How not to write book reviews on Amazon

Much gnashing of teeth has been heard recently from the bottom-feeders of the book publishing world, about the rather sensitive topic of Amazon reviews.

how not to write book reviews

If you go to the trouble of setting up the review of a book you’ve read (whether on Amazon or elsewhere) your job is to give an honest opinion of it…

There have been several years of laughable scams – too many to document here but voici a few examples to refresh your memory:

Book publishing – scams are alive and well and living in the USA, part 1

Book publishing – scams are alive and well and living in the USA, part 2

Book publishing scams – three stinky examples

Although it took a while, Amazon finally lost its sense of humour a while ago, tightened up the regulations, and stopped allowing obviously fake reviews. No longer will people be able to get reviews from willing workers in countries where English is hardly spoken at all, members of their own family (using the same last name), one person with 18 Amazon accounts in fake names, etc. etc.

But still the scammers wriggle their way around the rules

[Read more…]

A complete novel writing course here on HTWB – for nothing

I was scrolling through the series of 30 novel writing tutorials we published here on HTWB a while ago and thought how difficult it was to find them in order, so I have listed them all here for you to use. It will make it a lot easier for you to go through the course in the correct order. As always, there’s no charge.

writing fiction on HTWB
It’s an excellent course written by novelist and publisher Lucy McCarragher, who re-edited and eventually turned it into a book [Read more…]

Why print newspapers are not good for alternative facts

Every year when I come “home” to Canada and stay with my uncle and aunt in Toronto, one of my greatest treats is to read a real newspaper.

Alternative facts are harder to write in paper newspapers

Does the ethos of old-fashioned print newspapers make it harder for “alternative facts” to be believed?

Not the digitally erstatz version of The Times or the The Daily Mail or The Washington Post or any other online me-too news resource that doesn’t fool anyone into thinking it shares similarities with the real thing… [Read more…]

U.S. English vs. British English – What’s the Difference, Anyway?

“Two countries divided by a common language” … so said, allegedly, the great George Bernard Shaw. But is it true? San Francisco based freelance writer Laura Buckler shares her take on this evergreen debate, this time from an American’s point of view (rather than mine!) Here’s Laura…

US vs British English

The Brits are not the only ones to blame for changing the English language.

I spent a month in London. They mocked my English. In fact, a few people said I wasn’t speaking English at all. They said I spoke “American.”

Hey: I’m not angry. It was actually funny to see them laughing at my accent just as we laugh at Brits over here. [Read more…]

How to write for eBooks: factual, business-like, conversational?

Have you written and published an eBook lately, or are you thinking of doing one? eBooksHere’s what Anika asked me recently about how to write eBooks:

“I am used to writing fundraising bids which are factual and need evidence to support the relevant points. Do you think e-books are similar in approach – business like and factual or should they be a more relaxed style?”

We’re talking about different animals here, Anika

[Read more…]

Mini writing tips: your summer menu on HTWB

I’m off home to Canada soon (August 8th) so will be corresponding with everyone from there, until I return to the UK early in September.

And in case anyone’s wondering what happens to my crazy house here in the UK full of rescued dogs and cats? While I’m away my friends move in with even more crazy dogs. So I pity any poor burglar who tries to get through about seven pairs of snapping jaws. Anyway:

Right now I’m working on some handy mini writing tips for you to use…

what do you want help for in your writing

What can you write to help a friend who is seriously depressed?

[Read more…]

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