Thursday, June 21, 2018

Feeling Overwhelmed? How to Blog More Productively

When you're blogging regularly its easy to feel overwhelmed and burned out.  Feeling more like writing is a chore than a passion.  Often times you can feel bogged down by life in general and start feeling really guilty that you haven't been able to stick to your regular blog posting routine.

With the tips below I'm going to show you how to overcome and maintain a steady blog posting routine and show you some handy tools you can utilise to make your blogging life easier.

How to Combat Writer's Block

Question's to Ask

What's the worst thing that could happen if I stop writing?  I wouldn't have any fresh blog posts on the internet.

How would I recover if I stopped writing?  Makes notes when thoughts and ideas come to mind.  Start generating ideas because writing something is always better than writing nothing.

What's the best thing that could happen if I wrote something?  My motivation would return and I'd start writing again.

Get Some Perspective

Step outside and have a breather every once in a while.  Take a long walk, let go of all panic.  It's not the end of the world.  By taking a break your becomes clearer and you can start thinking again.

Stop Hyperventilating

Take a deep breath, stand back from your situation, and start breaking down the task into bite size chunks.  When you start making notes and see a sequence it will start to look more achievable.

We Are Our Own Worst Enemy

Fear sets in and our brains start conjuring up scenarios that scare us.  Don't be paranoid, get your facts straight.  You can survive by doing a little each day.  Don't push yourself too hard because you risk burn out.

Be Productive, Do Five Things Right Now

Manage your time, do five things that will spark your motivation and inspiration.  Even if its photo editing, tweeting or writing notes for a blog post.  Every journey start with a simple step.

Blog Tools

Write or Die

A great writing tool to boost productivity and motivation.  You can set the timer and as long as you continue to type you can have perfect silence, if not a buzzer will sound and your writing will disappear.  You can choose your own consequences with the dashboard.

Omm Writer

If you get easily distracted by your mobile phone or iPad Omm Writer will remove them for you.  It also has a handy colour changer for the background and can create relazxing sounds in the background.


An image editor that is free for basic use, including handy tools such as photo editing, photo effects, loads of free stickers, fonts and lots of other design tools.  With a premium account you get the full choice of templates and professional editing features.

Luna Pic

Luna Pic is a free online photo editing tool which allows you to do really basic image editing.

Planning Tools

Automated Social Media Tools

Websites such as Hootsuite, Buffer and Tweetdeck offer scheduling to post your content from.  It takes a bit more planning during the week to use any of these but in the long run you save hours of frustration leaving you more time to write.

Make a To-Do-List

You can create this using programs such as Clear which is suitable for Mac users and Trello for PC users.

Become a Crafty Blogger

With all of the above tools and tips you can keep up-to-date with your blog regularly and have time left over for the important things in life like family.

Look to other like minded writer's and bloggers and discover their secrets.

A little bit of writing is better than no writing at all.

This post contains affiliate links.  This means if you purchase through these links you are supporting 1976write and we thank you for that.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Ideas and Inspiration for Writers on the Go

Ideas can hit you at the most inconvenient time, if you don't have paper or pen at hand it can often lead to writer's block later on which is so frustrating.

There are a few simple writing hacks you can do to keep a steady flow of inspiration in your own daily life.

So what options do you have to capture those fleeting thoughts?

1. Sticky Notes

The sticky pad you can scribble anything on, and a favourite for many writer's.  Keep a pad on your desk or by your bedside.  Gather all your sticky notes together at the end of the day and organise them into into useful projects, blog posts, and book ideas for another day.

2. Memo Board

A great place to start brainstorming or go to during the day.  The memo board can be put in the kitchen or study to scribble down ideas that pop into your head during the day.

3. Napkin

When inspiration strikes write it down, using a napkin.  Sounds really crazy but not that far-fetched.  Authors such as J.K Rowling, Stephen King, all had moments of inspiration that were written down on a napkin.

4. Index Cards

Before computers writer's used index cards an under used and simple item that can easily be slipped into any pocket or bag.  Can be used to write outlines for stories, research for articles, and the great thing is no batteries needed.

5.  Idea Journal

Your in good company if you write your ideas in a journal, writer's such as Beatrix Potter, inventor Thomas Edison and painter Leonardo da Vinci all kept a journal.

6. Voice Capture Technology
There are lots of different way to capture your thoughts through speech.  From simple voice recorders smart pens and Dragon Naturally Speaking software.

7. Notebook

The humble notebook has changed a lot in recent years and comes in all kinds of shapes and sizes.  You can even write your notes in the shower with Aqua notes or if you want to go all sci-fi you can use Rocketbook Wave Smart notebook, download the app and send all of your notes to Google Drive, Evernote, iCloud etc.

Or you could just stick to the more traditional method of carrying a reporters pad and pen around with you.

Either way writing down thoughts stimulates ideas, increases brain activity and boosts inspiration. The most important thing is that you're consistent in your capturing of ideas.

Inspiration for Writer's on the Go

Read the First Line of a Novel

Grab a pile of your favourite novels and start reading and writing the first sentence of each one.

To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee -"When he was nearly thirteen, my brother Jem got his arm badly broken at the elbow".

The Invisible Man, H.G. Wells - "The stranger came early in February, one wintry day, through a biting wind and a driving snow, the last snowfall of the year, over the down, walking as it seemed from Bramblehurst railway station, and carrying a little black portmanteau in his thickly gloved hand".

Wuthering Heights, Emily Brontë -"1801 - I have just returned from a visit to my landlord - the solitary neighbour that I shall be trouble with".

 The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald - "In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I've been turning over in my mind ever since".

The Count of Monte Cristo, Alexandre Dumas - "On February 24, 1815, the lookout at Notre-Dame de la Garde signalled the arrival of the three-master Pharaon, coming from Smyrna, Trieste and Naples".

