Friday, April 12, 2019

Texas Ranch Wolf Pack: Serial or Series

Is The Texas Ranch Wolf Pack a Series or a Serial Story?

A series is a group of books that are related to each other by setting or characters. You can think of television for this idea. For instance, the old television show Andy Griffith is a set of stories based on the lives of different characters, or things that happened to them. You can watch one episode without knowing anything about Mayberry or the sheriff's family to understand what's going on.

A series is a group of books that follow a group of characters through sequential events. In a podcast I recently listened to, Anne-Marie Meyer identified The Lord of the Rings as a serial story. The story starts in The Fellowship of the Ring, continues in The Two Towers, and concludes in The Return of the Ring. The last two books could be read without reading The Fellowship of the Ring first, but they wouldn't make much sense. By the way, these books are free to read if you have a Kindle Unlimited membership. And you can read them on your computer, tablet, or even your telephone! All the Texas Ranch Wolf Pack books are enrolled in Kindle Unlimited, too!

After thinking about this for a very few minutes, the answer was obvious to me. The Texas Ranch Wolf Pack series is a serial story. What this means is that, though some of the books can be read stand-alone, the story makes more sense if you read in order from book one forward.

I didn't plan this. Actually, truth be told, I didn't plan the series at all. Book one tackled me and insisted it be written. The rest were written because the story wasn't complete. Wolf's Man is not the first book I've written, but it is the first published under my pen name, Lynn Nodima.

Reading Order for the Serial Series

For the best reading experience, the books should be read in this order:
  1. Wolf's Man
  2. Wolf's Claim
  3. Wolf's Mission
  4. Wolf's Huntsman
  5. Wolf's Trust
  6. Wolf's Reign
  7. Wolf's Queen
  8. Wolf's Enemy
  9. Wolf's Rage
  10. Wolf's Quest
  11. Wolf's Guard -- Coming Soon!
  12. Last in the series is TBD
Wolf's Destiny is a box set that includes the first six books in the set. At present, I plan to put out another box set containing the last six books in the set soon after book 12 is published.

Wolf's Man is the genesis story for the series. It tells how Nate meets Janelle and becomes embroiled in pack business. Each book that follows provides more information about Nate and Janelle while highlighting the lives of some of the pack.

Is it a Romance?

Yes and no. Is romance the major force in the stories? Not always. The struggle to build a kingdom for the were and keep them safe is the main story. But there is a strong romance in each book, and each book ends with a HEA (happy ever after) or HFN (happy for now).

The books are all written for story, much like the books of Andre Norton, Marrion Zimmer-BradleyAnne McCaffrey, or Elizabeth Moon (some of my favorite authors). When the story includes romance, there is romance in the book. In my books, there is no profanity or sex on the page, so they are safe reads for teens and pre-teens, too. My goal is to write books I can comfortably hand to my grandkids if they want to read them.

What do Readers Say?

These are just a few of the many reviews my books have received. Most of these came from Wolf's Destiny, but since the box set is made up of the first six books, the reviews apply to those, as well.
"I am a big fan of this genre of the paranormal. Lynn is an excellent example of a creative writer who is adding depth to the legends. Like "Twilight" it adds new aspects and is a must-read for fans. Loved it!" ~Kindle Customer
"Can you give a series a 10?? I absolutely loved this series..." ~SpanishLady
"Wow! “Wolf’s Destiny” is an incredibly addictive, page-turning series!" ~Deb
"I love when an author takes a regular topic and changes it just enough to make it seem brand new. That is this series." ~Sandra
"This series was amazing. If you love anything supernatural you’ll absolutely love this series." ~J.
"Excellent storylines, well-developed characters, and plot lines; a very enjoyable read! Would recommend to anyone that enjoys shifters, romance, and action." ~Mary
"I loved this series from the start. Wonderful characters, excellent plotlines, this series has it all. I would live more in this Universe." ~Teresa Coffey

Please Note: Minor spelling and grammar edits have been made. You can see the original reviews by visiting the reviews on the Amazon book pages. The original meanings of the reviews have not been changed.

Thank you so much to all the readers who take the time to leave a review. Good or bad, all reviews are appreciated! I love hearing from my readers. Please comment below and let me know what you think.


Thursday, April 4, 2019

Self-Publishing Formatting Helps: Indents

Formatting Your Manuscript for Self-Publishing

Word is a great tool. It is the tool of preference for me. I taught Word in a collegiate setting for more than ten years, so I am very familiar with the application.

Sometimes you have to know a few tricks to make Word do what you want it to do. Especially when you are formatting your document.

We all learned in keyboarding or typing class to use the Tab key to indent a new paragraph. The tab set can be set where ever you want it so that the document looks pretty good.

Unfortunately, when you upload the file to an ebook publisher, it can go wonky. Especially paragraph indents. I don't know the reason this happens, but I think it's because KDP set tabs differently. In one manuscript, I had indents going from normal to moving to the center mark of the page. It wasn't consistent and looked terrible.

I've since learned that this is an issue for other authors, too.

Here is my fix:

Paragraph dialog box settings for fiction manuscripts
Don't use the Tab key.

Simple, huh?

Okay. Sorry for being snarky.

Setting Indents

You really don't want to use the Tab key, though. Instead, use the Paragraph dialog box. To get the Paragraph dialog box to open, click the Launch button at the bottom right corner of the Paragraph group on the Home tab (circled in red in the image).

I justify my books, so the alignment in all my documents is Justified.

Make sure you have Body Text selected for the Outline Level.

Next, set the Left and Right Indentions to 0.

Under Special, drop down the arrow and select First Line. In the By box, use the up and down arrows to select what you desire. I wouldn't go higher than 0.5". To me, that seems a bit too deep an indent. Especially in Kindle books. I use 0.3".

Using this setting makes all the indents the same. Paragraph indents are automatically when you hit the enter key after the last sentence in the previous paragraph.

In the Spacing section, make sure Before and After are set to 0 pt. If you don't do this, Word will add extra space between paragraphs.

For Line Spacing, use the drop-down arrow and select Multiple. I set my line spacing at 1.08, but you can play with it to see what you like.

Before you click OK, click the Line and Page Breaks tab at the top of the Paragraph dialog box.

While the Pagination selections are helpful at times, they cause awkward spacing in an e-book or a paperback book. For my fiction manuscripts, I make sure nothing here is checked, then click OK.

Other apps will have different settings, but for Word, these work.

Please leave a comment and let me know of any other Word problems you might have. I'll do my best to provide an answer for your issues.

Take care,

P.S. Check out my new Author Helps Page.