What's The Best Way to Show Scene-Breaks?

In ebooks, even more than print, it’s important to give your reader visual cues when things change.  For this reason, we encourage authors to use vertical whitespace to provide cues for changes in the narrative like scenebreaks.  While vertical whitespace is created differently by file conversion companies than by most writers, you can achieve the same impact by marking your manuscript with something as simple as 3 asterisks in a row. e.g., * * * .  That cues your reader—or your conversion house—that your book has moved forward in time; that a POV has changed, or that the reader has entered a new scene. 

In Stephanie Fine's terrific YA novel, "The Howling of the Wind," Stephanie alerts her readers to a scene change by using both a graphic (in the trades, called "a fleuron,") as well as a flush-left paragraph to show the start of a new scene.  In the comedic romp, "Jan of Cleveland," shown here on a Nook device, author Liz Kingsbury McKeown uses both a Blackletter font to set the medieval time-travel mood, and vertical whitespace to indicate a scenebreak almost immediately after her first chapter opens.  

Examples (click to enlarge in a lightbox):

 
 

A fleuron used to create a scenebreak in The Howling of the Wind.
A fleuron used to create a scenebreak in The Howling of the Wind.
 

In Stephanie Fine's terrific YA novel, "The Howling of the Wind," Stephanie alerts her readers to a scene change by using both a graphic (in the trades, called "a fleuron,") as well as a flush-left paragraph to show the start of a new scene.  In the comedic romp, "Jan of Cleveland," shown here on a Nook device, author Liz Kingsbury McKeown uses both a Blackletter font to set the medieval time-travel mood, and vertical whitespace to indicate a scenebreak almost immediately after her first chapter opens.  

Both Blackletter and whitespace used effectively in the comedic romp, Jan of Cleveland
Both Blackletter and whitespace used effectively in the comedic romp, Jan of Cleveland

 

As you can see, fleurons, vertical whitespace, and flush-left paragraphs, used alone or in combination, can be very effective. 

 

 

 

Holiday Closing Alert! Memorial Day, 2020   

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As amazing as it is, this year, for the first time ever,  we're going to be closed for Memorial Day!

That means we're going to be closed, Saturday-Monday May 23rd-25th,  2020.

I know what you're thinking--what???  The whole country's been closed down for two months!  Whaddya mean, you're taking off?  Well, we haven't been closed.  We've been here working harder than ever, due to a wildly increased demand for our services, so honestly, the Crew and I desperately need these days away.  No telephone calls or emails will be answered.  The admin office needs a break.  We'll be back, everything to the ready, the morning of Tuesday, May 26th, to get cracking.  Thank you for your support and understanding.  And please, don't forget why we honor Memorial Day.  We should never--never--forget The Fallen.  

For those of you already in production, the production crew is running full steam; Judith (QA--Quality assurance, our Princess of Perfection) and Jay (Our Doyenne of Customer Delight) will be here and working, checking books and sending them out, so please, don't worry.  It's just we lazybones in the admin office that need a break!