Moby Dick, Herman Melville - "Call me Ishamel".

You can open any novel randomly and choose any line from it, but the real is usually found in the first line, because this is where the author makes the greatest impact and sets the stage for you.  When you start writing ask yourself "what is it about the story I'm writing that will draw in the reader?".

First Line Story Starters

Try Copying the first line then continue the story in your own words, for five minutes.

Word Association

Think of a word write it down, then another word that relates to the first word until you've created a chain of single words or phrases in this way.

This post contains affiliate links.  This means if you purchase through these links you are supporting 1976write and we thank you for that.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

10 Quintessential Gifts for Writer's

I've pulled together a number of different ideas for that writer in your life.

This gift guide is full of entertaining and practical gifts for writer's from all walks of life.

These gifts have been specially hand picked to show your special writer just how much they mean to you.

1. 100 Years: Wisdom From Famous Writers on Every Year of Your Life

A moving journey and tapestry of life through the eyes of some of the greatest writer's including Jane Austen, Sylvia Plath, Virginia Woolf, William Shakespeare.  A gentle reminder that the patterns of life transcend continents, cultures and generations.

2. Writing for a Living: The Query

This course from Udemy will be your companion to sell your writing - and what writer doesn't want that?

A highly rated course, Writing for a Living details how to create Queries, from author Stefan Petrucha based on two decades of experience in graphic novels and novels.  Presented in three sections:

Query Basics summarises how the Query is developed, then is broken down into five sections: Content, Market, Bio,
  • Availability and Project Status.
  • Story Basics goes into greater detail about how the author pitches the core of their work in a concise and captivating manner.
  • Creating Summaries investigates how summaries developed in different media (film, tv, publishing) and how that framework effects the working writer.

Usually priced at £19.99 now £11.99.

3. Amazon Gift Cards

Want to get your favourite writer a book but don't know which book they'd like?  Buy them an Amazon Gift Card!

They'll get exactly what they want!

4. Words Matter Tote Bag
A robust tote bag for the writer that loves a bag you can throw anything into, books, notepads, Kindle.

Get it for $14.99 small or $19.99 medium.

5. Novel Tea

Made with the finest English Breakfast tea with a literary quote on every tea bag.  Now that's a quirky cup of tea!

$25 per pack (25 individually tagged tea bags).

6.  Boogie Board Jot 4.5 LCD eWriter

Give your favourite writer a fun tool to scribble their ideas on.

Product Specs:
  • Writing experience is comparable to pen on paper.
  • Compact, lightweight design fits easily in a purse or pocket.
  • Fine-tip stylus attaches securely to case for storage when not in use.
  • Thumbtack holes for hanging notes on a pegboard (or similar surface).

Everybody loves a funny mug :)

Product Specs:
  • AUTHOR COFFEE MUG - Ceramic coffee mug for coffee and tea lovers. Design is printed on both sides so it doesn't matter if you're right or left handed.
  • HIGH QUALITY - These black and white ceramic coffee mugs are crafted at a leading facility in China from the highest grade ceramic. The designs are then printed and sublimated in the United States. Package ships from the US.
  • DURABLE - Art by Chelsydale MUGS ARE DISHWASHER AND MICROWAVE SAFE. The highest quality printing possible is used, it will never fade no matter how many times you wash it.
Get it now for $14.95.

8. Amazon Audible Books

Books are fun to read on paper - audio books are a user-friendly way of reading books and relaxing!  At $45/3 months its a deal worth trying!

9. Easy Pants

Sounds weird but one of the cool things about being a writer, blogger or novelist is that you can work from your couch or bed and this particular perk doesn't require pants.

Give your special writer friend that gift of pants that are actually comfortable to sit and work-in.  Betabrands Black Dress Sweatpants are super soft and are made from soft french terry fleece, so no more embarrassing run-ins with the cable guy! 

10.  The Writer's Idea Thesaurus

An endless source of ideas for that writer you know who needs a little help every once in a while.

Get it now $6.99

This post contains affiliate links.  This means if you purchase through these links you are supporting 1976write and we thank you for that.

Monday, June 11, 2018

6 Steps to Publishing Success

1. Great Reasons Why You Should Write an eBook

"If you've got ideas to share with people it not only benefits you but your readers also".

The above statement is my thought on writing online and creating eBooks. Financially there is no cost involved especially if you're working during the day. There is no publisher or printer needed, all of the tools you require to create and edit your eBook can be found online.

You can use Amazon Kindle to sell your eBook and market it, making yourself money to.

This Blog post is 3,222 words long, download your FREE PDF and read it later.

There are so many other reasons why you should starting writing an eBook but here are my top 6 reasons:

1. Choose a subject you're interested in and become an expert. Your subject could be work related or something you enjoy doing in your free time. By sharing your knowledge you can help other people while you build your reputation at the same time.

2. Once it's written it's there for keeps. When your eBook is published it will be earning for you indefinitely. It may require tweaking every once in a while just to keep it up-to-date but the hard work has been done so you can watch your passive income roll in.

3. Use it as a Sign Up tool. Giving your eBook away for free may sound crazy because you're not making any income from it, but if you're just starting out it's a great incentive for people signing up to your mailing list.

4. Creating and Publishing was easy. Marketing your eBook is where things get tough. Create a blog and use it as a platform to market your eBook.

5. eBooks are everywhere! People of every age group have access to a device, whether it be a mobile phone or iPad. In 2014 $5 billion of Kindle Devices were sold according to Morgan Stanley.

6. It Will Increase Your Authority Online. The more exposure you have the more trust you'll have with your reader's. Exposure builds credibility. Saying you're an author will you take you to the next level.

Keep your blog fresh and brainstorm continuously. Follow your competitor's tactics and strategies and evolve!

