Write Your Novel: Make the Emotional Connection With Lists

Awake to Darkness

Awake to Darkness

Writing a novel? You want it to sell, don’t you? Yes, I know, it’s a stupid question. However, it’s easy to get so caught up in the writing, that you forget that the reader wants something… an emotional experience.

Lists can help with that:

If you’re disappointed with the sales of your Kindle novels, there’s usually just one answer — get more emotion into your books. Readers will forgive you just about anything, as long as they get an emotional payoff from your books.

Read the above article, and start using lists.

Share your experiences with lists in the comments, I’d love to hear how they work for you… 🙂

photo credit: Rakka via photopin cc

Writing a Novel? You Don’t Need to Be Perfect, But…

Parts of a horse

Parts of a horse

Writing a novel is exciting. Your imagination helps you to build an entire world, into which you take your readers. For a few hours, you allow your readers to escape their daily lives. Their heartbreaks, stress and boredom drop away. You’re giving them a gift.

Be careful: don’t snatch away that gift, and jolt your readers awake. It’s easily done.

Last week I was reading an historical novel. I loved the world of the novel, and surrendered to it.

Suddenly I couldn’t believe what I was reading. The hero helped the heroine onto her horse, and she kicked it in the withers to get it moving. Withers?! What on earth was she, a contortionist? The withers are just above the shoulders on a horse, they’re the highest part of the back. I would have loved to have seen anyone, in a sidesaddle no less, kick a horse in the withers…

A little grumpy, I went back to reading. She kicked the horse in the withers again. AND she called her horse’s fetlock something else, I forget what.

At that stage, I removed the novel from the Kindle app on my iPad. My fictional dream was destroyed, by a careless author.

How challenging would it have been to look up the parts of a horse on Wikipedia?

When you’re writing your novel, you WILL make mistakes.

As I said in this article:

It’s impossible to write the “perfect” novel, and never make mistakes. You will make mistakes in every novel you write. However, those mistakes shouldn’t be egregious. If something’s easy to look up — details of crime scene procedures, Regency-period forms of address — look them up.

The fear of making mistakes shouldn’t stop you writing. You WILL make mistakes. That’s fine. Just do your best to correct mistakes. ASK questions. Check your facts. For aficionados of a genre, an author’s mistakes, especially if they show the author’s been lazy, show disrespect for readers.

No one’s perfect. Have fun writing your novel. When you’re writing, focus on it completely, and let yourself go. However, at some stage before publication, check facts carefully. You owe it to your readers, and they’ll love you for taking them away from their woes for a few hours.


Want to Write, But HATE Writing?


Snoopy’s had a hard writing day…

It’s becoming a busy week; we’re feeling a little like Snoopy… Discover what we’ve been talking about…

Can you become a writer even if you hate writing? Of course you can. Chances are that you dislike writing because you’re nervous. Staring at a blank computer screen is intimidating.

“Creative anxiety” is real. Entire books are written about it. I suffered from it for years. Many writers do. In my first few years as a romance novelist I went through agonies every day. My hands shook so much that I had trouble rolling paper into my typewriter.

Of course, that wasn’t the worst of it. I avoided writing when I could. I procrastinated: weeks went by when I convinced myself that I had “writer’s block.”

It took me years to realize that it’s OK to feel nervous. And that I could write anyway, even if I hated it. If you refuse to bolt, and commit to sitting at your computer, you’ll be surprised that within ten minutes you’ll become engrossed with what you’re writing. Your nerves have faded.

Yes — if you can force yourself to sit and write, your nervousness will fade.

Let’s look at some simple tips which will help you if you hate writing. You can use these tips to write anything from an novel to a small advertisement.

Read the rest on the freelance writing blog.

Writing Kindle Ebooks? Here’s Why They Aren’t Selling

If they can’t be found, they can’t be read. You’ll love this solution.

Ebooks: Proofread to Avoid One-Star Reviews

Want to avoid one-star reviews on the Amazon Kindle and other ebook platforms?

Start by making sure that your content is as clean as possible. Yes, you can get one-star reviews from readers who are annoyed that authors (or their representatives) published messy ebooks.

Write, and Sell: The Process

If you’re a professional writer of any kind, you need to both WRITE and PROMOTE. The emphasis is on both. Usually, I need to convince writers to promote, but recently I’ve been working with several ebook writers who’ve hit the promotion trail too hard.

Yes, promotion is important. However WRITING — creating new ebooks — is more important. Write first. This week’s offering will help. If you’re not leaping out of bed early in the morning, eager to get to your computer, you need a process. Write first… 😉

Image credit


Want to Fire Your Boss? Maybe You Can


Fairies at the bottom of our garden? No, we’ve got a tame Blue Tongue

We’ve had a wonderful weekend here in Sydney. To make the most of the autumn sunshine (84 F, amazing) on Saturday we went down south on a picnic. We found a secluded beach, where no one objected to my Jack Russell terrier, Honey.

