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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

"Call Yourself a Writer?" Meme

I was recently tagged on this meme by Linda Jones of Passionate Media on her You've Got Your Hands Full blog.

In her post, Linda asked and then answered a number of questions about her own writing. She then tagged several other writers, including me, to answer the questions as well. So, without further ado, here are my responses...

1. Which words do you use too much in your writing?

However, therefore, great

2. Which words do you consider overused in stuff you read?

Neat, suddenly, cool

3. What's your favourite piece of writing by you?

Possibly my novella The Festival on Lyris Five, recently published by my friends at Salvatore Publishing. This is a humorous (I hope) science fiction story I wrote a few years ago, when I had a bit more time for fiction. I had a blast writing it, and I hope readers will share some of that enjoyment now. The book also has some wonderful illustrations by Louise Tolentino. You can buy it in printed form or as an instant download.

4. What are your other favorite blogs?

There are some wonderful writing blogs out there. Here are just a few I keep coming back to:

The Creative Penn
Fuel Your Writing
Nail Your Novel
Copyblogger

There are also a number of non-writing-related blogs I'm a fan of. Two of the best are Mashable (for all the latest news about Web 2.0) and MakeUseOf (for an endless stream of software advice, free tutorials, website recommendations, and more).

And finally, if you're a blogger yourself, Darren Rowse's ProBlogger blog is a must-read, along with his TwiTip blog for Twitter users.

5. Regrets, do you have a few? Is there anything you wish you hadn't written?

There are a few things over the years I've written that I haven't been paid for, so clearly I regret those!

I also rather regret trying to correct some criticisms of me and my publishers, WCCL, that had been published a while ago on another writer's blog. I rather naively thought I could put the record straight, and that would be that. Instead, it proved to be the online equivalent of stirring up a hornets' nest. Nowadays I follow the wise precept, Don't Feed the Trolls!

6. How has your writing made a difference? What do you consider your most important piece of writing?

A lot of my writing consists of courses and other instructional materials. I like to think I've helped a lot of people to get started as writers, and in other small businesses too. Certainly, the huge number of messages I receive from students of my courses telling me about their successes is one of the most rewarding aspects of my work.

Possibly my most important/influential piece of writing has been Write Any Book in Under 28 Days, my original and best-selling course for WCCL. I've lost count of the number of buyers of this course who have written telling me about the books they have written as a result of following my advice, in some cases sending copies of the books as well. I am truly humbled by some of the stories they tell me (such as this one, for example).

7. Name three favourite words

Opportunity, commission, holiday

8. ...And three words you're not so keen on

Deadline, scam, refer to drawer

9. Do you have a writing mentor, role model or inspiration?

Two writers I admire hugely are Dean Koontz and Stephen King. Both are prolific to an extent I could never dream of, and both write consistently to an extremely high standard (I'm really enjoying King's Duma Key at the moment). Because they both write genre fiction they do not receive the critical recognition they deserve, but I'm quite sure in future they will be regarded as the Charles Dickens's of their time.

10. What's your writing ambition?

I'd like to have more time to write fiction, and especially to work on a novel I've had in the back of my mind for ages now.

I'd also love to be asked to write a novelization for a movie, stage show or TV series. If any producers out there are reading this, I'm your man!

11. Plug alert! List any work you would like to tell your readers about.

I've already mentioned The Festival on Lyris Five and Write Any Book in Under 28 Days.

In addition, I'd like to mention in particular The Wealthy Writer, my latest downloadable writing guide to be published by WCCL. The Wealthy Writer was co-written with Ruth Barringham, and it covers a huge range of ways writers can make money by applying their skills on the Internet. I've already had some amazing feedback on this course, and anyone buying it via my website can get some unique extra bonuses from me as well.

And, if I can mention a website as well, please do check out my forum at www.mywriterscircle.com. It's a free, open-access forum with around 8,000 members from all over the world. It's a great place for getting feedback and support from your fellow writers, asking (and answering) questions, finding market information, and so on.

So that's me, then. In accordance with Linda's rules (see below), here are the names of four other writer/bloggers I would like to tag:

Coffee With Kate
Kristin Callender
Karl Moore
Joanna Penn

Obviously, there is no obligation on anyone to do this, but I've found it a very interesting experience myself, and would love to see other people's responses too. And, of course, anyone with a blog is more than welcome to take part in the meme - you don't have to be tagged first!

