Friday, 7 October 2016

Tips for new writers, thoughts on self-publishing, and more...

Of all the almost 300 posts I've written on here over the past four and a half years, those about writing have had some of the most views, which tells me that there are a lot of writers out there, particular those new at the game, who are eager to read anything they can get their hands on by those who've been at it a while!

I had the idea to put the links all in one place and add some articles by others, and I'll keep adding to it as I see others and write more myself  (nb, I don't give 'how to write' advice as such because a) I am not qualified to do so,  and b) if you can't write already you won't learn how to do so from blog posts).  Some of the advice in my own posts may be duplicated, as the posts have been written over a period of several years, and some stuff a) occurs to me over and over again and b) can't be said too often ~ but I hope this won't be too tiresome.

Here they all are, then ~ I've included reviews of a few books I think are worth getting, too.  Click the name of the post/title of the book to read it.

Let's start at the beginning ~ I wrote some Dos and Don'ts for First Time Novelists, and also, on my review blog, my thoughts on Back To Creative Writing School by Bridget Whelan, which I thought a very good choice for absolute beginners.

More debut author advice posts here:
Ten miscellaneous tips for debut writers 
7 myths that can hold new writers back 
Three mistakes new writers are still making 

I've just seen this very good post called What to do if you have just decided to write a book, a guest post by a lady called Lucy Adams on the blog of writer Nicholas Rossis

Bearing in mind the first piece of advice in the Dos and Don'ts article, I wrote two pieces entitled What Reading has taught me about Writing; there is a link to the first one on the second.  

If you're finding it hard to get that first novel finished, you might like to read THIS POST.

Brilliant words of wisdom on How to handle writers' block (and what it is, and what it isn't) , by Alexandria Szeman.

No novel should be self-published or sent to a publisher without a professional proofread.  Read ALL you need to know about the hows and the whys from top UK proofreader Julia Gibbs, HERE.

....and once it's finished, you'll want to decide whether you want to self-publish, submit to an independent publisher, or aim for the dizzy heights of the agent/traditional publisher route.   I've written a much read and commented on piece about why Self-publishing is a creative choice, not a last resort.

And here's How to self-publish an ebook by writer/editor Alison Williams.  She's also written a brilliant piece about the few writers published by small independents who look down on the self-published and think they are 'better' than them, simply because they can now mention 'my publisher' in conversations, and talk about deadlinesSelf-Publishing and the Snobbery Issue.

Here are some more words of wisdom from Alison, about vanity publishers:
It's a Jungle out there 

......and an article I wrote for Rosie Amber's blog about things to look out for if you're going to sign with small publishers and vanity presses 

Watch out for this one: The grammatical error that even the most intelligent people make...

 Yes, we do judge a book by its cover by Alison Williams 

The best article I've ever read about dialogue, by Anne R Allen 

A great article on Content Editing, by writer Linda Acaster.

Turning your back on the so-called 'rules' ~ my post about this is HERE

If you've decided to self-publish, you might like to read this post about the dreaded (and very difficult to get right) Book Blurbs

I review a lot of books for a book blog (submissions from authors), and come across the same debut novelist slip-ups over and over again. THIS POST outlines them.

Worried about reviews?  Here's mine for Rayne Hall's Getting Book Reviews

.... and here's how NOT to get reviewed by a book blogger, on Rosie Amber!
Now, the nasty stuff.  We all get them sometimes.  Here's How to deal with Bad Reviews.

...and here's another post by Alison Williams, about why not every 1 or 2* comes from a 'troll' ~ Why You Shouldn't Ignore Bad Reviews

So much has been written about promotion for the self/indie published, and I'm no expert.  But I will say that Twitter can be a writer's best friend if used wisely, and I've written lots of posts about how to get the most out of it HERE, and (although a year in Twitter is a long time and some bits might have dated slightly).  

I've recently written a guest post on Swirl and Thread book blog, giving some basic tips for writers using social media for the first time.  I can also recommend Rayne Hall's book Twitter For Writers.


Now a couple of fun posts!

Before I started this self-publishing thing I used to.... 

...and NOT to be taken seriously: How to Write a Romcom in one Easy Lesson! 

But after all that, let's take a moment to Remember Why We Write



  1. Great idea, TT! I must save this post for future referral!

    1. YOU don't need any advice from me, Val! But I suppose the Twitter tips can come in handy, if you can be bovvered to do them! x

    2. Ah, T, time is not much on my side, so bovvering is dependent on how much of it I have :)

  2. What a great post, pulling all this stuff together in one place. Many thanks, Terry.

    1. Partly because I'm feeling too zonked at the moment to write any new ones, Jo, it has to be said! But yes, I thought it would be a good idea.

  3. Brilliant post. This is what everyone needs when they start out! :)

    1. Thanks, V - I must keep adding to it!

  4. Great links - and I agree about getting a good proofreader. Lovely Julia was guest on my blog too.

    1. Yes, I remember! Yes - a proofreader who knows what they're doing is a must. Too many cowboys around!

  5. Great posts Terry with a wealth of information!

  6. Thank you so much for the excellent resource! And double thanks for including my blog among these greats. I just wish it were on wordpress so I could reblog :)

    1. Aha, yes, I miss out there! But can always be Rtd :)

  7. Replies
    1. Thanks, Icy - I'll keep adding to it :)