Enjoying your Zoom meetings? Really?

Much as we owe many of our small (and bigger) businesses’ survival to the likes of Zoom, MS Teams and other platforms during this Coronavirus pandemic, some meetings are more successful than others.
.
funny poem about zoom meetingsHere’s a short, sharp ode to the less-than-comfortable type, attended by a group consisting mainly of women… (probably in the public sector)

The not-so-good Zoomie

It’s ten to nine and nearly time
For this morning’s Zoomie
Rush to put some makeup on
So I don’t look too mushroomie.

Put a bra on – flippetty-flop
Spray the hair with fumies
Put on top from dear Top Shop
And find some fresh joggeroomies. [Read more…]

My written communication award … maybe not the Booker Prize, but it’s nice

I was thrilled to get an award this week from the Influential Businesswoman Awards 2020 … much as I don’t like to brag or boast, it is gratifying to get a pat on the head. That’s especially true this year when many of us have had a terrible time with our businesses and have been working extra hard to keep the show on the road.

Suzan St Maur wins award for written communication

And after writing millions of words over my career, and I do mean millions (at a guess I’d say around two million here on HTWB alone), I’m flattered to be considered ‘outstanding.’

As for ‘influential’ I’m not so sure, but I do know that I can make readers laugh! [Read more…]

How to create a brilliant nonfiction book cover: tutorial

You shouldn’t judge a book by its cover? Oh, yes, you should, because potential readers will. Especially when your book is going to be sold online.

article about how to design good book covers

Janis, The Body and Me book covers: with my sincere thanks to Simon & Schuster for the loan of this brilliant image.

A book’s cover has two jobs to do apart from the obvious one of sharing its title, tagline and author’s name: one, to indicate the book’s ‘genre,’ and two, to show that the book has been professionally designed and produced. Here’s a swift tutorial – both for self-publishing authors and their (hitherto uninitiated) graphic designers…

Is yours going to be a self-published business or self-help book?

[Read more…]

The secrets of a brilliant nonfiction book proposal

Writing a nonfiction book? Want to have a go at getting it published by a traditional publisher like HarperCollins or Simon & Schuster?

Nowadays many traditional publishers accept online submissions for nonfiction, especially for business and self-help titles. With publishers still being a little on the pernickety side you must absolutely following their submission guidelines to the letter.

article on book publishingThe bad news is, each one will have a slightly different set of questions. The good news is, they normally are very like each other.

Here are the main elements of proposal forms that you’re likely to encounter, and how to ring the right bells…

[Read more…]

How to make your self-published book look like it’s been traditionally published

How often have you looked at a self-published book and seen straightaway that it’s a DIY job? It’s not just poor content that gives it away; in fact many truly good books are ruined by goofs which mainly are simple and cheap to correct.

article about self-publishing books

Can you tell if a book has been traditionally or self-published?

Here are 11 key points to watch out for:

Is the cover attractive and designed so when its image is shrunk down to a small size as it would be on Amazon or other sites, you can still see the key points? Make sure your book’s cover is properly designed: it’s well worth paying for a professional cover designer to do it. [Read more…]

Promoting your book (or other product): what marketing REALLY means

I agonised for a long time when a very bitchy and pompous (and dishonest, as it turned out) editor I was working with sneered at me for only writing a few chapters on ‘marketing‘ in my forthcoming book, How To Write A Brilliant Nonfiction Book. article on the four Ps of marketingSurely he knew that marketing is something you do in parallel with creating the book’s concept, right from the start, even – to an extent – with fiction? With his two redbrick university degrees and the conviction that he knew everything?

Nope, he didn’t. What his scathing barbs did achieve, however, was to make me conscious of the fact that I needed to emphasise the real meaning – and importance – of marketing in my book, so I have done just that. The number of times I’ve had to bite my tongue when someone talks about ‘marketing’ when they mean ‘marketing communications‘ or ‘promotion’ adds up to many hundreds. [Read more…]

css.php