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Writer? Self Published Author? How Can We All Make The Breakthrough To More Sales?

It’s Sunday here in the UK and time to reflect.

I keep trying to think of new ways to help writers and self published authors, you perhaps, make some kind of breakthrough. Achieve more sales. Quite significant sales. There has to be a way.

I’ve come up with various ideas and schemes in the past few months and discussed them with writers in all genres and although these ‘ideas’ do have their merits there is nothing that stands out as ‘the solution’.

I suspect it’s the big question we all need answering. How can we promote our books without it costing an arm and a leg, and in a way that is professional and appeals to a wider audience and will achieve substantial sales?

So rather than just talking about it I’d like to try and do something about it. Set something up that will make a difference. That all writers will buy into and support. Something that is not already available. That will work. But what exactly?

I have the time and the skills. I need to know what it is we all want.

And so I’m asking, please, for suggestions if you have any….ideas that could be put into action.  I would definitely give it a go.

If not, then have a pleasant Sunday….




Will You Have A Book Out For Christmas 2013?

It’s a serious question. Will you have a book out for Christmas 2013?

If you’d like one for sale in the busy run up to Yuletide 2013 you need to begin planning now, and have some kind of deadline/timetable in place in the next few weeks. Really? Yep.

I’m a great believer in ‘Back Timing’. People laugh at me. They think I’m bonkers. ‘Bonkers Mental’ (apologies to Al Murray the Pub Landlord).

But back timing works a treat. Let’s give it a try.

Your book will need to be for sale the first week in November. That’s in the shops.

Incidentally, your online promotion will begin at least three months before this date, twelve weeks, so that takes us to the first week in August, that’s when the campaign will begin.

If it’s a self published print book then you will need four weeks from delivery to the printers to picking up your books, five weeks is safer. So five weeks back from the first of November works out at around the third week in September.

So your manuscript must be evaluated and appraised  and final corrections and amendments and minor rewrites done by the second week in September. The kids are back at school and your book should be ready to go.

Evaluation takes time. Your ‘readers’ will need time to get through your book and consider what they are going to tell you about it. This is vital feedback. So you need to give them a month to read and get back to you. Tell them that. Insist that it goes no longer than one month. So you need to have the evaluation script in their hands by the beginning of August. Great, they can read it during the school holidays whilst relaxing in the sun in Corfu. Ooops, my guess is they won’t want to take it with them on holiday so build in an extra two weeks… we are now back to the middle of July for the finished manuscript to be with them.

So….we have a deadline. Book written and just about as good as it can get by mid July.

Now, we will obviously have re-writes before this, and thinking time, so take off four weeks, we’re now back to second week in June.

And there you have it…..if you begin writing your novel this weekend you will have until roughly the first week in June to get it written…..that’s sixteen weeks to write your major opus. That should be enough.

Okay, let’s all make a start this weekend. On your marks, get set………

Turn Your Blog Into A Book

Ever thought about turning your blog into a self published book? No? Why not?

Okay, I know what you’re thinking….”My blog? Into a book? Are you crazy? Who would want to read that?”

Well, lots of people actually. Particularly if your blog has a distinct focus, something that has a thread, a stroyline if you will, a kind of identifiable linear structure…..although let’s not get too strict about this.

For example…you decide to write a book for children, your first attempt. You have set yourself a target, let’s say 12 months, by which time you have promised everyone (especially yourself) that you will have the manuscript typed up and finished and ready for publication. Great!

So, you set up a blog dedicated to your book, that will document your trials and tribulations (hopefully not too many) as you attempt to complete the book in time.

Don’t forget if you want to have a ‘personal blog’ that’s fine too, but try and keep all your blog posts that concern your book on the book blog. That way your eventual reader will not be distracted by having to read three chapters on how you went back and forth to the vets every evening for six months with a sick cat/dog/parrot. Although, come to think of it, that might link in rather well….the writer struggles on bravely in an attempt to complete a masterpiece, despite having a sick parrot….could work I guess.

So your blog follows the process of getting your book written…the intense highs when words, sentences, paragraphs fly onto the page….and the depressing lows when you can’t even begin a sentence and make it to the full stop. Been there, done that, bought the T shirt.

At the end of twelve months…voila… have TWO books…the children’s story and your fascinating blog.

Turning your book and blog into self published books is easy enough….you contact me at or and we publish and print them or upload them to the Kindle (or both) and begin promoting like mad.

Turning blogs into books is beginning to take off, and I predict in a year’s time you’ll see ‘blog books’ selling rather well online. As I say, if you fancy having a go, please get in touch and let’s see what we can do.

Football – Photography – A Book?

The Festive season is now more or less over, thank goodness, but I have to admit it was a rather jolly affair, due in no small part to an unexpected visit to a local football match on Boxing Day.

A friend of mine, a keen amateur photographer, asked if I would like to come with him and a couple of chums to a match between two local semi-professional teams in a former mining village in West Yorkshire. As I had little else planned for that afternoon I gladly accepted and so off we went.

The weather was horrendous. Gale force winds, driving rain and a bitterly cold north-east wind swept across the muddy pitch but both teams gave their all in what turned out to be a really good game. Real football – not this tippy tappy stuff you watch on TV on a Saturday evening.

However, let’s get to the point I’m trying to make. The crowd was sparse, barely 250 die-hards, but keen as mustard, and looking around the ground I noticed several ‘characters’ and ‘situations’ that were crying out to be photographed. These would have made fantastic, gritty, warts and all, black and white shots.

As I say, real football, played by real men, and watched by real supporters of clubs in the wonderfully named Evo Stik League Northern Premier. Marvellous.

After the game I pointed out to my pal that photos of the crowd, the ground, the ladies serving the pie and peas and the various players and officials would make a fantastic photography book, and coupled with one or two ‘quotes’ from the long-suffering fans and short ‘interviews’ with those associated with the clubs it would be a terrific book, and a priceless record of how important these football clubs are to the community in small villages and towns.

I then went on to suggest that it would be great to visit all the grounds in this league, Whitby Town, North Ferriby, Frickley, Hednesford, Kendal etc etc…..and capture the spirit of the game at grass roots level. I’m sure it would make a very good book and one that would sell too.

It just goes to show that wherever you go, whatever you do, there is a book there waiting to be created and self published.