Five tips for authors on getting media coverage for their work

After writing my first novel last year I quickly realised that bashing out the words was the easy part. The tough bit is getting the book noticed. Amateur authors tend to turn to social media to promote their work but posting on Twitter, Facebook and Good Reads is no silver bullet. One of the best ways of raising the profile of your budding bestseller remains the good old local newspaper. A feature about how you achieved a lifelong ambition by finally taking the plunge and self-publishing your work can be a nice human interest story for editors and reporters.

As a former newspaper journalist and now a PR consultant, myself, I had a distinct advantage when it came to securing press coverage for my Kindle eBook. But the tactics I used can work for any amateur writer. They helped me feature in two local newspapers and an influential online media outlet. These are my top tips:

1 Send a press release

Put together a structured release with an interesting headline and a brief description of you and why you chose to write your new novel or non-fiction book. Make sure you include a daytime contact telephone number. It is also recommended that you email your release, particularly if you feel confident enough to write a feature for the paper yourself. Journalists are over-worked and under-resourced and they will welcome a well-written article which can be cut and pasted straight on to the page with minimal editing.

2 Research local newspapers and target journalists

Find out which papers cover your town or city. This may sound obvious but if you live outside a publication’s circulation area your release will be instantly deleted. Read all the papers in your patch and check to see if they have particular sections where a feature about you might fit comfortably in.

And find out which journalist is most likely to be interested in your piece. Perhaps refer to a previous article they have written about an indy author – pandering to a reporter’s ego is never a bad thing and it also shows you are interested in the newspaper.

3 Pick out an interesting newsworthy angle

This is critical. If you can get across that you wrote a story based on a local legend, an interesting life experience or something topical then you have a much better chance of attracting a journalist’s attention. Whatever this compelling angle is, you need to reflect it in the subject line of your email when the press release is sent. And make sure you explain it more fully in the brief description of your book. The angle of my release when I approached the press was to talk about how easy it is now to self-publish digitally with no requirement anymore to secure an agent or a publishing deal.

Coverage about my novel, Death Knocks and Deadlines, in the Melton Times newspaper

Coverage about my novel, Death Knocks and Deadlines, in the Melton Times newspaper

4 Include a photograph

Many local newspapers no longer use staff photographers and in a lot of cases reporters are sent out on stories with the office digital camera as well as their notepads. As a consequence, good pictures can sometimes be in short supply. So always send in a nice photograph of you – preferably a head and shoulders – holding a copy of your book if it is published in physical form. Feel free to be creative, as well, and add a prop or two if it is relevant to the novel.

But the picture must be of good quality, in focus and a decent digital size, for the paper to consider using it.

5 Follow up your email but do not pester

After you’ve sent the press release in via email it is a good idea at this point to wait a day or two before you contact the newspaper. By all means send a follow-up email the next day asking if the journalist needs to know anything further about you or your book. But don’t pester them. And certainly do not keep calling asking if the email has arrived. Reporters and editors receive dozens of emails every day and they will never make an instant decision on whether to publish your news.

I would be interested to hear from any other amateur authors on how they secured local press coverage and whether they have found my tips useful. Feel free to comment!

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Filed under Books, eBooks, Novels, Published authors, Unpublished authors

Photographs of the Year: My top 12 from 2012

ONE of my favourite hobbies is photography and during 2012 my camera was always with me as I enjoyed some incredible experiences.

Highlights were undoubtedly attending my first ever Olympic and Paralympic Games at London 2012, together with a holiday in the United States touring stunning parts of California I had never been to before.

Needless to say I had the opportunity to take some fantastic snaps along the way with my trusty Panasonic DMC-FX150 Lumix. These are my photographic highlights from the year just gone:

1) As I suffer pretty badly from vertigo my visit to the Grand Canyon was a challenging experience, particularly as we strolled out on Skywalk – a glass balcony bolted on to the west rim of the canyon which gives you clear views down the 4,000ft drop.

It’s easy to see why this is one of the ‘Seven Natural Wonders of the World’, at 277 miles long and up to 18 miles wide. I love the perspective on this picture – it hints at the bewildering scale of the place.

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2) The scary thing about the Grand Canyon is you can go right up to the edge and peer into this giant chasm to watch the Colorado river running through it thousands of feet below. I took this photograph of a brave (or foolhardy) girl posing for family photographs while hanging over the precipice at the Arizona landmark. My wife and I still get butterflies in our stomachs every time we look at this picture.

