You Either Got It or You Don’t – Writing Lies

I am delighted to welcome Nikolas Baron along today to talk about some of the many lies whispered about writers! Some lies of the writing world get as much circulation as The National Enquirer tabloid. These lies whisper doubts to young ones considering a writing career. These lies haunt men and women who are considering self-publishing their manuscript. These lies hurt anyone who listens to them. What is the antidote of a lie? One must learn the truth. Avoid being deceived by the following three misleading statements heard from both friend and foe. “You either got it, or you don’t.” I chose this falsehood to address first because it is often experienced very early in a writer’s career. As early as a child can write, he begins to process the comments of parents, teachers, and peers. If what he hears is largely positive, he may feel confident in his ability

First novel – top ten tips

John Mountford has been a keen commentator on this blog for many months. Has has just published his first novel, and I asked him to share some tips about his experience with us all.  I have just Amazon-published my first novel, KILL MANDELA, two years and ten months after writing the first word. Despite the plethora of help for new authors on the web, I took my fair share of wrong turns along the way. And so I decided to give something back by adding my bit to that vast pool of self-publishing help – and where better than the blog of one of the most helpful writers in the business, Rachel Abbott. A quick disclaimer: these tips are from my personal experience, and may not perfectly match your circumstances. Nonetheless, I stand by them.

Don’t be too eager to sign on the dotted line!

In this guest post, David Menon talks about his experiences when he signed with a small publisher.  Some of you will know what it’s like as an independent author. You lose all your friends because you’re always ‘on a book’ and so they get fed up of inviting you to stuff to which you never turn up. You get so preoccupied with writing an original take on murder that you can’t make up your mind between an Indian takeaway and a pizza when you suddenly remember you haven’t eaten since breakfast last Tuesday. Then when the delivery boy arrives with your dinner you give him a whole back story of useless parents, teenage delinquency, falling in with the wrong crowd, ending up in the youth justice system and now turning it all around with a job delivering Chinese takeaways (The Indian restaurant was engaged and you couldn’t find the number

Defining a winning strategy – update

A few weeks ago I wrote a blog post about defining a winning strategy. I laid out my ideas, and explained my thinking about pricing. I decided that today it was time for an update. (You can find the original post HERE if you haven’t read it.) Some of you eagle eyed readers may have noticed that – contrary to my last post – from 1st May the price of Only the Innocent and The Back Road both dropped to £0.99. You can check them both out by clicking the title links, but I thought I should explain what has happened. This is an intrinsic part of my strategy, and not a change of heart! I have to admit that after my last post, the temptation to drop the price of The Back Road to 99p did prove quite hard to resist, once I’d realised that only books that were

Do video book trailers work, and how do you make one?

I have been questioning the impact of video trailers on book sales for some time. I’ve seen some very good trailers – usually with specially shot video – and some very poor ones where scrolling text describes the whole story for seemingly endless minutes. I played around a bit with some utility apps that I had on my Mac (and I do love messing around with software), but I really didn’t know where to start. I checked out Animoto – a free app – but although it was quick and easy I didn’t really like the fact that I had no control at all, and with little more than the cover of my book to work with, it just didn’t seem to deliver – so I temporarily gave up. However, I was impressed with the impact that a good trailer could have when I went to one of S J

Two Sides of the Publishing Coin – a guest post by David Treanor

As the debate about traditional vs indie publishing goes on – and probably will do for some considerable time – it was great to hear from one author who has experienced both. Author David Treanor has kindly given us his perspective on the two sides of the publishing coin. In my old life as a BBC journalist I would occasionally have to interview people for jobs. I’d take home a stack of application forms — maybe a-hundred or more — and try to draw up a shortlist of twelve. I used to like it when people made spelling mistakes. It meant I could rule them out right away. But I know I didn’t always get it right. Then would come a couple of days of interviews. Sometimes I felt that half the people I’d seen would be great at the job. But there was only one vacancy. So I did

Five-Star Book Corner – a guest post from Victoria Twead

I was fortunate enough to come across Victoria as recently as a couple of weeks ago. She runs a great site, which is dedicated to books with more than 25 Five Star reviews – a great place for readers to visit, and a brilliant opportunity for authors. I invited Victoria along to tell us all about it.  Thank you for inviting me to talk about this new free promotion opportunity for authors, Rachel. My Five-Star Book Corner is growing fast, and that’s thanks to fellow authors like you who are being featured and telling others. Just to introduce myself, I’m a British author living up a mountain in Spain. I’m supposed to be writing the fourth book in my Two Old Fools series but have got a little sidetracked with this Book Corner project. But I’ll begin at the beginning, and explain how it all began… I was shocked when I

The Back Road to Success – defining a winning strategy

As many regular readers of this blog will know, my second novel – The Back Road – was launched just four weeks ago, and being my usual obsessive self I had a carefully considered (and very long) marketing strategy. Based on my experience with Only the Innocent and its startling success, I had tried to analyse what made it shoot to the top of the charts and stay there for so long, and my plan was based on identifying those key points and making them work for me again. My expectations were lower. There are not only more books out there now, but other authors are much more savvy about how to market them (I knew I shouldn’t have blogged about my methodology! 🙂 ). On top of that, until the day of launch there were still lots of 20p books in the charts, and my book stood no chance against

Killer tips for self-publishing by Mel Sherratt

I am sure many of you will have heard of Mel Sherratt, whose book Taunting the Dead was a bestseller in 2012. She’s a great supporter of other indie authors, so I have asked her to share some of her knowledge and experience with us all.  Since my novel, TAUNTING THE DEAD, became one of the top ten self-published Kindle bestsellers of 2012, I’m often asked how did I do it. The answer could be one of a few things: did I get lucky? Did I get noticed in some way? Did I have a marketing strategy? Did word of mouth take over once people started to read it? The answer is obviously the latter one – joking! In truth, it’s probably a bit of all of them. So I thought I’d share a few tips with you: 1. IMAGE IS EVERYTHING: Cover, cover, cover. Personally, I think covers are everything

5 Sites to Promote Your eBook for Free

I was recently approached by Ken Myers, who thought he might have some interesting information to share with readers of this blog and has put together a helpful list of free sites that will help to promote your book. As always, let me know what you think. The power of the Internet has provide a variety of interaction that humankind has never seen prior. Companies sell goods to consumers living in other countries en mass. Businesses can conduct in-person office meetings with staff located in another state with IP video and audio equipment. And potential authors have found a new way to put their name out there as a writer. In fact, the Internet has spawned more authors than there has ever been before. If you are looking for a free method to promote your own eBook, these five locations could help you gain some exposure. 1. Addicted to eBooks