Nick Daw's Writing Blog - Inside the writing world of Nick Daws
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Monday, September 28, 2009

The Wealthy Writer - New Bonuses!

Regular readers will know that my latest writing course for The WCCL Network is The Wealthy Writer.

I co-wrote this course with successful author/publisher Ruth Barringham. It covers all the main ways writers can make money from the Internet, including blogging, article writing, e-book writing, bidding on job auction sites, virtual real estate, and many more. I've had some brilliant feedback on The Wealthy Writer - like this review, for example.

For a while I've been offering two additional bonuses to anyone who decides to order The Wealthy Writer via my website. These are Twitter for the Tweeple, a great new PDF guide to making the most from the micro-blogging service Twitter (of which I'm a big fan) and my own mini-report, Ten Ways to Use Twitter to Boost Your Writing Career.

Well, I've just added two more new bonuses. These are downloadable guides to getting started on Squidoo and HubPages.

For those who don't know, these two sites provide a way of publishing your writing on the Internet free of charge and with no need for any programming knowledge. Once your sites are published anyone can visit them, and you receive a share of the advertising revenue and affiliate commissions for any purchases visitors may make.

If you are new to making money from online writing, Squidoo and HubPages are great places to get started. They are also brilliant for driving traffic to your other sites, such as your blog or homepage.

I didn't write these guides myself, but because I was so impressed with them both, I bought the reproduction rights. Here's a copy of one page of the HubPages guide, so you can see its quality...


If you click on the image, you should be able to view a larger version.

Anyone buying The Wealthy Writer via my website can now get these two excellent manuals as well as my original free gifts. Please visit my website to read more about The Wealthy Writer then follow the instructions on that page to claim your extra bonuses from me. Don't leave it too long, though - I may decide to withdraw these new bonuses at any time if I decide to start selling them separately in their own right.

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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Writers Bureau Flash Fiction Competition

My friends at the Writers Bureau, the UK's leading distance-learning college for writers, are holding a flash-fiction contest.

The contest is for short stories of up to 140 characters, including spaces. This is, of course, the same length allowed for updates on the micro-blogging service Twitter.

The contest is open to anyone in the world, and is free to enter. The winner will receive a copy of the Writers Bureau's new How to Write for Competitions - and Win! course. Five runners-up will receive a copy of the book Cracking the Short Story Market, by my old friend and Writers Bureau colleague Iain Pattison.

The closing date is 30 September 2009, and the winners are due to be announced on 15 October 2009. There is no limit to the number of entries you can submit, but they must all be original and not previously published.

For more information about the contest, and details of how to enter, please visit this page of the Writers Bureau website.

Happy flash-fiction writing!

Image: www.freeimages.co.uk

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Friday, September 18, 2009

About.com Looking for Freelance Writers

The giant About.com information site is looking for additional freelance writers for its Contributing Writers program. On the website, they say...

The About.com Contributing Writers program was created to help us cover topics that may not be broad enough for a full GuideSite. Contributing Writers work alongside our Guides, covering specific subtopics that fall within the larger topic areas of our GuideSites. They are responsible for producing a certain amount of content (articles or blog posts) per month on that subtopic. They are not responsible for managing or maintaining a full GuideSite.

We are currently evaluating candidates to write on the following topics:

If you are interested in applying for one of these positions or learning more, you are asked to email your resume and a writing sample - both in the body of an email - to contributingwriters-AT-about.com (change the -AT- to the usual @ symbol). Put the topic you're applying for in the subject line. Aim to be as concise as possible.

Incidentally, About.com are always looking for Subject Guides as well. This is likely to be a bigger, regular commitment, but if you are accepted there is a minimum income guarantee as long as you continue to fulfill the company's requirements. Please see this earlier blog post about being an About.com Subject Guide.

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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

UK Authors: Register Now for Irish PLR

In this post I'm addressing my UK readers in particular (though this news is also relevant if you're a British writer living elsewhere in the world).

