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Here is week 4 of our Novel Writing Month.
If you wish to see any of our previous articles, use these links for navigation :  week 1, week 2 or week 3


Writing a Novel? Don’t Sabotage your Writing!

 by Annette Young

Writing a novel takes dedication, commitment and perseverance. It also requires the writer to possess an innate inner conviction that keeps them writing from the first page through to the last.  Whilst writing a novel is an attractive prospect to many, the reality is that so many writers self-sabotage their own efforts because they allow doubts about their ability to interfere with their full potential.  Writing a novel means drawing deeply on that inner belief and to not allow niggling doubts to halt the flow of creativity.


So many writers begin writing a novel only to lose their way after a few short chapters because it is a much harder process than they thought initially in terms of technique and doubts begin to creep in about their ability to create to a publishable standard. There are many things that can be done to prevent self-sabotage in writing terms and the following tips may benefit those writers who suffer with creative insecurities:


  • Develop a good storyline and allow the plot to expand first of all, take time to mull over this early creative stage as familiarity breeds confidence and enthusiasm.
  • It is also important to take time to create characters that are multi-layered and this is achievable through creating in-depth character profiles. The characters should have a structured time-line too for future reference and a history so that they become compelling.
  • Develop a chapter by chapter structure as this helps to propel the plot forward and note where to add in those important hooks that will keep the reader absorbed.
  • Practice ‘what if’s as this can open up new ideas for story generation and progression.
  • Set aside some dedicated writing times throughout the week but make sure they are realistic, aim for a set minimum word count each week.
  • Create a novel completion diary. Calculate the word count and chapters on a monthly schedule and set sights firmly on the end goal.
  • Affirmations are declarations of intent and can accelerate enthusiasm and confidence when used regularly. Affirmations such as ‘I am a good writer and I will finish this novel’ will help when used regularly.


 Setting realistic and yet achievable goals are important because enthusiasm wanes if deadlines are interrupted, rescheduled or missed altogether and that partially written novel will hit a stumbling point. When writing a novel, keep the enthusiasm set at simmering point throughout so that any pre-set plan can be followed easily and lows can be avoided.


The most important thing to remember is that writing a novel is a long term project and requires a great deal of commitment. Breaking the manuscript down into manageable projects will make the end goal achievable and help to eliminate any self-doubts as progression occurs.


Annette Young

Editor/Freelance Writer


Top Ways To Promote Your Book Online

  By: Jolie du Pre


The Internet has become the top source of information in the 21st century for people across the globe. If you have a book to sell, it makes financial sense to make use of this powerful tool. To create the most effective marketing campaign for your book, try these top five ways to promote your book online.

1. Online Press Release Sites

Create an effective press release and submit it to online press release sites. If you are unable to write a press release, hire a writer to do it for you. You can find many sites online that offer press release writing.

Some sites charge a fee for press releases. Others offer free press release distribution. Determine what will work best for you and your budget. You will find that press releases submitted to top sites show up high on search engines. This is important, because the higher your content appears on Google, for example, the better your content will be seen when people do a search. High search engine visibility makes for a great way to promote your book online.

2. Join Top Social Networking Sites

There are only so many hours in the day, so you need to spend them wisely. The top social networking sites, such as Twitter and Facebook, can be beneficial for your promotional efforts. To promote your book online, make sure you are on at least one top social networking site. Increase your followers and friends and promote your book while doing it. Lots of followers on Twitter, for example, can bring your book lots of attention.

3. Start a Blog About Your Book.

A book blog is one of the most effective ways to promote your book online. You can start a blog with WordPress, Blogger, LiveJournal and more. Be sure to blog regularly. If you are unable to write on specific days, there are plenty of sites that offer free article content. Not all content is of the same quality, so read over articles carefully before you feature one on your blog.

4. Promote Your Blog Posts to Social Bookmarking Sites

It’s okay to promote your own blog posts on social bookmarking sites, so do it. Promote your blog posts to DIGG, Stumble Upon, and more. Be sure to do this right after you have blogged.

5. Create a Blog Tour to Promote Your Book Online

Create a blog tour for your book close to the time that your book is due to be released.


Create A Demand For Your Book And Increase Your Book Marketing Profits

By Al Galasso


There is nothing like the excitement and joy when your book finally arrives from the printer and you are officially a published author. You want to tell the whole world about your accomplishment and share your book with everyone you know.

Before you give away copies of your work freely to friends, relatives and interested parties, here is a marketing ploy you might want to consider. Getting your book into a bookstore can be a daunting challenge, but there is a way to do it that has worked for some of the largest publishers. It has to do with creating a demand. Here is the first way to do it:

Instead of giving the people you know copies of your book, have them call a number of bookstores in their area asking the stores if they carry your title. Believe it or not, if a bookstore receives a dozen or so requests for a title, they may actually decide to carry it. Before you do this, be sure the book is available through wholesalers and book distributors like Ingram and Baker & Taylor so the stores can order the books. Believe it or not, books have become best sellers when the authors knew thousands of people all over the country who picked up a phone and requested a certain title. Of course, you can start on a local scale and work from there.

Another way to create demand is to have people go into the stores and ask to purchase the book. Many times these days, stores can order titles that can be shipped to the buyer or the store directly, and often at very good discounts. In some cases, they can even be printed and bound right at the store if it has the right equipment. When your friend or relative purchases a copy, offer to autograph it for them to make it even more special.

When I was watching a PBS British comedy series some years ago, I came up with a second idea for creating a demand when you are doing an author signing. Again, it involves your friends and relatives. You want to make your signing as profitable as possible but not enough people are showing up. So you hire a number of friends to stand in line to get the ball rolling. Make certain you let the store owner know what you are doing before you attempt this. When the friend comes to your table he will give you a signal, such as a wink so you pretend to personally autograph the book but are only signing your signature. Later the book is returned to the shelf and the store can sell it as an autographed copy to future buyers. When a line is formed at a bookstore, potential buyers want to see what is going on and real sales will eventually take place. You can turn a mediocre author signing into a successful one.