The Rules

If you have time to do this meme, then please link to my post here, then link to three to five other bloggers and pass it on, asking them to answer your questions and link back to you. You can add, remove or change one question as you go (as I did with Question 4 - feel free to revert to Linda's original if you like). You absolutely do not have to be what you may think of as a "published" or "successful" writer to respond to this meme.

Have fun, and I look forward to reading more responses!

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Sunday, March 01, 2009

WCCL Week: Self-Publishing Secrets


All this week I've been spotlighting a range of great products for writers from my sponsors (and publishers) The WCCL Network.

Today is the final day of WCCL Week, and for my last item I'm featuring a personal favorite from WCCL's range, Self-Publishing Secrets.

Self-Publishing Secrets is written by the prolific UK author Carol Ann Strange, who also happens to be a former colleague from my days as a freelance tutor for The Writers Bureau.

Self-Publishing Secrets is an instant download (no waiting for a CD to arrive in the post!). The main manual (there are also various bonuses) is arranged in nine chapters: Introduction, Welcome to Self Publishing, Preparing Your Book for Publication, Going Into Print, Handling Your Book's Sales and Distribution, How to Market Your Book Successfully, Using the Power of the Web to Promote Your Book, How to Increase Your Self Publishing Profits, and Resources.

Self-Publishing Secrets makes a persuasive case for self-publishing as an alternative to seeking out a conventional publisher. It is particularly strong in the advice it offers about promoting and marketing your book. The manual is packed with ideas for getting publicity and sales, and really does fire you up with enthusiasm for getting your book out there and embarking on your first publicity tour!

You can read my full review by clicking on Self-Publishing Secrets Review.

And if you scroll down the review, you will see that I am making my own very special offer on this product when you buy via my blog. You get my own mini-guide to publishing an e-book at the self-publishing site Lulu.com - and you also get a copy of my e-book Fifty Great Ideas for Creative Writing Teaching (co-written with Simon Pitt), as actually published on Lulu. Please read the instructions carefully to discover how to claim these extra free gifts from me personally.

I firmly believe that, in these recessionary times, self-publishing represents the best way forward for many authors today. Self-Publishing Secrets will show you everything you need to know to get started in this exciting field.

This post is the last of WCCL Week, but I would just like to remind you again that you can see all of WCCL's writing products, including some I haven't had room to feature this week, on their writing portal at WriteStreet.com.

Enjoy your writing, and watch out for some very special promotions on WCCL products on my blog and forum soon!

Photo credit: singsing_sky on Flickr

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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

New Online Community for Independent Authors and Publishers

I wanted to alert you today to a brand new online community for independent authors and publishers.

Publetariat launched earlier this month. It describes itself as an online news hub and community. Although it's still early days, I can already see this site becoming an important and influential resource for anyone with an interest in writing or publishing.

Here are just some of the things you will find on Publetariat, in the site's own words...
  • News about independent authorship & publishing
  • Insightful and practical articles from experts in Print On Demand (POD), ebook publishing, book promotion, author services, social media, online video, podcasting, and more!
  • Words of wisdom from successful independent authors and publishers
  • Trip reports from relevant conferences and events
  • Reviews of relevant products and services
  • Member profile pages where you can promote yourself, your sites and your published works
  • Member blogs
  • A moderated community forum
I was fortunate to be invited to set up a contributor account for Publetariat in the pre-launch period. You can see my first article for Publetariat (based on an earlier blog post) by clicking here.

I have also set up my own profile page on Publetariat: you can view this by clicking on Nick Daws' Profile. I am finding that this page is already ranking high in Google for a range of searches including my name, and it is generating extra traffic to this blog as a result.

If you have any interest in writing or publishing, I highly recommend visiting Publetariat and registering (free) as a member. Not only is this going to be a resource of ever-increasing value to writers and publishers, it offers many potential opportunities for networking with others in the independent publishing field.

What's more, the site's already-high ranking in the search engines suggests that it should also be valuable for attracting extra traffic to your blog or website, if you have one. So, once you've registered as a member, don't neglect to start creating your profile.

See you on Publetariat!

