Nick Daw's Writing Blog - Inside the writing world of Nick Daws
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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Free Report: 10 Ways to Make $10K

If you're looking for extra ways to make income from the Internet, here's a free report you may like to check out.

It's written by successful author and Internet entrepreneur Jimmy D. Brown, who is also author of the popular guide Small Reports Fortune. The full title is Ten Proven Ways to Make at Least $10K Every Month.

The ten methods include several that will be of particular interest to writers. They include 'Type Your Way to $10K' and 'Tweak and Flip Info Products'. The latter is particularly popular at the moment, and is a field I'm just starting to get into myself.

There are no catches, and you don't have to give your email address or sign up to a newsletter to access it. I've posted it on the popular Scribd document-sharing site, from which you can read it, download it, share it, and so on. Just click here or on any of the links in this post to visit the relevant page.

The report also includes links to resources providing in-depth information about the opportunities described, and in some cases materials you can adapt or use. These are all very reasonably priced, and should tell you everything you need to know to get started.

Even if you're only mildly curious, however, I recommend downloading Ten Proven Ways to Make at Least $10K Every Month and reading through it. Who knows, it may provide just the inspiration you need to start your very own money-making sideline!

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Monday, April 27, 2009

Review: Pod Publicity

Today I'm reviewing a new e-book by Heather Wallace, the full title of which is POD Publicity: How to Take a Print-on-Demand Book From Obscurity to Profitability.

POD Publicity (as I'll call it from now on) is a well-written, downloadable manual in the universal PDF format. It's 67 pages long, so quite concise.

All the URLs are hyperlinked, and I was impressed to see good use of the left-hand Bookmarks panel to provide links to the chapter and section headings. This makes finding your way around much easier than is the case in some PDF manuals.

So far as the content of POD Publicity is concerned, to borrow a well-known advertising slogan, it does exactly what it says on the tin. If you've written a POD book, it will show you a wide range of ways you can promote it. These include blogging, social networking, guest posting on other people's blogs, article writing, forum marketing, and various others.

POD Publicity doesn't tell you how to create your book, though Heather does have some advice on the best services to use, choosing a good title, and so on. Basically, though, this manual is all about publicizing your POD book, and there are some real gems here, based on Heather's experience as the author of two self-published titles, two POD books and three ebooks.

One chapter I particularly enjoyed concerns promoting your book on Amazon, using tags, Listmania lists, Amapedia, and so on. In my view the tips in this chapter - titled 'Navigating the Amazon' (LOL!) - are worth the price of the guide alone.

POD Publicity covers some similar ground to The Best-Seller Secret from my sponsors WCCL. The Best-Seller Secret is aimed at a broader market than POD Publicity, and it sets out a week-by-week pre-launch strategy. On the other hand, POD Publicity is particularly relevant to POD authors, and it offers some great additional tips, many of which are also relevant to non-POD authors.

In my view, if you're going down the POD route, POD Publicity should probably be your first buy, while with other forms of publishing and self-publishing The Best-Seller Secret might be the better choice initially. For the maximum benefit, however, I'd really recommend buying both.

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Friday, April 24, 2009

Appear on my blog!

Just a quickie to point out that, if you're on the micro-blogging service Twitter, YOU can appear on my blog!

This is via the TwitterRemote widget, which appears in the right-hand column of the blog. I've put a screengrab of the widget below...

For your profile to show up, you do first have to sign in to TwitterRemote, although in future (once Twitter implements OAuth, which should be soon), this will not be necessary.

The good news is that you only have to sign in once, after which your profile will automatically appear on the TwitterRemote widget of any blog or website that uses it when you visit. This can be great for meeting like-minded Twitter users and boosting your follower numbers.

If you have a blog or website, you can get your own TwitterRemote widget free of charge. Just visit this site and follow the step-by-step instructions. You can then see who is visiting your site and maybe get in touch with them.

I'll hope to see your profile showing up on my blog soon!Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

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Thursday, April 23, 2009

My Easter in Jersey

My partner, Jayne, and I spent the (long) Easter weekend this year in Jersey.

For anyone who doesn't know, Jersey is the southern-most of the British Isles, only a stone's throw from France.

Anyway, I thought perhaps you might like to hear a bit about it, and see a few of my photos.

