Category: Advice

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How to write a novel

W. Somerset Maugham said, “There are three rules for writing a novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.” Instead, take the advice of the pros: Just write How do you learn to write? Learn from the best – Read Read in your genre and out of it. Read everything. Learn to love words. Anyone who tells you how to write is lying. There are many people, writers of all kinds, who write books and blogs about how to...

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The Myth of Reviews and Sales

A lot of people will tell you that book reviews determine whether a book sells or not, that reviews with four or five stars sell books. While reviews help, that’s not what sells a book. What sells a book is good writing. A storyline that captures their imagination, characters readers care about – heroes they want to root for and villains they understand. (Even the villain wants to be the hero of his own story.) It’s really...

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How and why to use Paper.li

For those who aren’t familiar with Paper.li it’s essentially a ‘newspaper’ about whatever you want to share and it’s easy to use. Simply go to the site and sign up. There are two versions – free and paid. (More on that later.) Give it a title but think long and hard before choosing one. Don’t make the common mistake of naming it ‘YourName, Author‘ or ‘RomanticTitle Series‘, because using your author name is a giveaway for ‘buy my book’...

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Anyone who says there is one way to write is almost certainly wrong.

In other words, there’s no formula for success as an Indie writer. There will be plenty of people who will tell you different, some will even offer you solutions, software, or fixes, that they promise will make your book great. They will be wrong.     Somerset Maugham said, “There are three rules for writing a novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.” That is the truth. There is no magic wand (if there were more...

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Editing 101 – Self-editing for self-publishers

In the first of a series of articles, Valerie Douglas talks Self Editing – we’re storing them on our pages, so they don’t flow away in the blog stream 😀 One of the first things they should tell you in writing classes or seminars is that in a novel, it’s all about the action. It’s about doing things. Show don’t tell. People don’t ‘begin’ to do things, they don’t ‘start’ to do things, they DO...

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Pronoun is unfortunately closing

It’s always sad to see the demise of a platform that supports authors, and I heard (though never personally used) lots of great things about Pronoun. But it seems like they’re at the end of the road. Here’s part of the announcement. Two years ago Pronoun set out to create a one-of-a-kind publishing tool that truly put authors first. We believed that the power of data could be harnessed for smarter book publishing, leveling the...

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Self-Editing 101

Spelling – Even the best spellers make mistakes. Use a software program like Grammarly or WordWeb (both of which have free versions.) Both may catch other errors in word usage – like affect vs. effect – and both do offer a thesaurus so you can find a better word or correct one that’s overused. One of the first things they may or may not tell you in writing classes or seminars is that in a...

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A Tale of Self-Publishing – How authors slayed the dragon

Once upon a time, there was only traditional publishing and in traditional publishing there were gatekeepers. A gatekeeper’s job was to filter out the unedited, poorly written dreck that opened not with action, but backstory or prologues. Then their function changed from being mere gatekeepers to arbiters/purchasing agents and so the reading public was forced to read endless variations of Twilight with its moody, angst driven hero and wistful, victim heroine to 50 Shades of...

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KDP Select and Instafreebie – a caution

I’ve been talking to people a lot about the new promotional methods out there while we revamp the blog (you’ll notice that all bar a few articles are still up on the site for now – they need updating, to the point that we’re actually setting up some new projects and doing something new for […]

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StoryBundle – Writestuff 2016

We don’t often feature these products on the group blog, but this is one designed for indie authors, and it doesn’t have affiliate links AND you can donate 10% to charity, so we thought we’d see how it went. Storybundle and HumbleBundle feature products in ‘bundles’ at a significant amount of money off, and if you’re looking to study or intake information, this bundle is a great one for at least one or two perspectives...