No New Year resolutions but a plan to blog more. It won’t last but while it does here goes…
How to self publish.
It’s never been both easier and harder to be an Indie. Let’s get cracking…
- Write a book. Okay, I make that sound easy but, in truth, it’s not that difficult. There are a raft or people, groups of people, books and courses both online and face-to-face eager to help. The most important thing here is you producing the best words you can.
Whilst these blog posts are all going to be about self-publishing I’m going to start by kicking it off with some tips and tricks on writing. These are strategies I use in my own books. Tricks and tips I’ve learnt along the way from all over the place. No matter what book you read, or which famous best-selling writer you listen to, the same fact has proven true time after time. The best books break the rules but there are some givens. I’ll start with the best piece of advice ever.
Key Tip (1) Start late, leave early.
I don’t know where I heard this first. I’ve heard it many times. Start your book, your chapter in the middle of something. Draw your reader in so they forget everything. Nothing should exist for them except the words on the page. Leave early at the end of a chapter. Make the reader want to carry on with the next part of the story. PTQ (Page Turning Quality)
Key Tip (2) Start your book with a hook.
It’s not good enough to start with a sunrise or someone lying in bed thinking (please don’t contact me with those best sellers that start that way, they are examples, only that). You have 10 seconds or less to hook your reader (for reader substitute Agent, publisher) after that they are going to delete the extract. No, they are going to delete you.
Key Tip (3) The most important key on your computer is the delete one.
Write carefully, edit freely. Most books (adult) are between 50,000 (category romances) to 120,000. You’re writing a book, not a doorstop. How many words are needed to tell your tale? What is the length of comparable novels available? Do your research.
Key Tip (4) Don’t hate the adverb, it has its place.
A book without any (there are some) is a book missing a trick.
‘Show not tell’. How I hate that phrase because, to the new writer it is meaningless drivel. What the hell does it mean anyway? I think in the broadest sense it means that new writers, and not just new ones, are at risk of not using the English language to its fullest capacity. The second most important key on the writer’s computer is the thesaurus. By changing just one word in a sentence you can make half the words obsolete and end up with something amazing. I’d prefer to read a shorter book over a longer one, a book in which the writer has prioritized his word choice over his word count. I repeat; this is not a post on how to write. Google ‘show not tell’ and ‘adverb use in writing’ for more.
Key Tip (5) Read. Read as much as you can and cross genre.
One famous writer said recently he writes one book a year and reads 300 (it wasn’t me but it could have been).
Next post: Editing. Can you edit your own work. Tips and tricks. Why I now employ an editor.