Girl hangs over edge of Grand Canyon

3) We are lucky in the UK to have some incredible scenery of our own. Our holiday in the Lake District in May gave me the opportunity to get some memorable shots as the sun glinted off the various lakes before setting spectacularly over the water.

This first shot was taken as the sun went down at Ambleside – there is a lovely tranquil feel to this and I like the flecks of cloud in the sky.

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4) The second picture from the Lakes was taken at Coniston Water on a pleasant sunny afternoon. There is almost a three-dimensional feel to this with the lapping waves of the lake.

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5) Like countless others, I entered the ballot for tickets for the 2012 Olympic Games in London this year. This felt like a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see it. After the initial disappointment of not getting tickets to gymnastics, athletics or swimming, I was eventually grateful for the opportunity to see weightlifting and the men’s football final.

This picture was taken at the latter as Brazil battled with Mexico for the gold medal in front of 90,000 spectators at Wembley Stadium. The shot captures the colour and atmosphere generated by the occasion – you can almost hear the Brazilian samba band in the background as you look at it.

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6) This second picture from the Olympics was taken at the weightlifting competition for athletes under 105kg, at the ExCel arena in the Docklands. The Ukrainian gold medallist lifted an amazing 227kg in one of his lifts. My shot shows Ecuador competitor Jorge Arroyo Valdez taking the strain. I was lucky enough to sell one of my other photographs to a gift card company after they spotted it on my Flickr website.

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7) Surely one of the world’s greatest car journeys on the planet is the trip along California’s Pacific Coast Highway. The winding roads cut into the coastline cliffs give you amazing views of the ocean. We drove north from Santa Monica up to Carmel. This stunning shot was taken from one of the car park viewing spots en route and shows a spectacular bridge and the precarious nature of the road as it falls away to cliffs with no fencing to stop motorists going over the edge.

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8) When the Queen of England visited my town, Stamford in Lincolnshire, I was determined to get a good spot to record the historic moment. I managed to get a clear view as her motorcade passed slowly through the town back in June. Shortly afterwards, of course, the nation celebrated her Diamond Jubilee.

Queen in Stamford car 2

Queen in Stamford car 3

9) During a stroll along the pier at Oceanside, a few miles up the Californian coast from San Diego, I spotted some hugely talented surfers. Taking multiple shots every second I managed to capture some dynamic surfing pictures such as this one. The massive breaking wave behind him illustrates just how hard this sport is to master.

Surfer pic 3

10) After missing out on seeing the athletics at the Olympic Games I jumped at the chance when a friend offered me a spare ticket to watch the Paralympics track and field programme in September. Having watched on television the thrilling performances by Jessica Ennis, Mo Farah and Usain Bolt in the stadium the month before I was eager to experience the atmosphere. And it didn’t disappoint. This picture shows 80,000 basking in the sunshine and cheering on the athletes, no matter who they represented.

Paralympic Stadium

11) The second shot from the Paralympics captures the family appeal of the games as a mother and son enjoy the sport with the iconic Olympic flame in the background. Both of these photos were taken at the Olympic Park in Stratford, east London, with a Samsung Galaxy SII mobile phone.

Paralympic Stadium flames

12) Sunsets inevitably provide poignant, atmospheric images and a walk along the California coast at Santa Monica enabled me to capture this delightful scene. I love the way the brilliant colours of the receding sun peak out from behind the silhouette of a palm tree.

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Bucket List Experiences: Number 357 – Cycling along California’s Pacific Coast

Pacific paradise - the Los Angeles County beach bikeway

Pacific paradise – the Los Angeles County beach bikeway

Some people dream of walking along the Great Wall of China, following the Inca Trail in Peru or swimming with dolphins when you ask them the life experience they’ve always wanted to have.

Mine involved a push bike, a series of beaches west of Los Angeles and the odd ray of sunshine. I finally got to pedal along California’s spectacular Pacific coast a couple of months back and it was certainly something I won’t ever forget.

Not all of it went according to plan. In fact, I came dangerously close to killing myself en route but that didn’t spoil the experience too much.

It all started in Santa Monica when my wife and I picked out a couple of sturdy-looking bikes from one of the many hire stands dotted around the coastline. Fifteen bucks each for the day seemed like a pretty good deal to fulfil a lifelong ambition. I was advised to have one with a basket on the front which was a real blow to my street cred – I fancied myself as more of a Bradley Wiggins than a middle-aged Mrs Miggins pedalling into town to do some shopping.

