Gimme a pipe

One unresolved self-publishing issue is pipes. Browse an old copy of PC Magazine from 1993 and you’ll see that the pipe concept has been around for a long time. Basically, for those who don’t want to click-and-read, it’s a method of moving digital information from one place to another.

Whether you are self-publishing for someone else, or hiring someone to self-publish for you, pipes matter. How do you get your information into the cyber bookstore?

The person who will receive the royalties needs a self-publishing account. That person sets up their tax information, designates what account should receive the royalties, and a host of other bits of data.

The person who actually uploads the content of the book and the book cover needs access to that same account.

So if you hire someone to format your file for any kind of a book, they need to have access to your account. If you are an author, do you really want to give your Createspace or Lulu password to someone you hire? The author’s account contains credit card information, which is actually pipe in from

Once a client accesses an author’s Createspace account they have full access to edit the account so that all royalties are deposited in the client’s account, instead of the author’s.

Someone needs to invent a way for editors and layout personnel to access a self-publishing author’s account without giving them full credit card, and other payment, access.

As editors and design staff, we need to inform authors that they need to help us advocate to protect their payment data.

No client has ever asked if I am bonded before giving me their passworded information. They don’t ask for legal contract wording to protect them.

I am concerned about the liability on my part. How do I protect myself? If uploaded data is less than perfect, I need to see the online viewer only accessible via passworded access.

All self-publishing companies need to address this issue.

How do you handle this? As an author, do you give out your password to editors and layout providers?

As an editor or designer, do you log in with authors’ passwords?


How much formatting should a writer do?

I prefer working with writers who use the simplest, plainest formatting possible. Even when writing my own publications, I tend to begin with a simple text document. The simpler, the better.

I would rather work with a Notepad file than a file that someone has heavily formatted without adhering to the requirements of the publisher they plan to use. All that formatting can really get in the way. Especially, if the text was formatted for different dimensions.

Every self-publishing entity provides formatted templates. They are far more than mere margins and tabs. The templates are pre-formatted to number pages directly. They are set up to create a table of contents and generate page numbers correctly. Moving content after the template is in use can really wreck your formatting, especially page numbers.

I find it much easier to keep writing separate from layout. Then copy the content in pieces and place it in the formatted template. If the original writing has heavily formatted content, it can conflict with the template.

And, templates are king.

If the template doesn’t work, the design process may have to start all over again. I have been known to strip a document back to an ascii file in order to get rid of unnecessary formatting. It’s especially troublesome with a writer who applied new formats instead of merely editing what was in place.

hackInDesign is not a writing program. InDesign is a layout program. It is an exquisite program. But, you don’t use it like a typewriter.


The proper way to use InDesign is to use a text program to type your words.

Then use the File/Place command to load text into InDesign.

The Text tool is for decorating text. It is not intended to be a writing tool.

Need help formatting? We can make it happen.


When most people set out to write, the TOC is not the first thing they think of.

But, if you plan to self-publish, it is a good idea.

If you plan to publish an eBook, it is essential.

The Table of Contents is a Word References feature (OpenOffice, too).. It is part of the “programming” that goes on behind the scenes while you type. It is one example of Word doing some of the thinking for you.

When you download a publish-on-demand book template, you will find that it includes a Table of Contents. You don’t have to get very elaborate. You can literally leave the chapter names as “Chapter 1,” “Chapter 2,” and so on. But it does help guide your reader if you name the chapters. Plus, most of us look at the chapter titles when we decided whether to read a book or not. A numeric chapter name is not going to convince anyone to buy a book. But, you should have chapters and a table of contents so the reader can go directly to a chapter.

If you plan to publish a digital version of your book, format the print version for publishing first. Trust me.

The automatically-generated TOC is based the Styles palette, but uses the References palette.

To see how this works, download a template from a publishing site.  You don’t need a Createspace account to download a template for this exercise. Go to HERE to download the pre-formatted template for a book that is 8.25 inches tall and 6 inches wide. It is just one of more than a dozen sizes you can choose from.

Open the Styles Palette in the Home ribbon menu. To do, this click on the little icon in the lower right-hand corner of the Styles Palette.


The Styles panel opens on the right-hand side of the page.

