Selling. The hardest part of being an author.

Being a writer and doing the writing part and all that that entails is, for me, the easy part. There are things you can do to improve the writing and a plethora of creative writing tips and guidelines out there that can be use to hone the skill of writing and make your story the best it can be. My blog and this blog are full of tips and ideas to help writers write. I also have a book, The Handbook Of TOP TTIPS To Manage Your Writing packed great writing tips. Available on Amazon

The part I find hardest is selling the book. Promoting and selling it. Man, even with blogs, Facebook and other social media I really struggle to “find” readers, people who will buy my books.

My books have good reviews but somehow I appear to fall below most people’s radar when it comes to buying books.

What would you recommend to help me increase my sales?


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A writer’s inspiration

I have often written about what makes me write and where I get my inspiration from. It is quite simple really, I get my inspiration from everything, absolutely anything and everything. Even the annoying kids who are playing on their skateboards outside the window are being stored away somewhere for future use.

This may surprise you, but as a writer it shouldn’t. From the lady who stops in mid walk to cross her legs and sneeze to the small child in the back of a car picking his nose there are everyday events that can be described to bring your writing to life. Think of everyday life as a rolling screenplay of everything that can possibly happen and it is playing out before your eyes, your very senses. All you need to do is pay attention and it is there for you to capture and use.

Individually, such small events won’t make a story, but they can add layers of observation and detail to your story that it will captivate the reader.

I have a folder on my computer with all my book and story ideas and from time to time one will call to me and I add to the idea, wrote some more notes and allow the story or plot to unfold a little further. Only when there is sufficient detail and depth in that story will I finally taker it to the next stage and sit down to write it.

I have three well developed storylines on the go at the moment, one of which has been growing for a number of years. They may lie apparently dormant for a year or more, but all the time, somewhere down in my unconscious mind, the work is being done and when I am ready to pay attention, it comes to the fore and demands my attention.

For one of those three story lines the inspiration came from a Facebook post I saw. A simple post about the bad habits of people and a whole book idea came forth. It is a beauty and one day it will be shouting at me so hard that I will have to write it. That doesn’t mean to say it is being ignored, it isn’t, it is being nurtured. My writing senses are on full alert and my notebook is ready for that spark to be added to the notes already developed.

For those of you interested in starting a home online business that can earn you up to $10,000 a month, click the link below and watch the video.


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The joys of a new story

Like many writers I am always on the alert for something that can become a new story or book. I have several such ideas written up and waiting to get the go so that they can come to fruition.

I am lucky in that I have a good imagination and once I have started to formulate an idea, it quickly grows and deepens into several pages of notes that themselves have greater potential for expansion and start to come alive.

It is very important that as a writer one allows this nurturing phase to develop and go where it will. It doesn’t matter if it looks disjointed or incomplete, the story is forming. What is important is that you write it all down, the flow will come. It can be tidied up later.

I had an idea the other day and I wrote it down on a piece of paper. Now, as it becomes a file on my pc it is nurturing very well. This one may start off as a short story and grow from there, or it may just stop there. Only the story can tell when it is ready.

If you are interested in starting a new business from home that could earn you up to $10,000 a month, then click the link below.

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New starts, new money

I was looking through my blog spreadsheet this morning (yes, I have a spreadsheet for just about anything, especially my writing where I have dozens, but that is another story) and realised I hadn’t posed on here for a long time.

So, here is an update.

Firstly my writing. To be honest it has been stagnant for a good while, I have been tinkering with edits on two series’ of books I have written, but until my space issues are resolved at home that is how it will remain for a while longer. But, on the plus side, when I do return to them, it will be with a fresh approach and that will be good. I have also been collecting tips from others on various blogs and putting extracts out there for beta critique.

Secondly, my new venture, well there are two. My hypnosis and NLP therapy business based in Glasgow is called Firefly Therapies. You can find out more about it at

The second new venture is an online marketing business that is based on lead generation for businesses.

If you are interested in taking a look, click the link below and watch the video.

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Those little extras that pay dividends – one day. Part 2.

So, now it is time to think about the other stuff that you will need to sell your book to a publisher or agent.

Firstly and most importantly, GIVE THEM WHAT THEY HAVE ASKED FOR. Nothing more, nothing less.

No gimmicks, no fluffy paper, no nice little thing to make mine stand out, they want to know about your writing.

No reviews and torn bits of paper, no local paper extract (mention these in your cover letter).

No “my neighbour says it the best thing she has read”. Unless she is an agent, publisher or heaven forbid, a critic. If so, get them to write a testimonial and if you are brave, send it with your submission.

if you are posting it, put in return of postage unless you make it clear that you don’t want it back and they can shred it. If they want your work, they will let you know.

Make a new document and call it “chapter summaries”. Go through the book and make a bullet point list of what is in that chapter, so, for instance,

Chapter 1, Daybreak at Lunatic Rock

  1. Pete and Dave wake up with almighty hangovers
  2. Dave finds bracelet in his shoe
  3. The camper van turns up
  4. George goes for paper and notices headline
  5. Police Chief John at murder scene
  6. A grieving mother

This really makes it so much easier to edit when 4 months later you have that idea about something and want to find where it is. In a book of 100,000 words, it can take a lot of time to find that one thing, this “chapter summaries” helps a great deal.

