Saturday, February 18, 2017

Publisher Guide line grid and the Celebrant


Love my Publisher – especially to create programs for my Wedding, Baby Naming, Renewal of Vows and CommitmentCeremonies.

Unlike Word where you have to do a lot of manual formatting, Publisher does it for you. 
If you want to create a booklet which consists of A4 pages folded in half, here’s how I do it. 

1. Select a blank, landscape page. 

2. Go to Page Design. Drop ‘Size’ menu and select ‘Page Set Up’. 

3. Select ‘Layout Type’ which gives you the option of ‘Booklet’. And that’s all there is to it. You create a Text box on each page and continue your Ceremony from one page to the other. 

Apart from compiling and printing booklets, I use Publisher for my Marriage Celebrant official documents. This is a little bit more complex. 

In the good old days I used to use a typewriter to fill in the blank spaces. However, once I reached  the last of my ink cartridges I tossed out the typewriter and went to my computer. 

After scanning the forms, and placing them in Publisher, I eventually came up with a template of text boxes for inserting the names etc as and where required. After which I got rid of the scanned document leaving just the text boxes. Needless to say, the boxes weren't as exactly placed as they should have been, and that's when I discovered grid lines.
To find the grind layout: 

1. Go to Page Design. Drop the ‘Guides’ menu and select ‘Grid and Base Line’. Select as many lines and columns as you want. Now you can position your text boxes in straight lines - horizontally and vertically. Once you actually write the text into them, you’re able to finesse them according to the lines you’ve got. Incidentally, you don’t have to get rid of the grid lines since they are just for layout purposes and won’t print.

If you have your own challenges or suggestions on this topic, let’s hear from you.


Saturday, February 11, 2017

What happened in the Year you Married

Couples may renew their Wedding Vows for different reasons, and at different times. But the most popular time when married couples renew their wedding vows is on their Wedding Anniversary. In particular such significant anniversaries as the 5th, the 10th, the 25th and the 50th Wedding anniversary.

Because it's not a legal ceremony the couple can introduce a variety of steps into their ceremony,  making it uniquely their own. Here is the complete text of one Renewal of Wedding Vows Ceremony I've conducted.

Since we like to commemorate such significant ceremonies in a concrete way, at the end of the Ceremony I usually hand the couple a Renewal of Wedding Vows Certificate.

But apart from this commemorative Certificate, I also like to give the couple a Certificate which outlines the significant events that happened in the year they were married. When I first thought of the idea I wanted to narrow it down to what happened on the Wedding Day itself. But found it too hard, so changed it to what happened in the year instead.

One ot the things I've included - and which got a laugh when I read it out when presenting the Certificate to the couple - was the year when mini-skirts became fashionable! Another one was what horse won the Melbourne Cup that year. (You have to live in Australia to appreciate that one)



Anything special you do for your Renewal of Vows Ceremony? Share your ideas.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

For the Ebook Writer

Excellent Book-Length Guides


Getting Started & Principles


Producing a Solid Product


Sales, Marketing, and Promotion


Getting Reviews


Tools for Creating & Formatting Ebooks

  • Scrivener: this writing software is not free, but it can export EPUB files
  • Calibre: free formatting and conversion software for ebooks
  • StreetLib: free web-based tool that can also handle distribution and sales if you want
  • Jutoh: free software for creating ebooks, paid version available with more functionality
  • PressBooks: free formatting tool (up until a point), WordPress-based
  • Apple Pages (can export EPUB files)
  • Vellum: easy-to-use software for Mac users only to produce EPUB files
  • Here’s a list of educational resources and tools if you want to learn about ebook formatting and development.

Tools for Creating Enhanced, Multimedia, or Full-Color Ebooks


Major Ebook Retailers

Note: for reviews and insight into all of these retailers and more, read the reviews at The Independent Publishing Magazine by Mick Rooney

  • Amazon. Sells 60-80% of all ebooks, more for some authors and titles.
  • Apple iBookstore. Widely considered the No. 2 ebook retailer in U.S.
  • Barnes & Noble Nook Press. Considered No. 3 ebook retailer in U.S.
  • Kobo. Gaining ground, international presence. Important for the Canadian market.