If you belong to a particular group, club or business, invite the members or business associates to help you in your marketing. You may be able to sell many books to these markets, at a discount, and in some cases the books can be used as fund raisers for the clubs themselves. This is a win- win for everyone involved. We had one NABE member sell more than 100,000 cookbooks in this

Remember that creating a demand sets the stage for sales. And, as I have said time and time again, follow-up is the key to book marketing profits. At your signings or public events, be sure to give away a free report or gift and collect the name and e-mail address of a potential buyer. Give them a postcard with a link to your website and the free gift. They will appreciate it and you will get more sales for your book in the future.

Learn how to increase bookstore sales and create successful book signings with the help of your friends.

Al Galasso is the Executive Director of NABE, the North American Bookdealers Exchange. He has helped more than five thousand authors and publishers market their books through a wide variety of online and offline marketing methods. For more information on his services, visit his informative website at Sign up for his Marketsmart Newsletter and check out the new online edition of his innovative bookselling magazine, Book Dealers World.


Promote Your Book On Twitter In 10 Minutes A Day

by Melinda Copp


If you’re marketing your books online, then you’ve probably heard of Twitter. It was all the rage last year in social media, and millions of people have joined this micro-blogging community. Maybe you even started a profile page and sent out a tweet or two. If so, that’s great. And if you’ve been avoiding it for one reason or another, it might be time to try it out.

Why? With millions of people tweeting every day, it’s a huge source of potential readers for your book. It’s easy to get followers and it’s a great way to interact with your reading audience. But one of the main excuses I hear about why people aren’t on Twitter-or they aren’t using it fully-is that it’s so time consuming. Well, it can be. But not if you try the following tips.

Automate Your Tweets
With so many people on Twitter, you need a lot of tweets per day to really maximize your exposure. But you don’t want to spend all day tweeting. Automation is the answer. You can use the following tools to tweet on your behalf.

Hoot Suite: This program allows you to schedule tweets ahead of time. So once a month, you can go into your Hoot Suite account and set it up to tweet several times a day for you. You have to enter each tweet and schedule them one at a time, which can be tedious, but it’s worth getting several days of tweets out of the way at one time. I use this tool especially when I’m announcing a teleseminar or other event that’s scheduled on my calendar.

Social Oomph: This tool also allows you to schedule tweets for later, but the true beauty of Social Oomph is that you can set it to send all your new followers a welcome message. This saves time contacting everyone who follows you, and allows you to start building a relationship with them right away.

Twitter Feed: This tool allows you to link your blog or any other RSS feed to your Twitter account. This means any time you update your blog, a tweet is automatically sent out. You only have to set this up once, and then it works automatically. And it’s a great way to get new eyes on your blog posts.

Make Tweeting Easy
You can only automate so much of your Twitter activity. You’ll also have to check in periodically through the day to communicate with people and send out the more personal tweets, like what you’re working on that day or what you’re excited about. The key to getting it down to ten minutes or less is making it super easy to tweet. Here are a few tips.

Link Your Twitter Account to Your Cell Phone: When your cell phone is linked to your Twitter account, you can take advantage of spare minutes in your day, like when you’re waiting in line or stuck in traffic, to post updates. When you sign up for a Twitter account, you’ll be asked if you want to use your phone with it. And they’ll give you the steps for setting everything up.

Use a Desktop Twitter Manager, Like Tweet Deck: Tweet Deck is a free program that you can download to your computer and use to see everything that’s happening on Twitter in one place. It has a column for the live feed, a column that shows everyone who’s mentioned you, and a column for all the direct messages you receive. This makes the all-important social interaction easy.

Send Quality Tweets
If you want people to respond to you and follow you, then you need to keep them interested. Plus quality tweets will maximize the time you do spend on this social media site. I’ve heard a few different formulas from different Twitter experts, but basically you want a daily mix of tweets that include:

Giving away good information that will interest people in your target audience, such as links to your blog posts, tips, interesting quotes, links to other people’s blog posts, links to articles, etc. This should be the bulk of your Twitter activity-and these are the easiest types of tweets to automate, by the way.

Being nice to people by complimenting them, retweeting their tweets, engaging in conversation, responding to their questions, etc. This is what you do when you check in with your mentions and direct messages.

Being real. Social media is all about being approachable. So once or twice a day, check in with what you’re working on, what’s bugging you, what delicious restaurant you ate lunch at, something funny you found on the web, or what’s going on in your life. Let your followers know the real you, even if you don’t think it’s interesting.

Asking for a sale. The whole point of your Twitter participation is selling books, right? Well, then, at some point you need to ask folks to buy your book. However, you can’t blatantly promote your book all the time (maybe once or twice a day if you have ten-fifteen other tweets going out), and you can’t just come right out and ask people to buy. Try tweeting about some tip from your book and link to a sales page, making it informational as well as subtly promotional.

Tweeting Your Way to Book Sales
Twitter is too big to ignore-especially if you’re marketing your book online. It’s a great, free way to get traffic to your site and find a reading audience. But no one wants to spend all day tweeting. When you use these tips for automating, simplifying, and maximizing your Twitter time, you can reap all the benefits from this using this social media site in ten minutes a day or less!


Melinda Copp helps aspiring self-help, business, and nonfiction authors write and publish books that establish expertise, attract clients and opportunities, and share their message in a compelling way. Visit for a free copy of her Write Your Book Quick-Start Mini E-course.


image by Svilen Milev
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