The Irish government has just set up a PLR (Public Lending Right) scheme to compensate authors for library lending in the Irish Republic.

If you're a UK book author, and registered with the UK PLR Office, you can apply now to have your personal and book details registered automatically for Irish PLR as well. But you must do this before 23 September 2009 (next Wednesday). If you leave it after that, you will need to apply separately to the Irish PLR office.

If you have an online account with the UK PLR Office, you can log in now and submit your request electronically. If you do not have an online account, you can print out the permission form and return it to the UK PLR office.

If you apply before the 23 September 2009 deadline, you will qualify for the first Irish PLR payout later this year. If you miss the deadline, you are likely to miss out.

More information about the Irish PLR Scheme and its implications for UK authors can be found on this page of the Irish PLR website.

* If you're a British author of at least one published book, I strongly recommend that you register with the UK PLR Office if you haven't already. Otherwise, you will be leaving money that is due to you on the table. See the UK PLR Office website for full details of how to register (don't worry, it's free!). By my reckoning, you should just about have time to register with the UK PLR Office now and apply for Irish PLR before the deadline as well.

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Saturday, September 12, 2009

Subscribing and Linking to My Writing Blog

This is probably not going to be the most exciting post you have ever read, but if you're a regular reader of this blog especially, it's an important one.

Due to the blog's growing readership, my sponsors, The WCCL Network, have recently upgraded the hosting. This should mean the blog loads faster and is more reliable (technically, I mean!).

However, one consequence of the changes is that the old URL which included the suffix /writer/ is no more. This has the following consequences for readers...

1. If you have a link to this blog on your own blog or website and it takes the form www.mywritingblog.com/writer, it will no longer work correctly. Please change the link URL so it is simply pointing to www.mywritingblog.com to rectify this.

2. Likewise, if you have a link to a particular post on my blog, please remove the /writer/ part of the URL. For example, if you have a link to www.mywritingblog.com/writer/2007/01/review-whitesmoke-writing-software.html, please change this to www.mywritingblog.com/2007/01/review-whitesmoke-writing-software.html. All should then work perfectly!

3. If you currently subscribe to my blog using a feed reader such as Google Reader, the old feed will unfortunately no longer work. Please resubscribe using the new XML or RSS URL in the right-hand column of my blog. These URLs are the same as the old ones, except that again the /writer/ element has gone.

Note that if you subscribe to this blog via email - as almost 1000 people do now - this will NOT be affected by these changes.

Please accept my apologies for any inconvenience caused by the changes, which have been made to try to ensure that visitors to my blog do not have their experience spoiled by technical problems. As a short-term measure, my sponsors, WCCL, have built-in redirects, which will work if visitors attempt to access my blog (or old blog posts) via the previous URLs. This is only a partial solution, however, and it is much better if people use the new, streamlined URLs from now on.

Thank you for your interest in my blog, and your patience in reading through to the end of this rather technical announcement!

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Monday, September 07, 2009

BookBuzzr: A Free Promotional Tool for Writers

If you saw my recent post about the launch of my novella The Festival on Lyris Five, you may have seen that in the article concerned I included a 'widget' that enabled viewers to read the first few pages of the story.

To save you referring back to the post in question, I've copied the widget below...




If you are receiving this post by email or RSS, you may need to visit my blog to see the widget.

The widget is actually a promotional device called BookBuzzr. It's available free of charge to authors and publishers via the Freado website.

The BookBuzzr widget has been designed to reproduce the experience of reading a physical book as closely as possible.

If you click on 'Read Now' in the widget, a virtual representation of the book will open in a new window or browser tab. Clicking on the corner of a page will turn it over, whilst clicking on the page itself will zoom the text.

Once you have set up your widget, you can publish it on your blog, website, Facebook page, and so on. What's more, the code is freely available, so all your friends and colleagues can publish it on their sites as well. Feel free to publish mine, if you like - just click on Share at the foot of the widget!

