• Research for Fiction?

    Even though fiction is made up it might still be factual in terms of the places the story takes place in and perhaps the way certain characters behave. Often the experiences of the characters are based on the experiences of real people who have been in similar situations. I read Joanna Trollope’s book: The Soldiers Wife and I know the author spent quite a bit of time with soldiers and their wives so that she understood the intricacies of their lives before she wrote the book. As a result it is a very interesting insight into the challenges these people face as well as being a good story. Before I…

  • Hand writing or keyboard tapping? Which is best?

    Do you prefer the creative connection of putting favourite pen to beautiful notebook OR the speed and efficiency of onscreen typing? Putting pen to page You can write anywhere with a notepad and pen When friends and family know you are a writer they tend to buy you notebooks! And if they don’t you can indulge your love of stationery. Waterstones and Paper Chase do some lovely notebooks. You write more slowly and have more time to think about it You get a truer connection to yourself and your deepest thoughts Fiction, which is more of a creative process, may lend itself better to hand writing. Putting pen to paper…

  • 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.…

  • 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…