We stayed at a very nice hotel called The Beausite (which I was pleased to discover had free wi-fi for guests). The rooms were comfortable, the staff friendly and helpful, and the food (we went half-board) was both delicious and plentiful. Here's Jayne in the hotel dining room after another five-course meal...


The hotel was a short walk from Gorey, a picturesque town on the east of the island dominated by the impressive Mont Orgueil Castle. Here's a photo I took from along the seafront. We did visit the castle - it's well worth a look - but unfortunately I forgot to take my camera on that occasion.


On our second day we went to the island capital, St Helier, on the bus. Here's the Liberation Square statue, commemorating the liberation of Jersey from the Nazis after WW2...


Having looked around the shops and had some lunch, we thought we'd take a walk along the seafront to see the famous Glass Church. It turned out to be further than anticipated, and there was disappointment in store when we got there...


From the outside the church is not exactly impressive (see below). Maybe it's spectacular inside; I guess I may never know.


After we got back to St Helier we visited the stunning Jersey Occupation Tapestry and the next-door Maritime Museum - both highly recommended, though I didn't take any photos.

Next day we went to Jersey Zoo, recently rebranded Durrell after its founder, the author and naturalist Gerald Durrell. We had a brilliant day there, helped by the best weather of our visit. Here's very impressive gorilla...


And here's Jayne again, standing beside a statue of Gerald Durrell.


Finally on our last day we visited Jersey Pottery. It was a public holiday and there wasn't much work going on, but we were impressed by the beautiful ornamental carp in the garden.


And here's Jayne enjoying some well-earned refreshment. She does like a nice cup of tea...


Well, that's about it for our Jersey visit, though you can see more photos in my Picasa album if you like. If you live anywhere convenient for getting to Jersey, I highly recommend it for a short (or longer) break. There's lots to see and do, and a great local bus service for getting around (or you could hire a car, of course). Take my advice, though, and give The Glass Church a miss!

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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

New Co-operative Tagging Service for Amazon Authors

A few weeks ago in this post I wrote about tagging, an easy and legitimate way for authors to promote their books at the Amazon online bookstore.

Well, I recently heard from author Todd Fonseca about a blog he has set up called Tag My Book on Amazon.

This is basically a co-operative service for authors to help one another get more tags for their books. Essentially, you upload details of your book to Todd's blog, including its Amazon page and the tags you want added (up to three). Other users of the service then visit your book's page and add these tags for you, thus raising your book's profile and helping potential buyers find it more easily.

It's a free service, and depends on the goodwill of everyone involved to make it work. If you hope to benefit, then, you should also spend some time going through the list of requests from other authors and applying tags as requested.

Tag My Book on Amazon is aimed primarily at authors with books listed on Amazon.com, but Todd says he is happy for users whose books are only available on Amazon.co.uk (or other national sites) to use the service also. However, he points out that you can only apply tags if you have actually made a purchase at the Amazon store in question, so UK users are unlikely to get as many tags as those in the US.

Still, I think Tag My Book on Amazon is a brilliant concept, and if you have any books for sale on Amazon you should definitely check it out. Click here for more information about tagging, and click here to submit your book.

Finally, I also recommend reading the other articles on Todd's blog, especially Tag My Listmania, which reveals how to use Amazon's Listmania feature to help promote your books, and Shelf My Book, which is another co-operative scheme to help promote your title on the Goodreads website.

UPDATE! Todd has now added a dedicated page for authors who want to promote their books on Amazon.co.uk.

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Thursday, April 16, 2009

The Wealthy Writer Just Launched!

I'm excited to reveal that my latest WCCL course The Wealthy Writer has just been launched!

The Wealthy Writer is a complete guide for authors on how they can make money writing for the Internet. I wrote it in collaboration with successful author/publisher Ruth Barringham.

In The Wealthy Writer, we aimed to cover all the main ways writers can make money writing for the Internet. They include:
  • blogging
  • writing website copy
  • short report writing
  • e-book writing
  • article writing
  • affiliate marketing
  • selling your writing services via job auction sites
  • setting up a writer's website
  • advertising online for writing work
  • and many more!
The Wealthy Writer represents the culmination of the project I began with Write Any Book in Under 28 Days, my top-selling guide to book writing, and Quick Cash Writing, which covers faster ways of making money from writing: articles, short stories, comedy writing, and so on.

