#Writers' Tips

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  • Discovering the Diamond: thinking or writing a novel? 
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Are you thinking of writing a novel?
Discovering the Diamond gives tips and advice for aspiring writers
 (especially self-published/indie writers).

Everyone can write a book. Not everyone can write a readable book. Writing is the easy bit. Most of the work is in the planning (the thinking), in the structure (the plot), and in turning the first draft into an enjoyable, top quality novel.

With the rise in popularity of self-publishing, more ‘Indie’ books are appearing on Internet bookstores, but how you go about publishing your novel is largely a question of what you hope to achieve and how much, both in terms of time and money, you are prepared to invest.
Asked repeatedly for advice and tips by aspiring authors about the ins and outs of writing and publishing an indie novel, bestselling author, Helen Hollick, and her UK editor, Jo Field, decided to compile a small booklet in response. The initial few A4 pages soon expanded into an e-book, which by popular demand has now been published in paperback.
The quality of Indie and self-published books can be every bit as good in style and production as any mainstream publication. Discovering the Diamond is intended to assist and inspire enthusiastic writers to create a novel of which they can be proud and to achieve their goal of turning a dream into a glittering reality.

Excerpt from Discovering the Diamond :
What do you hope to achieve?
How you go about publishing your novel is largely a question of what you hope to achieve and how much, both in terms of time and money, you are prepared to invest in it. Are you looking simply to see your words in print – or are you hoping to gain some financial return for your investment? Unless you are incredibly talented and incredibly lucky (or both!) there is a high probability that your novel will not be accepted by a mainstream publisher. There are, of course, solid financial reasons for this. Publishers are in the business to make money; you may have written a masterpiece, but unless there is a market for it, bearing in mind they are looking to sell tens of thousands of copies, not mere hundreds, they will pass it up.

Sadly, few of us write masterpieces, but that is not why so many first novels fail to make it into the high street. In the main it is because they lack polish and are very obviously written by novice writers. “That’s all very well,” you may say, “but everyone has to start somewhere.” Certainly that’s true, but these days – more’s the pity - mainstream publishers do not have the time, money or inclination to nurture a novice, even one who shows a degree of talent. They want books that already shine splendidly, that are bright enough to be instant bestsellers - and rarely are they prepared to do the polishing. The old days of publishing the basic “darn good read” has withered away.

Nowadays, the majority of publishers refuse to accept work that is not submitted via a literary agent. Agents receive hundreds of submissions weekly. If your book happens to be one of the lucky ones it might get looked at. Many are not. Some don’t even make it out of the envelope (there can surely be no other reason why so many SAEs fail to find their way home!). But let’s be positive and suppose yours is one of the lucky ones. Your opening paragraph must grab the agent by the throat, hang on like a terrier and not let go. Few agents will read beyond the first page unless something sparks their interest; even fewer beyond the first chapter. Present a manuscript full of errors and typical novice ‘mistakes’ and neither agent nor publisher will read any further. On the other hand, polish your work, make it a cracking good read and show you have potential; then maybe - just maybe - you will be in with a chance. At the very least, you will have done the best you can for your novel.

Imagine you have been invited to a job interview or an important social event where your future rests on making a good impression. Do you turn up looking scruffy with the attitude that if these people can’t be bothered to look beneath your appearance to find the real you, then it’s their loss? Or do you dress to look smart, stay on your best behaviour and try to scintillate? Most of us would go for the latter – so why send your novel to an agent or publisher in a half-finished, dull, unpolished state?

available on AMAZON 

More Useful Articles
By me:
Using the right font 
Word Search - useful words to save repeating yourself! ( link goes to a different blog)

Tips for writers by various contributors on various blogs:

#1 Top 10 Tips
#2 Improve your creative writing skills
#3 Does your self-published book pass the test?
#4 Writing a synopsis #1
#5 Writing a synopsis #2
#6 Using Twitter
#7 A Judges' Perspective of Historical Fiction (some useful dos and don'ts!)
#8 The Writer's Workshop - How to get Published
#9 Waterstones - How to get published
#10 How to Publish a Book
#11 Ten tips for new writers (very good article)

SilverWood Books Services: How to...

Prepare your manuscript
Promote your book
Write a cover blurb
Cover design
Get into Goodreads
Use Twitter

Cover Design:

Working with a cover designer

See also WRITER'S TIPS #2 


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