Greetings, and thank you for visiting this web page. Here’s a little about myself, how this blog came into being, and what you’ll find here.

Olivetti Valentine and Case

Olivetti Valentine and Case

Please allow me to tell you my story…

I was just an average kid: playing games, getting into mischief, getting through school with marks just enough to pass my grades. When I was 11 years old my folks gave me the encyclopedia Brittanica and a manual Olivetti typewriter, and things changed. While other children were out and about, I spent my time researching things that interested me from my new library of knowledge and creating ‘booklets’ on various from topics, from snakes to criminology to archeology.

My love for books, words, and learning was born.

Finding my passion

I was naturally drawn to the technical writing field, as this satisfied my two key character traits: learning new things, and my logical, step-by-step approach to things. I always want to know the ‘why, what and how’.

I designed and created by myself or as part of a team many, many manuals, books, and various documents. Early in my working career I wrote poems and then created a few booklets of my poetry, and gave these to family and friends.

In 1990/91 I wrote the first draft of my first book: Profile of the Technical Writing Profession. The literary agent that I submitted the outline and first chapter to, came back to me, and advised that the publishers did not feel there was a market in South Africa for this type of book. Hmmm… What a bummer.

The years 1992 to 1999 were my dry years with regards to writing. My focus was elsewhere.

Then in 2001 I kept a daily journal, and turned this into my book, Invest In Yourself. The book is about following one’s passion, and is the real life story of my business endeavors; both failures and successes. This was my first self-published book, which was done offline.

I found writing the book easy, as all I did was write about what I had done and experienced… and actually sold a couple of dozen copies to family, friends, and colleagues. Writing the book gave me tremendous pleasure, and actually selling it, even though it wasn’t a NY Times best seller, gave me an incredible feeling of achievement. People actually paid money for my book!

Then in 2004 I started my first Site Build It! web site, and had my next book (which was an ebook), Get What You Want for sale on my site. Again, I sold many copies, and my confidence grew.

Continuing my passion for books, in 2007 I started an e-cover service, offering 3D e-covers as well as hard copy book cover designs. And then in 2009 I started offering a full book design service, from my website, pub-my-book.com.

Eventually in 2010 I self-published my collection of short stories and poems, Seasons, at Amazon (hard copy), Kindle, and Smashwords.

It’s now time to pay it forward, and share what I know about book formatting and design that I have learned over the past 30+ years.

What you’ll find at this blog…

  • Book Design Basics
  • Overview of a Book’s Structure
  • Book Design Examples
  • Book Design Checklist
  • Design Elements
  • Book Type & Book Size
  • Layout & Margins
  • Base Font & Line Spacing
  • Line and Page Breaks
  • Section breaks
  • Headings
  • Headers and Footers
  • Tables & Columns
  • Graphics, Captions & Clip Art
  • Text Boxes & Text Wrapping
  • Links (ebooks)
  • Cross-references


  • Formatting your ebook for Kindle
  • Formatting your ebook for Smashwords
  • Uploading and Publishing Your Book Online

On the Personal Side

I’ve been married for 28 years, to an incredibly supportive person. I don’t know how she does it, but my wife is always available to lend an ear. She has supported me throughout all the years, no matter how tough times were. I have two adult children, and a beautiful granddaughter.

It was Bob Dylan who said, “A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and goes to bed at night and in between does what he wants to do.”

For very close to all of my working life, I have known what that feels like, in that I was always busy with my passion: working with words, books, and learning new things.

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