ABCtales FAQ

We will be adding to these Frequently Asked Questions as time goes by, so please get in touch and ask us about anything that might be confusing, troubling or baffling you.

All questions and issues should be directed to luke@abctales.com.

We will try as hard as we can to get back to you in less than 48 hours.

Contents

1. What do I do if I've forgotten my password?

2. How do I change my password?

3. How do I contact another ABCtales member?

4. How do I add my stories and poems to ABCtales?

5. How do I create a collection?

6. Is there any limit to the amount of stories and poems I can submit to ABCtales.com?

7. How do I unpublish or delete a story or poem from ABCtales.com?

8. How do I find the most recently posted stories on ABCtales?

9. What is a cherry-pick and how do I get one?

10. How do I add information to my personal page?

11. How do I use bookmarks on ABCtales.com?

12. How do I use HTML on ABC?

13. Why is everything double spaced / How do I copy & paste pieces onto ABCtales?

14. I'm here, my stories are up - now how do I get published?

1. What do I do if I've forgotten my password?

To request a new password, under 'user login' on the Right Hand Side Navigation bar you'll find a link 'Request new password'.

Follow the link and enter either your username or the email address that used for that account into the form as requested and a new password will be emailed to you.

Once you've logged in you can change your password at anytime by following the instructions below.

2. How do I change my password?

If you would like to change the password to your ABCtales account, login to the site and go to 'my details' on the right hand side navigation bar.

Click the 'edit' tab at the top of the page.

You will find a box to set a new password. Enter your new choice of password twice as specified and scroll to the bottom and click 'submit'.

You now have a new password of your choice!

3. How do I contact another ABCtales member?

If you would like to contact the author of a piece of writing, you must first click their username as it appears on their story or poem. This will appear below the story or poem title. Clicking this will take you to the personal page of that author. Below their name on that page you will see a tab marked 'contact'. This will lead you to a form where you can send an email to that author.

You can also use the 'Find an author' link on the Right Hand Side Navigation bar to search for an author. Search results will take you to the personal page of an author as outlined above.

4. How do I add my stories and poems to ABCtales?

To add a story or poem to ABCtales, click the 'Write a story or poem' link on the Right Hand Side Navigation Bar, under 'Write'.

Here you will find a field for you to input the title of your story or poem, a box for the text, and a button to upload a 'Cover' image for the piece. If you don't have an image of your own, just click 'Stock Images' and use one that's already there!

You'll also find categories to describe your story - most relate to genre, but the 'Inspiration Point' means that a story responds to our weekly phrase or idea to help get you writing, which you can find here: http://www.abctales.com/inspiration-point-ip. 

The age rating you choose should follow the guide of UK film and video classification, so 'U' is suitable for all, 'PG' is mostly suitable for all but may contain some things that parents may not want younger children to view, '12' may contain mild swearing or sexual content, '15' more extreme language or content and '18' should be selected for themes, content or language only suitable for those over eighteen years of age. 'Genre' and 'Type of story' control where your piece of writing will appear on the site, so it will help it to be read by others if it is correctly catagorised.

Finally, you are given the option to either 'Preview' or 'Submit' your piece of writing. If you are confident that you have everything the way you want it, press 'Submit'. You can edit it later, anyway.

If you'd like to see how your piece will look before you submit it, press 'Preview'. This will show you your piece as it will appear on the site, then below this you will be able to alter it by going through the processes we have already discussed. Once you are happy with it, remember to press 'Submit' and there it will be, on ABCtales for all to see!

5. How do I create a collection?

Think of a collection as being like a folder that your work will collected into - use it for grouping parts of a novel, a sequence of stories, or just pieces that you feel fit together.

Go to the 'Write' link at the top of the page, then click 'Create a Collection.' Firstly, you will see a field marked 'Title'. Fill this in with the title you would like your collection to have, for example 'My Writing 2005' or 'The Preserved Moose'.

Secondly, you will see a field labelled 'Description'. This is where you will put a short description of what your collection is, what it contains or any other information you'd like other people to to see when they view it.

Then, tick the boxes of whichever pieces you'd like to be displayed in the collection. Press 'Submit' and you're done! You'll have the option to add new stories or poems to your existing collections each time you post.

6. Is there any limit to the amount of stories and poems I can submit to ABCtales.com?

You can post as many stories and poem on ABCtales.com as you like! However, if you have a lot of work you'd like to submit, it is best if you keep your submissions to three stories or poems a day. This makes it more likely that your work will be read and gives other people a chance to appear on the the list of recently submitted stories and poems

7. How do I unpublish or delete a story or poem from ABCtales.com?

You can unpublish or delete a story or poem from ABCtales.com by firstly clicking the 'Your Details' link on the Right Hand Side Navigation Bar, under Write. Here you will find a list of all of your stories, poems and collections

Tick the box of whichever pieces you'd like to unpublish or delete, and then hit 'Unpublish' or 'Delete' above. Deleted pieces will be gone forever - while unpublished pieces will remain on your account, but will no longer be visible to others. If you'd like them to become available again, simply return here, check the box of the unpublished piece and click 'Publish'.