As it turned out, the basket was a great idea because you can dump the ruck sack in it and just concentrate on cycling and enjoy the views without a dead weight on your back.

Pacific coast bike way Santa Monica to Manhattan Beach


Now, cycling along some of our roads in the UK, as trucks and buses brush past perilously close, can be a terrifying ordeal. In Los Angeles County the concrete bike path is built into the beach so the only dangers are from speeding cyclists overtaking silently or inconsiderate joggers running five abreast. Obeying the state beach laws, which compel you to keep to the right, we made our way serenely from the Santa Monica pier area south towards Venice Beach.

Perfect conditions with warm sunshine and barely a breath of wind coming off the ocean. Venice Beach has a real cosmopolitan mix with street vendors and entertainers lining the promenade, sporty types cavorting around the many sandy volleyball courts and other lifting heavy weights in an outdoor gym dubbed ‘Muscle Beach’. There are fascinating sights everywhere as you bike your way through the neighbourhood.

Time out: A brief rest on my Bucket List biking trip

Time out: A brief rest on my Bucket List biking trip

Next up was the pleasant boating community known as Marina Del Rey and this is where the bike path temporarily ends, forcing you reluctantly to cycle along some busy roads in the town centre, emerging back on the beach track as jets drone in and out of the nearby LAX city airport. The stretch through Dockweiler Beach is best forgotten, with heavy industry and pretty bleak views as you glance inland.

We stopped for lunch at the picturesque Manhattan Beach. Locking the bikes against fencing lining the majestic pier, we enjoyed strolling around the streets and looking at the multi-million dollar beachside homes. It was at this point we realised we had probably better head back towards Santa Monica, having already spent three hours pedalling 15 miles, as well as suffering the onset of painful saddle soreness.

Time for lunch: Manhattan Beach

Time for lunch: Manhattan Beach

This is where the experience began to take a turn for the worse. All was well as we travelled back through Dockweiler Beach and headed back to Marina Del Rey. Here there was a tight right-angled bend, bordered by sharp rocks and a steep drop into the Pacific, as the bike path winds away from the beach inland along a peninsula.  I took my cap off as the sea winds began to pick up and, stupidly, lost concentration. Instead of slowing and braking I pedalled on into the corner. Turning frantically in a bid to avoid the rocks, the frightening drop and a party of pedestrians, I careered headfirst over the handlebars, ending up in a dazed bloody heap on the ground mercifully away from the edge.

Marina Del Rey

Crash Corner: The fateful bend off the Ballona Creek Bridge in Marina Del Rey where I came off the bike

 

I had cleverly shaved the skin off one of my elbows and battered my knee but I managed to pedal in agony back to Santa Monica, stopping briefly for some ice and bandages. This was only the second day of a two-week holiday but it didn’t stop us enjoying the trip. And the accident has not prevented me recommending a Pacific Coast bike ride to others. Next up on the Bucket List: a cycle tour of the Grand Canyon!

A stunning view of part of our route stretching from Manhattan Beach down to Dockweiler Beach

A stunning view of part of our route stretching from Manhattan Beach down to Dockweiler Beach

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How to lose friends and alienate people (on Twitter)

 

It’s all too apparent that many people who use Twitter have no understanding of how it works. You often see accounts where someone has Tweeted thousands of times and yet they only have 25 followers. This could be down to any number of factors but the simple fact is that unless you share interesting content and make it easy for people to search for it then your following will be restricted to friends, people who live in your area and spammers.

There are any number of blogs out there aimed at helping you increase the number of people who follow your Twitter postings and there are even companies which will sell you thousands of followers. The latter is not advised, however, since these people essentially have no interest in you or your ramblings. It may look good on your profile to suddenly have 5,025 followers but unless you have attracted and nurtured them yourself you will effectively be speaking to any empty room.

In my work as a PR consultant I advise clients on the best ways of building and maintaining their following on Twitter. It set me thinking about the reasons why Tweeters decline to follow others and why they decide to unfollow people.

I came up with the following 10 actions guaranteed to lose you friends and alienate people on Twitter. If you are guilty of doing any of these it is probably why you are being largely shunned by the Twitterati. If you don’t want anyone to follow your Tweets simply carry on doing any of the following:

 

 

 

1 Do not upload a photograph of yourself or a brand logo

Twitter is a social network and people want to see your picture or an image of your company. Your profile will have just the default egg-shaped avatar and you will blend seamlessly into the background with the millions of other Tweeters.

