Chapters

When I first began to write Audrey of Farmerton, it was a single giant text document. It was divided into individual scenes, but not chapters. I hadn’t divided it up because I really wasn’t sure how to go about it.

Scenes in books aren’t much different than scenes in movies or TV shows. They mark a change of location, a change of viewpoint, or an abrupt passage of time. In a book, they are often delineated by a line containing one or more symbols, as shown below this paragraph. Some books simply place an extra blank line to mark the end of a scene, but that is a bad practice because blank lines are hard to spot at the top or bottom of a page.

*    *    *

The beginning of a chapter is the beginning of a scene, and its end the end of a scene, but a chapter can contain multiple scenes. It might, for example, flip between the viewpoints of two people as they speak. It is also worth noting that some authors only put one scene in each chapter.

A chapter is supposed to be somewhat self-contained, but that rule isn’t always adhered to. The lengths of the chapters in a book are also supposed to vary by no more than a factor of two, but that rule is also routinely ignored. It seems to be more a question of personal preference and style.

I began to divide my book into chapters, finding that it was sometimes easy, and sometimes a challenge. In several instances I ended up moving scenes around to create chapters with more of a theme. And sometimes I wrote additional scenes to flesh out short chapters. I ended up with forty-some chapters in the range of 2500 to 5000 words (or so).

Many books have only chapter numbers (and some have scene numbers within the chapter). I started with only numbers, but then began adding one-word names just to make it easier to navigate the book. My beta readers liked them, and so they ended up staying in. Now coming up with a chapter title is simply part of my writing process.

Self-Publishing on Amazon

Yesterday morning I uploaded Audrey of Farmerton to Amazon so that it could be published via Kindle Desktop Publishing (KDP). The uploading process was simple. Approval  was supposed to take up to 48 hours, but just a few hours later my book was live on Amazon here. Today I created an author page on Amazon and linked it to this blog.

Amazon will publish nearly anything as a Kindle ebook providing it meets their format and content guidelines. The formatting was straightforward because I was using software (Scrivener) that supports the Kindle format.

I opted for KDP Select as an additional option. This allows people with Kindle Unlimited subscriptions to read my book for free. Amazon Prime members can also borrow it for free. In exchange, I am guaranteeing Amazon exclusivity, which means I can’t sell copies myself or through any other retailer.