A trip down Book Scam-mory Lane

If you think I’ve been making all this up about unscrupulous publishers fiddling the Amazon Sales Ranks to create instant Amazon number 1 bestsellers, have a read of the following.

I tripped over this chirpy email the other day while decluttering my old email archives, received from – I’m ashamed to say – a publisher who did three of my own titles (without scams). Here it is, with only the names and date redacted…book publishing scam

A lovely scam-vitation from several years ago

Hi Suze

As the last email stated, we have a plan for making
(book’s title) a bestseller on www.amazon.co.uk [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…]

Is your new book’s content already on Google?

If readers can find easily, on Google, all or most of the information you intend to write in your book, don’t bother writing the book.

book content on Google

Can most or all of your book’s information be found on Google?

This is a somewhat hard lesson we authors have to take on board, but here it goes: if you want your book to sell make sure it offers readers a lot more than they could find just by searching for the information on Google or other search engines. [Read more…]

How to make a great audio book without taking out a mortgage

Until recently the cost of recording an audiobook from your print/eBook tended to be prohibitive.

Recording audiobooks

State-of-the-art Old School Studios, Milton Keynes. Photo credit T Beezley.

Times have changed now, though. And being a tricky old goat I have found out some ways of making high-quality audiobooks that bring the whole project in at an affordable price.

How audiobooks are storming through to best-seller status

I have it on very good authority (yes, no sh*t) that … after Amazon has entered the audiobook market with its cohort Audible, it has found that audiobooks are on the way up, up, up. Audible’s competitors offering a similar service are building quickly.

Why, isn’t rocket science. [Read more…]

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…]

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