2. First Steps to Writing Your First Book

I've been writing articles on the Internet since 2010, and created my first paperback in June 2017. It was a huge learning curve . Discover some helpful pointers below to get you started:

The Idea

Without an idea or initial spark your book is dead in the water. Make notes from thoughts that pop into your mind.

Pick a Topic

In any kind of writing, research is your friend, so take your time read books, magazines and articles on your chosen subject. The Internet has a wealth of information for you to tap into. Life experience is another resource to tap into.  A simple note: the average eBook is about 25 pages long.

Writing Preparation

Buy a pocket notepad something you can easily slip into a bag or pocket and carry it around with you while you're out and about. Ideas can come at the strangest times during the day.  Having a pad on your person or on your bedside cabinet can save hours of sitting trying to think up an idea.

Be careful with your time, spend it wisely. If you're not spending the time on your book start creating your author platform and developing your marketing strategy.

Start by writing an outline on your chosen subject, this will help you get your thoughts in order. Jot down your chapter headings, you can always rearrange them later.

Keep all distractions to a minimum, mobile phones, iPads etc things with social media that will pull you away from your task and will cost you time. Switch them off. You'll be amazed at how much you can write in a couple of hours.

Once you've start typing out your book, remember to create a backup and save as you go. This will save you a lot of upset if you do end up losing your work.

The Writing Part

Write from the perspective of your target audience, and determine who it is you're writing for.  Make writing a regular habit and develop it. This is your opportunity to pass on your own insight and talk about something you're really passionate about.

Every writer's worst nightmare is 'writer's block', when you go to write/type something and there's nothing in your mind. Don't get overwhelmed by your task, do it in bite sized chunks.

Write in draft form, keep it simple and stay away from formatting your document. You can do that later on when you book is close to completion.

The same goes for editing, wait until the end, your main aim is to have a draft copy of your book, you'll have plenty of time later to make it pretty.

Choose a finishing date, a date in your calendar you’re ready to sell it by. This should all coincide with your blog/website start.

Edit and Name Your eBook

At this point a small celebration is in order, you've written your draft, done your research and the end is in sight.

This is where you need to start proofreading your work.  Some simple tips to use are:

  • Reading Your Manuscript out loud to yourself
  • Make a print out and read through it for punctuation and spelling errors.

Check your grammar and spelling, don't leave it up to the spellchecker. I never completely trust my spell checker. Make it your best work but also bare in mind it'll never be perfect. You have a date in your diary to keep, so stick to it and get it done.

The Perfect Title

Choose a title at the end because you have a fresh set of eyes and a complete picture of what your book is about.

Formatting Your eBook

I use Google Docs to type out my manuscript it's simple and easy to use.  Images and photos can easily be uploaded.

Your book will be read on a variety of devices including mobile phones, Nooks, PCs, Kindles, laptops and tablets. The page and font size will vary to the original document so keep it simple and clean.

Simple Formatting Tips
  • Page numbers (some devices allocate page numbers based on the preference of the owner, eBook files don't have a universal page number).
  •  Advertising and promotion - Don't promote other competitors if your publishing with other websites. Use your website/blog, Facebook to promote yourself.
  • Headers and footers.
  • Background images and colours along with borders aren't recommended. Text will look feint on a grey scale e reading device.
  • Drop caps at the beginning of each chapter.
  • Different colour text.
  • Multi column's, stick to a single column layout.
  • Text boxes - If a large font size is being used, the text box may run onto the next page.
  • Your page size is irrelevant - letter or A4 is fine. Use standard settings for your margins.
  • Don't use multiple spaces or tabs
  • Use a single paragraph break, not double paragraph breaks
  • Separate sections and subsections with a central break
  • Separate chapters with a page break, don't use multiple returns to move to the next page
  • Styling Fonts and Text
  • Choose Arial, Georgia and Times New Roman for the main body of text
  • 10, 11 or 12 pt is great for the main body of text
  • Use block text
  • Use single line spacing
  • Use bold, italics and ALL CAPS to make things stand out
  • Use Images
Simple tips on adding images in your book
  • Some e readers don't display colour, but only display greyscale.
  • Insert images into your manuscript as separate files (GIF, TIFF, PDF, PNG and JPG) are all fine to use.
  • Don't float images left or right of text. Keep them in their own line instead.
Links in Your Book

Providing the Internet connection is on these links will work automatically on an e reader device, so make sure your website and social networks get a mention

Use hyperlinking and bookmarking to link from one place in the manuscript to another

Front and Back Matter

Your Book Cover

This all depends upon your own budget, if you don't have the money you can easily create your own book cover for free, or you can pay someone else to create one for you. Keep it simple, I can't stress this enough. Amazon provide an book cover maker for you. You can create your own book cover with Amazon's images, backgrounds and fonts.

Once your book starts making money you can always update your book cover.

Pricing Your eBook

A good guide is to start selling your eBook for $2.99 this way you'll earn a 70% royalty.

Distribution and Marketing Your eBook

A good place to start selling your book is Amazon but there are plenty of other channels to sell your eBook through such as SmashWords and Kobo. This way, you have a platform with thousands of people at your fingertips. It's also secure and VAT is taken care of.

3. How to Create Effective Front and Back Matter

The key factors in any self published book (eBook) is the front and back matter. This can make your eBook look professional and a quality product.

Follow my tips below to create your front and back matter:

1. Copyright Page

Depending upon the publisher or authors, this page can vary.

See below for the template with the information required:

Copyright © 2017 by ........... ........... 

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law.

2. About the Author

This is pretty self explanatory, many authors choose to put this in the back of their eBook. Keep it short and sweet and make sure you include your website URL.

3. List of Current Book Titles Published

List all of the books you currently have published.

