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[if you post a suggestion in this forum and want to include it here, please drop a note to Steve with the URL.]

 

 

* Elmore Leonard's Ten Rules of Writing

 

* The Lester Dent Pulp Paper Master Fiction Plot (suggested by pjl)

 

* Kurt Vonnegut's Eight Rules for Writing Fiction (suggested by pjl)

 

* Robert Heinlein's Writing Rules (suggested by pjl)

 

* 20 Rules for Writing Detective Stories (S.S Van Dine 1928) (suggested by pjl)

 

* The Routine Autopsy by Ed Uthman, MD (suggested by Callista)

 

* The Writer's Medical and Forensics Lab by D.P. Lyle, writer & MD.

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If you'd like to fine-tune your ePub control, you might check out Folium Book Studio, which will also sell you an ISBN for your e-book for $10 if you purchase a project ($30). A free signup will get you two short-term projects for free; unlike the paid ones, they expire after three weeks and don't have the ISBN option, but they are also reusable. When one expires, you can start another in its place. For Storyist users, the free projects mostly offer an opportunity to test the FBS software without committing any cash.

 

The service isn't flawless. I don't like the size of their covers (you can upload your own, but they have to fit in a 600x900 pixel box). The documentation needs work, and some of the instructions are confusing. If you buy an ISBN, for example, you are actually purchasing a credit, which you have to convert to a true ISBN before export by clicking on a button that says,"Do I need an ISBN?" Since I knew I needed an ISBN, I didn't do that the first time and managed to lock myself out. The company handling support then sent my pleas for assistance into a black hole, and I had to call FBS directly before I connected with their version of Steve, who fixed the problem in five minutes flat. (Steve, I have never appreciated you more than when I was fielding automated messages from this goofy support service! :) )

 

Still, it's a nice program once you get the hang of it, and it lets you specify line spacing, margins, and special treatment of first lines; set off block quotations; import and caption images, and so on. The fleurons are pretty, but they all convert to * * * on export, so I'd bother with them only if I enjoyed looking at them on screen. And the $10 for an ISBN that you can use for the Kindle, nook, and iBook stores (because it's the same edition uploaded to all three—Kindlegen converts the ePub for you) is a good deal.

Best,

M

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