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…]

Why even one grammar mistake could cost you your new job

All you need is a recruiter or employer who has a bee in their bonnet about grammar, spelling, punctuation and so-on…if your CV/résumé contains one or more mistakes, you are toast.

writing tips from Suzan St Maur
So are your job prospects with that employer.

Unfair? [Read more…]

A nasty little writing quiz about apostrophes

By popular demand, another sneaky, nasty grammar quiz. The last one got hundreds of comments and likes and I’m told customers and staff in a certain UK fashion house nearly came to blows arguing over it.apostrophe quizThis time we’re looking for apostrophes … nasty little b*ggers they are, too…

In which of following sentences is there one or more (or no) apostrophe used wrongly?

No cheating now! Answers are below… [Read more…]

How to write with a tomato

Do you do Pomodoro? Yes, it’s Italian for tomato, but also it’s biz-speak for a productivity-increasing method. We writers like to think we can use methods like this to crank out the words faster. (Or do we?)

Pomodoro for writers

It’s named after a timer that looks like a tomato. Not exactly romantic, but it has caught on.

So we asked business admin expert Jean Weir to give us the skinny on how this technique works. And then we asked some other writers what they think about writing with tomato …

Over to Jean… Sz 

What is the Pomodoro technique from a writer’s point of view?

[Read more…]

Tricky, tricky spelling quiz: can you crack it?

I can’t afford to offer a trip for two to Las Vegas as a prize, but this quiz could keep you busy during quiet moments in the next few days. Answers at the bottom. (No cheating – look later!)

spelling mistakes

What do you feel are the most common wrongly spelled words in English?

And what really is infuriating is the way that simple spelling mistakes tend to creep in only because our own ‘word blindness’ – especially when we are writing extensively for business or other occupations – is largely to blame for our errors.

(That, and the fact that the English language has fewer rules to help us than a dog has when choosing which tree to pee on.)

Never mind: let’s have a laugh with the following:

Find the spelling mistake (or two, or none!) in the following:

[Read more…]

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