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You know, one of the things that I love most about books is just how versatile they are. Yes, they can make you laugh or make you cry, but it’s more than that. Books can be pure entertainment and escapism or they can be there to guide you through life. They can be a reflection of your soul or help you through a spiritual matter. They teach you things, from facts and figures to methods and hows to do things. Format It Yourself by Jo Roderick falls exactly into this category – and it does it very, very well.

Believe it or not, I’m not overly technically minded. I can work a computer and do the basics but when it comes to detailed things like formatting ebooks, I get a bit lost at sea. Sure I could learn it, I have no doubt about that, but that’s a lot of energy that I just don’t have. What I need (or rather, what I needed) is a handy step-by-step guide. Roderick’s Format It Yourself brings all those bits of information, knowledge, and skill that (for me at least) were previously scattered across the internet like leaves on an autumn day, and puts them into an easy to understand package that will take you right from the beginning until you’ve got a beautifully formatted and completely finished document.

Couldn’t get better than that, right? Wrong. FIY is littered with images, placed at convenient points, to help aid understanding (perfect for a visual learner like me) and a handy glossary of terms too, so you really can understand it even if you go into it without a single drop of knowledge. What’s more, Roderick intersperses his unique brand of humour throughout, making the read as enjoyable as it is informative, and thus preventing that horrible ‘stale bread’ feel of so many how-to books.

I sound totally sycophantic, right? Well, I’m ashamed to say that that is partly (okay, mostly) because I am! Before I read FIY, the thought of formatting my own books filled me with so much dread that I’d end up paying someone to do it for me. Next time though, I’m going sit down with my copy of FIY and do it all myself. For Roderick to have made it that easy for someone like me is an achievement in itself 😉

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