Do you suffer from written message meltdown?

Now that every online platform and their German Shepherd has a messaging facility, do you ever find it hard to remember who’s messaged you where?

Of course, I’m a boring old goat who now uses the excuse of advancing years to cover up the fact I’ve been a scatterbrain since birth. But come on …. really?

article about messaging

What really banboozles me is trying to remember who messaged me, on what platform.

Here are the main messaging platforms I use…

Facebook / Messenger
LinkedIn
Twitter
WhatsApp
Instagram
IPhone
Texts

And then there are many more, as you know. Far too many to register here.

What bamboozles my increasingly deep-fried brain is not how to use the platforms – oh, no. [Read more…]

Why writing nonfiction books is not just about books any more

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One of the best things about the current spread of media and publication options is that the basic content from your book can be shared in many more different ways than was the case 20 or even 10 years ago. I have mentioned quite a few of these en passant in my new book but it’s worth taking another look at the main ones, so you can bear them in mind.

woman sitting on bed with flying books

Who knows to what other communication treasures your book could lead you?

Blog to book and back again
Depending on the nature of your content, a series of blog posts form a very good basis for a book. I’ve done this a couple of times now and so have a number of other authors who contribute to How To Write Better. You get the double bite at the cherry. Don’t worry that people won’t buy the book if an equivalent but spaced-out version exists on your blog, by the way. They will buy the book because the formats are very different and will be used for different purposes. [Read more…]

Writing roundup – 4 great topics to help you write better

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Here are the latest ‘shorty’ posts I’ve been sharing on social media recently … the first two are about books, and the last two are about writing in general. Enjoy!

writing tips

Can you tell if a book has been produced professionally? Here’s how
  1. The cover should still be readable and attractive when its image is small, e.g. on Amazon
  1. The back cover ‘blurb’ must be enticing and correct, and text on the book’s ‘spine,’ straight and centred.

[Read more…]

How writing a business book leads to a priceless marketing tool

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Having a book published” still holds a certain kudos and perhaps in Pavlov-dog fashion, people automatically associate someone who writes a book about something, with that someone being an expert on the subject.

The “$30 business card” gets people recognised as experts, even if they don’t deserve to be.

In the USA, one prolific speaker on business topics has been heard to describe his books – which he self-publishes – as “$30 business cards.” Cynical perhaps, but the folklore about the author of a book being an expert in his/her field is crystallised therein. However…..

article about writing business books

Business books: just $30 business cards?

[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…]

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…]

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