Far down the list, you will see “CSP – Chapter Title.” All of the “CSP” styles are the basic Createspace styles. The other styles are ones you may, or may not, need to use. Later, you might even want to create your own.

The Style called “CSP-Chapter Title” is the key that generates a Table of Contents. Any item that is formatted as “CSP-Chapter Title” will automatically generate an item in the Table of Contents.

That means if you need to create additional chapters, format the title with “CSP-Chapter Title.” When you update the TOC, Word will automatically add that chapter. It’s just name your chapter, highlight it and apply the chapter style, and update the TOC.

There is nothing magic about “CSP-Chapter Title.” You can create any Style you want for your chapter headings and call that Style anything you want. You just need to remember what it is called.

Did I lose you? Let’s take a closer look.

Hover over the “CSP-Chapter Title” until you see a dropdown arrow appear at the right-hand end of the Style in the list. Hovering will show what kind of formatting will be applied.

But, it helps to know how many times the formatting has been applied within this document. If you know you should have 16 chapters, click on the “CSP-Chapter Title” Style to see the popup window.  Does it show 16 chapters?


No. The “CSP-Chapter Title” Styles has only been applied in 14 instances.You would need to find the other two chapter headings and apply the same chapter Style to them.

Don’t change anything else on this style, at this time. (You can quickly change the font, size or color used for all your chapter headings by modifying and updating the Style, but we will save that for another time.)

If you want to see, in detail, what formatting is included with the template, click on Modify. The Modify Style window appears and shows how text formatted as “CSP-Chapter Title” Style will appear.


Chapter Titles are Paragraph styles, meaning they will modify all the text until the next hard return. All you do is highly the chapter name and choose “CSP-Chapter Title” Styles to make the text:

Times New Roman, 14, All caps, centered, single line-spacing with no space below.

Let’s say we do have the correct number of chapters formatted with the “CSP-Chapter Title” Style. Now we want those chapter titles to show up in our Table of Contents.

The Table of Contents in this template you downloaded is on page 5. (Type CONTROL+G, 5 to get there quickly.)

This is NOT a functioning TOC. You will have to create one that updates automatically. You do not want to have to type the TOC manually, and then keep all the page numbers manually. Word needs to do all of that for you.

To create your own functioning TOC, hover above the chapters listed in the Contents on page 5. You will see the following. It is just a table, not a Table of Contents. The word “Contents” was just manually typed in.


I prefer to keep the word “Content” until I have completed the TOC setup and have it working. But, the fake TOC needs to be deleted. To do that, highlight the table.

Tap the Delete key. The fake table is gone. Now we will create the real TOC.

Before we begin, we know that the first chapter is “1 Chapter Name” and begins on page 1.


We want to give this chapter a name that means something. We’re going to rename it “1 In the Beginning.”


Rename as many chapters as you want before we begin. You can rename all the rest of them at any point so don’t worry if you aren’t ready to name them all. When you are finished naming chapters, we’ll create the TOC.

Go back to the page where the word Content is, where you deleted the fake TOC. One reason I leave the word Content there is that, if I get confused, I can use the Find command to locate Comment.

Move your cursor one line below the word Content, for now. (When we are done, we will delete the word Content.)

The Table of Contents Panel is on the References Palette in the ribbon menu. Click on the dropdown at the bottom of Table of Contents. We are going to Insert Table of Contents.


You will need to “decorate” your TOC, by selecting Styles, in order for Word to pick up the chapters for your Table of Contents. There are defaults you will need to change.


When the Table of Contents popup window appears, you will see examples of TOC formatting. In the default example,  you will see the Print Preview shows Heading 1, Heading 2 and Heading 3. These are headings for different levels of content. Heading 1 would be a chapter; Heading 2 would be a subsection of that chapter; and Heading 3 would be a subsection of the subsection of the chapter. Keep in mind that the default TOC consists of THREE heading levels. In this template, we are going to use only 1.

To do that, we click on the 1 Options Button. That opens the Table of Contents Options window.

There are 4 things we need to change in this window.

In our template, we know that “CSP-Chapter Title” is the Style for all of our chapters. The default Style is Heading 1. We need to change that. Use the scrollbar all the way over on the right to scroll down through all the Styles in this template.