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Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Finding a Publisher for Your Novel

I've had a few queries recently from writers frustrated by their inability to get a publisher to look at their novel. The one below is typical:

You know, I think the one biggest need for the writing community is a primer on how to actually get printed. I have written four novels now. I have submitted one to several companies (with no answer), one to an agent (with no discernible activity), and have two waiting in the wings. It seems I can get no one to look at any of them.

How do you find a publisher that is willing to work with you? I've most often heard that "it's all in having the right contacts" but how do you establish those? I resist vanity press and don't know the first thing about web publishing. I just want someone to publish my books. I am very frustrated. Writing the book is by far the easiest part of the whole thing...


I do have a lot of sympathy with the frustration expressed here. For a new writer today (who isn't already a 'celebrity') even getting a publisher to look at your work is a challenge. For what it's worth, here are a few suggestions that may help overcome this problem.

1. Try a Range of Agents and Publishers


The old days when you were told to avoid multiple submissions are long gone - life is simply too short to wait for some lowest-of-the-low junior editor to pluck your manuscript out of his/her in-tray and condescend to read it.

For checking out publishers and their requirements, I particularly recommend the annual Writer's Market and Writer's Market UK. These are comprehensive guides to the US and UK markets respectively, and both list a range of publishers in other countries as well.

There are nowadays some great interactive websites where you can search for agents who handle the type of book you are writing, and read comments by other authors about their experiences with them. LitMatch and QueryTracker are two such sites I highly recommend.

And by the way - don't just limit yourself to the country you're in. Publishing is nowadays very much a multi-national industry. If you're a UK writer specialising in hard-boiled detective fiction, you may find you get a better reception from some US publishers. Or if you're an American author specialising in historical novels set in 19th century London, you could most certainly try some British agents and publishers as well.

2. Enter Writing Contests and Competitions

I can speak from personal experience here - winning a high-profile contest really can open doors for you. A few years ago I won a short story contest run by a top UK women's magazine. As part of my prize I was invited to an awards ceremony at London's Dorchester Hotel. I was seated with (among others) a BBC producer, a literary agent and a book publisher, all of whom were keen to find out what other literary gems I had in my locker. In many ways the contacts I made through winning that competition were more valuable to me than the prize itself.

3. Get Testimonials in Advance

Anything you can do to help your book stand out from the rest will help. And one way of doing this is to get 'testimonials' for your book from published authors and/or celebrities, which you can submit to an agent or publisher along with your manuscript. My course Write Any Book in Under 28 Days goes into some detail about this, incidentally.

4. Make Your Novel as Good as It Can Be

You really do need to ensure that your novel is as good as it can possibly be before you submit it.

If you know that grammar and spelling aren't your strong points, therefore, ask someone you trust to go through it for you, or pay a professional editor. In any event, there is a lot to be said for getting your work checked over by someone seeing it with fresh eyes.

Be sure, especially, that the opening pages of your novel grab the reader. The days of long, rambling introductions are long past. You need to capture readers' interest and attention in the first few pages, either with the quality of the writing or an exciting scenario (preferably both).

Don't assume that publishers will overlook a few little mistakes either - they won't. You are entering a highly competitive arena, and only your very best work will do if you hope to succeed.

5. Don't Expect It to Be Easy

Perhaps I'm stating the obvious here, but getting a novel published is not - and never has been - easy. Even J.K. Rowling had her first Harry Potter book rejected by twelve publishing houses before a then-small independent publisher called Bloomsbury decided to take a chance on it.

Neither does it necessarily get easier once you've been published. I was talking recently to my friend Jeff Phelps, the award-winning novelist and short story writer. He told me that he had just sent his latest novel to his publishers and received a reply showing polite interest but asking him to rewrite the entire book and then re-submit it (still with no guarantee it will be accepted). And Jeff is a meticulous writer, so I'm sure there was nothing wrong with the book stylistically.

Looking at it from a publisher's point of view, publishing a first novel from an 'unknown' writer is a huge gamble. Publishers know that most first novels lose money, though there is always the hope that, like J.K. Rowling's first Harry Potter novel, one will succeed spectacularly. As an author, your task is to demonstrate to a potential publisher that your book has that added 'X factor' that will make it stand out. And publishers also want to see that you have the ability to write more books, preferably lots of them. Even if your first book fails to make money for them, then, hopefully your second or third may be the 'breakthrough' novel that catapults you into the big time.

