Nick Daw's Writing Blog - Inside the writing world of Nick Daws
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Friday, September 27, 2013

Top Five Excuses That May be Stopping You From Writing a Book

Today I am pleased to bring you a syndicated article by Lynn Serafinn on the reasons many would-be authors never get around to writing a book, with some tips for getting around them.

This is, of course, a topic I also discuss at some length in my course Write Any Book in Under 28 Days. The bottom line is that there is really no acceptable excuse for not writing a book, and with NaNoWriMo coming up in November, you have the perfect incentive to start planning yours now!

Top 5 Excuses That May Be Stopping You from Writing a Book (via Spirit Authors Marketing & Publishing Tips for Authors)
Author and book marketer Lynn Serafinn tackles the most common excuses she hears from aspiring authors, with tips for how to move past them and write your book. Over the years, I’ve worked with authors at many stages of their writing development.…

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Sunday, September 22, 2013

Time to Start Planning for NaNoWriMo 2013!

Once again, it's that time of year to start planning for NaNoWriMo.

For anyone who may not know, NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month. It's a challenge to write a novel of at least 50,000 words in a month, and it comes around every November.

From humble beginnings in 1999, when there were just 21 participants, NaNoWriMo has grown into a world-wide phenomenon. Last year 341,375 people took part, with 38,438 of them achieving the 50K target by the deadline of midnight on 30 November. The numbers this year are expected to be even greater.

There is no entry fee for NaNoWriMo (though donations are always welcome), and no prizes either. Essentially, it is a challenge to help you write that novel you had always meant to write but keep putting off.

By registering with NaNoWriMo, you are joining a world-wide community of writers who are all seeking to achieve the same end, and are thus able to encourage and support one another.

This year a number of members of my forum at have registered for NaNoWriMo already, and more will no doubt follow. If you are looking for some 'buddies' to share notes and compare progress with, check out this forum topic.

Although there are no prizes for completing a novel for NaNoWriMo, if you do (and you have to prove it by uploading your work to the NaNoWriMo site), you will be able to download an official 'Winner' web badge and a PDF Winner's Certificate, which you can print out.

And, of course, you will have the first draft of a novel you should be able to polish and submit for possible publication (or publish yourself).

There are lots of useful resources on the NaNoWriMo website, including wordcount widgets, web badges, flyers for downloading, motivational articles, and much more. There is also a busy forum where you can compare notes with other participants.

NaNoWriMo is also, by the way, a great opportunity to apply the techniques taught in WCCL's Novel in a Month course, or indeed my own Write Any Book in Under 28 Days.

I'd like to wish you the very best of luck if you do decide to register for NaNoWriMo. Please let me know if you succeed in completing the challenge!

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Tuesday, September 10, 2013

An Interview with Stephanie Fleshman, Author of YA Paranormal Novel "Render"

Today I'm pleased to bring you a short interview with author Stephanie Fleshman, published as part of a whirlwind blog tour organized by Novel Publicity to promote her YA Paranormal Novel Render (pictured).

Render is on sale all this week at a discounted price of 99c, and all purchasers are eligible for a range of prizes, including a Kindle Fire, $550 in Amazon gift cards, and five autographed copies of the book.

For full details, please see below.

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Please enjoy this interview with Stephanie Fleshman, author of the enticing Paranormal YA, Render. Then read on to learn how you can win huge prizes as part of this blog tour, including a Kindle Fire, $550 in Amazon gift cards, and 5 autographed copies of the book.

1. How do your experiences traveling and growing up in a rural town help you to write? 

Traveling has always stimulated the passion I have for learning other cultures. Render definitely depicts that, since I bring so many other cultures into the story.

2. You are among many new authors who went to a post-secondary school for something completely different from writing. How does your degree in psychology play a role in your writing? 

Psychology is the study of human behavior, so that has definitely helped to create multi-dimensional characters.

3. Do you have any advice for others who have stuck to a career path, but find that writing is their true calling? 

I don’t believe you have to choose. Experience and knowledge of different fields can benefit a writing career, depending on what you want to write.

4. Who are two of your favorite authors, and why do those authors speak to you? 

Cormac McCarthy. I think he is a literary genius.
J.K. Rowling. She is a true storyteller, which I believe is different than telling a story.

5. You use some really unique names in Render like Koldan, Raya Whitney and "The Russian." Where did you get the inspiration for the names? Secondly, when in the writing process do you name characters?

I start with names, but those names have a tendency to change throughout the story. For Render, most of the names had to do with origin.

6. “Koldan Holdt knows what he wants.” He knows, but his fate has been determined since before his birth. Can you discuss how people find their way around the obstacles of life as well as any suggestions you might have? 

Recognizing there is no such thing as complete control--the control you do have is determined by different variables, one being the choices you make.

See also the video trailer for Render, below.

If you are viewing this post via email or RSS, you may need to visit Nick's blog to see the video.

Render Tour BadgeAs part of this special promotional extravaganza sponsored by Novel Publicity, Render, the debut YA Paranormal novel by Stephanie Fleshman, is on sale for just 99 cents! What’s more, by purchasing this fantastic book at an incredibly low price, you can enter to win many awesome prizes.

The prizes include a Kindle Fire, $550 in Amazon gift cards, and 5 autographed copies of the book.

All the info you need to win one of these amazing prizes is RIGHT HERE.

Remember, winning is as easy as clicking a button or leaving a blog comment--easy to enter; easy to win!

