Self-Printed: The Sane Person’s Guide to Self-Publishing, by Catherine Ryan Howard #SelfPrintedSplash

Catherine Ryan Howard is a writer, self-publisher and caffeine enthusiast from Cork, Ireland. SELF-PRINTED: THE SANE PERSON’S GUIDE TO SELF-PUBLISHING (3rd edition) is out now in paperback and e-book and available from Amazon. Follow the #selfprintedsplash on Twitter today (Friday 24th) and/or visit www.catherineryanhoward.com for your chance to win an amazing prize that will get your self-publishing adventure started! Review: “SELF-PRINTED is my self-publishing bible. It taught me how to format, create and upload my e-books and print-on-demand paperbacks. It showed me practical things such as how to build a website/blog and how to promote my books. More importantly, it taught me how to compete with the professionals. Just look at the results – The Estate Series has sold nearly 100,000 copies and following that I got a traditional book deal with Thomas & Mercer too, so I’m now a hybrid author. Jam-packed full of hints and tips all in one place, I’m always referring back to it. In a word, it’s priceless.” – Mel Sherratt, author of The Estate Series and DS Allie Shenton Series Every writer, whether self-published or “traditionally” published, should have a copy of “Self-Printed,” by Catherine Ryan Howard in their toolkit. It’s my publishing bible, and a book I have highly recommended to all my writer friends. The book is written in Catherine’s witty, humorous style, so it feels as if a good friend is guiding you through an otherwise (at times) completely head-wrecking process. It’s full of brilliant tips and guidelines, covering such topics as: How to build an online platform How to publish e-books and paperbacks How to sell your books Money and tax matters Branching...

Structure (How to Write a Novel)

Earlier in this series, we discussed the idea of outlining, of sketching a rough trajectory for your story. Structure is a lynch-pin for some writers, something ancillary for others, and the book you write may not adhere to the classic structure outlined by German dramatist Gustav Freytag. Freytag’s pyramid is generally applied to plays, but is loosely applicable to other forms. For him, a story’s dramatic structure follows the line of exposition: introduction and background to a story or character rising action crisis (the main issue facing the character) falling action conclusion. As prescriptive as it may sound, many writers use it to hang their stories on. Jon McGregor, winner of the International Impac Dublin Literary Award for “Even the Dogs”, considers structure important, but more for specifics. “I do think about it when I’m putting a novel together, but more in terms of the actual nuts and bolts of the book – lengths of sections, sequences, images, themes. What I’m looking for is some kind of scaffolding, which will give me a way to get the damn thing written so I can actually start the real work. “In my first novel, “If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things”, the narrator, who is pregnant, narrates her sections in nine paragraphs of nine sentences each. In “Even the Dogs”, each chapter is framed around a stage in the removal of a body (discovery, carrying, waiting, dissection, cremation). These structures are almost always too faint in the finished book for the reader to notice, but they’re essential for my writing process.” Wyld style Both of Evie Wyld’s novels straddle different continents. Her...

Your First 1000 Copies: The Step-by-Step Guide to Marketing Your Book, by Tim Grahl

Your First 1000 Copies: The Step-by-Step Guide to Marketing Your Book is one of the best marketing books I have read (and I’ve read many!) Tim Grahl writes in a refreshingly humble, down-to-earth manner, and provides much actionable advice on the most ethical, long-term ways to approach social media marketing. Tim’s advice is based on his experiences working with authors and helping them to build their author platforms. I would highly recommend Your First 1000 Copies. Grab it now at Amazon, currently on sale for $0.99! It’s also the number one best selling book in Sales and Marketing at Amazon. Praise for Your First 1000 Copies: “If I could give an aspiring writer one piece of advice, it would be to read this book.” – Hugh Howey, New York Times best selling author of Wool “Tim Grahl is fast becoming a legend, almost single-handedly changing the way authors around the world spread ideas and connect with readers. If you’ve got a book to promote, stop what you’re doing right now and start reading YOUR FIRST 1000 COPIES.” – Daniel H. Pink, New York Times bestselling author of TO SELL IS HUMAN, DRIVE, and A WHOLE NEW MIND “Your First 1000 Copies is a must-read for authors trying to build a connection with their readers.” – Dan Heath & Chip Heath, co-authors of Made to Stick, Switch, and Decisive “I watched in awe this year as Tim Grahl had 5 clients on the New York Times bestseller list in the same week. There is no one I trust more to learn about book marketing.” – Pamela Slim, Author, Escape from...

Characterization (How to Write a Book. Part 3 in The Irish Times Series)

If you doubt your characters, your readers will doubt them too, so it is important to understand characters’ motivation and make their behaviour and speech convincing. Asking someone to name their favourite author or book is one of those cruel, impossible-to- choose questions. For some, picking a literary character they’ve never forgotten is just as difficult. Whether it’s Dickens’s waifs, Lolita or Atticus Finch, a memorable character endures as much as a great book. Creating believable, three-dimensional characters is more important than making them likeable. So how do you bring them to life and convince a reader to believe in them? In City of Bohane and Dark Lies the Island, Kevin Barry created funny, macabre and tragic characters. For him, it’s about understatement when bringing someone new into a story. “I tend to physically introduce characters very quickly with just a few slashes of description,” he says. “Then I make their mouths move and see what comes out, and what they’re not saying is as revealing as what they are saying. All fiction and drama lies buried on the dark side of every passing moment of conversation. The secret power tussles and the little silent taunts that are contained in every conversation – this is one of your primary grounds as a fiction writer. I’m forever quoting Norman Mailer on this: ‘Whenever two men say hello to each other on the street, one of them loses.’ ” The authority of the voice: If you doubt your character, so will your reader, so make them convincing in how they speak and act. Does your friendly farmer really quote Beckett all...

How to Market a Book

The publishing industry is changing quickly, consequently, so are the methods of book marketing. Authors, whether traditionally or self-published, must learn to market their own books. Ultimately, a successful author platform is all about showcasing an author’s individual personality and writing style through a combination of blogging and social media…try saying that in one breath! I have read (too) many marketing books over the past few months in my quest to develop my author platform. I wanted a book that would show me exactly what I needed to do in order to become a social media superstar, a blogging expert, and a technical whizz! Most of the books I read left me wanting to abandon the whole idea or fling my computer out the window, but that would have defeated the purpose, so I bravely soldiered on and kept reading and researching. Copious cups of tea and too many chocolate bars later, I am happy to bring you my top 5 author platform building books, which I will be reviewing in detail during the coming weeks.   1. APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur, by Guy Kawasaki and Sean Welch 2.  How To Market A Book, by Joanna Penn 3. Build Your Author Platform: The New Rules: A Literary Agent’s Guide to Growing Your Audience in 14 Steps, by Carole Jelen and Michael McAllister 4. Your First 1000 Copies: The Step-by-Step Guide to Marketing Your Book, by Tim Grahl 5. Book Marketing is Dead: Book Promotion Secrets You MUST Know BEFORE You Publish Your Book, by Derek Murphy  ...