2 Clog up every follower’s timeline with dozens of Tweets posted all together

This is the equivalent of verbal diarrhoea. If you talk too much people will tune you out and stop listening. Part of the attraction of Twitter is getting a series of messages from very different people. No-one wants to see 10 or 15 comments from the same person, one after the other, and if it keeps happening they will unfollow.

3 Leave your profile bio empty

This is as big a Twitter ‘crime’ as not having a photograph. The first thing most people do when they see a Tweet from someone new is click on their profile to find out a little about them and assess if they are worth following. A bio with no personal information and/or witty comments is of no interest to anyone.

4 Fail to post for months on end

If you haven’t Tweeted since 2009 people will assume you have lost interest and they will almost certainly not follow you. Even a couple of Tweets a month is enough to assure people you are still alive and that you are engaging with Twitter and your audience.

5 Post inappropriate and offensive material

Some people can get away with the odd swear word or a link to dodgy internet content but it will probably offend the majority. If you are Tweeting on behalf of your company or your employer then it is wise to keep it clean. Inappropriate material does not reflect well on a brand or those who choose to follow it.

 

6 Personal chat with friends of no interest to follower

“@Matey Hello mate, are you going down the pub later?” – “@DrinkingBuddy Yes mate, see you there about 8”. Keep these inane Twitter conversations going and your mate down the pub will pretty much be your only follower left. Text messages are for making personal plans of no interest to anyone else.

7 Excessive self-promotion

By all means talk about your business award or your newly-attained first class degree but don’t go on about it. I recently published my first novel as an eBook and I have plugged it on Twitter. But I try to limit the number of Tweets about it. I cringe when I see fellow authors plugging their new book 10 or 15 times a day – less is more.

8 Repeat stuff over and over

Keep talking about the same subject over and over again and people will soon start switching off. If you have a new product to sell try to vary your Tweets and be subtle about it. Mix personal interests in with your shop talk. Constant ‘buy my book’ Tweets by authors will not work. Different passages from the novel or quotes from reviewers probably will.

9 Post dozens of automated Tweets every day

Social media tools such as Hootsuite allow people to schedule Tweets in advance. While this is useful from a business perspective when you are working abroad or taking a holiday, it has limited value during a normal week at work. A series of automated Tweets soon becomes boring. Twitter is a social network and followers want to interact with humans not robots.

10 Continually abuse the use of Hashtags

Hashtags (#) help people search for specific terms when they are looking for a particular topic or issue. If you consistently include more than three in a Tweet it becomes dull and unreadable ie Published my new book today #novel #writer #author #Kindle #GreatExpectations. Another way of alienating yourself is to convert a phrase into a hashtag, such as #wontdothatagaininahurry. It’s jibberish.

 

 

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Filed under Business, Customer services, eBooks, Social media, Social networking, Twitter, Unpublished authors

Social media and what it can do for your reputation

 

The lobby area at the MGM Grand with a big TV screen showing scrolling Tweets about the hotel

MY WIFE was less than impressed when we stayed in Las Vegas during a recent holiday in the United States so she took to Twitter to register her feelings.

We were staying at the vast MGM Grand, one of the biggest hotels on The Strip, but with no interest in gambling we were feeling a little isolated in this extraordinary city surrounded by hundreds of miles of the Mojave Desert.

As we lazed in our room on the 14th floor, she Tweeted: “#MGMGrand..why am I not having such a great time?!”

We assumed there would be a reply by whoever is running this multi-million dollar establishment’s Twitter account, perhaps to suggest some activities, a local landmark worth a visit or a good restaurant to eat at.

Silence. No response at all from the mighty MGM Grand. So imagine our surprise a few hours later when we walked through the lobby area and spotted my wife’s Tweet on a massive screen located on the wall behind reception staff who were checking in new residents.

The comment was certainly not a ringing endorsement of the hotel and yet the owners saw fit to broadcast the remark on a scrolling screen of Tweets in full view of everyone.

My wife’s Tweet announcing she is bored at the MGM Grand is broadcast to everyone arriving at the hotel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The MGM Grand has nearly 86,000 followers on Twitter and you would have thought it was a key marketing strategy for them to engage with customers, those who are happy and those who are not.

Now contrast this incident with an experience we had after booking afternoon tea at The Ritz in London. Just 20 minutes after Tweeting that I had booked a table there, the famous old hotel and tea room Tweeted back to say they hoped we had a good time. The Ritz also sent a Tweet to us on the day welcoming us to the establishment.