2  In the box next to the Style “CSP-Chapter Title,” type a number “1”. 3 The moment you do, a checkmark will appear next to “CSP-Chapter Title.”

Now, all text formatted as the “CSP-Chapter Title” Style will be included in our Table of Contents.

BUT WAIT, the Table of Contents Options still show that text formatted as Heading 1 should be level 1 in your TOC.

You probably don’t have anything formatted as Heading 1 – but just to be sure, 4 I delete the number “1” from the TOC level. Doing that makes 5 the checkmark next to Heading 1 disappear.

I do the same with Heading 2 and Heading 3.

Click Okay.

The TOC will automatically appear, with corresponding pages numbers.

Since we changed the name of the first chapter to “1 In the Beginning,” that is what appears in our TOC. Rename your chapters whenever it feels convenient.

Then go back to the References Palette and find the Table of Contents panel. Click on Update Table.


A popup will ask whether you want to update page numbers only, or whether you want to update the entire table. I usually choose entire table.

If you don’t fiddle with this template too much, you can safely paste your text into the chapters or type your chapter content right in the template.

This is the basic TOC you will need for either a print book or an eBook. You can now safely delete the original line that has only the word “Contents” on it.

You can alter the Style for your chapters to a different font, or size. But, if you rename the Style in the process, you will need to go back to the Table of Contents setup, find the new Style you want to use for chapters and make sure that is selected as Level One in the Table of Contents format.

Once you understand how the Styles work, you can make your books look attractive and appealing. Books should be more than just words. They should include this roadmap we call chapters and they should be consistently formatted.

Many people are overwhelmed by this very first and very basic task. If you are, hire someone to do it for you. (Yes, I can do that for you!)


How to create a glossary in Word

Most of us are using Microsoft Word, or with OpenOffice, to format our books and eBooks. Unfortunately, neither one has an automatic feature that will create a glossary. A glossary has to be created manually.

I have seen a gazillion exotic ways to create macros and use VB to do this, ad nauseum.

That’s ridiculous. Anyone who understands the basic concept of Styles can automatically generate a Glossary without a bit of programming or recording macros.

You only have to type the word Glossary to make it happen. That’s all. Otherwise, it is just clicking all the way.

hackTo add a word or a term to a glossary, create it as a Style.

To do that, open the Styles palette.

Create a new Style and name it Glossary.

For “Style Based On:” choose Normal, or whatever Style you are using for the body text style.

For “Style for Following Paragraph:” choose Normal, or whatever Style you are using for the body text style.

Click “Okay” to save the Glossary Style.

Manually locate every word or phrase you want to include in the Glossary.

Change the style for that text to Glossary by highlighting the text and clicking on Glossary in your Styles palette.

Do that for every word or phrase you want included in the Glossary.


Once you are finished, go back to the Styles palette.

Now, carefully click on the dropdown next to the Glossary style you created.

Choose “Select All X Instances” (“X” will tell you the number of Glossary entries you have selected).

Click Control + C to copy all instances.

Now move your cursor to the location in your document where you want the Glossary to appear.

Click Control + P to paste all Glossary (style) entries at the current location.

Every bit of text you formatted as Glossary style will appear.

Go to your browser and delete all the bookmarks to the endless number of webpages explaining how to waste a whole lot of time programming and breathe a sigh of relief because you will never need to look at them. 

You’re welcome!


Bonus Hack: Once you create the Glossary and save your file, you can safely format all text as any other Style. You only need the Glossary style until you generate the Glossary.




T::F::W::F’s hack for using Styles

Let’s get back to Styles. I mentioned last time that self-publishing sites sometimes offer templates with preformatted Styles.

There is nothing magic about Styles. Each one is just a storage spot for a specific collection of text or paragraph formatting. Think of each one as a paint brush you have dipped in a different color, sometimes just a different tint.

hackIf you’re new to this, expand the Word toolbar so that you see the palettes. Do that by double-clicking on any menu item.

The first palette is the Clipboard. Then Font, Paragraph and Styles.

Click on the little icon at the lower right-hand corner of the Styles palette. The list of Styles in the current document appear in the Styles Window, on the right.

The CreateSpace default Style for Chapter Titles is Times New Roman font size 14, centered, with all caps. All caps means that no matter what you type, all the characters will appear as capital letters.

