Writing Tips

Top tips for writing fiction, non-fiction and promoting a successful blog

  • The advantages of publishing on Kindle

    E-books are good news for authors as, for the first time, you can get a reasonable level of royalty per book sold, which is difficult through print distribution. The numbers add up It’s a very fast and efficient way of getting your book in front of literally millions of readers all round the world. There are no setup fees to start selling a book on Kindle. There is no printed item therefore, no print cost. There is no delivery cost – Amazon will deliver the book to the customer for you. As long as you’re willing to charge at least $2.99 for each book sold, you will receive a royalty…

  • How do you research ideas for your non-fiction book?

    Okay, so you want to write a non-ficton book and you know you need to do some research first, but how do you go about it? First of all look at what genre you are going to write in You may already know which genre you want to write in, but it is worth having a look at how Amazon categorise books. This table on the right shows all the different genres on Amazon at the time of writing, and how many books are in each one so you can see how popular your field is: In some ways this shows you how accepted your type of book might be.…

  • Maximise your book sales on Amazon

    When you have your book on Amazon there are a number of things you can do on your sales page to increase your chances of sales. Some of these need to be thought about well before you start publishing. Choose the right title for your book The best titles are the ones that come up top in people’s searches on Google and Amazon. So, for example, for my non-fiction book, I could use one of the following: How to write and get published in the UK How to write and get published: A Guide for new writers How to write and get published:  The Ultimate Guide UK All three of…

  • I’ve got a great idea for a non-fiction book.. or is it? Find out here.

    How would you describe your book idea in 50 words? Think of this as an elevator pitch that you use at networking meetings or with anyone you want to share your idea with. What will be on the back cover that will entice customers to buy it? Take my idea for a non-fiction book which will have a title, something like: ‘How to publish a non-fiction book to give your business a boost’ By the way, starting your title with ‘How to…’ is a good thing as it makes you answer a need that some people have. So, in 50 words: Writing and self-publishing a book to showcase your expertise…

  • Writing a book to boost your business

    Many businesses fail in the first few years, and one of the main reasons that this is a lack of credibility. Not only do you have to build awareness of your brand but you have to convince potential customers that you have the skills and expertise to produce the products or service you are offering. If you set yourself up as an expert in a particular area, for example, as a life coach, you need to find a way of building trust with potential clients and of raising your profile in their eyes. I meet many life coaches in one form or another when I am networking either online or…

  • Your style of writing – non fiction

    If you are completely new to writing anything more than a tweet you need to get some practice in and develop your own style. The easiest style for the reader is a conversational style where you were talking to the reader in an open and honest way. In my opinion this is the best way to write non-fiction. To adopt this style: Use short sentences Don’t use words the reader might have to look up in a dictionary too often Use bullet points to break up blocks of text (!) Used subheads so the reader can easily find a paragraph they want to revert back to Use commas if your…

  • Your Non-Fiction book – having the Right Idea

    The big idea I’m assuming you have some idea of what you want to write.  You want to share your knowledge and experience in a particular field, which will help a certain group of readers. So, for example, you’re a business coach, and you have successfully coached many entrepreneurs to have more successful businesses.  Now, the bad news is that there are thousands of coaches out there.  The good news is that you can specialise in one area and appeal to a niche audience. Perhaps your focus is on self-employed women, or SMEs? Perhaps they are all a certain type of business, e.g., complimentary therapies or B2B (business to business).…

  • Character development is Story

    For any story, short or novel length, your main character needs to develop in some way by the end. In other words, they need to change somehow; it might be that they learn from their mistakes, or maybe climb out of a situation they are thrown into and become a better person for it. James Bond – How not to do it! James Bond is a good example of a character, who does NOT develop from start to finish from one film to the next. He remains reliably arrogant, charismatic, charming (?) and the ultimate hero throughout. You know that whatever scrapes he gets into, he will be beaming at…

  • Making it up as you go along

    If you are embarking on writing a novel, where do you start? You have an idea for a story, maybe you are clear on who your main character will be but how do you develop this into a great novel? To plan or not to plan I did this course in creative writing many years ago and they suggested that the way to write a novel was to plan it out, chapter by chapter, before you even started writing. So you would be deciding on your storyline blow by blow and any sub-plots too. I tried it with my first novel and really struggled with it. It felt like I…

  • Third person versus monologue

    I think it’s true to say that the majority of novels are written in the third person, and probably because this gives the writer more opportunity for describing the environment of the characters and the characters themselves. However, using monologue can be very powerful too. Let’s go straight into an example of a scene I observed in a cafe recently. I’ve written this short piece both ways, to demonstrate the differences: Third person Jack flung his school bag under his chair, sat down and then shuffled the chair forward further and further under the cafe table until he was as close to Sophie as he could manage.  Then he leant…