4. Title - Page 1

Your title and author name. Place them in the centre of the page in a large clear font.


If you're self publishing through Amazon Kindle you'll be given an ISBN otherwise you'll need to purchase one through a company such as:
6. Dedication Page

You can make this detailed or as simple as you feel e.g. For Bill, and a reason why. You could include quotes from other authors that are relevant to your subject. Remember to centre your dedication.

7. Order of Page Numbers

Page 1: Praise (or About the Author)
Page 2: Blank 
Page 3: Also by Author name 
Page 4: Credits Page (input information)
Page 5: Title Page 
Page 6: Blank 
Page 7: Dedication 
Page 8: Blank 
Page 9: Blank

Remember to start your first page on an odd number.

The Back of Your Book

You can include a lot of things in the back of your eBook.

Here are some popular things:

● Authors note
● Acknowledgements
● Adverts or upcoming titles
● Sample excerpts from upcoming titles
● Call to connect with you on your website or social media platforms
● Call to sign up to your newsletter

There is no correct order for any of the above. Be as creative as you feel. The Acknowledgements page generally comes after the end of your story or non-fiction content.

If your eBook is non-fiction it will need a TOC (table of contents) in the front of the eBook.

4. How to Create Your Book Cover for Free

I'm not the artistic type but enjoy a good challenge. Creating a book cover can be trying in itself. With very little skill and experience you can create a book cover for free.

I'm going to show you my chosen method:

Amazon Cover Creator

A great way for first time author's to save money. It's easy for anyone to use and can be found in Beta release form in your KDP account.

Simple Steps to Your eBook Cover
  1. Image select. (Choose a design) - Amazon provides you with its own royalty free images, or you can use your own. Text designs are just as easy to use.
  2. Enter the title and subtitle if you have one. The fun really starts here, style and edit is where your design the layout of your eBook cover. Choose your colours: You can customise your colours or choose from a selection of 27 professionally defined colour schemes.
  3. Choose your layout: With instant results choose from eight cover selection designs, with instant results.
  4. Choose your font: You can adjust your text type and size, colour and positioning. (Choosing from 12 pre-selected font options).
  5. Preview: You can preview your results and see what you've created on an e-ink reader.
5. Why Every Author Should Have a Platform

Not every writer likes the idea of a personal brand. That's understandable. Especially if you don't like talking about yourself or your achievements. Branding doesn't have to be daunting or scary. After all you're showcasing your own ideas,stories and expertise which over time will help build your audience. 

Strengthening your author brand is a key element to your success in today's marketplace. Once you've built it, it's yours and no one can take that away from you.

Why You Need to Invest in Your Brand

You can see the contrast between time spent building a brand, and an author that hasn't bothered to invest in the necessary resources for developing their own personal online presence. Think of it like this your brand is like your business card, and along with your book(s), your brand helps to build your credibility and open doors to future projects.

If you're in it for the long haul you need to commit to a branding strategy as soon as your first book is published.

Standing Out From the Crowd is Pivotal

You need to spend time and energy on your brand, in order for you to "stand out from the crowd", finding a niche for yourself. Separating yourself and helping you to stand out making you different from any other author out there. You are your biggest competition. You won't need to worry about your rivals, you can use that energy to build your brand instead. You have total control over your branding, don't worry about how you'll be perceived in the market. Ask yourself is your brand compatible and true to you?

You Can Create Your Own Personal Brand

In the current digital age you can take charge of your branding through social media using a myriad of tools. By Focusing your effort and assigning time carefully you can become an authority in your particular area of expertise.

Branding Demonstrates Your Market Value

Both your book and brand can be the portal to other entrepreneurial pursuits including other revenue streams and services you can offer.  Help your audience understand who you are through your brand so they can make an informed buying decision.

6. How to Publish on Amazon Kindle (KDP)

Once you've written and edited your book, you need to find somewhere to publish it. The most accessible platform is Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP).

Publishing sounds so complicated and baffling. The reality is Kindle is one of the easiest platforms on the internet to publish on. I've published all three of my books on Kindle and don't have the headache of paying someone to do it for me. I want to share with you some of the tips I've learnt and help you to publish your own book on Kindle.

Amazon holds the lion’s share of self-published eBook sales of around 80- 85%. With a share as high as 85% Amazon is still the biggest in the market by a long shot. With an easy-to-use publishing platform, Kindle is a comparatively easier option.  Follow the steps below to publish on Kindle:

Step 1 Your Book

Sign up with KDP.

Click Add a title 1. Book name. 2.Book description (you can write up to 4,000 characters - use this to sell your book to your reader). 3.Book contributors (put your own name if you're the author).  4.Categories (the subject/genre you're writing in).  5.Keywords (you can add up to 7 keywords in your genre, don't duplicate categories). You can leave these items blank:

● Series

● Edition Number

● Publisher

● Language

● Publication Date


Publishing Rights

You're publishing your own work, so you have copyright. This means you need to verify This is not a public domain work and I hold the necessary publishing right.

Kindle Format Conversion accepts these document formats:

● Microsoft Word (.doc or .Docx)

● eBook Formats (Html, Mobi, ePub)

● Adobe PDF I use Google Docs to write my eBook on. It’s a straightforward save and easy to upload on Kindle.

I want to keep this easy, so just upload your manuscript and let Amazon reformat it for you onto Kindle.

Previewing in Kindle

If you've gone with the HTML format file, you can use Kindle Previewer. You can see how well your book works on different Kindle versions.

Upload Your eBook

If you're happy with the format you've chosen you can upload your file to KDP. The next option is Digital Rights Management.

● You can enable if you want to make it difficult for people to copy your book.

● Do not enable if your preference is to make your book available without restrictions. Once you've uploaded you can preview it to see if it looks okay. (You can't change this option later).