  • Write at least 3 versions of a bio about you. One that is 5 or 6 lines at the most, one that is a few paragraphs and one that is about half a page. Save them as bio A, bio B and bio C or whatever.
  • Write at least 3 versions of your synopsis. One should not be more than 1 page, one should be no more than 2 pages and one say no more than 4. You will probably not need the latter, but have one anyway. Save them as synopsis A, B and C or whatever.
  • DO NOT make your synopsis a list of characters and chapters. It is the one thing that may sell your book better than anything else, spend time over it. It has to tell the whole story, including any twists and stunning revelations, everything. A publisher and/or agent needs to know what happens at the end.
  • Keep a separate folder with correspondence to publishers and agents.
  • If they have said it is okay to e-mail them, copy the e-mail onto a word document and save it in the correspondence file. Do not just trust your e-mail system to work and keep it forever.
  • Make sure you list what enclosures you send them, it is best to make a separate copy and file it in the correspondence file. Yes, that does mean copying the 2 chapters, the five thousand words, the first ten pages or whatever that they ask for, save it with their name, (e.g. first 3 chapters fred publishers 16 april 2013) and copy the bio and synopsis that they want. Be very diligent and almost obsessive about labeling, copying and keeping a record of what they want and what you have sent them. When that phone rings, you have got to be on the case.
  • Back everything up at each significant point. It is far better to have ten backups of something than not having one and your computer dies.
  • Keep your electronic files or word count and so on up to date.
  • When reviewing ideas and thoughts from your notebook, pay attention to the things that your proof reader and anyone else who read the drafts has said. Think on them as buyers, think very carefully about what they say. You can ignore them, it is your book, you wrote it, you know what it is supposed to say because you have lived with the story for a very long time. But if they all say much the same thing about one part of it, it is time to pay attention.
  • And of course, one other thing, blog, blog, blog. Keep blogging and attach a list of RELEVANT blogs that you have on your bio page, the e-mail and the cover letter.

Check out how to get my books on the “Buy my books” page.

The Truth a crime thriller and,

The Handbook Of TOP TIPS To Manage Your Writing

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Those little extras that pay off dividends – one day. Part 1

If, like me, you are a bit of “things need to be put in the right place” kind of chap, or chapess, then I have some handy tips for your note book and computer record keeping.

Now, I know right now many of you will be thinking, UGH! But go with me here.

If like me you write books and are trying to get published the old fashioned conventional way, that goes something like, you, book, book in drawer for 3 months. You, review, edit, proof reader, edit book, you, proof reader, edit book, review, edit, put in draw for 1 month. Review, HAPPY!! find publisher, get advance, live happily ever after……..

Then in all of that post first write stuff that takes it from good first draft to well honed saleable book, somewhere you need to keep good records of what you did to the manuscript.

These are my handy tips for all of you. And I bet you will go, oh come on, give me a break here! at least twice.

  • In your note book, write down a list of the chapters, their titles, their number of pages and each chapter word count, on one new page of the book.
  • Put a date on it and call it whatever it is, first write, 16 April 2013, no edits.
  • When that is done, open a new spreadsheet and input the data and if you can (it is realy easy by the way, because I can do it) do a cumulative word count for the pages and words in the adjacent columns. Use the tab on that sheet to date it with the title you have given it above, “first write 16 April 2013, no edits.”
  • Now, for every time you make a reasonably significant change, say, dealing with your comments and proof reader comments, do the same thing as a new sheet.
  • This means that as the book develops you have a record, keep the printed copies that you and the proof reader have written all over in red pen, file them away and label them. DO NOT DESTROY THEM.
  • When you have that light bulb moment about something in your book, write it in your notebook, date it. It may even be something as simple as “check that Fred is left handed, I think I had it wrong at the end of the end of the book.” Don’t think you will remember it, you wont, write it down, date it.
  • Eventually, when you think the book is almost there and/or you are doing a significant review with proof reader and your comments on second or third or forth draft etc, go through that notebook and make sure you have attended to all of those comments. Tick them off and make sure you date when you have done it and in what version of the book it is in.
  • Always, always, always make a new file for each version. Never overwrite anything other than for the most simplest of things. So, if it is on the fifth draft, you will have a folder on your computer that says “old drafts” and in that you put the folder that has all the other drafts. It may well be that there are folders in that folder, one for each draft. Well done, that is how it should be.
  • Each time, make a new word count page in that spread sheet. It only takes a few minutes. Now, you may ask, “but my book is now one file, how can I word count a chapter?” There are several ways. One is to highlight the selected work, i.e. Chapter 1 and while still highlighted, go to word count and it will give you the selected word count as well as total count. Another way is to copy that Chapter or selected piece of work onto a new document and you will have the word count for it, then delete the copy, not the original.
  • Keep doing all of these things and you will have a wonderful record of the book, its progress and when you look back on it, you will realise that it has all been worth while

See Part 2 for more helpful handy tips.

Check out more tips like this in my book The Handbook Of TOP TIPS To Manage Your Writing available on Amazon via the “Buy My Books Page”

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Get your dose of crime thriller for the festive season

Don’t forget those strange and weird friends and family this festive season and give them something they can cherish.

A book!

Yes a book.

Check out the 5 star reviews for The Truth. Available from the whole Amazon domain.

Check out the buy my books page to see how you can get your copy.

Also available as a paperback from the author. Just reply to this blog.

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