Book Design: BuJo for Writers No. 4

Book Design: BuJo for Writers No. 4


Styling a book gives me tons of pleasure. It’s a form of design that I never explored before. When I published the first edition of TIDES, I was happy with the result, but as I learned more, I realized that it could be done better. I found great pages online with tutorials on how to layout a book and now I feel proud at how the second edition looks.

I use my BuJo to keep track of the decisions I make on which fonts, sizes and alignment I use on my chapters. I add them to the Styles menu in Word to automate the process, but have it all in one overview. The cover measurements come in handy to remember how wide the spine needs to be.

I also write down the publishing date, ISBN number, how many pages the book has, the BISAC category and I make a list the tags I will use often.

A cost overview is also a very handy thing. Not only you can see how much it costs you to buy copies for yourself, but which price you set and how much royalty your book earns according to the market.

Another thing is that I make notes of the lessons learned:


  • I will need three files, two for the final (DOCX and PDF) and one for the naked final (DOC)
  • OTF fonts don’t embed in Word, if your book has them, you need to make a PDF of it
  • Clipart inside the book needs to be 300 DPI
  • Make sure to select the whole text and make it black


  • Transparencies get flattened or lost
  • Make all colors CMYK
  • Leave space at the back for the bar code

As I take on new projects, new notes will be added to my BuJo. What have you learned during your own publishing process?

This was the final entry of my Bullet Journaling for Writers, customize it to your own needs and success!


Editing: BuJo for Writers No. 3

Editing: BuJo for Writers No. 3

So you finished writing a story and are ready to make a manuscript to submit to publishing houses, or maybe you want to go the self-publishing path. Where to start and what to do? It’s overwhelming without a doubt. I have cried and gotten angry. Have asked myself why am I doing this? The simple answer is that I love to write, the more complicated one includes stuff like I have a mid-life crisis (not true), don’t have enough friends (definitely not true) and that I enjoy challenges and like taking up complicated projects (absolutely true).

20171113_095932I made a checklist in my BuJo that I use when editing a book. How many draft versions you end up with is up to you, but I have found I end up with about seven.

  1. 1. the original: grammar and spelling mistakes in all their glory2. macro edits: the moment to fix plot holes and refine your characters (and probably where Shawn became Sean – see post No. 1)3. line edits: the painful draft, the one where you have to read each line individually to see if it flows well, look for redundancies and consistency, and make your verbs stronger

    4. copy edit: this is the one where I recommend using a tool like ProWritingAid and having a grammar knowledgeable friend on call in case you doubt. My dear friend and fellow author Devin Harbison probably hates me by now, but loves me too much to tell it to my face. He has been a great help and has saved me tons of time (do you sit on a chair or in a chair?) by coming to my rescue on SnapChat.

    5. print proof: it is curious how you don’t see mistakes until you have the printed proof in your hands. I feel as if I’m stabbing my book with a red pen marking all the stuff I didn’t see in my Word file, such as a curly quote mark when I use straight ones all over the book, widow sentences at the end of a page, a weird space between two words, etc.

    6. final: your finished baby, ready to be shared with the world

    7. final naked: the same as final, but stripped of fancy styling and with added navigation marks for easy reading as e-book version

I also make notes on the look and feel for the cover of the book, but will talk about that in the next post.



Receiving the printed final copy of your book has to be one of the most exciting experiences as a writer. My hands shake a bit from the emotion and the happiness of having my completed project in front of me. I treat it almost like a frail newborn, so precious.

IMG_20171105_100746_151That is how I feel with the copy of TIDES right now. Both printed and e-book version will be available from November 26 on Amazon and in the days after in online bookstores everywhere.

I guess people wonder, why publish a summer book in the middle of autumn? And I say, why not? Reliving the warm sun on your skin, the waves crashing on shore and that first whiff of sunblock on a cold dark night sounds like music to my ears.

I hope you all enjoy it as much as I loved writing it, and I hope to hear what you think of it.

The Photoshoot

The Photoshoot

I really dislike having my picture taken. I even go to the extremes during a holiday¬†to be the one behind the camera so I can be spared. BUT I needed a proper author picture, and I must admit that having my photo taken wasn’t that bad after all. It all started with getting professional makeup applied, which is something that I enjoy. Then I got to wear comfortable clothes and stand in front of a gorgeous background. All the¬†while my dad was making me laugh and looking at the beautiful sea in Curacao (the place that inspired my romance “Tides”). My sister Naomi did a fantastic job (love having so much talent in the family), and I’m incredibly happy with the result.

Here are a few of the photos that didn’t make the final cut, but that were fun and cute as well. Enjoy!

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