Step 2 Book Cover Photo

You have two choices, create your own eBook cover, or use the template- based cover creator. I've tried both and prefer creating my own design using Fotor. The cover is an important part of your book and will help attract readers.

Creating your book cover doesn't need to be difficult. You can find a photo and put a title over it, or create a text based cover like mine below.

Cover Photo Size

You can use your own photo or artwork, or download one from an image library. The easier and cheaper option is to use your own. Kindle eBook image size 1563 x 2500 pixels. Its advisable to make your cover in colour, even though Kindle only displays in black and white. Kindle Fire, Kindle app and windows etc all display in colour.

  •  Upload Your Cover
  •  Click Browse for image, select your cover, then upload your image.

Alternatively Use Cover Creator

It’s a good place to start if you want to experiment and see how various fonts and designs look.

Step 3 Your Rights and Pricing

  • Confirm your Publishing Territories
  • Click Worldwide Rights - all territories. Your book will show up on Amazon sites all around the world.
  • Set Your Price
  • Set your price at $2.99 and you'll receive a 70% royalty on each purchase.
  • Your price is set by the US price, which means you can customise your price in different territories.
  • Publish
  • Click Save and publish.
Within hours your book will appear on Amazon all around the world. Where Next?

This Blog post is 3,222 words long, download your FREE PDF and read it later.

This post contains affiliate links.  This means if you purchase through these links you are supporting 1976write and we thank you for that.

Thursday, June 07, 2018

What Writer's Need to Know About KDP Select

What is Kindle Select?

KDP Select is an exclusive option for all Kindle authors on Amazon.  The KDP Select program gives all authors the opportunity to reach a worldwide audience while earning royalties from sales and lending from customers  all over the world.

These royalties from Kindle Owners' Lending Library (KOLL) and Kindle Unlimited (KU).  Every Amazon author has the use of these promotional tools which include Kindle Countdown Deal or Free Book Promotion.

  • Kindle Countdown Deal allows you to promote your eBook for an allotted time at a special discount.
  • Free eBook Promotion means your readers can get a free copy of your eBook for up to 5 days every 90 days.

What Do I Get When Someone Downloads My eBook for Free?

You don't get paid any royalties for free downloads, but your eBook does get more exposure thanks to Amazon's algorithm.

More Exposure = More Royalties

This knock-on effect will also help sales of your paperback or audio books.  The more people download your eBook the higher your ranking will be.

That's why it's important to have an author platform, such as a blog, to let your readers know where they can buy your eBook's or paperback book's.

How Can I Earn from the Kindle Lending Library?

All Amazon Prime members can borrow from the Kindle Owners' Lending library and every month all authors that've had their eBooks borrowed get a share of the Global Fund.

What is the Global Fund?

Amazon puts aside money for authors who have opted to be in the Global Fund.  In April 2018 that total was $21.2 million.  You earn a royalty for the number of borrows of your eBook.

Often that means that a borrow can be more than someone purchasing your eBook.  So it's a win win situation for a first-time author's.

The Only Problem with KDP Select

The problem with Kindle Select is that it doesn't allow you to upload your eBook to another retailer when you're signed up for KDP Select.  Kindle has total exclusivity of your eBook   You can make up a sample of 10% of  your eBook for other websites.  This doesn't effect sales of your paperback or audio books.

So Is Kindle Select Really Worth It?

Speaking from experience yes it's definitely worth your time to use this self-publishing tool to sell your eBooks.

I can say this because I had my first paperback sale through Amazon, and this wouldn't have happened had I not used KDP Select.

This is What You'll Get When You Use Kindle Select:

1. Over 20 million eyeballs from Amazon Prime members looking at the Kindle Lending Library.

2. Five free promotional days every 90 days to give your book away, this will push your name up the bestseller list on Amazon.

3. You can use the Countdown Deal to put your eBook on for a fixed amount allowing you even more sales of your eBook.

In Conclusion

As a writer I'm still learning about the best ways to sell my books but Amazon has always been my primary retailer for selling my books.

What I would say to any new author out there is to give it a go.  Create your eBook and put it on Amazon, use there selling tools and if things don't work out for you try a different retailer.  But do try!  Nothing ventured nothing gained!

This post contains affiliate links.  This means if you purchase through these links you are supporting 1976write and we thank you for that.

Monday, June 04, 2018

10 Free Tools for Writer's

Microsoft Office a name most connected to writing software and used the whole world over by many has over the years gone from being a free part of Windows to a now yearly or one-time payment, Office can range from $99 to $216.99 .  As its name clearly states Office includes Excel, Outlook and Powerpoint along with a few other extras which are used for writing.

Is all of that software really needed to write an ebook, short story or article?  Of course it's not!

There are plenty of free and alternative tools suitable for any kind of writing.

6 Free Writing Software Alternatives

1. AbiWord

If you're looking for a simple set up with plenty of functionality AbiWord is worth a try.

An accessible distraction-free platform which includes basic tools such as spelling and grammar checking, along with auto-saving, will work with most common file types such as docx.

Ideal for blog post and article writing, a simple dashboard with no frills.

It does have certain limitations when it comes to printing and requires an external program to see a print preview.

2. Google Docs

Google docs offers a variety of templates from CV's, reports to letters.  If you have a small business it can be a great substitute for Excel allowing you to do spreadsheets to.  Like Office online you can open, edit and create files from your browser both on and offline.  It also supports PDF files which is a bonus!

3. Office Online

A free version of Microsoft Office, Office Online supports Word, Excel, Power Point and One Note files.  Again you can create and edit files from your browser.  It also handles PDF files.

4. Libre Office

This software was developed by the Document Foundation, it offers the same six applications as Apache Open Office.  In the standard package you get PDF import, presentation minimiser and wiki publisher.

