All posts in Self publishing

Should I write using a pen name?

If you’re about to publish your first book, are you undecided about using a pen name, or writing under your real name?

It seems to make sense that you should decide which name to use right from the start, as the name you write under will then be set in stone forever. But is this actually true?

Well, first let’s consider WHY you would want to use a pen name.

The obvious answer is to ‘hide’ your real identity. But what are the benefits of doing this, and are there any drawbacks?

Here are some of the pros and cons:

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How to bridge the gap between being a writer, and being an author

For the purposes of this blogpost, I am drawing a distinction between these two terms.

Let’s look at the dictionary definitions:

Writer
noun
noun: writer; plural noun: writers
a person who has written something

Author
noun
noun: author; plural noun: authors
someone who writes books as a profession

There you have it. The crucial difference between the two.

Now, not every writer wants to become a professional, and this is fine. Some writers are publishing academic papers, or a family history only intended for a select group of people.

But if you’re a writer who dreams of calling it your career in a few years, there are certain steps you need to take. You need to build a bridge to get from being someone who writes, to being someone who writes as a profession.

Here are nine suggestions to help you make that leap.

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Why REAL authors DON’T wait for inspiration to strike

Those of us who don’t work in a creative environment think it must be very hard for those ‘arty types’.

All that sitting around waiting for the inspiration to hit them.

Artists, musicians, writers… What do they do all day while waiting for the lightning bolt idea to strike?!

In fact, any designer, actor or author will tell you that waiting for the ‘sunbeam through the clouds – ta da!’ is total nonsense.

You have to practice your craft ALL the time. Even when you have no ideas. You keep going.

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The 6 most common mistakes first time authors make

I want to start this blogpost firstly by saying: don’t be afraid to make mistakes.

That’s how we all learn. When we’re children, we try to walk, fall over, get up and try again, and think nothing of it. As adults we’re just out of practice at getting things wrong, or perhaps we never put ourselves in the position where mistakes are possible.

The best thing you can do to avoid unnecessary mistakes is to arm yourself with as much information about writing and publishing as possible. But life is a learning curve and none of us would be where we are today if we didn’t get it wrong sometimes.

Here are some tips to help you on your way:

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Ten top writing tips for authors

Do you ever get writer’s block? Not sure how to complete the sentence, round off the scene or develop your character?

There’s a lot more to writing a book than just an idea for a story.

But, there are no hard and fast rules. Every writer has a unique style and approaches their writing in an individual way.

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Your editor can help with grammar, spelling and punctuation, but no-one can create the heart and soul of your story but you.

So, here are ten top tips to hone your writing and allow it to flow: Read More…

What size should my book be?

This is a question we get asked a lot by authors.

I don’t know about you, but I had never really thought about books being published in different sizes. When you stand in a bookshop, it’s obvious of course, but it’s not your first consideration when you’re thinking about self publishing.

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These are the traditional sizing conventions publishers tend to use:

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Email marketing – how to attract more readers and sell more books

One of the best ways to sell more books is to build a relationship with your audience. Once they engage with you, your stories, and your characters, readers are much more likely to continue to buy your work, and will become lifelong fans, just waiting for your next publication.

emails

A great way to communicate with your readers is by email.

You can set up a form on your website to capture visitors’ email addresses. Then you will be able to keep in touch, and build your relationship with them. Here’s how to do it:

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ISBNs part 2: Lucky number 13

Many literary geniuses would confess numbers are not their strong point.

But when publishing your book, there’s one number you’ll need to get your head around – the ISBN.

Don’t worry, it’s not complicated. There are just a couple of key things you need to know.

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Recently we published an article about ISBNs which you can read here.

But one question we didn’t answer was the difference between a 10 digit and 13 digit ISBN number. It’s a question our clients often ask us, so we thought we would explain it in more detail.

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How to generate book reviews with the least amount of stress

A couple of months ago we bought a new TV for our front room. We went to the shop and looked at all the TVs, the different sizes and prices. And then what? We came home and looked at all the reviews on Amazon.

What better way to find out the quirks and quibbles of a range of items than by looking on Amazon at the reviews?

The views of ordinary people like you and I, with no vested interest in convincing you to buy a product, just their honest opinion on what they thought.

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When readers are browsing online, they will do exactly the same for your book. They’ll look at its reviews for the social proof – should they buy it, or not. Bad or negative reviews are bound to put potential readers off.

So, can you do more to encourage positive reviews on your book? Of course you can. Here’s how.

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