I had been aware for a while that what was still needed was a dedicated guide to making money writing for online markets. The Wealthy Writer is the last piece of the jigsaw - and it was great to be working on it with Ruth, who has experience of some areas I don't know quite as well (and vice versa).

Anyway, I'm not going to go on too long here about The Wealthy Writer. I'd simply like to invite you to click through any of the links in this post to visit a page of my website where I've included an extract from the course and details of a unique special offer for anyone buying it via my site!

With the aid of the Internet and this guide, you really can become The Wealthy Writer of the title!

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Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Ten Top Tips on Grammar and Punctuation

I have a particular interest in the 'nuts and bolts' of good writing. In the time I've been writing this blog I have discussed this subject on various occasions.

So in this post - written for Problogger's 31 Days To Build A Better Blog challenge - I thought I would list ten of my favorite such posts.

1. What Mr Sanders Taught Me

In one of my earliest posts, I reveal a valuable rule taught to me by my old English teacher, Mr Sanders (God rest his soul). If you're ever unsure where to place a possessive apostrophe, this rule will tell you.

2. Representing Thoughts in Fiction

This is a question that keeps arising on my writing forum. There is no one-size-fits-all answer, but there are certain guidelines to bear in mind. In this post I set out my advice.

3. There's the Problem...

Who would have thought an innocuous word like 'there' could create so many problems for writers? And yet, time and again, it trips up even professional authors and journalists.

4. Question Marks in Mid-Sentence

Question marks in mid-sentence - are they grammatical or not? It's a contentious area, but in this post I try to throw a little light on the issue.

5. Tense in Fiction

Should you use past tense or present tense for your novel or short story? In this post I examine the pros and cons.

6. Sean and the Vocative Comma

Many aspiring writers are unaware of the vocative comma and the rules governing its use - but if you omit or misuse it, you may end up inadvertently giving your readers entirely the wrong message!

7. Capitalizing Names

This old post gets a lot of search engine traffic, even today. In it I discuss the rules regarding whether you should write Dad or dad, Uncle or uncle.

8. Using Trademarked Terms in Fiction

This is another of those issues that many beginning writers agonize over - probably unnecessarily in many cases, as this post reveals.

9. What's a Worn?

In this post I discuss the importance of proofreading your work before submitting it, and offer a few tips about this. What's a worn? Read the post to find out!

10. Bad Grammar in a Holiday Brochure

In this post I talk about a grammatical mistake I spotted in a holiday brochure, and go on to discuss the correct use of a number of related prepositions.

Incidentally, if you would like a complete guide to bringing your English up to a publishable standard in the shortest possible time, you might like to check out my downloadable course Essential English for Authors, available from WCCL (see banner below).


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Monday, April 06, 2009

Filedbyauthor: a New Promotional Website for Authors

A quick mention today for a new website that offers free publicity for anyone with a book published in the US or Canada.

Filedbyauthor aims to provide a promotional platform for any such writer, by giving them a free, hosted, and e-commerce-enabled web page, ready to be claimed and enhanced. They say:
"With more than 1.8 million pre-assembled author web pages and over 7 million book titles, Filedbyauthor is the most complete site for finding and engaging with authors and their work."
Any published author (or co-author) can access and update their author page, which is linked to individual work pages. In addition to the free level, Filedbyauthor has two paid-for membership levels offering additional web marketing tools. These include blogs, additional linking and media postings, event listings, online press kits, and banner customization.

Filedbyauthor isn't just for authors, though. Any reader can join the Filedbyauthor community and start connecting with authors. Readers can fill in their own pages, collect favorite authors and books, write reviews, rate works and authors, and comment through wall postings.

Although most of my books are published in the UK rather than North America, I qualified for inclusion on the site by virtue of a couple of titles and duly claimed my page. I haven't done much with it yet, but you can see it if you like by clicking on the banner (provided automatically by the site) below.

View Nick Daws's profile on FiledBy

It's early days for Filedbyauthor - and the site itself is still in beta - but already it looks as though it may become an important resource for both writers and readers world-wide. If you've had any books published in North America, in my view it's well worth claiming your author page now.