5. WPS Office

An equal alternative for users of Word.  With all of the features expected by any word processor, plays nicely with most file types to.

A handy feature is drag and drop paragraph which may come in handy when you want an article typed up quickly.

It also allows you to work on two documents at the same time.  It comes with a cloud storage service of 1G free space for PC and iOS.

6. SoftMaker

If you spend most of your time writing books this handy tool is useful for authors who export with epub.

In this software TextMaker is the free word processor, but this doesn't allow you to save Docx format unless you choose the premium version.  It does however allow you to open and edit Docx files.

Aside from that it offers all of the features you would expect from any modern word processor.

4 Tools to Make You a Better Writer

1. Default Notepads on MS and Mac

These free tools come as standared on both Apple and Microsoft.

One of the most underrated tools for converting to plain text and a real advantage when you want to clean up any document.

By simply adding your text to notepad you can convert everything to plain text and give it a clean up before you put it back on to word processor for a final format.

2. Hemingway Editor

A simple tool that will give you helpful advice and hints on how to improve your writing.

3. BlogAbout

Banish writer's block with BlogAbout.  Unlike most headline generators BlogAbout will take you through the process of defining your topic ideas.

Designed for bloggers to find titles and headlines, a cool tool for writer's looking for ideas on the go.

Just simply fill in your base words and then put a title together for a new writing prompt and you're good to go.

4. Fotor

Fotor is a free tool for creating images for your blog, book cover, Facebook cover, Instagram cover and the list goes on.

With Fotor you can create your own unique blog images and add them to your social media giving your brand a more professional look.

There is a paid option with endless possibilities, the free version offers an ample amount of templates, images, icons, shapes and background for any project.

In Conclusion

It's pretty clear that you don't need to spend any money if you don't have to.

With the above list of free software you have more than enough to start writing your articles and creating your eBook without having to worry about how much it's going to cost you.

Think about what you need to make it as a writer then grab your laptop and make your way to nearest coffee shop to start writing.

This post contains affiliate links.  This means if you purchase through these links you are supporting 1976write and we thank you for that.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

10 Essential Tips for Writer's Who Use Social Media

These days people don't give a second thought to logging into their social media accounts and letting their followers know exactly what is going in their lives.

Are we as writer's using social media to it's full potential?  Or do we think we can some how manage without it?

The possibilities that come with using social media are endless, exhibiting your writing ability and gaining exposure.  It doesn't matter which end of your writing journey your at new and weathered writer's alike you might learn something new.

1. Make Sure You're Signed Up to at Least Two Major Social Networks

Deciding which social platform to choose can be a difficult decision if you've never used a platform before.  It's logical as a writer to go for the biggest and most used platform that will give you the most coverage and boost your online presence.  My particular choices are Twitter and Google+, many writer's also use Facebook and Tumblr because of their rising popularity.

2. Be Fervent With Your Interaction

Social media was invented to bring people together for close interaction.  Engaging with your followers is just as important as posting links and adding commentary.  It's important as a writer to keep your audience interested in what you do.

What other writer's have to say about using social media platforms:

Karen Palmer author of novels All Saints and Border Dogs "make sure your personality shines through all platforms".

3. Social Media isn't a Billboard

In order to interact with other like minded people you need to connect with them first.  People like to communicate with real people not robots.

By using the 80/20 rule, that's sharing 80% of other peoples work and only 20% of your own people will start to respond because you've taken time out to post their work.

4.  Acknowledge Other Peoples Privacy

Privacy online is hot topic at the moment with all of the data protection rules being brought in (GDPR).  It's an important subject and one that needs to be treated with kid gloves.  Only share and interact with what you're most comfortable with.

Any thoughts you put on the internet are permanent so be mindful of what you're writing about.

5.  Make Use of Your "About Me" Section

Give your followers a concise and clear explanation of what you're about.  Construct something that you can use across all platforms, and give people a real sense of what you do and what you're bringing to the table.

6. Stay On Middle Ground

Keep a happy medium when it comes to expressing your views on social platforms.  Drama queens and constant complainers go down like a lead balloon on social media.

Your voice is your own but be careful how you use it, you may miss out on valuable opportunities by being too loud.

Be interesting but not too edgy.

7.  Create Valuable Contacts

Interact with authors and writers you admire.  Connections are important to both new and seasoned authors.  You don't know where your connections may lead to.

8. Follower Numbers Aren't That Important

The amount of people who follow you isn't that important, engaging with your audience is. Follow this rule and your audience will grow.

9.  Use Social Media to Gain Valuable Insight from Your Audience

Ask you're readers what they like about your blog. Ask them what cover design is best for your new book cover.  You can do all of this and so much more through social media.  That kind of free research can be invaluable to any writer.

A quick word of caution, don't get obsessive or too distracted by this kind of social media use.

10.  Make Sure Your Hearts in It

Using social media can be pretty intense sometimes, and can often lead to burn out if it's overused.  By creating a simple weekly social media plan you can eliminate a lot of frustration.

Marketing is an important part of writing.  People need to hear your voice, social media is a valuable tool for any writer.  Use it wisely.

This post contains affiliate links.  This means if you purchase through these links you are supporting 1976write and we thank you for that.

Monday, May 28, 2018

12 Amazing Online Courses for Writers

It's time to get savvy

No one said blogging was going to be easy.

Communicating from your heart is a skill in itself.

Blogging is about giving something real and capturing the attention of your followers.

Even if you're the best at what you do, but you have no blog, you're invisible.  Having an impecable web presence is essential, and that's what you'll discover with courses provided below.

Real life success requires strategy, acumen, method and ability.

Keeping your fingers crossed and praying for an audience is not a strategy!


There are numerous courses on Udemy to examine in a short blog post like this.  The virtual class system is a much used system to guide students for remote learning on many subjects.  It's very similar to other online classrooms mentioned below including CreativeLive and SkillShare.  With more emphasis on enrichment than accreditation Udemy offers no transferable college credit.

