writing-related task I'm working on).

So for me, at least, an independent tracker wouldn't be useful. I have no idea about others.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Kindle Create v. Vellum
« on: January 15, 2019, 06:07:01 pm »
When I was first looking into it, someone described it as a "poor man's Vellum"  I tend to agree. but not in a bad way. formatting snobs will turn their nose up at both but I honestly think both are fine (I like Vellum a lot better tho)

Vellum actually produces very good code, where whoever built the transpiler for the WYSIWYG editor did an amazing, unusually good job. It also produces EPUBs, which work on more vendors (including Amazon). Not everyone is only or even mostly selling on Amazon.

KindleCreate...produces a proprietary file format that I haven't yet jumped through the hoops on to try to figure out what kind of code is in the end file, but odds are that it won't be anywhere close to the beauty that is Vellum. Even Scrivener, as useful as it is, has markdown-based export options for good reason. The Amazon-specific end file also isn't particularly helpful for other vendors.

So altogether, KindleCreate and Vellum are actually two very different products. There are contexts where either would work, but overall, they actually have quite different goals.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Hello! And a grammar question
« on: May 20, 2018, 12:32:30 pm »
"Have heard" is past tense.

Present perfect, actually, which conveys an event that completed before the present.

This chart can be helpful:

What kind of editing is your book for?

There are multiple types and depths of editing, broken into categories of "big picture" and "little picture". I have a book that gives an overview of self-editing and the whys of it (including the various categories and their points/purposes), myself.

I'm of the belief that editing checklists are most valuable to the person making the checklist, with the main value to other writers being the example. People have different styles, approaches, quirks, etc.

Writers' Cafe / Re: looking for a good editor
« on: March 31, 2018, 06:14:11 pm »
Hi there all, Im looking for a good editor to line edit my non fiction book. Any suggestions?

I'd need more information. The type of nonfiction, the target style (ex. formal vs. informal), type of editing needed, what turnaround time are you wanting, and are you wanting someone who explains why things are wrong or can point out when you have multiple legitimate options?

Writers' Cafe / Re: Help! Website has been hacked!
« on: January 27, 2018, 11:57:10 am »
So far I've changed password, installed security software, scanned and removed any/all suspected malware, completely stripped and redesigned the site. Not sure what else I can do at this point. Just got to wait and hopefully it'll get back to normal in a couple days.

Trying not to panic!  ???

I'm not seeing anything in the HTML head at this point, so that's good. If you still have an issue in a week or so, then you need to check the Apache settings. Problem is that's a bit more technical than you can probably handle—it's an invisible file called ".htaccess".

Writers' Cafe / Re: Are you a minimalist writer?
« on: January 13, 2018, 11:57:09 am »
Depends on what I'm writing. My first drafts are likely to be sparse, for certain, but that suits some narrators or stories better than others. I do overall focus on power dynamics and the effects.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Who writes more than one book or story at a time?
« on: January 07, 2018, 08:51:34 am »
Who writes more than one book or story at a time? And how do you do it? Do you decide to write one story in the morning, another in the afternoon? Perhaps do one on Monday and the other on Tuesday?

Yes. [wry smile]

I'll generally have a primary project, a secondary project, and an idea for a "recharge" project if I get stuck on the other two. But I might apply that model differently on the scale of a month, week, day.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Do you write female villains?
« on: August 19, 2017, 09:41:20 am »
I have male and female villains. A character's gender can affect how they pursue their goals, dependent on their culture and personality. My observation of RL is that males are more likely to be overt, and females are more likely to be covert. That carries over into my writing.

Is "Include in Compile" set on them?

Writers' Cafe / Re: First person writing....
« on: July 29, 2017, 09:39:58 pm »
I often use first person. It was easier for me, when I was less experienced as a writer.

My default is present tense with first person and past tense with third, but I view point of view and tense as tools. My focus is always in finding which choices best suit the story I want to convey. When I have a story that isn't particularly inclined towards a particular frame of reference, I consider the context of what else I've written in that story-world and what's common in the genre, then decide if I want to go with the flow or twist things.

A Fistful of Fire, for example, is an epic fantasy novel that I wrote in first person, present tense because third person, past tense, is normal for the genre. The entire story started with a tropes list that I decided to mangle. At one point, I tried converting the first few thousand words from 1st person present to 3rd person past. The change affected the tone and mood; it even damaged clarity and meaning, thanks to what the change did to connotations, implications, and elisions.

The story has over 750k views on Wattpad, where I have over 20k followers, and I've had more than one kid tell me they referenced it in an essay for school, so I'm content with how it's doing.

One such person once cottoned onto me in a crit group. My Ambassador series is in first person. She was carrying on that agents don't want first person and don't want present tense and yada yada yada.

So I wrote a story in second person future tense just shut her up.

I sold the story to a magazine, too.

Excellent burn! :D

Not Quite Kindle / Re: Happy Birthday, Carrie (KB site owner)
« on: May 21, 2017, 05:52:26 am »
Happy birthday, Carrie!

Writers' Cafe / Re: How do you manage your story/series bible.
« on: May 04, 2017, 04:14:55 pm »
I use a mix of Scrivener, Numbers, and Aeon Timeline, depending on what specifically I'm tracking. I've not been great about keeping up with the notes, but I have enough for it to be useful. Scrivener lets me link all data together and easily search, and I can link in the tables from numbers and timelines from Aeon Timeline.

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