Major Ebook Distributors & Services

Note: for reviews and insight into all of these retailers and more, read the reviews at The Independent Publishing Magazine by Mick Rooney

  • Smashwords. The largest ebook distributor of self-published titles that’s been around the longest and has the widest reach.
  • Draft2Digital. Similar to Smashwords, but smaller and more customer-service focused
  • Pronoun. An ebook distributor that reaches the key players: Amazon, Nook, Kobo, Apple, and Google. They also offer data-based marketing insights and a variety of tools to help you better sell. You pay nothing upfront yet still earn 100% of net sales.
  • BookBaby. You pay for a publishing package upfront (which includes ebook formatting), then you receive 100% of net sales.

To Find Freelance Help

Usually a referral is best; ask successful authors in your genre who they recommend. Otherwise, here are a few options:


Authors Who Blog About Ebook Publishing


News & Trends About Ebook Publishing



Friday, February 3, 2017

24 Complete Ceremonies

Australian Celebrant Resources
Not quite sure what sort of ceremonies you want to perform?

Dip into this book and get inspired.

24 ceremonies in all, it includes
  1. Eight complete Renewal of Vows Ceremonies
  2. Eight complete Commitment Vows Ceremonies
With these ceremonies at hand, it won't matter whether you know anything about the occasion you want to celebrate.

All of these ceremonies are complete and can be used just as they are, without any further material.

However, you can add or substitute personal details if your clients want to personalise the ceremonies with details of their own.

What can you expect from this book? To help stimulate your own interest and imagination, there are theme ceremonies such as:-
  • St. Valentine's Commitment ceremony
  •         Older children participation in a Renewal of Vows Ceremony

One of the really joyful ceremony is the Baby Naming Ceremony. In this book you will find:-
  • Involvement of parents, grandparents, step-parents, godparents, siblings
  • Visual symbolism such as scattering of petals, blessing with water, candle lighting
  • Special situation ceremonies, acceptance of step children in a naming ceremony

Whatever part of Australia you live in, ordering this book couldn't be easier.


24 Ceremonies (8 Naming, 8 Renewal of Vows, 8 Commitment)
is available as a PDF and Word Document. When you order the book both the PDF and Word Document will be emailed to you so you can use which ever version you prefer.

You download them to your own computer, print and bind them yourself or have Office Works do it for you.

You can also cut, copy and paste as you create your own ceremonies or booklets.


House Blessing and Dedication

Australian Celebrant Resources
When to have a House Blessing or House Dedication Ceremony? 

One of the most common reasons for House Blessing ceremony is when you move into a new house and invite your friends to participate in the ceremony in conjunction with a house warming party. 

Other festive occasions which might prompt a House Blessing ceremony is a Pre-Wedding party when the wedding is to take place at the home. 

If you have done extensive renovation on your house a House Blessing will be part of your house warming party where your family and friends are invited to see the improvements. 

Welcoming a New Baby to the home can also be a time for a House Blessing ceremony. 

It can also be a precursor to a Commitment Ceremony if you and your partner are setting up a home together. 

Whatever your reasons, this book, with more than 200 samples of house blessing readings and rituals, as well as a complete sample house blessing ceremony, will help you create a meaningful, personal and memorable ceremony. 

House Blessing & Dedication is available as a PDF and Word Document. When you order the book both the PDF and Word Document will be emailed to you so you can use which ever version you prefer. 

You download them to your own computer, print and bind them yourself or have Office Works do it for you.  

Funeral Resource Book

Resources for Australian Celebrants
Almost 200 funeral ceremony samples, it includes readings for

1. funeral of a baby

2. funeral of a parent or a close relative

3. funeral of a partner

4. commemorating the unexpected death, including death of the young or as a result of a suicide

5. funeral for the elderly or after a lengthy illness

6. readings of mourning and remembering

7. reading of consolation and acceptance

8. spiritual, religious and philosophical readings

9. blessings, benedictions and litanies.

There are also suitable readings to accompany such symbolic rituals as:-

1. scattering of ashes or committal

2. releasing of doves or butterflies

3. lighting of candles

For those who want to commemorate the death of a favourite pet, there are also a few poems addressing that topic. In all, there are more than 150 readings to choose from when planning a funeral.

Included in the book is

(a) an overview of what a funeral ceremony entails. 

(b) check lists when compiling funeral information.  

(c) suggestions on how to personalise a funeral ceremony.

(d) hints on how to compile and deliver an eulogy. 

The Funeral Resource Book will help you prepare for a funeral whatever your situation.

Funeral Resources is available as a PDF and Word Document. When you order the book both the PDF and Word Document will be emailed to you so you can use which ever version you prefer.

You download them to your own computer, print and bind them yourself or have Office Works do it for you.