Studying English at Uni? Grab these hot writing tips from a graduate!

by Yasmin Mattocks

Anyone out there lucky enough to be starting university life as an English undergraduate?

As a recent English literature graduate, I am now looking back fondly on my 3 years, realising that there were some very important things that had I known, would have helped me from the start.

writing tips for English undergraduates

Getting behind on your reading is not a position you want to be in.

It is likely that you’re a competent writer if you’re going on to study English at university, but the leap from A-level to university can be daunting. Firstly, getting out of the Point, Context, Quotation, Analysis mindset can be a struggle, and then where are you supposed to go from there?

Worry no more: I’m here to pass on some top tips for studying English at university. [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 shine online: 7 video presentation tips from an expert

With COVID-19 having sent us all scuttling from live interaction to our on-screen doppelgängers, please join me in welcoming back one of the UK’s leading presentation trainers – Dr Simon Raybould of Presentation Genius – to share his tips on how to come across well and as much like your real self as possible on the new, essential online video platforms. Here’s Simon…

“Do whatever you can to be seen to be a real person,” says Dr Simon Raybould of Presentation Genius 

Live presentations are out of the window right now. They might never come back. Given how bad most of them were that might not be totally a bad thing 😉 But moving to online presenting is more than just turning on the camera and microphone and then praying. [Read more…]

How to write a great nonfiction book title: update

Writing a book, or looking into to options to do so? Book titles and taglines are even more important now than they ever were before. Why?

book titles and sales

If your book is going into bookshops and it’s displayed ‘spine out,’ all people will see is the title on the spine – not the tagline.

SEO. Much as we love to communicate directly with our readers we, as authors wanting to promote our books online, have to buckle down and accept that we’re communicating with ‘bots’ and other digital machines … not just humans, although they are still important.

Sets the scene for your writing project 

Some people like to leave the title until last, rather in the way that you ice a cake: the concept here is that you can’t ice a cake until you have prepared and baked its innards. But there are a couple of good reasons for creating the title right at the beginning of your book writing project. Here they are: [Read more…]

How to write a feedback form that gets useful results

Have you ever looked at the feedback form you get at the end of a presentation or conference, and wonder what the hell those questions mean? Being a little tired and keen to get home, can you easily figure out what the subjective, often leading questions are trying to worm out of you?

feedback formsAnd do you, as so many people do, fill in the bare minimum of answers or even not bother at all? Relax: it’s the form writers’ fault, not yours.

Here are some examples of terrible feedback form questions, how to do them properly, and why. Stick with me: it gets better…

Why are so many feedback forms utter garbage?

[Read more…]

Three million reads about writing: check out the most popular here

Just checking out my stats and found that HTWB has now had more than three million page views.

I’m “gob-smacked,” as we say in the UK: surprised, thrilled, delighted and humbled all at the same time. What a wonderful testimony to those of us willing to share our expertise for no financial gain.

3 million page vieww for HTWB

Celebrate with us: more than 3 million page views of HTWB

And what a wonderful testimony to the many writing and allied contributors who have made this humble site what it is. You all know how you are: too many to name individually but covering all aspects of writing that I can’t, from writing fiction to business plans to terms and conditions to bids and tenders to music to poetry and much, much, more.

No ads, no covert links in articles, no need to sign up, so no spam

(But you can buy some books from the Bookshop or right side bar if you like!)

Here are some of the most popular articles and tutorials you can choose from: [Read more…]

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