Here’s what I’m up to…

Here’s what I’m up to while there’s one week left of my kickstarter campaign:

1. Type-proofing my novel. You would think that would go fast, but its a slow process. Denine found them much faster than I corrected them.

2. Learning about margins, font size, and the power of leading. Come to find out, determining margins requires math. If you have an 11 point font, and 1.4 times leading, and you want margins that progressively get larger (i.e. smallest on the inside, then top, outer, and bottom. Considering gutters as well) then you must find the perfect ratioor your right page will be shorter than your left. This will make no sense and will require you to try things like measuring tapes and calculators. Will make you google things like: why are my right pages longer than my left? to no avail, and will make you consider calling it a day unsolved. Then after many hours you’ll realize that somewhere along the line you ticked atiny box that says, no widows and orphans. This seems to solve everything, but you will like to think that it was really your mathematical solution, if margins are x+2x+3x+4x+11(1.4) = perfect bliss.

3. Writing a second novel based on The Light Princess. I’m 19000 words in people! No spoilers, but the princess threw a party last night with an inflatable floor (think bouncy-house) and a punk band called the Monkeys of Cheek. There were mosh pits. This princess makes me happy.

4. Answering e-mails about how to self-publish. I’m about 6 books in and have attempted about 10 different formats. Most have worked. I think I’ll share some of my trial and error here on this blog.


Here’s one question:

Dear HDKnightley,

How exactly did you start with self-publishing? I have a couple of short stories I would like to turn into novels but have no idea where to start.

signed, a loving reader

Dearest Reader,

When I first started I used a company called I loved (still do) that they were small and personal and I published about 6 books with them. Since that time though, the amazon version createspace has taken the field. Createspace is a behemoth and the prices are low in comparison. I had to do some soul-searching, but I plan to use them to publish this book. I can’t argue with the numbers, but that’s me, at this time. For you dear reader there may be other considerations.

The first step is to write the novel. Write it. Here’s Neil Gaiman‘s thoughts on the matter:

  1. Write
  2. Put one word after another. Find the right word, put it down.
  3. Finish what you’re writing. Whatever you have to do to finish it, finish it.
  4. Put it aside. Read it pretending you’ve never read it before. Show it to friends whose opinion you respect and who like the kind of thing that this is.
  5. Remember: when people tell you something’s wrong or doesn’t work for them, they are almost always right. When they tell you exactly what they think is wrong and how to fix it, they are almost always wrong.
  6. Fix it. Remember that, sooner or later, before it ever reaches perfection, you will have to let it go and move on and start to write the next thing. Perfection is like chasing the horizon. Keep moving.
  7. Laugh at your own jokes.
  8. The main rule of writing is that if you do it with enough assurance and confidence, you’re allowed to do whatever you like. (That may be a rule for life as well as for writing. But it’s definitely true for writing.) So write your story as it needs to be written. Write it ­honestly, and tell it as best you can. I’m not sure that there are any other rules. Not ones that matter.


I hope that helps.