How to Promote Your Self-Published eBook #wwwBlogs #GuestPost #NaNoWriMo

Thousands of writers’ are frantically tapping away at their keyboards this November in the hope to complete the first draft of their novel, but what will those dedicated writers’ do with their manuscript once they reach the finish line?

Last week I shared a guest post from Susan at Perfect Prose Services; Top Ten Tips for NaNoWriMo from an Editor’s Perspective, where she talked us through the editing process for your NaNo draft – you can read that post HERE.

Once that novel is complete and edited, then the next logical step would be to publish. Today, I’m sharing another guest post from Kelly Smith, a passionate writer who works at CourseFinder, an Australian online education resource. Kelly is sharing her tips on promoting your self-published eBook. Over to Kelly…


How to promote your self-published eBook

When you self-publish an eBook, you are in control of everything. Most people see this as a great benefit, but it also means that you are in charge of everything! This includes promotion, which you have to do if you want your book to sell well. Here are some steps that you can take to ensure that your eBook becomes successful: Continue reading “How to Promote Your Self-Published eBook #wwwBlogs #GuestPost #NaNoWriMo”

Top 10 Tips for #NaNoWriMo – An Editor’s Perspective by @perfect_prose #MondayBlogs

I’m delighted to have special guest, Susan Buchanan, from Perfect Prose Services on my blog today. She shares her top ten tips for all the NaNoers preparing for 1st November, from an editor’s perspective.


Top 10 Tips for NaNoWriMo – An Editor’s Perspective

Only a day to go. On November 1st, fingers will be poised over keyboards, ready to create the next batch of NaNoWriMo babies. You’ve done your research and are fully prepared. Cue hammering of keys for 30 days. Continue reading “Top 10 Tips for #NaNoWriMo – An Editor’s Perspective by @perfect_prose #MondayBlogs”

Diary of a NaNoer aged 43 1/2 #NaNoWriMo

November is here, the ghosts and ghouls of Halloween have slipped back to the cemetery, and we are discarding the pumpkin soup in exchange for hot dogs and fireworks.  Yes, it’s nearly bonfire night, that time when we ‘celebrate’ the near explosion of our houses of parliament.


For me, November is when I get to devote myself one-hundred-per-cent to the National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo for short.  I see this month as a gift to myself, a month where I can turn down my friends and family’s invitations for coffee without the guilt, a month of uninterrupted creativity, a month when my three teenagers test drive their independence by cooking dinner, using the washing machine and clean the house un-nagged.  They understand how much I love this competition and are always by my side when I watch the word count tick over to 50,000.

To keep me motivated and dedicated to the task at hand, I have chosen to share my progress with the blogging community, and the world at large.  If I ‘win’ (you win by reaching the 50,000-word count by 11.59pm on November 30th) you will be able to share my jubilation.  If I fail, you will be able to commiserate with me.  Win or lose, it’s going to be fun!


2013 – I uploaded 50,296 words

2014 – I uploaded 50,349 words

2015 – Watch this space!

Would you BUY or PASS? #NonFiction Fiction Unboxed #FridayFiveChallenge


Welcome to the ‘Friday Five Challenge.’

Would you BUY or PASS if you had only a thumbnail image and five minutes to decide?

Welcome to the #FridayFiveChallenge. The original idea comes from Rosie Amber, and you can join up at

The rules are laid out at the end of this post if you fancy having a go.

Here is my contribution for this week:

The dark and gothic side of me wanted to use the search word ‘Halloween’ for today’s Friday Five Challenge, but as a fan of supernatural tales, this is a search I frequently do. I, therefore, decided to opt for the only other topic that fills my brain at this time of year – NaNoWriMo. On the 1st of November, I will take part in my third NaNo competition, to write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days. So, I typed ‘write a book in thirty days’ into Amazon’s search bar. There were hundreds of titles, from non-fiction book templates to developing a daily writing habit. Then I found this:


Fiction Unboxed: How Two Authors Wrote and Published a Book in 30 Days, From Scratch, In Front of the World: Volume 2 (The Smarter Artist). By Sean Platt and Johnny B. Truant. Continue reading “Would you BUY or PASS? #NonFiction Fiction Unboxed #FridayFiveChallenge”

30 Days of NaNoWriMo


Even though I was born in the spring and should cherish budding flowers and lambs-a-leaping, I do prefer the autumn months.  Crisp mornings full of colour, hot chocolate stacked high with marshmallows, and, of course, Halloween.  As a writer of fantasy, I am in my element around All Hallows Eve.  I get to dress in my beloved black clothing and nobody bats an eye (sorry, couldn’t resist the bat reference).


There is another reason the autumn months fill me with giddiness – NaNoWriMo.  Yes, National Novel Writing Month, a seat-of-your-pants writing competition, takes over the minds and souls of over three-hundred-thousand writers’ for thirty days and nights.