Honey’s very well behaved, a perfect little lady, although she terrorizes the tame Blue Tongue lizard at the bottom of our garden. Mind you, he gives as good as he gets, invading “her” garden, and opening his mouth and sticking out his blue tongue at her. She yaps at him in outrage.

I read on my Kindle, while the kids dug giant holes in the yellow sand. The men broke out their fishing rods and fished off the rocks.

When we got back, I realized that that might be the last such expedition until spring. Sad, but we’ve got long bush hikes and cosy log fires to look forward to.

So, I’m relaxed, and ready to write. I hope you are, too. 🙂

This coming week, on the freelance writing blog, we’ll be discussing ebooks: how you can turn your ideas into professional productions.

We’re living at a unique time: writers have power

Underwood Typewriter

Underwood Typewriter

That’s never happened before. For the first time, writers no longer need others to get their words read, or watched. Movie studio head Jack Warner famously called his writers “schmucks with Underwoods”. (“Underwood” was a brand of typewriter. The model above was one of the last desktop models, manufactured in the 1960s.)

Now you can ignore those who disrespect what we do, and can go your own way. You can turn a blog into a business. You can write books and sell them, without help from anyone — you just hire what you need. Get someone to proofread your work, and get a cover designed for $50.

The response to the post, “Why Your Kindle Ebooks Aren’t Selling”, in which I recommended Kindle Day Job Killer to you, has been fantastic.

I’ve reread the program since I wrote that post, and have made notes.

Also, I checked out the goodies which came with the program.

They include:

* A long list of websites on which you can promote your books on the KDP Select “free” days (you have five such days every 90 days);

* How to create your own category string in Kindle. I’d never heard of this before, and it’s perfect — your very own category, which you can populate with your books;

* How to customize your books’ page on Amazon. Did you know that you can customize your book description using HTML to create headlines, center and justify text, insert images, create italics, bold and underlines and even use those nifty orange headlines that you see on Amazon.com? I certainly didn’t — this will make your books stand out.

There are lots of programs which help you to write your ebooks (I’ve created some myself). However, this is the perfect program to help you to break out of the rut, and fire your boss.

If you take the information in this program to heart, and use it, your books will be found on Amazon. Each book you create will build a foundation for you, a powerful platform.

I’m happy to bribe you, because I know that this program is exactly what you need, if your ebooks aren’t selling. Even if they are — you’ll now sell more.

I hope you enjoy my goodies which you receive with Kindle Day Job Killer — check them out, if you haven’t done so.

Onward — remember that this week’s theme is creating truly professional ebooks, so keep an eye on the freelance writing blog for those posts.

Want to Write AND Sell Your Ebook in a Week?


I received a couple of questions this week from people who are procrastinating on getting their ebooks DONE… FWIW, this 8-hour ebook guide has helped many writers.

Here’s a simple process you can use to write your ebook in a week:

Days 4,5 and 6: Write Your Ebook and Sales Page

You’ll write your ebook and its sales page together over the next three days.

Since you’ve got a solid outline, this should be easy for you.

Write your ebook’s sales page as you write the ebook.

Just follow along, day by day. It works, because you can’t procrastinate. You know exactly what you should be doing, and when.

A reminder, here’s what to do if your ebooks aren’t selling.

Good luck. 🙂

This Week: Pinterest, Kindle Ebooks and More


If you’re a Pinterest fan, you know how addictive the site can be, but did you also know that the site can do great things for you as a writer — it can help you to stand out from the crowd.

Consider Pinterest if you’re writing a book, or if you’re looking for writing jobs. A presence on the site gives you credibility. The site’s a lot of fun too, of course.

Farewell, Blogging for Dollars

I’m currently working on a new coaching workshop, so our Blogging for Dollars program won’t be available after this weekend. Check it out, if you’re not aware of it.

Kindle Day Job Killer — highly recommended (with goodies)

I’m heavily involved with Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing program, primarily for my clients in my role as a ghostwriter, although I’m working on a couple of books of my own.

Everyone who’s selling ebooks wants to sell more of them, naturally. So when a friend recommended Kindle Day Job Killer to me, I had no hesitation in taking a look. I knew that if I could pick up just one new tip, the program would repay itself many times over.

Long story short, the program’s much better than I expected, and I recommend it. More on Kindle Day Job Killer here.

It’s been a busy week, and the weekend’s here — have a great time. 🙂