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Category: Non-Fiction

PLR

PLR

This year, 22,108 writers are receiving a PLR payment next month. I’m one of them. I always find PLR statements fascinating documents because, although it’s just a snapshot from a handful of libraries across the UK, they reveal interesting information about which of your books were most popular.

Writing Can Seriously Damage Your Health

Writing Can Seriously Damage Your Health

Writing Can Seriously Damage Your Health Yes. Writing can seriously damage your health. And it doesn’t take long. Hunched up over a keyboard all day, or staring at a computer screen for hours on end (without blinking) can have some devastating consequences. And then there’s the diet. The constant grazing (usually chocolate) and the copious amounts of tea, coffee or wine. No wonder Jane Wenham-Jones spoke of Writer’s Bottom in her book

Book Journals

Book Journals

There’s a technique for book writers (both fiction and non-fiction) called book journalling. David Hewson calls it a book diary in his . The idea is simple: any thoughts relating to your book are entered into one journal for that book. That could be a physical notebook, or it could be a file on your computer. (I create a file in my Research folder in Scrivener.)

The Professional Costs of Publishing

The Professional Costs of Publishing

 If you’re toying with the idea of self-publishing a book, then I would encourage you to read Andrew Franklin’s blog post on the Society of Author’s website. Andrew Franklin is the joint founder of Profile Books. Therefore, he understands the costs involved when it comes to publishing a book. In his blog post (which was also an article in the Society of Author’s Journal published back in the autumn) he candidly talks money. A lot of money. Particularly when you…

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Contractual Concerns

Contractual Concerns

 Social media was buzzing with more contract queries last week, after one magazine began issuing fiction writers with a new contract.  I haven’t seen the entire contract because I am not one of those writers on their preferred supplier list, but many of the queries were around a clause that appeared to request the transfer of all intellectual property rights. Clearly, without seeing the whole contract, it would be inappropriate for me to give advice. And, anyway, I’m not a…

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Talking The Talk

Talking The Talk

 Last Saturday, archaeologist and historian (and author and TV presenter) Dr Alex Langlands, came to my home town and spoke about his new book . It’s his own view about what craft means, and how the word has come to represent what it does today. And he also asks the question, does it still mean what it originally meant when the word was first used in Old English? 

Don’t Be Afraid of Moving On

Don’t Be Afraid of Moving On

Last week I read a blog post from Frances Garrood (http://francesgarrood.blogspot.co.uk/2017/11/farewell-womags_15.html) about her decision to stop writing short stories. It was a short, interesting piece about how she’d arrived at this decision. And it struck me that, when it comes to the business of writing, sometimes you need to accept that it’s time to move on. There are many reasons why a writer stops writing in a particular genre or for a specific market. Frances wrote about how she used…

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What To Do With My Business After I’m Dead

What To Do With My Business After I’m Dead

Nobody likes to think about dying, but have you considered what might happen to your writing business after you’re dead? Don’t forget, everything you write is protected by copyright for another 70 years after your demise. That’s 70 years when others could make use of your intellectual property rights. But would they know that? Where would they go to look for information about your writing business? I keep all of my information in a database in my computer … which…

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Have You Got It Covered?

Have You Got It Covered?

 Covers. They are hugely important but, generally-speaking, not where a writer’s skills lie. Yes, we often know what we like, but that doesn’t mean to say we have the right ideas. Nor does it mean we shouldn’t think about them. If you write a book that is traditionally published, then your contract will usually contain a clause stating that you will be consulted on the cover. That does not mean you will have the final say. Far from it. It…

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Hybrid Authors

Hybrid Authors

Last Saturday I was assisting with a workshop on self-publishing run by Wrekin Writers, as part of the Wellington Festival, and the topic of Hybrid Authors was briefly discussed. So I thought I’d take the opportunity of posting my recent Writing Magazine feature where I chatted to two writers about being a hybrid author. HYBRID AUTHORS Traditionally-published or self-published? Simon Whaley chats to two writers with a foot in both camps. A few years ago, a writer’s life was binary:…

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Free Money

Free Money

It’s that time of year when writers might see some ‘free’ money pop into their bank accounts, but not everyone will be lucky. The secondary rights organisations (ALCS and DACS) are making distributions, as follows:

Scrivener for Pitching

Scrivener for Pitching

Many of you will know that I’m a Scrivener fan. I understand that Scrivener isn’t for everyone, in the same way that Word isn’t for me. But for those of you who are using the software, have you ever thought of using it for keeping track of your writing projects, in addition to creating your writing projects with it? Let me explain …

And The Winner Is …

And The Winner Is …

Last weekend was the annual NAWGFest writers’ weekend, full of fantastic workshops and talks. The highlight is the Gala Dinner on Saturday night when the women dress up and look absolutely stunning, and the men dig out an old shirt they once wore for work a few years ago. It’s at this dinner that the winners of NAWG’s writing competitions are announced. Judges, like myself, have read all of the entries, cogitated, considered and then picked a winner and some…

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Spacebar Trampolining

Spacebar Trampolining

A couple of days ago I shared a post on facebook that said: “Dear friends older than 37: You don’t have to put two spaces after the period anymore. That was for the typewriter era. You’re free.” It resulted in a raft of comments ranging from: – “I never do.” – “Why not?” – “But I use at least three.” The post was a tongue-in-cheek way of saying to those writers who were taught to type on a typewriter (including…

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Adapt & Change

Adapt & Change

It’s been a busy week in the writing world on two different fronts: one which fiction writers may already be aware of, and another that probably won’t have registered with writers using Windows computers. The first event concerned Woman’s Weekly magazine, whose staff issued an email, out of the blue, last week to advise that following a restructure at Time Inc (owners of the Woman’s Weekly brand), the entire fiction team was moving on.