• The power of writing your own story

    My friend Julie Willard read my novel, Unlikely Neighbours, and then gave me Hidden Talents by Erica James to read.  ‘Have you thought about writing more? she asked me. Looking at the near-500 pages in my hand, I realised she meant a longer novel. (Mine is around 200 pages.) It was a question, I pondered, as I read Hidden Talents. I really enjoyed the book. The characters became like friends, all well penned and I felt I pretty much knew them by the end. The storylines, whilst quite dramatic in places, are gentle with you and everyone turns out to be basically good even if they have had their moments. It…

  • First draft complete? Now for the edit…

    When you’ve finished your first draft and you’re happy with it – let the editing begin! The good news is that you can’t do all this yourself; you need to get some help. The bad news is that you still have quite a bit of work to do. So here are some top tips: 1. Check for consistency I keep an Excel spreadsheet going from the minute I start the book and for each chapter I note all the significant things that happen, and also any character features that are mentioned. Another tool that might be helpful is a character reference sheet which you would create for each person making…

  • How do I get my book on Kindle?

    There are three stages, and the first one is by far the most challenging! Sorry, I don’t make the rules. You need to take your draft or manuscript (as it is often called) and turn it into a format that Kindle will accept. You need to have a front cover for your book in JPEG format. You’re probably familiar with JPEG format as it is commonly used for digital photographs and other graphics. You need to open a Kindle account. Easy peasy when you know how. This blog is just going to address the first stage which is: Converting your manuscript into a suitable format for Kindle Kindle Direct Publishing…

  • 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.…

  • 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…