Does it matter who publishes your business or self-help book?

Let’s stop kidding ourselves: self-published books under a cool-sounding publishing company’s name probably do not fool anyone these days.

self-published books

Does the interior of the book look attractive and inviting to read?

Today what matters is that readers get full value for money with a book that looks, and is, professionally produced and published – not necessarily by whom.

Self-published books have come a long way since vanity publishing days

The last thing you want your book to be associated with is anything remotely connected with the vanity publishing ethos of print 5,000 copies of it as it came in unedited, send the books in boxes to the customer, bill them for a lot of money and disappear.’

But what about ‘confessing’ that your book is independently published, as Amazon now refers to it? [Read more…]

How to sharpen up your blogs and articles with one quick chop

Have you ever looked at something you’ve just written and thought, “that first paragraph isn’t needed?

No? Well, maybe you should. Even we pro writers often go back and chop off the first paragraph or even two, and let the blog, article or other piece of writing start a few lines along, when we really get down to business.

chopping branch of tree

Either leave preambles and back stories out altogether, in a box, or at the back.

When your writing engine is still running cold…

It’s a bit like when you start your car on a cold morning. I know most modern cars have automatic chokes, but you still don’t get the best performance from even a late model Bentley until the engine has warmed up. [Read more…]

Write Around The Web: literary festival, proofreading, typography, adverbs and a smile

Welcome to our new selection of curated info from around the web — hand-picked for HTWB readers by yours truly. Enjoy!
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Milton Keynes, England — easy to get to from London, Oxford, Cambridge, Birmingham and beyond…Sz 

Milton Keynes Literary Festival 18-22 September 2019

A fabulous festival of books, words, writers and ideas that celebrates everything literary, bookish or wordyMilton KeynesAfter a triumphant debut in 2017 – with Lynton Kwesi Johnson, Michael Rosen and much more – we returned in 2018 with an even more ambitious programme, working with new Festival partners and venues to bring a cornucopia of the finest contemporary writing to the city.  Highlights in 2018 included Hollie McNish, Mark Haddon and Lemn Sissay. [Read more…]

Writing a nonfiction book? Compete with Google at your peril

Before Google there was a need for lots of books that shared information. Now? Who needs an encyclopædia when Google is at your fingertips?

Bang goes the door on your butt if you want to write a nonfiction book covering topics of a certain informational type that, now, are so hungrily available on Google.Google logoI had the painful experience recently of looking into the production of another “A to Z” book of terms for two particular audiences, each clearly defined, one of which I describe below.

All seemed clear and cracking until that “Oh No” moment hit me: why should people buy this book containing umpty-dump hundred entries when all they need to do to find out what any of that content means, is to key it into Google? [Read more…]

Has Elvis left the building, in a book?

If you ever have had a book proposal turned down by publishers (and haven’t we all?) you’ll identify with excerpts from this online conversation online I had recently with an author whose feelings of dreadful frustration stormed out of every one of his words: see below…

article about Elvis Presley

You have something new and interesting to say about Elvis (or another celebrity, cause or concern) in a book. Here are some thoughts on how to get that book out there and selling even if you’re not a well-known author or personality.

ELVIS FANS – I wrote an interesting book about Elvis – publishers think there isn’t a platform for ELVIS???

Looking for a publisher – here’s one critique:

“Thanks for thinking of me for this. I’ve read and talked this over with some colleagues who also handle music books. While (name of author) has a really interesting perspective, we feel pretty strongly that the market for Elvis books is so crowded that a new one would need to come from someone with a bigger platform or access than (name of author) has here. Best of luck placing this great project!”

NO ONE HAS THIS PERSPECTIVE!!!  It’s a good book! Publishing business is CRAZY!!!!  Still millions of fans worldwide. [Read more…]

How to make your nonfiction book a true success

Thinking of writing a nonfiction book? Great! But if you want it to sell commercially, you need to make sure it delivers good value to prospective readers. Here are some tips to help you make sure it does.how to make sure your nonfiction book succeeds

What does your book need to be successful?

Much as we authors like to think even our business or self-help books are the next best thing since How To Win Friends And Influence People, ego must be dumped and business acumen must prevail. [Read more…]

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