We're aware of an issue with converting some DOC, DOCX, ODT, and RTF files to EPUB through our Ebook Wizard.
We've created this Forum Thread with some workarounds and advice to assist you in publishing you ebook.

Help definitely needed here

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Comments

  • LarikaLarika Bibliophile
    Far less 'for chidren' and 'girly,' I hope you agree?
    Kevin, there is a lot of black in your cover. Does that print up well? 
  • Ron MillerRon Miller Professor
    edited December 2018
    Black looks OK on Lulu covers largely because the covers are glossy. Where blacks can go wrong is where you have very dark colors or tones in your artwork---these can tend to become even darker. They will then blend together, losing form and detail. If these colors are also surrounded by black, they will merge into the background. I've done several covers for Lulu books in which I have used solid blacks...but I have also been careful to make sure that the values in the colors are distinct enough to maintain contrast between things like figures and other shapes and the background. 

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  • him sound French by using such phrases as mon amour, ma chérie, La vie est belle and c'est la vie." 

    It's not unusual for foreigners when speaking English to slip a few of their clichés in. In fact some native English speakers slip a bit of cliché French in also! There's also a lot of French words embedded in to English.

    https://www.thegoodlifefrance.com/common-french-words-also-common-in-english/

    http://theeditorsblog.net/2017/01/23/restraining-accents/

  • LarikaLarika Bibliophile
    Yes, I was concerned that Lulu couldn't do black Ron. I had tended to avoid it for that reason. I'm glad it comes out OK. 
     The article on accents was interesting Kevin. I remember asking myself, (when I was writing a dialogue between a Frenchman and an English lady,) how do I show that my French character doesn't speak English very well? I lived in France for several years and I speak French, so I like the idea suggested by Thorne Smith, the author of the "Topper" series,  that Ron commented on, "instead of playing around with trying to make words sound like they were being spoken with an accent by playing around with the spelling, he translated his dialog into French word for word and then back into English, word for word. The results are really effective. He made his characters sound very much like a non-English speaker.
    However I might still throw in the occasional "mon amour" or "ma cherie"---- so romantic! :)
  • Ron MillerRon Miller Professor
    edited December 2018
    The Editor's Blog link that Kevin posted has some very good advice. Trying to phonetically recreate the sound of someone's accent can be a very slippery slope. Not the least of its problems being that of making dialog harder to read. H.P. Lovecraft took this to extremes. This is by far from being the worst example from his work:

    “I dun’t keer what folks think—ef Lavinny’s boy looked like his pa, he wouldn’t look like nothin’ ye expeck. Ye needn’t think the only folks is the folks hereabaouts. Lavinny’s read some, an’ has seed some things the most o’ ye only tell abaout. I calc’late her man is as good a husban’ as ye kin find this side of Aylesbury; an’ ef ye knowed as much abaout the hills as I dew, ye wouldn’t ast no better church weddin’ nor her’n. Let me tell ye suthin’—some day yew folks’ll hear a child o’ Lavinny’s a-callin’ its father’s name on the top o’ Sentinel Hill!”

    As the author of the Editor's Blog article said, a very little goes a long way. It is enough to only convey an impression of a speaker's nationality or ethnicity. Often, simply changing word order is sufficient, such as when you might have a character invite someone "Please to eat" or say "In the chair I do not wish to sit." Writing English with a foreign grammar applied was part of Thorne Smith's idea. Sometimes an occasional mispronounced word is all that is needed...and, again, less is more when it comes to doing that (keep Lovecraft in mind). Sometimes all it takes is something as simple as not using any contractions. This conveys an overprecision in speaking that many non-native English speakers will have. "I do not wish to do that," for instance, as opposed to "I don't want to do that."
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  • I am told that Ursula LeGuin used to write characters with exaggerated thick accents in her rough drafts, then tone then back each draft until the accent was just perceptible.

    Regarding female private eyes, Rex Stout made a go of it with Doll (Gwendolyn) Bonner and her assistant Sally Colt (aka Sally Corbett), who appeared in the Rex Stout canon a couple of times -- The Hand in the Glove, 1937; Too Many Detectives, 1956; If Death ever slept, 1957; Plot it Yourself, 1959; The Mother hunt, 1963.

    Rex Stout also toyed with the idea of a female FBI agent named Tammy (Tamaris) Baxter, in a novella alternately published as "The Counterfeiter's Knife" "Assault on a Brownstone" and "Counterfeit for Murder." In one version, Tammy is killed; in the other, she helps Archie solve the crime.
  • Big fan of Rex Stout but I’ve mostly read only the Nero Wolfe books. Ran across Doll once or twice but never Tammy. Thanks for the tip!

    I think that the only vintage female private eye whose books were any kind of success was Honey West, created by the husband and wife team, Gloria and Forrest Fickling. She even inspired a TV series with Ann Francis who made a great Honey. The books are pretty well written and a lot of fun. (Of course, a decade or so later we got Modesty Blaise. She wasn’t strictly really a detective, but I’m willing to cut her some slack. Besides, I like the books.)
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  • Kevin, there is a lot of black in your cover. Does that print up well? 

    Yes :)

  • I can only speak about my covers. I only ever see the Proofs I buy direct via Lulu and as printed in the UK, and they are perfect. I have no idea what they look like printed elsewhere.
  • It's not unusual for people not used to speaking English to miss out the Prepositions.
  • “I dun’t keer what folks think—ef Lavinny’s boy looked like his pa, he wouldn’t look like nothin’ ye expeck. Ye needn’t think the only folks is the folks hereabaouts. Lavinny’s read some, an’ has seed some things the most o’ ye only tell abaout. I calc’late her man is as good a husban’ as ye kin find this side of Aylesbury; an’ ef ye knowed as much abaout the hills as I dew, ye wouldn’t ast no better church weddin’ nor her’n. Let me tell ye suthin’—some day yew folks’ll hear a child o’ Lavinny’s a-callin’ its father’s name on the top o’ Sentinel Hill!”

    But I do understand that perfectly :) It is hard to write that way, though, because you have to recall how you have spellededed each word so you spell them the same every time.

  • I always have a hard time remembering how I have spellededed some words.
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