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How To Sell In Peru … Or Canada, Or Saudi Arabia, Or …

How To Sell In Peru … Or Canada, Or Saudi Arabia, Or …

There are times when I marvel at the Internet. Here I am, sitting at a computer in the rural tranquility of Shropshire, and looking through my sales data for The Complete Article Writer in 2019, and I see that copies have been bought in Peru, Canada, Saudi Arabia, and Australia (as well as here in the UK and in the USA). And I’m not referring to sales on Amazon, either. Such is the dominance of Amazon, it’s easy to upload anything you…

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Shhhh! Research Secrets.

Shhhh! Research Secrets.

Turn to page 60 of the latest issue of Writers’ Forum magazine (Issue 215) and you’ll find my ugly mug staring back at you! I’ve been interviewed by Anita Loughrey for her regular Research Secrets column, where she asks writers to share how they undertake research for their writing projects. When it comes to writing articles, there are lots of projects, which means there’s lots of research material. And, as I mention in the article, I love the fact that research for one article…

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The Competitive Edge

The Competitive Edge

Twenty-one years ago, this month (last week, in fact), I won a short story competition in Writers News. Little did I know then that I would later go on and become a regular columnist in the magazine. Nor did I even think that five years later I would have a published book (heck, I hadn’t even had the idea for the book at that stage!).

Every Penny Counts

Every Penny Counts

Last week, the British Library uploaded the PLR statements for authors to download. While it’s always nice to be paid for those times when your books are borrowed from a library, it’s also fascinating to see which books are being borrowed.

DACS Payback 2019

DACS Payback 2019

Just a quick post to remind you that the DACS Payback scheme for 2019 is scheduled to open today. (It hasn’t yet when I check at 11am.) Check out their website here: https://www.dacs.org.uk/for-artists/payback What is Payback? If a photograph that you have taken has been published in a magazine, or in a book, or even on television, then you are eligible to submit a claim via the DACS Payback scheme.

Self-Employment IS Proper Work

Self-Employment IS Proper Work

Happy New Year to you all! I hope you had a fabulous festive period, and are all fired up with some life-changing writing goals for the year ahead. (How are you doing with your New Year resolutions? The first week is almost over.) I found myself getting quite angry on New Year’s Eve. Let me explain why.

Treat Yourself To A Weekend Away in 2019

Treat Yourself To A Weekend Away in 2019

Many people say that they wish they had more time to write, and often what they mean is they wish they had longer periods of time in which to write. While ten minutes here, and fifteen minutes there is useful, it’s not long enough to become absorbed in what you’re writing and make a big impact upon what you’re trying to achieve.

Shafting Your Suppliers

Shafting Your Suppliers

Many of you may know that in addition to my writing, I’m also a bit of a photographer. I’ve used my photos to illustrate many of my articles and some of my books. So, just like my writing, I like to exploit my photos for maximum earning potential. This is why I sell my images through the Alamy agency. But many of the Agency’s photographers (suppliers) are up in arms, because the agency has issued a notice intending to cut…

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Coping With A Crisis In Confidence

Coping With A Crisis In Confidence

Back in 2015, I chatted to Glynis Scrivens, author of  about those moments in a writer’s life when we have a crisis of confidence. While many people experience these crises, whatever job they do, writers in particular are more susceptible to these moments of doubt, because we tend not to have that team of work colleagues to help us put things into perspective. It’s therefore extremely useful to have mechanisms for coping with these confidence-crushing moments.

Selling Out, Or Surviving?

Selling Out, Or Surviving?

It was a moment of dichotomy. I’d just been offered a job. An employed job. It was my first job interview for twenty years and they offered me the position. (Clearly, they were desperate!) I was going back into the world of employment, albeit on a part-time basis. But the euphoria was tempered with guilt. After all this time working as a full-time self-employed writer, was I selling out on the dream? Would this make me less of a writer?…

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The (Foreign) Cheque Is In The Post

The (Foreign) Cheque Is In The Post

I’ve just received a payment that I’ve been chasing since June 2017 (for a piece originally written in 2016). What made this slightly more challenging was that the publication was based overseas. Here in the UK we have the Late Payments Act that allows us to charge interest on overdue payments. And if the worst comes to the worst we always have the small claims court to fall back on. But when it comes to foreign customers, things are a…

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Media Kits

Media Kits

JK Rowling has one. Lee Child has one. You should have one too. Simon Whaley explains what to put in your Media Kit.   Eric James is a children’s author, word tickler and champion asparagus thrower. He’s sold over 2.5 million books in the UK, USA, Canada and Australia. How do I know all of this? Because he’s put all this information, and more, in his Media Kit on his website (www.ericjames.co.uk). When it comes to the business of writing,…

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The Joy of Tax

The Joy of Tax

It’s that time of year again. A new tax year. (Well, it is for me, as I follow HMRC’s tax year, which I like to think keeps things simpler.) While it’s also a good time to review your work over the last year, I also tend took look back a bit further … ten years, to be precise.

How Far Will An Idea Fly?

How Far Will An Idea Fly?

One of the most exciting things about writing, is that you never know how far your ideas will fly. Fifteen years ago, on 10th April 2003, I submitted the full manuscript of One Hundred Ways For A Dog To Train Its Human to a publishing director at Hodder & Stoughton. Two weeks later I had my first book contract. Last week, I received my latest royalty statement, for sales up to 31st December 2017. Lifetime sales, in all formats (print…

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Daydreaming is Good- Ditch the First Idea

Daydreaming is Good- Ditch the First Idea

The pressure’s on. You have a deadline (either external, or self-imposed) and you need to come up with an idea. You cogitate for a while, and nothing jumps to mind. You start to panic. Come on! Where is it? I just need an idea for my article/story/novel … Suddenly, you have one! Great! And so you get to work. But stop. Just consider your idea for a moment. This is your first idea. First ideas generally tend to be weak,…

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