New authors on Black Friday: get your book published professionally

**Do you have a superb idea for a book, but don’t know how to go about writing and producing it?
**Does writing a book seem a lovely idea, but such a large project is a bit scary – especially if it’s your first one?
**Or … do you want to start a bit smaller with one or more booklets – and/or eBooks – to establish yourself and your credibility with a lesser commitment (and reduced cost?)

Get your book written and published - without the scams

That wonderful feeling when your new book is actually published and out there…me with my latest. (And over-bleached hair – apologies.) Photo by Kate Everall .

**Do you wonder if there’s an audience for your book idea, and how to tailor it to appeal?
**Have you explored the idea of using a book publishing service but been scared off by publishing scammers? (And there are many…)

The help you need to write your book and get it out there

The bad news, is that writing a book today just adds to the millions of books out there all fighting for attention on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, other online outlets, plus the few large bricks-and-mortar outlets that still manage to keep their heads above water.

The good news, is that there are now several more ways to publish a book and none of them carry the old-fashioned stigma of “vanity publishing.” [Read more…]

How to write a really bad novel

Lovers of “illiterary” fiction no doubt will have heard of the Bulwer-Lytton competition, in which entrants have to write the most awful first line of a novel that they can possibly manage. This is in tribute to the late Edward George Bulwer-Lytton, whose rather dark and stormy novel, Paul Clifford, (as I’m sure you remember) began like this:

small__3459918218“It was a dark and stormy night; the rain fell in torrents–except at occasional intervals, when it was checked by a violent gust of wind which swept up the streets (for it is in London that our scene lies), rattling along the housetops, and fiercely agitating the scanty flame of the lamps that struggled against the darkness.”

 –Edward George Bulwer-Lytton, Paul Clifford (1830)

I understand that the competition is still going strong, so do check out the Bulwer-Lytton website to catch up on the latest pearls of awfulness in various types of fiction. [Read more…]

The Machines Have Won – a scary short story for Christmas

Today we welcome American author and family history expert writer / researcher Tom Bartlett. Originally from Boston MA he now lives with his family in Milton Keynes (my UK home town) and very kindly has shared this funny-yet-slightly-scary original story … a writer’s perfect nightmare. And if you know the Boston MA area, you will recognize some of the places Tom names.

The Machines Have Won - a scary short story for Christmas

The machines have won … but have they, really?

Cameron tilted his head forward from its reclined position in the driver’s seat, and lifted the remote in his left hand up to his line of vision. With unhurried ease, he moved his right hand to the remote and punched the blue button. [Read more…]

Book review: Heightened Emotions – An Oxfordshire Wedding

Back in September 2014 I reviewed the first book in this family saga trilogy, “Mixed Emotions – an Oxfordshire Affair” by exciting new novelist Antonia Abbott, and made my feelings known about her irritating yet utterly riveting heroine – or perhaps anti-heroine – Susie Rowlands.

Book review: Heightened Emotions - An Oxfordshire WeddingHere’s what I said about the fragrant Susie then …

“Novel writing experts often say your protagonist in a story should be a likeable character. However most of the way through this entertaining book I wanted to grab the beguiling young Susie Rowlands right out from the page and slap her for being such a spoilt, featherbrained little bitch. [Read more…]

Book publishing scams – three stinky examples

How to avoid book publishing scams: updated January 2018 … If you are writing either a nonfiction or fiction book (or want to) and are thinking about how to get it published, here are some red light warnings of just three of the scams that abound in the book publishing industry.

HTWB book scams

[Read more…]

Book review: Mixed Emotions – an Oxfordshire Affair

Book review: Mixed Emotions - an Oxfordshire AffairNovel writing experts often say your protagonist in a story should be a likeable character. However most of the way through this entertaining book I wanted to grab the beguiling young Susie Rowlands right out from the page and slap her for being such a spoilt, featherbrained little bitch.

She is the classic Trust Fund babe who messes up in almost everything she does, but because she is pretty, appealing and knows how to flutter her eyelashes, gets away with quite a lot … until she pushes her indulgent parents one step too far. Then she gets the lessons she needs to learn, none of which she bargained for. [Read more…]

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