All pieces deleted or unpublished should disappear from Google within a few weeks. If you'd urgently like to remove the cache from google (as Google saves excerpts from the urls of every piece) you can get in touch with Google directly or ask us to do it for you, by contacting us via the button below. 

8. How do I find the most recently posted stories on ABCtales?

To find the most recently added stories and poems to ABCtales, click 'New' on the Right Hand Side Navigation Bar, under Read. If you follow this link, you will find a list of all of the stories and poems on ABCtales, beginning with the most recent first.

9. What is a cherry-pick and how do I get one?

A cherry-pick, represented by a lovely bunch of cherries, is given by the editors of ABCtales to recognise pieces of writing that they really think that other people should read. Red cherries are given to outstanding work or work that indicates a substantial improvement, Golden cherries are awarded to our Picks of the Day, and shared on Facebook and Twitter, and Green and Blue books are awarded to our Stories and Poems of the week. Picks of the day, stories of the week and poems of the week are also featured on the home page.

This is not a scientific process, but does genuinely represent both an encouragement to writers and also a guide to the most interesting or noteworthy writing on ABCtales. If you do get a cherry, your piece is added to the list of cherry-picked pieces and you'll receive an email of congratulation.

The cherry-picked pieces on ABCtales are all collected into one list, with the most recent first. You can find this by clicking the 'Cherrypicked' link underneath 'Read' on the right. 

10. How do I add information to my personal page?

To add a biography of yourself to your personal page, firstly go to 'Your Account' on the Right Hand Navigation Bar, which is only visible if you are logged in to the site. This will take you to your personal page, which has details of all of your stories, poems and collections.

You will see a tab at the top of the page marked 'edit'. Clicking this will take you to a page with further options. Follow the link marked 'Personal Details', which will take you to a further page, where you will find a box labelled 'Author Profile'.

Fill this box with your biog, and then click 'Submit' at the bottom of the page. Your biog will now be visible to the rest of the world!

11. How do I use bookmarks on the site?

The bookmark section of the Right Hand Side Navigation Bar exists so that you can bookmark pages within the ABCtales.com site. You can bookmark stories and poems that you'd like to return to later, or discussions that you'd like to keep an eye on. This is especially useful if you only get to look at the site for short periods of time, and wanted to keep a record of things that you'd like to return to when you get a bit longer.

When you are logged in to the site, you can check your bookmarks by clicking 'My bookmarked stories' in the 'Read' column, or by navigating here: http://www.abctales.com/read/bookmarked.

When you find a page you would like to come back to later, all you need to do is click the 'bookmark' link at the bottom of the piece. It's as simple as that!

It is also possible to turn off the 'bookmark' function by editing your personal preferences (see 14)

12. How do I use HTML on ABC?

To use HTML - you must first use the text format button on the bottom of any editing window - simply change it form 'editor' to 'html' - be warned, you'll have to use HTML for everything!

13. Why is everything double spaced? / How do I copy / paste pieces onto ABCtales?

Our editor automatically puts spaces in between paragraphs, which means if you make a carriage return (enter) a space will appear. The best way to get around this is to hold down shift when you make a carriage return - shift+enter will give you a single line. If you're writing poetry, this might be annoying - but it's always possible to write your work on another program and copy and paste it onto ABC!

Copy pasting does sometimes create problems with our editor - CKeditor - because of software conflicts (often with MS word). This can range from formatting problems to more double-spacing between lines.

The simplest solution is to copy content out of Word - which embeds code into text - and into a simpler text editor - like Text Editor or Notes - or into an online 'cleaner' like this one: http://word2cleanhtml.com/. If that doesn't work, make sure that your Word and Internet Browsers are both fully up to date, restart, and try again!

14. I'm here, my stories are up - now how do I get published?

There's no easy path to publication - not least because there are so many different ways of going about it. From self-publication to crowd-funding to the traditional route, there seem to be no end to the options, and it can get overwhelming, fast.

But stick to the basics. First and foremost, make sure your work is as polished as it can be. I'd recommend putting a longer work up in sections on the site, taking all criticisms to heart and editing rigorously. I'd also recommend reaching out to one or two people who you think might make a good editor for the book - this could be someone who left you some great feedback on ABC, it might be a friend or acquaintance or even a teacher. If in doubt, get in touch via the contact form below and we'll try to put you in touch with someone - but the best way of going about it is offering to do a little editing yourself in exchange.

Then, when your work is polished, edited, copy-edited, proofread, and maybe edited again for good measure, you're ready to start your research. If you're interested in traditional publishing, you'll most likely want to try to find an agent. If you are thinking of self-publishing or trying to crowdfund your book, you'll need to research publishers carefully to ensure you find a company who you can trust and who will do everything they can to ensure your book's success.

One of the touchstones for finding the right agent, publisher or vehicle for your work is the Writers' and Artists' Yearbook. A century old, the Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook, offers comprehensive listings, articles packed with advice on all areas of publishing, competitions, inspirational interviews, editorial assistance, regular conferences, an industry-first self-publishing provider comparison service and a vibrant online community. Visit www.writersandartists.co.uk for more information.