6. Consider Self-Publishing

Self-publishing is not the same as vanity publishing. It just means you take the financial risk of publishing your book yourself.

Print-on-demand services such as Lulu.com allow you to publish your book yourself and only pay when an order is actually received, so the risk is far less than the traditional method of getting hundreds or even thousands of books printed in advance.

As a self-publisher, you will have to handle everything from design to publicity yourself (or pay someone to do it on your behalf). However, all the profits will go to you as well. And a growing number of books that were initially self published are subsequently picked up by mainstream publishers.

7. Use the Internet to Promote Yourself and Your Work

This is a huge topic, and I can't go into great detail about it here. But there are lots of ways you can use the net to raise your profile and generate interest in your book, both from readers and potential publishers.

Here's just one example: You could publish extracts from your novel on a blog or website. Indeed, some writers have put their entire books online. If publishers can see that your work is attracting interest from readers, it may provide the encouragement they need to offer you a contract. At the very least, it means your work is being read and enjoyed by others rather than gathering dust in your desk drawer.

Finally, though, I would say: persevere. If you believe in your work and are sure it is worth publishing, keep sending it out. Eventually there is a real chance that someone else, an agent or a publisher, will read it and agree with you.

Good luck, and enjoy your writing.

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Friday, March 21, 2008

Review: The Pro Publisher

The Pro Publisher is a brand new guide to writing, publishing and marketing a profitable e-book. As such it joins a crowded field, including How to Write and Publish Your Own eBook in as Little as 7 Days by Jim Edwards and Joe Vitale and The 24-Hour E-book Writing System by Melanie Mendelson, both of which I have reviewed in this blog.

The Pro Publisher is by the UK-based writer and e-book publisher Amin. It is sold as an instant download in the universal PDF format.

As is customary with this sort of publication, buyers get a main manual and a number of bonus items. The main manual is quite concise, weighing in at 43 single-spaced pages. Even so, it manages to pack a lot of information into those pages.

The Pro Publisher is aimed at people who want to write and sell information products (by far the best way of making money from e-books). Amin takes you through each stage of this process. He starts by showing how to research potentially profitable 'niches' for your e-books, using free keyword research tools. This is much the same method used by my own publishers, WCCL, when researching possible new titles, and I found it highly informative.

The section about writing your e-book is quite short - if you want a step-by-step method, a better choice might be Melanie Mendelson's guide, or perhaps my own Write Any Book in Under 28 Days. Nevertheless, it covers the essentials, and also looks at the alternatives of outsourcing the actual writing or using free or low-cost PLR (private label right) content and adapting it. There are some good ideas here, based on Amin's own experience.

The largest chunk of The Pro Publisher is devoted to marketing your e-book. There is some excellent advice on writing a sales letter and publishing it on the web. Like Jim Edwards and Joe Vitale, Amin recommends the popular Clickbank publishing service, and he explains the benefits of using this service, and how to make the most of it by allowing others to sell your product for you as affiliates.

Amin also goes into detail about selling your book using PPC (pay-per-click) services such as Google Adwords. This is information not provided in the other guides mentioned, and it is impressively detailed. I learned some useful things here about easy ways of creating PPC advertisements that I will definitely be applying myself. The guide also has a section about how you can attract more search engine traffic to your site, using search engine optimization (SEO) techniques.

As previously mentioned, as well as the main guide, buyers of The Pro Publisher also get a range of free bonus items. These include lists of directories and article sites you can use to help promote your e-book sales site (this process is explained in the main guide), along with a free mini-site template you can use to create your sales page, and another free bonus I'm not allowed to reveal here. These are all potentially valuable, although a bit more explanation of how to go about customizing the mini-site template might have been helpful.

Overall, The Pro Publisher is an impressive product, and a good resource for anyone hoping to get into the lucrative world of writing and publishing information products. It might not tell you every single thing you want to know, but where necessary it has links to other sites which have extra information; that's a sensible approach, and it explains how the author has managed to keep the main manual so concise. Incidentally, I particularly like the way Amin is not afraid to say which products and services have worked for him and which he considers a waste of time!

