Search Results for: syntax

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…]

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…]

How to write a feedback form that gets useful results

Have you ever looked at the feedback form you get at the end of a presentation or conference, and wonder what the hell those questions mean? Being a little tired and keen to get home, can you easily figure out what the subjective, often leading questions are trying to worm out of you?

feedback formsAnd do you, as so many people do, fill in the bare minimum of answers or even not bother at all? Relax: it’s the form writers’ fault, not yours.

Here are some examples of terrible feedback form questions, how to do them properly, and why. Stick with me: it gets better…

Why are so many feedback forms utter garbage?

[Read more…]

Why you need to know the difference between writing errors & writing mistakes

Most old-fashioned editors (hereafter known as OFEs**) and all my happy clients know that when it comes to “sticking to the rules” of writing I am an anarchist.

mistakes in writing

The fact that information crosses approximately 3,400 miles of Atlantic Ocean in less time than it takes you to sneeze does rather make a mockery of trying to preserve the good olde days of British English. British, American, Australian? They’re all OK.

Please note, however, that I’m not particularly anarchic in any other ways. I never burned my bra for Women’s Lib (although I was too young to need one then) and I didn’t even go to the anti-Trump protests in London in 2018 but only because there was no-one available to let my dogs out for wee-wees.

Grammar, spelling, punctuation: do you control them or do they control you?

This question has been bothering me for a long time over issues like the Oxford comma and whether you use a capital letter after a colon or not. Short answer? Issues like that do not matter worth a pinch of coonsh*t, as my dear old Canadian dad used to say. [Read more…]

Punctuation: praise it or punch it on the nose?

Are you a slave to proper punctuation? Or is punctuation a slave to you?

Being a pro writer and author and all that, I have given dozens (literally) of traditional editors self-induced alopaecia after reading my book manuscripts. Why? Because I don’t stick to punctuation rules.

Article on punctuation

Punctuation rules: should they be relaxed? Now there’s a puzzle

Being a North American, too, I use punctuation that spans the Atlantic giving the grammar police on both shores the desire to stab me with a red pencil.

And you know what? I don’t care.

Don’t forget that I am a former copywriter, and copywriters are notorious for flipping the bird at conventional grammar, punctuation and even syntax sometimes in order to create an effect.

Ridiculously bad punctuation: not what we’re talking about

[Read more…]

Where next for How To Write Better: on page 1 of Google today!

Really thrilled to see that How To Write Better is back on Page 1 of Google, from a grand total of 2,270,000,000 results (approximately!)

How To Write Better on Google page 1

Sorry for the poor picture quality – best I could do with an IPhone…

Admittedly we’re only at the bottom, but it’s an achievement all the same. Thank you, readers, for supporting the site and helping it to grow

What would you like to see more of on How To Write Better?

[Read more…]

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