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Thursday, April 02, 2009

What New Writing Product Would YOU Most Like to See?

My colleague Karl Moore of The WCCL Network - who publish several of my writing courses - wants to know what new writing course or product he should produce next. And he's looking for ideas and suggestions from readers of my blog.

For those who don't know, WCCL already produce a wide range of writers' resources, from my own Quick Cash Writing and Write Any Book in Under 28 Days, to Travel Writing Secrets and Movie in a Month. You can see the whole range on their WriteStreet portal.

So what new product or course would YOU most like to see next from WCCL? A few suggestions already made include:

* Freelance journalism course
* How to profit from writing/selling e-books
* Proofreading and editing course
* Comedy writing course
* Short story writing for fun and profit
* How to win writing competitions

If you particularly like (or dislike) any of these ideas, Karl would like to know. But ALL ideas and suggestions are very welcome. This is your chance to have a say in the future development of WCCL - and there may even be commissions on offer for suitably qualified writers!

So put your thinking cap on, and post your suggestions as comments below - or, if you prefer, write directly to Karl at karl @ karlmoore.com. He's waiting to hear from you!

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Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Review: Super Affiliate Insights

I was lucky enough this week to get my hands on a review copy of Super Affiliate Insights, the brand new downloadable guide from Internet marketing guru Codrut Turcanu.

As the name indicates, Super Affiliate Insights is all about affiliate marketing - a method of making money by advertising other people's products and services on the Internet and earning a commission on any sales you generate.

Although Super Affiliate Secrets is not directly related to writing, as I know that many of my readers are interested in affiliate marketing - and also because I was very impressed with the guide - I thought I would review it here.

I should start by saying that I'm not a complete beginner where affiliate marketing is concerned - I earn a sideline income of several thousand dollars a year by this method, notably from the WCCL affiliate program and Clickbank.

Nonetheless, I was surprised by how much I learned from this well written and attractively presented PDF manual. In fact, Codrut himself keeps a low profile in it. Instead, he has conducted in-depth interviews with five successful affiliate marketers, who reveal the secrets of their success and offer a generous range of tips and advice. The five are as follows:
  • Colleen Slater - An Aussie mother of three who spent over $10,000 on worthless products until she found the 'magic ingredient' that brought her from zero to $20,000+ per month in three years.
  • Stephen Carter - A former physicist (and published novelist) who stumbled upon the 'giveaway' secret that generates massive traffic, leads and affiliate income for him. Stephen is giving away via this manual a valuable tool for Clickbank marketers that sends notification every time you make a sale.
  • Rod Beckwith - A marketer who found a proven way to grow his lists into thousands and generate multiple streams of affiliate income without bidding on AdWords or spending a cent on advertising. Here's a clue: He's also known as Mr Joint Venture.
  • Ian del Carmen - A guy from the Philippines who discovered how to automate his entire business via outsourcing, to generate extra affiliate commissions for minimal time and effort.
  • Eric Holmlund - A programmer who found the key to unlocking ClickBank's full potential. He makes more money in a month than most people make in a full year in a salaried job.
Each of the interviews is presented in a Q & A format. The advice is wide ranging, and includes generating affiliate fees from niche marketing, blogging, website building, article writing, Squidoo, HubPages, pay-per-click advertising, and more.

At the end of each interview there is a page of questions for the reader to answer based on what they have just read, e.g. 'What is the most important piece of advice you got from this interview?' Space is provided for your answer. Although a simple idea, this is a really good device for making you think carefully about what you have learned.

All the interviews are very informative, though I particularly enjoyed the one with Colleen Slater, who talks in detail about niche marketing, blogging and article marketing. I picked up a lot of useful tips from Colleen that I will definitely be implementing myself in the months ahead.

As you might expect, there are lots of product recommendations throughout Super Affiliate Insights, with links to their sales pages; but, of course, you don't need to buy any of these items if you don't want to. The advice itself is still worth many times the modest asking price.

I have printed out my own copy of Super Affiliate Insights, and already it's covered in notes of things I intend to implement or investigate soon. If you are at all interested in affiliate marketing as a sideline or even a full-time business, I strongly recommend taking a closer look at this info-packed guide.

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