I recommend The Pro Publisher for any aspiring e-book writer/publisher, except perhaps for complete beginners.

EXTRA BONUS: As I'm a fan of The Pro Publisher, I'm going to make one of my occasional special offers on this guide. If you buy it via a link in this review, I will throw in not one but TWO extra bonus items of my own.

First of all, you'll get a copy of my exclusive 2,500-word report on how I self-published my e-book Fifty Great Ideas for Creative Writing Teaching on the top self-publishing site Lulu.com. Starting from a finished Microsoft Word manuscript, it took me just a morning to sign up at Lulu and complete the entire e-book publishing process. In my report I reveal exactly how I did it, with some important hints and tips for publishing your own e-book at Lulu along the way.

And not only that, I'll send you a free copy of Fifty Great Ideas for Creative Writing Teaching too. This e-book is intended for teachers and writers who work in schools, but the exercises it contains could equally be used by adult writers groups and individuals. More importantly, though, you will see the actual e-book I refer to in my report in its finished form. If you want to dip your toe into self-publishing, an e-book is the quickest and easiest way to do it. My free bonuses will show you EXACTLY how to do this on the popular Lulu.com self-publishing site!

To claim your bonuses, just forward a copy of your Clickbank receipt for The Pro Publisher to me at propub-at-nickdaws.co.uk (change the -at- to the usual @ sign). Please put BONUS CLAIM in the subject line. I will check your order details and send you your bonus items, normally within 24 hours (though please allow up to five days over the Easter period).

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Friday, February 15, 2008

Qassia: A New Revenue-Sharing Website

I recently signed up with Qassia, a new revenue-sharing content site that also operates as a web directory.

Like certain other sites such as Helium Knowledge, Qassia lets anyone upload articles to its website. Unlike most other such sites, however, you then receive a full 100 per cent of the advertising revenue generated by the Google AdSense ads displayed beside your own content (most other services split the revenue from advertising 50:50 or less).

Content on Qassia is called 'intel' (short for intelligence). Intel can be anything from full-length articles to an interesting fact. One of the many innovative features of Qassia is that new intel is rated by other Qassia members. The average rating given to your intel determines how high it appears in search results in the Qassia web directory for the topic in question.

As well as giving you the advertising revenue generated by your intel, Qassia also allows you to include a link back to your own website (or any website of your choice) on the same page as each piece of intel you contribute. This could help drive extra traffic to your site, and should also help boost your site's ranking in the search engines. As you may know, most search engines rate a website's popularity according to the number of incoming links it has, especially when these links are non-reciprocal (as is the case with Qassia).

Qassia operates in its own internal currency called Qassia Dollars. These are earned by posting intel and by rating intel posted by other members. Qassia Dollars cannot currently be converted directly into cash, but you can allocate your Qassia Dollars to any number of websites you want to promote. The more Qassia Dollars you allocate to any particular site, the higher up the Qassia rankings it appears. I must admit I don't fully understand this yet, but no doubt all will become clear in due course!

I'm still getting the hang of Qassia, but I can already see it has the potential to become huge. In some ways it reminds me of Kwickee, the mobile phone content publishing company I was involved with a few years ago (see this link for historical information!). Kwickee was ultimately unsuccessful, but in my work as a group editor for them I saw hundreds of articles submitted, many of which I think would now be prime candidates for Qassia. Articles about local tourist attractions (as were many of the Kwickee articles I edited) are a case in point - so if you wrote any of these for Kwickee, this could be the perfect outlet for them. On the other hand, I'm not sure that Qassia is really a suitable place for posting fiction.

Qassia is still in pre-launch phase, and currently you can only join at the invitation of an existing member. However, I'm more than happy to invite any reader of this blog to join through me! Just click on any of the Qassia links in this post, and follow the on-screen instructions to sign up. It's free of charge, of course. I found it all reasonably intuitive, but if you have any problems, do feel free to run them past me and I'll help if I can.

Oh, and look out for my first bit of intel, my recipe for the Greek vegetarian speciality briam! And yes, this did start life as a Kwickee article!