But you can change that. Click on the Styled called “CSP – Chapter Title.” A dropdown menu icon will appear. Choose Modify.

Or, you can do it the easy way.

hack ::Start::of::Think::Fast::Write::Fast::Hack::

Highlight the title of a chapter, any chapter, and change the font, the size, the color, whether it is bold, or italics–whatever.

Go crazy.

When you are happy with the size and font STOP.

Be sure you have clicked the radio button, at the bottom of the screen, next to “Only In This Document.” This is especially important if you are working with a template that you want to use again—but not necessarily with the revised Style you are creating.

Close the Style window.

Highlight the name of a chapter again. ANY CHAPTER.

Click on the Style for “CSP – Chapter Title.” A new item has been added to the dropdown menu. That first item says “Update CSP – Chapter Title.” Choose that.


Now, click on the dropdown for “CSP-Chapter Title” again and you’ll see the choices have changed once again.

Look for the choice “Select All X Instances” where “X” shows the number of instances where that Style has been used in this document. Click on that.

Click on the dropdown menu again, and click on “Click Formatting of X Instances.”

With the “X” number of instances still highlighted, double-click the style “CSP- Chapter Title.”

You’re done.

Since you are going to embed your fonts with this file, the font will be used when you upload your file to CreateSpace.

Here is what just happened. You revised what the Style used for all chapters in this document should like look. Then you instructed Word to go find all the chapters. It does that by looking for every bit of text you already formatted as “CSP- Chapter Title.” Then it updated every instance of text you formatted as a chapter title.

How easy is that?

Next time, I’ll talk about embedding fonts.

Doing it with Styles

I may the only person on the planet who actually loves Word’s Styles. Learn to love Styles, and eBook formatting becomes easier.

People hire me just to format their dissertations. An eBook would probably put them into a coma.

Styles are actually quite simply, and extremely powerful. When we look at a page in Word, it looks rather simple. We know there are little icons and buttons and menus that we will never use in a lifetime. But, someone will. Or someone wanted to when Word was designed. In spite of that, Word looks quite simple. Clean. Austere, even.

But, behind the scenes, there is a lot of power. That’s where the creative part comes in. That’s where I, as an author, get excited.

I absolutely believe that books should be attractive. I realize attractiveness is in the eye of the beholder. But ugly text hovering above a distant white background does not inspire me to read.

We seem to forget the original efforts at printing were beautiful and they also were not on paper. They were woodblock imprints of colored flowers printed on silk. Woodblock printing was standard for a long time. Granted, there was no other option. But, for centuries, printing was beautiful.

Words important enough to share were beautiful. They were works of art.

The Styles palette in Word is what makes that happen for an eBook. Any time you use Word, you are using a Style. There are 16 styles built into Word when you open it up.

You won’t use any of those styles when formatting an eBook. Eventually, that will change. But, for now, suffice it to say, you will not use them.

Instead, download the template from the vendor of your choice. The Styles you will use are embedded in that template. A book consists of 14 sections. Each section has its own Styles.

And, yes, Styles, plural, is correct. A Style consist of a font, a size, alignment instructions and things like whether it should be in all caps. A single Style can consist of a myriad of formatting instructions.

Mystified by what those magical Styles are in a CreateSpace template? By default, they are as follows.

Tune in next time when I tell you how to customize them.

Book Sections CreateSpace
1. Book Title Page Times New Roman 14, centered, all caps
2. Author on Title Page Garamond 18, centered, all capitals
3. Dedication Title (optional) Garamond 12, centered, all capitals
4. Dedication Content

(optional; usually one or two paragraphs)

Garamond 11, centered
5. Acknowledgement Title (optional) Garamond 12, centered, all capitals
6. Acknowledgement content (can be just a sentence) Garamond 11, centered
7. Table of Contents (optional) Garamond
8. Chapters Titles Garamond 14, centered, all caps
9. Body Text First Paragraph Garamond 11, no indention on first line
10. Body Text Garamond 11

Indent the first line of each paragraph

11. About the Author (can include Author’s Photo) Garamond 14, centered, all caps
12. About the Author content Garamond 11, centered
13. Index  (optional) Calibri 11, double-column
14. Glossary (option list of defined terms) Nirmala UI Semilight 10, with terms in bold followed by a colon