This year will be my third NaNo, and hopefully my third win.  To ‘win’ you simply have to finish, this means writing a fifty-thousand word novel in thirty days, simples!

You either love or loathe this competition, and I’m not going to get into the politics of it here.  Some writers’ dislike the process, and others, like me, see it for what it is – a fun chance to get a first draft completed.  The idea is to get as many words on the page as you can, the grammar and structure can be re-worked in December.

I approach this competition like an SAS mission.  The kids know where to find food, how to wash their clothes and to glide the pointy end of the iron away from the body.  I stock up on all the necessities – chocolate and coffee.  I tell my family and friends that I am ‘unavailable for consultation’; I’ll catch up with them in December.  Then I close the office door and begin.

As an avid list writer, it seemed only fitting to write a 30 Days of NaNo list.  I hope you enjoy it. Continue reading “30 Days of NaNoWriMo”

My Top Ten Favourite Blogs



Joining Twitter, just over two years ago, was one of the best decisions I ever made. During this time, I have met some remarkable people. Yes, I follow a few celebs purely for the gossip, but the majority of people I follow are bloggers, writers and reviewers. I have discovered a plethora of new authors, who write such a wide variety of genres. I managed to break free of my fantasy shackles and enjoy the odd chick lit, historical romance and Victorian murder mystery.

Many of the tweeps I follow I discovered via #MondayBlogs, #WWWBlogs or #SundayBlogShare. Utilising the right hashtags can introduce you to some extraordinary people, and for me, I have learned so much about blogging, writing and life in general from my new online ‘friends’.

So today, I wanted to share my top ten favourite blogs, as discovered thanks to Twitter and offer a brief explanation as to why I love them so much. (Blogs are listed in no particular order).

A Woman’s Wisdom – This is a book review blog and one of the first blogs I started to follow. The reviews are as colourful as the header, and the mix of genres means you will always find a book of interest, whatever your tastes. I have purchased a number of books thanks to the honest reviews. Ali is a beautiful person, and I love her humour, passion and support. The bonus on her site is ‘Tales from the Manor’ where she talks about life at home and day-to-day dramas – I love these tales.   Find Ali: @Bodiciasapple

Suzie81SpeaksSuzie is local to me, so I felt an instant connection when I found her blog and became an avid follower, (of course this may be referred to as ‘stalking’ in certain circles!). The thing I love about this blog is that Suzie doesn’t follow any set theme. She blogs about a huge range of topics and includes everyone else in the mix. You can advertise your own blog on her site or use the hashtag that Suzie created #SundayBlogShare to network with other bloggers. Find Suzie: @Suzie81blog

Terry Tyler – I found Terry almost immediately upon joining Twitter, and she has been an inspiration to me on a daily basis ever since. She is one of the most supportive tweeps I know and a bloody good author too. Being a huge fantasy book geek I was wary about reading another genre, but Terry was promoting her book Round and Round, so I stepped out of my comfort zone and gave it a go. I was hooked immediately and after finishing that book I quickly devoured Kings And Queens and Last Child. Terry has written eleven books, so I have a few more to get through! As well as writing awesome books, Terry also blogs and her site is similar to Suzie in that she covers everything from relationships to top ten TV characters. Find Terry: @TerryTyler4

The Creative Penn – Joanna is a self-published and traditionally published author who writes Thrillers under JF.Penn. She also writes The Creative Penn blog that is my go-to source for self-publishing. She shares all the tips and advice that worked (and didn’t work) for her during her publishing journey. Joanna is down-to-earth and funny, something I relate to. I have followed this blog for quite a few years and was pleased that it was recommended by a guest speaker at the Self-Publishing Workshop I attended in London last year. Find Joanna: @thecreativepenn

Carol Hedges – I found Carol around the same time I found Terry (I don’t think they were scoping for newbie blood together!). She is another outstanding author who offers unwavering support to her twitter followers. Carol’s Victorian Murder Mystery Series is magnificent. I had many a late night reading Diamonds & Dust because I couldn’t put it down, and the sequel Honour & Obey was just as captivating. The third book, Death & Dominion, is due out shortly, and I will be at the front of the queue to get my hands on it. Carol’s blog is ‘pink’ and has plenty of cake for everyone. She shares writing related articles, book news, author interviews and spreads awareness of local issues. One of my favourite features on Carol’s blog is, ‘The Adventure of L-Plate Gran’. Looking after her grand- daughter has opened up a hilarious avenue of short stories – worth a read. Find Carol: @carolJhedges

NaNoWriMo – I took part in my first NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) in 2013 and nailed it! I did it again in 2014. This competition was one I had wanted to take part in for over four years but never had the bottle (or confidence in my own abilities!). Once I succeeded in kicking my butt and facing my fear, I realised it was an amazing experience and one I now look forward to. The guys at NaNo are incredible, and they support writers in every way possible. The blog is one such way. They share author experiences, uplifting stories of success and ‘get-up-and-do-it’ posts that make you want to…well – get up and do it! Find them here: @nanowrimo