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Thursday, January 03, 2008

Blogging for Storytellers

...That's the title of a new downloadable report in PDF format by Mywriterscircle.com member Nelodra (real name Leah Witmond). And the good news is that it's completely free of charge. You can get your copy by clicking on this link to the download page at Lulu.com.

Leah enjoys creating short stories based on characters she creates in the computer game Sims 2. You can see a number of her stories - and tales by other Sims 2 aficionados - at Leah's Sim Tales website. In her new report, she provides a detailed, step-by-step guide for anyone who would like to follow in her footsteps.

Of course, not everyone will want to write fiction about Sims 2 characters. In her report, however, Leah has provided a handy guide to setting up a blog using the popular (and free) Blogger platform, and much of her advice would be just as relevant if you are thinking of starting a more conventional blog or ficblog using Blogger. I particularly appreciated the generous use of screengrabs illustrating what you should be seeing on your computer at each stage.

Congratulations to Leah on creating her report and making it available free to the online writing community. And, incidentally, I've also had lots of good feedback on my free 'Christmas Gift' report about devising and selling ideas for movies - click here to read my blog post about this - so I've decided to leave the link up a bit longer. By the end of next week I will definitely remove it, however, so if you're at all interested in this subject, please get your copy now!

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Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Review: How to Write and Publish Your Own eBook in as Little as 7 Days

How to Write and Publish Your Own eBook in as Little as 7 Days is a downloadable guide by Internet marketing expert Jim Edwards and copywriting guru Joe Vitale (recently interviewed on WritersFM ).

This is one of the top-selling guides for would-be e-book authors, so I thought it was high time I got round to reviewing it. It is aimed mainly at people who want to make money by selling "how-to" type e-books on the Internet. As I can testify from my own experience, this is probably the biggest market for e-books right now, though the sales of fiction e-books (e-novels, if you like) are gradually increasing as well.

I had no problems ordering and downloading How to Write and Publish Your Own eBook in as Little as 7 Days from the sales site. Indeed, Jim and Joe have gone to great lengths to make this process painless, even for people who haven't bought this type of product before. I was impressed to receive an e-mail containing frequently asked questions about the downloading process as soon as I ordered. Of course, this probably helps reduce anguished emails to their helpdesk as well!

The manual itself is in the universal PDF format, and it is well written and attractively set out. I was also pleased to see that all the hyperlinks had been made active (not always the case in PDF e-books). It's an impressive 202 pages long, though this does include some of the advertised "bonus items".

As the name suggests, How to Write and Publish Your Own eBook in as Little as 7 Days takes you through every stage of devising, producing and selling an e-book. The authors talk at some length about finding a suitable niche in the market, and this section did remind me somewhat of the corresponding section in my Write Any Book in Under 28 Days course. It's all good stuff, though I didn't find any great surprises in it.

What impressed me more was the section where Jim and Joe analyze the ten reasons why people buy e-books. This makes fascinating reading, and as I went through, it started to give me ideas for new e-books I could write in the future.

At the heart of the guide is where the authors reveal their "7 Day" method for actually writing an e-book. It would be unfair to give away too much about this, but one thing I particularly like is the advice to write the sales page for your e-book first! That's a great idea, and will help you focus your mind on what your e-book needs to include to appeal to its target readership.

Day 7 of the "7 Day" method is when you publish your e-book. There is some excellent advice here, though if you are new to e-commerce, it may not be enough on its own to get your sales site up and running. But the basic advice on writing sales copy and structuring your website is sound, and links are included to other sites and resources that can help you with the practical aspects.

The bonus items include interviews with a number of successful e-book entrepreneurs, and these are all well worth reading - not only for the nuggets of advice they impart, but also to inspire you to try to emulate their success. There are also several short reports, including one which reveals how you can set yourself up to handle credit card payments with a single $50 payment. I don't suppose I'm giving away too much if I reveal that this is by selling your e-book via the popular Clickbank service.

How does How to Write and Publish Your Own eBook in as Little as 7 Days compare with The 24-Hour Ebook Writing System by Melanie Mendelson, which I reviewed a while ago in this post ? As you might expect, the two titles overlap somewhat. Both are very good, and I particularly like the way Melanie's guide incorporates free outlining and PDF-creating software. However, How to Write and Publish Your Own eBook in as Little as 7 Days contains a lot more advice about marketing your e-book, a topic which Melanie's guide barely touches.