One of the charms of Udemy is the amount of classes it offers.  With such an extensive library of online classes it beats all of the sources mentioned in this blog post.  For this reason Udemy students can learn :

Punctuation Mastery
Ninja Writing
Writing Short Stories
CreateSpace Self-Publishing

You can learn from the best Industry Professionals, and can discover through each class's course description and brief biography of his or her qualifications for teaching.  By clicking the icon you get an abridged description by the instructor of what will be covered in each class.

All classes feature feedback, readings and, assignments.  Instructors include audio and written material.  Single classes cost $13.99, students enrolling in multiple classes receive discounts, $12.99 per course for two courses or $9.99 for more than three courses.

Skill Share

Skill Share have amassed video instruction on course topics such as:

Give Your Career a Boost - Sharon Ernst
The Perfect Pitch - Damien Walter
Creative NonFiction - Susan Orlean
Creating Content That People Love to Read  - Raelene Morey

Right now, Skill Share offer a free one month trial with full access to their library of courses.  Bloggers can sign up and try on of the above listed courses.

With Premium access at $15 per month or $99 per year you have total access to all Skill Share classes.

Skill Share has some of the most accomplished writers and authors, such as Susan Orlean staff writer at the New Yorker to Daniel Jose author, to provide classes.


CreativeLive is the Seattle based company that broadcasts workshops for free like TV except it's all about learning.

Many of their speakers are best selling leaders in the industry, from photography to writing.

You can either watch what is currently being broadcast or buy the classes and watch in your own time.

I'm currently watching Jeff Goins Starving to Successful.  Here are more courses to blog your way to freedom:

Overcome Writer's Block
Copywriting for Crafters
Self-Publishing for the Entrepreneur
Proofreading Your Own Work

This post contains affiliate links.  This means if you purchase through these links you are supporting 1976write and we thank you for that.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

How to Write Better with a Blog

The basic key to writing and a point that often gets over looked and buried under many other aspects is to "just write".  No matter what your tool of choice is whether it be a typewriter, PC, laptop or good old fashioned pen and paper the more you write the better you'll become.

Your musings no longer need to be stored away in notepads or journals.  You can put them directly onto the internet and published in no time at all.

You can start your journey of becoming a better writer by blogging.

What do I write about?

You need to find out what it is your passionate about, then start sharing your thoughts in a unique inventive way with your audience.

Be yourself.

Your blog is your own personal platform or sounding board.  Think about what sparks your interest and start focusing in on that. Discover the writer in you through your blogging.

Know that your thoughts may change in the future.

Things change over time, that's just a general fact of life.  Nothing ever stays the same, whatever you publish now may be of less value in the future.  Evidence may surface about an idea or topic - changing how everyone thinks.  To put it simply the information you've gleaned and put into a blog post may not always be right.  Don't let that little fact put you off writing.

Good or bad it's out there for all to see.

If you're a zealous note maker you'll notice that only you can understand the shorthand you've written.  When you're writing a blog post you need to make sure the post isn't for you but for your audience.

In the process of writing you open yourself up to comments and criticism.  You can share your blog posts on social platforms such as Facebook, Google+ and Twitter to your hearts content.  It's in your hands whether or not you engage with your audience.  Even negative feedback to help you grow your blog audience, you can enter into conversation with your followers and share ideas.

Convey more in less space.

Challenge yourself every now and again to write longer articles, enhancing your thought, idea or argument.  Then try challenging yourself to writing out the same thoughts in 300 words or less.  It's your blog so you can write as long or as short as you want.

You can try different kinds of writing with your blog.

Blogging isn't just about writing up a blog post, it can also include many other types of writing including copywriting.  Copywriting is used to market or sell a product, and is a writing skill that takes time to be mastered.  Writing in different ways can open up new opportunities  and make you a better wordsmith overall.

All-in-all your writing will improve.

Practice makes perfect, that's a given for anything you want to accomplish in life.  Have a regular writing schedule for your blog means your writing will improve over time.  It also means you can improve on any old posts you have.  Improving on what you've already written is a good place to start.

Let me know in the comments below if blogging has made you a better writer.

This post contains affiliate links.  This means if you purchase through these links you are supporting 1976write and we thank you for that.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Why I Recommend CreativeLive for Writer's

CreativeLive is the online school for artists and entrepreneurs.  In this review I'll share what I learnt when I signed up for Jeff Goins Starving to Successful course and I'll also suggest tips to decide if you should sign up to more classes in this CreativeLive review.

You can watch a  CreativeLive Preview here.

What is Creativelive?

CreativeLive is the brainchild of Chase Jarvis, based on his own preferred method of learning: total immersion by throwing himself into the deep end.

You can use CreativeLive using your PC or device and take in the classes at your own pace.

What Kind of Classes Can I Expect to Find on CreativeLive?

There are lots of classes available, depending on your interests.

If you're looking for a fast-track way to reach your goals you can try Learning Paths.  These tried and tested pathways have been put together with the world's best classes to help you land your next big gig.

"How to Become an Author" will direct you through a solid marketing plan to start writing your success story today.

What I Took on CreativeLive

I've been following Jeff Goins for a while now and was really interested when I saw his course Starving to Successful pop up.

Jeff Goins turned his blog from $200 into a thriving six figure business within his first year going on to write five bestselling books.

In his course Jeff Goins delivers strategies and action within 22 lessons to enable you to move up the path of profitablity with your writing..

Goins workshop contains extra materials in the form of PDFs to help on your way to $10K per month.

What CreativeLive Course Should I Take?

If studying online sparks you're interest, you've probably been through the CreativeLive class library.