To win the prizes:
  1. Get Render at its discounted price of 99 cents
  2. Enter the Rafflecopter contest
  3. Visit the featured social media events
  4. Leave a comment on this blog for a chance at a $100 prize.
About Render: A betrayal born of blood. A curse for a gift. A love worth saving... Seventeen-year-old Raya Whitney thought she knew Koldan--until a sudden turn of events threatens both their lives. Get it on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or iTunes.

Stephanie Fleshman graduated with a degree in psychology and has family throughout the United States as well as in Thessaloniki and Athens, Greece. Visit Stephanie on her website, Twitter, Facebook, or GoodReads.

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Thank you to Stephanie Fleshman for a concise but interesting interview, and to Novel Publicity for supplying the copy and illustrations (including the picture of the author, below).

If you're a blogger yourself, you might like to consider signing up as a host with Novel Publicity, to get the chance to host other tours on your blog and be eligible for free books and prizes.

As always, if you have any comments or questions, please do leave them below. As stated above, anyone leaving a comment here will also be automatically entered to win the $100 random commenter prize.

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Saturday, September 07, 2013

Why Now is the Perfect Time to be Promoting Your Freelance Services

Camino abierto by Edur8, on Flickr
Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License  by  Edur8 

Like most self-employed people, I lost a few long-term clients as a result of the economic recession.

At one point I was down to just three 'regulars', which was not enough for me to feel comfortable with (though I do have other income streams apart from clients, of course, such as my Kindle e-books).

In the last few weeks, though, things seem to be changing. One former client whose business had gone under as a result of the downturn got in touch again with the first of what he promises will be a series of writing and editing jobs he wants me to do on behalf of his new business.

And a few days later another client I hadn't heard from in ages emailed me with a series of novelty writing projects, and asked me to take on as many as I felt I could realistically handle.

My experience is hardly proof positive, of course, but it does correspond with the general view that some sort of recovery is now in place. In my workplace it is definitely happening, anyway!

So my advice today is, if you have any old clients you haven't heard from a while, now would be the perfect time to drop them a line and remind them that you are still open for business.

Equally, if you're new to freelancing, now is a great time to be sending off speculative applications and proposals, polishing your writing CV, jazzing up your blog or website, and so on.

And that applies with still more force as the holiday season (in the northern hemisphere) comes to an end and everyone returns to their desks to plan new projects, for which they may need writing or editing services. Make sure your name is foremost on their mind while they are doing so!
  • Have you noticed more freelance opportunities arising in recent weeks? Do you have any other tips for freelancers on making the most of the (possibly fragile) economic recovery? Please post any comments or questions below! 

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Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Order Half-Price PLR and Get a Free Module from my New Writing Course!

If you need a quick way of producing content for the internet, have you considered PLR?

PLR is short for Private Label Right. The term describes content that you can edit, expand, publish and generally use as your own.

PLR content is obviously not unique or original, so you shouldn't just use it "as is". If you regard it as a sort of first draft, however, it can save you a lot of time compared with researching and writing content from scratch.

I mention this because my colleague Nicole Dean, who runs the excellent EasyPLR online store, currently has a half-price sale on her already very reasonably priced PLR offers. While an upgrade is carried out, literally everything in the store is being sold for half the advertised price, so there are some great bargains to be snapped up.

Check out the half-price sale at EasyPLR here!

There are lots of ways you can use PLR to help boost your online profits. For example, I notice that the items on sale today include an article pack titled 'First Time Cruising Guide'. This contains 10 PLR articles totalling over 3800 words.

The actual articles are as follows...
  1. 5 things Every First Time Cruiser Should Know
  2. How to Pick A Specialty Cruise
  3. 12 Common Cruise Terms For Newbies
  4. Secrets For Booking Your Cruise With The Mouse
  5. Top 5 Cruises For Seniors
  6. Packing Like a Cruising Pro
  7. Top 10 Things To Do While Cruising
  8. Top 7 Ways To Get The Most Out Of Your Cruising Dollar
  9. Top 6 Tips For Cruising With Children
  10. Options For Cruising Solo
This pack is currently being advertised at an already discounted price of $7, so while the half-price sale is on that will be further reduced to $3.50.

You could use these articles - suitably rewritten and expanded - as the basis for a short report or e-book. You could also use it as content for a blog or website, and monetize with Google AdSense and/or affiliate ads. If you need a bit of extra help with blogging, of course, you might like to check out my Blogging for Writers course!

Nicole says that a maximum of 150 copies of any pack will ever be sold, so there shouldn't be any issue with duplicate content, especially if (as strongly recommended) you edit the articles first. I'm actually very tempted to buy the first-time cruising pack and set up a WordPress site using the content myself!

Incidentally, my forthcoming course Writer's Cashpoint - due for publication soon by the Self Development Network - has a module in it on how to profit from PLR. I thought I'd therefore offer this as a bonus today.

So if you buy anything (yes, anything!) from EasyPLR before the end of September, I'll be happy to send you an advance copy of the module in question. Just copy and paste your email receipt to me on my Contact Me form and I'll send it within 24 hours.

One thing I can't guarantee, though, is how long Nicole's half-price PLR sale will last. It's definitely running today, but I expect it to end pretty soon. My bonus offer will apply whether you buy at half-price or the still very reasonable full price, however - as long you order before the end of September, of course.

Any comments or queries are always welcome. Please feel free to post them below!

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