As regular readers will know, if possible I like to throw in a bonus for purchasers of items I review on this blog (and like). With How to Write and Publish Your Own eBook in as Little as 7 Days, therefore, I'm giving away a copy of another manual titled "Getting Started With Clickbank". I didn't write this myself - it's by someone with a much greater knowledge of Clickbank publishing than I possess - but I liked it so much I bought the reproduction rights to it. If you're thinking of publishing your e-book with Clickbank - and you could do a lot worse - this guide will get you off to the best possible start.

To get this free gift from me, just order How to Write and Publish Your Own eBook in as Little as 7 Days via one of the links in this review, then forward your email receipt to me at bonus-at-nickdaws.co.uk (change the -at- to the usual @ sign). Put the words BONUS CLAIM in the subject line. Once I have verified your order, I will email details of how you can download your free bonus report.

Happy e-book writing!

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Thursday, September 27, 2007

Review: Self-Publish Worldwide

Self-Publish Worldwide is a brand new manual by Ruth Barringham, a successful author and self-publisher based in Australia.

The main guide comes as a PDF file. It comprises 72 pages of concise, no-fluff information for people who wish to self-publish their own book in hard copy format.

The manual is divided into three main sections. Part A is titled 'How to publish your book quickly'. This covers the main methods of preparing and publishing your book, including traditional self-publishing and POD (print on demand) methods. It discusses preparing your book in Microsoft Word, then converting it to PDF format. There is also a very informative section on creating your book's cover.

Part B covers methods of financing your self-published book. It is a fairly short section that sets out ways of raising extra cash from writing. As such, it doesn't have much to do with self-publishing, though Ruth does get extra points from me for mentioning my Quick Cash Writing course!

Part C is titled Making Your Book Available Worldwide - personally I found it the most useful and interesting part of the manual. It covers such matters as getting celebrity testimonials, getting your book into public libraries, how (and why) you should sell your book via Amazon.com, and much more. This is all invaluable information if you want to sell as many copies of your book as possible.

Apart from the manual itself, you get five free bonus items, again in PDF format. These are as follows:
Bonus 1 - How to Write & Where to Send a Press Release
Bonus 2 - Jargon Busting List
Bonus 3 - List of International Book Stores
Bonus 4 - International Book Club Addresses
Bonus 5 - Where & How to Have Your Book Reviewed

Overall, I thought Self-Publish Worldwide was a useful guide to getting your book published in print form, including some invaluable insights based on Ruth's own experiences. If you're thinking of using a POD publisher, for example, you should definitely read Ruth's analysis of the pros and cons of the leading companies in this field. The advice in this section alone is worth the price of the manual, and could save you from making an expensive mistake.

Do I have any criticisms? Well, I must admit I was a little disappointed to discover that the manual only covers self-publishing in hard copy form and not as an e-book. I appreciate that this was not Ruth's aim, but I had hoped that, as the manual was published using the popular Clickbank service, Ruth might discuss how she had done this. Also, nowadays many self-published books are published simultaneously in e-book and hard copy form, so people wanting information about publishing their book in printed form might appreciate being told something about e-book publishing as well.

In addition, I was a little uneasy about some of the services Ruth defines as 'vanity publishing'. Lulu.com, for example, is put in this category in the manual, and yet in my view Lulu is actually a POD (and e-book) publishing service. I normally think of vanity publishers as companies who charge writers quite substantial sums to publish their books for them. This is not the case with Lulu.com, which (with a few exceptions for its premium services) charges writers only when a copy of their book is actually ordered.

Nevertheless, if you are thinking of self-publishing your book in print form, in my view you cannot fail to benefit from reading this well-researched and well-written manual.

* If you're interested in self-publishing, do check out also my review on this blog of Self Publishing Secrets, written by Carol Ann Strange and published by WCCL. Incidentally, I will match my bonus offer on Self Publishing Secrets with Self-Publish Worldwide as well. Just forward a copy of your Clickbank e-mail receipt for Self-Publish Worldwide to e-writer(at)nickdaws.co.uk, and I will send you my unique report on how to publish an e-book on Lulu.com, along with a copy of my actual published e-book titled Fifty Great Ideas for Creative Writing Teaching.

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