• Picture this!

    A blog without the picture is like wet weather on your holiday. Disappointing. Your blog post is much more likely to be read if you have an image. Research has shown that articles with images get 94% more views than those without. Also the image you use can be easily carried over to social media sites such as Facebook so that the link to your blog post is much more likely to be clicked on. We live in a very visual age – people love to click on pictures! Interesting pictures. Interesting due to their content. Or maybe intriguing? Why is there a photo of a natterjack toad on this…

  • Write a blog post – Make it EASY

    Do you find the task of writing a blog post a bit daunting? You are not alone! Try these six EASY steps and you’ll have written it sooner than you think. Headline – you need a compelling, eye-catching title. Don’t worry about it until the end! It will come to you. Opening paragraph – this might answer the question you pose in your headline but whatever you need to get straight to the point! (Alas some of your readers may get no further – attention span is low on the internet so you really need to grab them!) The filling – expanding on the opening paragraph. Get it all off…

  • I run my own business: what do I blog about?

    A blog is a great way to inform your audience about what you do in a non-salesy way. By putting out free information you attract new followers and ultimately new customers. So what do you write about? Here are five ideas. 1.      Educate and inform your audience about what you do Answer the questions that you often get asked by your customers or clients. This might be during initial discussions or treatments, workshops, classes, events or networking. Maybe you get asked questions after you do your elevator pitch? Clarify different concepts and ideas related to your business. Take the mystery out of it. Develop top 10 tips on…. a specific…

  • 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.…