Last Modified: 2017/03/24

9 Best Selling Books on Writing You'll Ever Need


You wanna be a good writer?  You need to read.

All Good writers read.  This will show throughout your work in your grammar and punctuation, that you're not serious enough and aren't improving.

The truth is that good writing comes from reading the best material out there.

Don't get me wrong that doesn't mean that all reading material is the same.  You need to spend your time reading the best books you can get your hands on.

Even reading a romance novel will help to make you a better writer.  It's all about spending your time wisely.  Try starting small and build up your reading time, if you find it hard to sit down with a book.

The Reading List

Yes grammar and punctuation are important, and practice is to, but how you communicate what you're writing about is more important.  Getting your message across to audience.

These are the books I've come up with through Amazon's best selling writing books list:

  1. The Elements of Style - William Strunk Jr and E B White
  2. On Writing - Stephen King
  3. Writing Strategies Book - Jennifer Serravallo
  4. Bird by Bird - Anne Lamott
  5. The Author Startup - Ray Brehm
  6. On Writing Well - William Zinsser
  7. The Emotion Thesaurus - Angela Ackerman & Becca Puglisi
  8. The Writing Life - Anne Dillard
  9. The Artist's Way - Julia Cameron

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Last Modified: 2017/03/22

Before You Begin Digital Publishing


Before you start publishing your eBook ask yourself these questions before you begin:

How will you reach your readers online?
Is your book illustrated?  Is colour required? There may be significant challenges when you create and distribute through various channels.
What do your readers prefer, digital or print?

If you have an entrepreneurial spirit your half-way to succeeding online.  If you already have a platform as an established blogger it will stand you in good stead in the long run.  Don't expect immediate sales, instead sales snowballing gradually over time.

Understanding E-Publishing Services

The most important thing to understand about e-publishing retailers is that they're not publishers. They take no responsibility for your work quality, or any rights to your work.  Here are three aspects of major services:

1  No technical expertise required - You're given free automated tools to convert and upload your files.  Along with free tutorials and guides to make sure your files are formatted properly.

2  Non-exclusive and at-will - You have the option to edit or remove your files at any time.  Allowing you to change the cover, price and description.  You can use other services to sell through on your own website.

3   No upfront fee - It's rare to pay an upfront fee.  With a distributor such a BookBaby you earn 100% net and pay $199 for conversion and retail distribution.

Again by using these services you don't forfeit any rights to your work.

Two Essential Groups of E-Publishing Services

Most e-publishing services fall into one of these categories:

Single Channel Distribution - These services which are also distributors will distribute your work through one channel or device.  Offering no assistance in preparing your files, accepting a wide range of file types.  Some examples: KDP and Nook Press.

Multiple Channel Distribution - These services act as a middleman and push your work out to multiple distributors and retailers.  You deal with only one service, most well-known of these are Draft2Digital, Pronoun, BookBaby and Smaswords.

One of the best ways to start for new authors is through Amazon KDP.

Let me know your thoughts and stories on using digital publishing services in the comments below.

Last Modified: 2017/03/20

What You Need to Know Before You Self-Publish Your eBook


Before you publish your eBook you need to know about the services on offer and a little bit about the history of self-publishing.

The service below will publish and distribute your eBook files, but require you to do all of the preparation and uploading of your files.

Draft2Digital - Cost $0.  Distribution to everyone else.
Amazon KDP - Cost $0.  eBook distribution in Amazon.
IngramSpark - Cost $49.  Distribution everywhere but Amazon.
CreateSpace - Cost $0.  Print Distribution to Amazon.
BookBaby - Cost eBook conversion and distribution $199.

A Bit of History

In the old days of self-publishing a substantial amount of money was required to invest with a so-called "vanity" press.

By the late 90's this all changed with the arrival of POD (print-on-demand) allowing books to be printed one at a time.  These companies offered low-cost self-publishing to all.  Their costs were low because the only expense incurred was that of book creation.  These companies (iUniverse, Xlibris and AuthorHouse) (were merged and became AuthorSolutions) authors would sell only a few dozen copies at best.

Developments Since 2007

With the rise of eBooks traditional publishing has been transformed.  US book sales comprise of 30-35% of eBook sales.  Online retailers sell 60% of US book sales (both print and digital), principally through Amazon.  You can sell your eBook to the world without a third party helping you.

If you're publishing and selling your eBook yourself POD publishers are no longer relevant to your self-publishing success.

In today's online retail distribution you get the same retail distribution as you would with a traditional publishing house.  Through the above mentioned services.  Most of which is free.  With every copy sold the retailer takes a cut, the same applies to a distributor, they take their cut to.

Last Modified: 2017/03/17

8 Best Writing Blogs for Writers


My eight favourite blogs about writing:

1.  www.makealivingwriting.com

Carol Tice an award winning freelance writer runs a blog with practical help for hungry writers.  With a mission to help freelance writers make more money and find better paying markets.

2. www.thecreativepenn.com

Joanna Penn bestselling thriller author and professional speaker is the mind behind The Create Penn. Offering information and inspiration on writing, self-publishing and book marketing.

3.   www.janefriedman.com

Has 20 years experience in the publishing industry, expertise in digital media strategy for authors and publishers.

4. www.thewritelife.com

A community of writers helping to create, connect and earn showing that you can succeed in today's digital world.

5. www.writersdigest.com

For more than 90 years the experts at Writer's Digest have been publishing books, magazines, competitions, conferences and distance education materials for writers who want to polish their skills and hone their craft.

6. www.thebookdesigner.com

Joel Friedlander author and self-publisher offers practical advice to help self-publishers build better books.

7. www.howtoplananddevelopabook.blogspot.co.uk

Tips from award winning author Mary Carroll Moore, helping you to create, craft and sell your first novel.

8. www.goinswriter.com

Author and national best seller Jeff Goins shares his reflections on writing and life.