When is writing art? By Scott Bury

I invited Scott Bury along to give some insights into writing styles. On his blog, Written Words, Scott has written several great posts that provide writing tips, and so I asked him if he would kindly give us all the benefit of his experience. This post will utlimately become part of my series “Killer Plan or Lady Luck?“ but for today, we’ve swapped posts, and I’ve written a post for his blog on the subject of “The Best and Worst of MarketingOnly the Innocent”. I recommend checking out his blog and scouring the archives for his words of wisdom! When is writing an art? Writing is a craft, sometimes an art, but it’s certainly not a spectator sport. Writing about the process of writing is sure to bore readers to death—or at least to clicking to another page. So I won’t tell you how, when I get stuck with an

New series : Hitting the Amazon #1 Spot – A Killer Plan, or Lady Luck?

Part I : WHY AM I BLOGGING ABOUT THIS? Since reaching the coveted number 1 spot in the Amazon charts, I have been asked on an almost hourly basis for tips by other indie authors. I have tried to respond to these, but it occurred to me that the best thing that I could do would be to create a whole series of blog posts on the subject, and try to get feedback from other authors too. Can I start by saying that I am not an expert in any of the fields that will be discussed. I am an amateur in every sense of the word. So I will be talking about the process that I went through – without any guarantees and in the sure knowledge that there are people out there who know more than I do about each and every step in this journey. I will

Marketing your ebook : what about a press release?

Yesterday I published my first ever press release. I thought I had something to shout about – but I had no idea how to go about it, and I wasn’t prepared. This seems to have been the story of my life with e-publishing! This week, I am going to write a blog post on everything that I learned in 24 hours about how to write and distribute a press release without it costing a fortune (it cost me £15). And I will include what I should have already prepared – so that you can all get ready for good news, whether that be the launch of your first book, reaching the top in your category, or any other newsworthy item. You may not get picked up by the Times – but even a mention in a local paper is worth it whilst you build your brand. So for now –

Using Twitter: are you a writer, a brand, or a salesman?

Something else to think about … I recently wrote a few blog posts to help some of the people that I had met on forums to get to grips with Twitter. I said from the start that I am no expert, but over the last ten weeks or so since I launched Only the Innocent I have learned a lot more about Twitter which I’ve tried to share with other indie publishers.  I got some great feedback to the earlier posts, and some very interesting comments –  which have cast a slightly different light on things. I have concluded (and am happy to be disagreed with) that as authors, we have to wear three hats. The writer The ‘brand’ The salesman In terms of Twitter, these are almost mutually exclusive.

The indie author’s guide to Twitter for beginners – Introduction

Why have I written this? Some of you out there will wonder why I’ve bothered writing this. Well, it’s because when I published my first novel, I thought I knew about Twitter. I had been using it for another business for years – and I just didn’t get it. I thought it was a waste of time. Before I launched my novel, I had just 9 (yes – NINE) followers, and so I have been on a steep learning curve. I certainly am a long way from being an expert, but I’ve found tools that work for me, and now I GET IT! I’ve met quite a number of authors on various discussion sites who write about not getting any interest in their books – and they say that they don’t use Twitter. And it’s really for these people that I have written this. The post is in 3 parts

The indie author’s guide to Twitter for beginners – Part I

Twitter? What’s that? I must start by declaring loudly that I am NOT an expert. This is all about my own experience, what I have learned, and what I wish I had known first. But if you are thinking of becoming an indie publisher you may find something useful here. At least, I hope so. This post is aimed at the people I have met on my author journey who do not have a Twitter account, and don’t really understand what it’s all about. It’s a recognised fact that if you are going to be successful with your indie publishing venture, you need to create a PLATFORM. So what does that  mean? I will quote Joanna Penn of The Creative Penn – “The author platform is how you are currently reaching an audience of book-buying people, or how you plan to do so. It is your influence, your ability to

The indie author’s guide to Twitter for beginners – Part II

The basic terminology and etiquette of Twitter. Now you have your twitter account, you’re going to want to start tweeting. One of the first things you need to understand is about the length of tweets and the impact this has on any web link urls that you want to add into your tweets. There are various web shortening sites that will do the job for you. I use bitly.com  because it not only stores the addresses, but I can get some useful analytics as well which show how many times my links have been clicked. All you do is paste in the url that you are going to add into your tweet, and it will produce a reduced length version. Click on the ‘copy’ button, and paste it into your tweet. When you look at other people’s tweets, you may see that there a lots of # tags incorporated. These

The indie author’s guide to Twitter for beginners – Part III

Twitter – Using the tools Social networking is a very time consuming occupation. When I first got going, I was clicking around all over the place trying to find people to follow, making sure that I followed people back, writing tweets at certain times of the day – like every 10 minutes. It was hard work. But you know what? It doesn’t need to be. I’ve sorted myself out with three different pieces of software, and an occasional use of a fourth. There are loads and loads of different Twitter apps out there, and it all depends on what you want to achieve. But for me, these three/four work perfectly. The first thing that I got was TweetDeck. This is free. I have got the desktop app – but I understand that there is an online version if you use Google Chrome as your browser. I haven’t investigated this, but

Formatting your ebook – part II

In the last post, we managed to get rid of all the unnecessary formatting – the stuff that e-readers hate. And now, if you haven’t been using styles, you will have ended up with a whole mass of text without any apparent breaks. So we can fix that now SO easily. I’ll give you a step by step breakdown with explanation, and then a summary that might be quicker and easier to follow. Just remember, this is only the first phase of editing for Word uploads only – there’s a lot more to come!

Formatting your ebook

It’s taken me a long time to get round to writing this post, because it is complicated and I want to make sure that I get it just right for everybody. When I had finished my novel Only the Innocent, I wanted to get it uploaded as quickly as possible – but I also wanted it to look good. I read so many bits of advice all over the web, and much of it was conflicting. But in the end, I managed to pull some different strands together that worked for me. So in this post, and possibly one or two more to follow (as this takes some explaining) I will explain which bits of advice I used, which I rejected (and why) and my ultimate conclusion. I really hope this helps.