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…]

Are our storytelling tenses getting too tense? YOU decide!

Have you been reading a lot of books during coronavirus lockdown? I have – my particular favourite genre (not exactly intellectual but provides what I need as a light-hearted break…) crime and psychological crime fiction. Yum, yum.

The current fashion in high-anxiety fiction like this is to tell it in the present tense…presumably to increase the dramatic speed.

Fine for a film or TV synopsis. But a whole, 80,000 words or longer novel?

I suppose this should be OK with me, largely because I spent years working with film and TV synopses in which it’s customary to describe the main action in the present tense, using the past and other tenses to suggest action movements in the story other than what’s happening right now.

But do I have enough lung power to keep up with the breathless pace of present tense narrative in these best-selling contemporary fiction hits that fester within my Kindle? [Read more…]

Why you’ll never need me to help you write a book

It’s no longer a twinkle in my eye. No longer a metre-high pile of scribbled notes.
The sequel to my Amazon bestseller How To Write Winning Nonfiction … a complete new self-coaching book, not just an update.

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I must be out of my mind.

On Amazon pre-order soon:
The ultimate book on how to write a book.

36 published books’ worth of writing experience
35 years’ worth of marketing experience
To be published by BetterBooksMedia

With this book, you won’t need me.

Contains everything you need to make
your nonfiction book a successful reality.

Want to reserve your copy now?
Drop me a note on suze@suzanstmaur.com

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Here’s what the beta readers have to say about it

[Read more…]

Book writing courses for nonfiction: are they worth it?

I read a lot of books and scrutinise a lot of courses about how to write books. (Well, it’s my job.) You would be amazed at how complicated some of these make the process.

Some focus on formulæ more complex than a Google algorithm (and that’s going some) which they laughingly refer to as a system-based approach guaranteed to make your nonfiction book follow exactly the same cookie-cutter model as that of everyone else.Very few of these approaches champion originality and flexibility, because such formula-driven bullsh*t doesn’t have room for it. [Read more…]

What does a nonfiction 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. Bottom line: with nonfiction books the question of whether or not to write one has to be a business decision.

It needs to be taken in the same way as a decision to introduce a new product or service. With nearly all nonfiction (and fiction too, up to a point) there is usually room for a good new book on the market, provided it’s likely to attract a substantial group of readers because:

**It’s about something entirely new and very interesting that no-one has written about before or
**It’s about something that’s not new, but to which you contribute something entirely new and very interesting

If readers can find all or most of your information on Google, don’t write a book about it.

[Read more…]

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