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Portfolio Entries from Slartibartfast

  1. Fun with Fonts

    Broadly speaking, general-purpose fonts are divided into two families. Serif fonts. These are fonts like Times New Roman or Garamond which have serifs. These are little lines or strokes at the termination of letters. Originally these were used to mimic pen strokes. They still evoke the feel of careful calligraphy (not just sloppy handwriting) and you often find that the weighting of the letters mimics the use of a broad pen. Nobody is going to mistake a serif font for handwriting but that...
  2. Starting to Typeset

    Ah, typesetting. ...also illustration. Typesetting is great fun. The differences between ‘typesetting’ in a word-processor and typesetting in a dedicated program are relatively small in appearance but massive in effect. Word processors are not designed to produce print products beyond daily work doo-dads and letters, for that you need a desktop publishing program. A proper typesetting program gives you full control over the minute aspects of line spacing, kerning, margins and bleed to name...
  3. Staying Sane Throughout

    The error I see most often with other writers is that they assume that the reader knows what they do. This book is a how-to guide of sorts and I spent a long time agonising over the possibility that I had made a leap in logic or used a term but only defined it later. I wasn’t impressed enough with my proofreader and beta reader to trust their reading of the book and spent many hours reading and rereading it myself to root out this heresy. Suffice it to say that one week later I had gone...
  4. Getting an Editor and first Beta-Reader

    Oh boy, this was fun. Proofreading and editing is an expensive service and involves a lot of trust. Anyone can charge you a few hundred to pretend to read your work. There’s also the saying that ‘opinions are like arseholes’ (everyone’s got one and nobody wants to hear it). Although there are rules to things, at the end of the day you are just getting another person’s take on things. It may be a fantastic take or actually, it might not be. I wouldn’t knock editing as a profession but I am a...
  5. Tips for Using Fiverr

    Things I Learned When Using Fiverr: - The pricing model is a lot more attractive to people who live in countries where the average wage is lower than the West. Many people are not communicating in their first language, in fact, I’m pretty sure some of the guys I spoke to were using Google Translate. Use simple, well-constructed sentences and avoid idioms or non-literal sayings. -Help your seller. However much they say they will spend an unlimited amount of time making things perfect for...
  6. Finding Freelancers on Fiverr

    One of the places I turned to for ‘odd jobs’ that I either didn’t have the skill or the software to do myself was Fiverr. This was such an odd experience that I feel Fiverr is worth a quick look by itself before I talk about individual experiences with sellers. Fiverr is a freelance marketplace with quite a diverse offering. On there you can find ghostwriters, editors, beta-readers, all sorts of artists and graphic designers, copywriters, etc. ad nauseum. The premise of Fiverr is that you...
  7. Looking Through The Draft

    Step one, before I even thought about paying anyone to do anything or calling in any favours, was to look over the document myself. It's a short book at 35000 words but that's still quite a chunk of text. For writing, I use a program called Manuskript (free and open-source). I'm a Linux user and this is available natively on my OS. Manuskript allows you to write with basic formatting into individual documents. These are available simultaneously and can be reordered, placed into...
  8. Setting the Scene

    This journal is about the self-publishing process. I spent the first few weeks of lockdown finishing off a non-fiction project. It’s sufficiently niche that I didn’t even bother looking for a publisher and went straight to self-publishing. The book is not relevant to this forum so I won’t go on about it but I thought the process of self-publishing might be useful to someone. At the very least it is useful to me to write it all down. I’m reasonably serious about being a writer, which is to...
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