A writer should take the following on CreativeLive:

Wired for Story
Ways of Being Published
Telling Your Truth Through Writing a Conversation
Develop a Creative Mindset and Write

Jennifer Louden will show you how to get your writing done, Melissa Cassera will teach you how to write addictive content and Tim Grahl will show you how to sell your first 1,000 books.

Unsure about what CreativeLive class to take as yourself, "Do I like what this course tutor has to offer?"

What You'll Get With a CreativeLive Class

CreativeLive classes range from $50 to $300, and courses are often discounted.  They also offer bundles which include multi-classes these can be as low as $45 to $800 depending on the bundle you choose.

All courses are on a scheduled basis offering special conferences on categories such as social media or business.  Along with a steady stream of offers and sales on all of their classes.

You don't have to watch the live lecture you can watch all classes in your own time.

Each class offers different materials which usually come in the form of a PDF which you can easily download.

What I Like About CreativeLive

I love the flexibility of CreativeLive, not being tied down to watch a live class and being able to come back to my course whenever I want.

You get first-class production values when you watch a class on CreativeLive.  The quality of the lesson materials was good to.

You can always find fresh material from people at the top of their craft like "Lisa Cron who teaches storytelling".

In contrast you can spend thousands of dollars on an MFA.  Or a couple of hundred dollars on online writing classes that are tailored to your particular needs.

Your learning can start for as little as $30.

The Downside to CreativeLive

The only downside with CreativeLive was that you can't download the videos directly onto to your PC or laptop.

Other than that I found no other problems with CreativeLive.

Why I Recommend CreativeLive to all Writer's

I recommend CreativeLive to all writer's with or without a budget.  Choose a class and see if it's for you.

With a modest amount you can start investing in your craft and you can learn from the very best without investing thousands of dollars.

For beginners and professionals alike who are looking to further careers but want to keep learning from the master craftsman in their chosen field.  Try CreativeLive.

This post contains affiliate links.  This means if you purchase through these links you are supporting 1976write and we thank you for that.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

10 Excellent Reasons Why Every Writer Should Write an Ebook

As alarming as it might sound writing an Ebook does make really good business sense.  Clients and readers will come more readily when you become published.

Let's investigate further.

Writing isn't just about blogging, but having your name printed on the front of a paper back and being able to say "I wrote this", this is because many people still believe that being a real writer means publishing a book.

The world is full of  writer's of all kinds, each one pursuing their own dream.  

If this is starting to sound like you then you need to continue reading.  You'll discover by the end of this article how you can make that writing dream a reality.

So what's stopping you from writing that book?

(If really good reasons are in short supply then get a pen and paper and start your book right now).
It's all too easy to let fear get in the way and your dream be put on the shelf.  The quintessential paperback consists of around 80,000 words.  That's a lot of writing, but definitely not impossible.  Are you afraid that you're writing skills won't be up to scratch?  There are plenty of bestselling writer's out there that struggle with grammar and punctuation. 

These and many more reasons can stop you from writing your first book.  Thankfully there's another way.

Most writer's these days write ebooks.  Here's a list of why ebooks are good for all writer's:

1. Choose a subject you're interested in and become an expert.  Your subject could be work related or something you enjoy doing in your free time.  When you share your knowledge you can help other people and build your reputation at the same time.  Writing an eBook will increase your credibility in your chosen niche.

2. Once it's written it's there for keeps.  When your eBook is published it will be earning for you indefinitely.  It may require tweaking every once in a while just to keep it up-to-date but the hard work has been done so you can watch your passive income roll in.

3. Use it as a sign up tool.  Giving your eBook away for free may sound crazy because you're not making any income from it, but if you're just starting out it's a great incentive for people to sign up to your mailing list.

4. Creating and publishing was easy.  Marketing your eBook is where things get tough.  Use blogging as your platform to market your eBook.

5. Ebook's are everywhere.  People of every age group have access to a device, whether it be a mobile phone or Ipad.  In 2014 $5 billion of Kindle Devices were sold according to Morgan Stanley.

6. It will increase your authority online.  The more exposure you have the more trust you'll have with your reader's , exposure builds credibility.  Becoming an author will you take you to the next level.

7. Most ebooks are short.  If you take a look at the length of many ebooks on Amazon you'll soon discover they all vary in length from 20 pages to 55,000 words.  Try writing a couple of pages a day and you'll have an ebook ready in a month.

8. It doesn't have to be your magnum opus.  You'll never write with that thought in your head.  Remember you're writing to the best of your ability and not anyone else's.

9. You don't need a publisher.  You can edit and proofread your own ebook.  You don't need to pay for a editor to do it.  There is plenty of information to look at online if you're not sure about editing and formatting your ebook correctly.

10. Your ebook will be the start of extra income.  That's right you'll start earning royalties for each copy sold.  This could be a royalty of up to 70% if you start selling your book on Amazon.  For every $5 copy you sell you earn $3.50 for each copy sold.  Your royalties are much higher than a traditional publishing house.

Non-fiction books are great marketing tools if you already have a blog.

Helping to solve a problem is a good place to start selling books.  Drawing from personal experience is even better.

Start making notes about experiences you've had.  It could be:
  • How you solved a financial problem.
  • How you started growing your own vegetables.
  • Life after a divorce.
  • How you cope with stress.
Scribble down as many ideas as you can think of.

The next step is remembering how you overcame those problems, what tools you used and action you took.  Go into as much detail as you can.  Don't leave anything out even if you think it might be too boring.

Now that you've generated lot's of ideas you need to pick one!  That's how simple it is.

If you want to write an ebook in 30 days check out my article Write an Ebook in 30 Days and Finish it With this Guide.

Now you know where to start!  Happy writing.

This post contains affiliate links.  This means if you purchase through these links you are supporting 1976write and we thank you for that.