The Witch, The Weird, and The Wonderful – I recently found this blog through #MondayBlogs and was hooked straight away, this is why it’s made my top ten. Fantasy, Myth and legend are at my core. I live, eat and breathe supernatural, paranormal and witchcraft. This blog covers my ‘witchy’ needs. Willow is an author and shares her explorations of all things witch-related on her blog. From witch bottles to treason – this stuff is interesting! Find Willow here: @WillowCWinsham

Barb Taub – Barb writes the Null City Series and is also a book reviewer for #RBRT (Rosie’s Book Review Team). I found Barb through this hashtag and began to follow her blog. Intermingled with her honest and breathtakingly detailed reviews (talking from personal – and immensely grateful – experience), are stories about life and love. One particular favourite being ‘Ten Reasons Not to Get Married’ – right up my street! Find Barb here: @barbtaub

Rosie Amber – I can’t mention the #RBRT without adding Rosie to my list of Top Ten. I found Rosie last year when she sent me a message after reading my non-fiction book. I was slightly giddy for about a month – having never been approached by a book blogger before – and I felt like I’d won the lottery. Rosie very kindly reviewed my book AND invited me to guest post a series of articles for her. I was overjoyed and happily took up the quest. Rosie writes incredible reviews and orchestrates a Book Review Team. She has also just completed her second year of ‘Doing Good Deeds’ – this is a challenge she set herself to do something good every day of the year. Rosie is hugely supportive of the blogging/tweeting community. Find Rosie: @rosieamber1

Elizabeth Ducie – I first spotted Elizabeth on the hashtag days as we both retweeted similar blog links and frequented the same circles (note to self: possible stalking tendencies re-emerging). I’ve also spotted her smiling face more than once in Writing Magazine and Myslexia. Her blog is another mixed bag of writing-related articles and stories of life and travel. I particularly love ‘A Broad Abroad’ stories. Elizabeth writes books on ‘The Business of Writing’ together with her latest release ‘Gorgito’s Ice Rink’. Find Elizabeth: @ElizabethDucie

So here you go, my favourite top ten blogs. Please feel free to add any recommendations you have to other bloggers, writers or reviewers in the comments below. Or share any experiences you may have had with these guys – share the love x

Photo Credit: Stuart Miles via

30 Days of NaNoWriMo


Well it’s finally here – November and NaNoWriMo 2014.  The plotting is done, the character bio’s are stuck to the notice board and the 54lbs. of Cadbury’s chocolate is taking up residence in the fridge.  I’m good to go.

Now when December arrives we all rush to open the first door on our advent calendar so I’ve made a NaNo Calendar to help me get through the month.  Feel free to add your own top tips in the comments, I need all the help I can get.

Day 1 – ‘Stop re-arranging your stationery and start writing’

Day 2 – ‘Always see the magic in your writing, especially when it’s garbage’

Day 3 – ‘Buy more chocolate’

Day 4 – ‘Unplug the phone and close the curtains, they’ll stop calling soon enough’

Day 5 – Bonfire Night!  Burn an effigy of your main character’

Day 6 – ‘Shower – for the love of all that’s holy – shower!’

Day 7 – ‘Throw in a pirate or a zombie for good measure’

Day 8 – ‘You’ve survived the first week, dance in your underwear’

Day 9 – ‘Get dressed and go to Costa, write amongst the living’

Day 10 – ‘Kill off a main character’

Day 11 – ‘Panic and raise main character from the dead’

Day 12 – ‘Brain Ache’

Day 13 – ‘Be grateful for this opportunity’

Day 14 – ‘I curse you NaNoWriMo HQ, CURSE YOU’

Day 15 – ‘Half way there, another chance to dance in your underwear’

Day 16 – ‘If the scene isn’t working shout Plot Twist and move on’

Day 17 – ‘Keep calm and read something inspiring’

Day 18 – ‘Channel your inner George RR Martin and kill off a couple more characters’

Day 19 – ‘Make sure your word count is higher than your body count’

Day 20 – ‘Wizards have been done but mutant ninja mermaids could be a winner’

Day 21 – ‘Breathe deeply…oh god I just lost 5 minutes’

Day 22 – ‘DON’T read what you’ve written so far’

Day 23 – ‘Have a lazy day and just write 1665 words’

Day 24 – ‘Switch your POV and confuse the hell out of your main character’

Day 25 – ‘Block all links to Wikipedia, nothing will help at this stage’

Day 26 – ‘Don’t Panic!!’

Day 27 – ‘Brain Freeze’

Day 28 – ‘Now you can panic!’

Day 29 – ‘When in doubt, add a saber tooth tiger’

Day 30 – ‘Write like your life depends on it’


Welcome to December – wake me up in January.