How not to write book reviews on Amazon

Much gnashing of teeth has been heard recently from the bottom-feeders of the book publishing world, about the rather sensitive topic of Amazon reviews.

how not to write book reviews

If you go to the trouble of setting up the review of a book you’ve read (whether on Amazon or elsewhere) your job is to give an honest opinion of it…

There have been several years of laughable scams – too many to document here but voici a few examples to refresh your memory:

Book publishing – scams are alive and well and living in the USA, part 1

Book publishing – scams are alive and well and living in the USA, part 2

Book publishing scams – three stinky examples

Although it took a while, Amazon finally lost its sense of humour a while ago, tightened up the regulations, and stopped allowing obviously fake reviews. No longer will people be able to get reviews from willing workers in countries where English is hardly spoken at all, members of their own family (using the same last name), one person with 18 Amazon accounts in fake names, etc. etc.

But still the scammers wriggle their way around the rules

[Read more…]

A complete novel writing course here on HTWB – for nothing

I was scrolling through the series of 30 novel writing tutorials we published here on HTWB a while ago and thought how difficult it was to find them in order, so I have listed them all here for you to use. It will make it a lot easier for you to go through the course in the correct order. As always, there’s no charge.

writing fiction on HTWB
It’s an excellent course written by novelist and publisher Lucy McCarragher, who re-edited and eventually turned it into a book [Read more…]

Writing at speed: how can this benefit authors?

Do you regard having to write stuff for work or other pursuit as a tedious chore to be done as fast as possible?


via GIPHY

Is writing really one of those boring jobs like your accounts or your filing or washing the coffee cups that you want to get done and out of the way so you’re then free to do something interesting?

Has writing really become pure gruntwork along with these other humdrum procedures?

[Read more…]

What writing help would be the most useful for you?

We all have to write whether we like it or not. I happen to love it to bits, but I know many of you don’t so need some help. Many of you do, but need some help to get it rolling.

What writing help would be the most useful for you?

How can we help you with your writing? Just say!

So, I want to start a monthly newsletter to make you folks more comfortable with whatever you want or need to write. No bullsh*t, nice and concise.

It will share tips from my vast range of utterly hysterical experience in writing everything from books to funny jokes on toilet rolls (seriously), plus that of many other writing experts from all over the world.

Now, never mind what I think we should share. What do YOU want some help with? For example:

[Read more…]

How to write better (or fewer?) swear words in English

Have you ever wondered why the British seem far more relaxed about using swear words in writing and speech than people from other English-speaking nations?

Many linguists are of the opinion that because swear words are used much more commonly in English-language film and TV programmes, on live radio and TV (hopefully after the watershed), and in general conversation, the words have gradually lost their rudeness and shock-value.

is it wrong to swear in writing

Can some swearing is speech and writing be justified?

Which could be a shame, in a way. If current swear words have lost their mojos, how next can we express ourselves with vigour and shock factor? But that’s probably for another article/thought piece.

It’s true that many millennials use rude language pretty freely wherever they live within the USA, Canada, Australia and other English language areas. But if you are the wrong side of 25 years old, you may well be influenced by older values that vary wildly from country to country.

UPDATE January 27, 2018 … Just published by academic Debbie Cameron on her Debuk blog: here is an extract:

“Asking whether women should swear is a bit like asking whether women should have children out of wedlock, or weigh more than seven stone: it’s a question designed for no other purpose than to allow people to air their prejudices. And those prejudices are, in most cases, socially selective. If a single mother on benefits peppers her discourse with ‘f*ck, tw*t and b*stard’, people say she’s ignorant, unable to express herself in any other way. If a stand-up comedian who went to public (private) school uses the same words in his act, people say it’s edgy and subversive.” Seems that people have serious double standards where swearing is concerned. Read this article – as well as the rest of mine here!

[Read more…]

St Patrick’s Day: celebrate great Irish writers with HTWB…

st patricks day on HTWB

“Irish improves a poet.” Sina Queyras

In honour of St Patrick’s Day, here are some of my favourite quotes by wonderful Irish poets and other writers … enjoy!

George Bernard Shaw

*Youth is wasted on the young.
*You use a glass mirror to see your face: you use works of art to see your soul.”
*I often quote myself; it adds spice to my conversations.
*Never wrestle with pigs. You both get dirty and the pig likes it. [Read more…]

css.php