Another example of great customer relations on Twitter came while we were eating the famous sticky toffee pudding at a shop where the dish originated at in Cartmel in the Lake District earlier this year.

“At Cartmel. The home of sticky toffee pudding @CartmelSticky – trying hard not to resist having any…..oh damn!” I Tweeted.

Within seconds came the reply: “@CartmelSticky: @renster157 – don’t resist, dive in and enjoy!!”

At this point I should declare an interest. As a PR consultant I advise clients on how to use social media to raise their profile and build relationships with customers.

I continue to be amazed at the number of businesses and organisations who fail to grasp the power of social media – the potential it has both to promote an organisation as well as damage a hard-won reputation.

Some of my prospective clients have dismissed the likes of Facebook, Twitter and You Tube as ‘kids’ stuff’ and not appropriate for their business. Others simply don’t understand it and choose to ignore social networking conversations which can have a huge impact on their company’s fortunes.

A critical comment on Twitter about a sub-standard hotel room can have the effect of persuading people who follow that individual not to stay there in the future.

Likewise, friends of someone who gives a poor review of a restaurant meal will prevent them booking a table there anytime soon.

Research shows that people trust and respect the opinions of their peers. They are more likely to buy a new mobile phone, holiday in Italy or read a particular novel because of a friend’s recommendation.

And it is not just friends we seek out for advice when we are unsure whether to invest in something. Most of us now go online to read reviews of a product before we decide to take the plunge on a new digital camera or fridge freezer.

Simply advertising something in a newspaper or on television is no longer enough. Businesses rely on the advocacy of satisfied customers Tweeting about a product or service or posting a favourable review on Facebook. We all now have the capacity to be unpaid brand ambassadors for the likes of Apple, Dyson and EasyJet.

This effect is perhaps even more profound on a local level when you are championing or criticising a Chinese takeaway or a hair salon in your town or city. These businesses rely on regular return custom and every time someone praises them on an online social network it can be just as powerful as a front page story in the local newspaper.

So my advice would be to engage with your customers, whether you are a huge hotel on the Las Vegas Strip or a tea room in Middle England. The likelihood is those people will return. And they will tell their friends to as well.

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Filed under Business, Customer services, Facebook, Hotels, Reputation, Social media, Social networking, Twitter

Thoughts from a Man Booker shortlisted author

Alison Moore: shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize for Fiction with her debut novel, The Lighthouse

 

 

The 2012 winner of the UK’s biggest writing accolade – the Man Booker Prize for Fiction – is about to be announced and I have had the privilege to interview one of the six shortlisted authors, Alison Moore.

Alison’s acclaimed book, The Lighthouse, will go up against the work of renowned writers such as Will Self and the 2009 winner of the award, Hilary Mantel, when the judges consider the contenders. The winner will be crowned at a dinner in London on October 16.

The Lighthouse tells the story of a middle-aged man visiting Germany for the second time and the devastating repercussions threatened by something he neglected to do when he first went to the country as a child. The book is published by Salt – one of three indie publishers for the six shortlisted titles.

It was clear from talking to Alison how shocked and surprised she is at being shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize as a debut novelist. She also feels flattered to be mentioned alongside the stellar names on the list.

Speaking to Alison was an enlightening experience for a newly-published author like me and I thought it might be worthwhile sharing her thoughts on writing and how she goes about putting together something which has been so highly rated by the literary profession:

When did you first start writing and what motivated you to start writing?

I’ve always enjoyed writing stories. When I was eight, something I wrote at school was shortlisted in a local competition and published in an anthology. That was encouraging and other small successes in my teens kept me going too.

You have won awards for your short stories – has writing these helped you in the writing of your first novel and, if so, in what way?

I think that the most valuable thing I’ve learnt over the years is not so much to do with the creative writing itself, it’s the importance of rereading and editing your work, making sure that the words are doing exactly what you want them to do and really fulfilling their potential.

The longer short stories have also been good practice for novel writing in the sense that there’s a similar working together of strands and themes towards an end point.

Do you recommend outlining the plot of a book before you start writing and do you always decide how a story will finish from the outset?

I think you can only do it the way it works for you. Personally, with The Lighthouse, I saw clearly where it started and I knew pretty much where and how it would end, but I very much liked having to journey from one end to the other without really knowing what might happen along the way.

What time of the day do you find the most productive when you are writing and how many hours a day do you devote to your writing?