Of course, as well as an extract, the widget reveals how readers can buy the book if their appetite has been whetted. And it gives access to reviews and other information, as supplied by yourself. BookBuzzr can be used for both conventional printed books and e-books.

I've been very pleased with the additional publicity (and sales) BookBuzzr has helped to generate for The Festival on Lyris Five. If you have a book or e-book yourself, I recommend visiting the Freado site and creating your own BookBuzzr widget today. It's free, after all, so what have you got to lose?!

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Thursday, September 03, 2009

Complete Copywriter Course launched by The Writers Bureau

Regular readers of this blog will know that last year I was commissioned by The Writers Bureau, the UK's leading distance-learning college for writers, to create a course on copywriting for them.

Well, I'm pleased to reveal that the Complete Copywriter Course has just been launched. If you go to this page of their website, you can request a full information pack.

If you're at all interested in signing up for this tutored course, I recommend asking for the info pack (which is, of course, entirely without obligation). There isn't currently a great deal of information about the course on the website itself.

As the course's author I've been receiving a steady stream of queries about it, so I thought I'd take the opportunity to answer some of the most frequently asked questions here. But I do strongly recommend requesting the printed pack from The Writers Bureau to get the full picture...

Q. What exactly does the Complete Copywriter Course cover?

A. As the name indicates, I've tried to provide a comprehensive introduction to copywriting. The course therefore covers writing everything from magazine and newspaper advertisements to TV and radio commercials, press releases and other PR materials to sales letters and newsletters.

Q. Does the course also cover writing for the Internet?

A. Yes, there is a lengthy module devoted to this subject. It covers writing website pages, emails, electronic newsletters, and more. The module also includes a basic introduction to HTML for writers.

Q. Do students on the course get personal tuition?

A. Yes, they do. The Writers Bureau are highly experienced in running distance-learning courses, and - as with their other courses - if you enrol on the Complete Copywriter Course you will have a personal tutor allocated to you.

Q. Are there practical assignments to complete?

A. There are six assignments which cover all the main areas of copywriting. The assignments are based on practical tasks which copywriters might be asked to undertake in their normal day-to-day work. They will be assessed by your tutor, who will provide you with feedback.

Q. Does the course include advice on marketing your copywriting services?

A. Definitely! There is a complete module devoted to this subject, but many of the other modules also include marketing advice. This is very much a practical course, which aims to get you up and running as a professional copywriter in the shortest possible time.

Q. How does The Complete Copywriter Course compare with The Ultimate Copywriter, which has also been mentioned on this blog?

A. The Ultimate Copywriter is a CD-based course published by my blog sponsors, The WCCL Network. WCCL have no connection with The Writers Bureau, who are different clients of mine.

The Ultimate Copywriter (which was not written by me) focuses mainly on online copywriting, and includes some very detailed advice on writing web-based sales pages. It is a self-study course, and unlike the Complete Copywriter Course you do not receive one-to-one feedback from a tutor. This is reflected in its lower price, of course.

The Ultimate Copywriter is written for an international readership. Anyone in the world is welcome to enrol on the Complete Copywriter Course, but it is written more from a UK perspective.

Q. If I enrol, will Nick Daws be my personal tutor?

A. Sorry, no! I'm just too busy with other work to take on this duty as well. However, you can rest assured that your tutor will be an experienced professional copywriter, who is doing this on a part-time, freelance basis.

I hope that's some help, and will save a few people from having to write to me! Although, as I said earlier, if you're at all interested in the Complete Copywriter Course, I do strongly recommend requesting the printed info pack via the Writers Bureau website.

Finally, I should mention that The Writers Bureau has also just launched a new course in Proofreading and Copy Editing, written by my colleague Simon Whaley. Click here to visit the information page for this course.

Artwork by courtesy of www.wordle.net

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