I can get some good ideas first thing in the morning, but my writing window is a couple of hours late in the evening when my son’s asleep, although I do have a good chunk of daytime once a week when my son’s at his grandma’s house.

Who is the biggest influence in your writing and can you name your three favourite novels?

I’m not aware of having one big influence, but probably everything I read influences my writing to some degree.

If I were to choose a few favourite novels, there would have to be an Ian McEwan – The Comfort of Strangers or The Innocent.

Two favourite novels from my university days are Toni Morisson’s Beloved and Graham Swift’s Waterland.

I would have to include George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four – I used to go the school library and read it whenever I had a break. And Muriel Spark’s strange and rather perfect The Driver’s Seat. And Lionel Shriver’s We Need to Talk About Kevin – an obvious one but a fantastic read. And a Kurt Vonnegut, perhaps Slaughterhouse-5.

Sorry that’s more than three, but it also helps to answer the influence part of the question!

What single piece of writing advice would you give to budding and novice authors?

Write every day, even if you only write ten words.

Alison Moore is 41, she was born in Manchester and now lives in Leicestershire with her husband and three-year-old son. Her stories have been published in various magazines and anthologies, including Best British Short Stories 2011. Alison has been shortlisted for the Bridport Prize and the Manchester Fiction Prize. She won first prize in the novella category of The New Writer Prose and Poetry Prizes.

The shortlist for the 2012 Man Booker Prize for Fiction:

The Garden of Evening Mists by Tan Twan Eng

Swimming Home by Deborah Levy

Bring up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel

The Lighthouse by Alison Moore

Umbrella by Will Self

Narcopolis by Jeet Thayil

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Filed under Books, How to write a novel, Novels, Published authors

Everyone has a book inside them

These are exciting times for me. I’ve just had my first novel published as an eBook. Death Knocks and Deadlines tells the story of a young newspaper reporter and is loosely based on my experiences during my early years as a journalist. It also charts the seismic changes in the newspaper industry and provides an insight into the challenges faced by those who now work on local papers. They now operate in an era when advertising revenues and copy sales are dropping alarmingly, staff resources are depleted and there is a demand for 24/7 news across multiple news platforms. My aim was to primarily bring out the humour you experience in some of the situations you find yourself in as a cub reporter. There is also a spot of romance although I would like to point out that this aspect of the book is pure fiction!

I started writing my novel three years ago and much of it has been written in the early hours of the morning or late at night. There was a period of 15 months where I wrote nothing because of other demands on my time but I’ve always thought my story was worth telling, albeit in a fictional sense. I’ve lost count of the number of people who’ve told me over the years that they should write a book about this or that. And I believe the saying that ‘everyone has a book inside them’ is true. It’s just that the vast majority never get written for one reason or another.

Early on I ruled out approaching a publisher or a literary agent because the chances of getting your work into print as an unpublished author are incredibly slim. EBooks offer you a gateway to getting your book out there and it is amazingly simple to publish it to the Amazon website. If you can attract enough digital readers to download it on to their Kindle, Kobo or iPad there is a chance that a print publisher might eventually be interested in taking you on.

So how do you go about writing your novel? Writing that first page can be the catalyst to months, and maybe years, of hard work but ultimately you might produce something you are immensely proud of. I have put together some tips that will help any would-be fiction authors get started:

1 Map out your plot beforehand and decide how the book will end

2 Concentrate on creating three-dimensional characters with back stories – a renowned author once advised me that a book containing a good plot with poor characters would never work but a book with an average plot and good characters would always work

3 Write about what you know – this is an old adage but it makes sense since you will have the insight and knowledge to make your book authentic to the reader if you have experienced what your characters are experiencing

4 Do your research – if you are writing about incidents which happened in the 1960s, for example, make sure your characters are wearing clothes and driving cars from that era and don’t portray them talking on mobile phones!

5 Check your work thoroughly for grammatical errors – spelling mistakes and poor grammar attract the most negative comments when readers review your book on Amazon

I hope I have motivated some people to take the plunge and finally write the novel they have been planning.

If you want to take a look at my book, you can read some sample chapters by clicking this link  http://www.amazon.co.uk/Death-Knocks-and-Deadlines-ebook/dp/B0098QWSWU/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1347706204&sr=1-1        or please feel free to download it your Kindle, Kobo or iPad from the Amazon website.

 

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Filed under Books, eBooks, How to write a novel, Novels, Published authors, Unpublished authors