Crime Scene

Reader question: How much violence should writers portray in their books?

Every month, I ask my readers a different book-related question, and I get some excellent responses. In this article, you can read the responses that I got to the following question: How much violence should writers portray in their books?  Is graphic violence ever justified in a book or should it be left to the…

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Facebook: Judge, Jury & Executioner

My Facebook Ads account has been banned – and they won’t tell me why! Here’s a cautionary tale for marketers …

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How To Be The Perfect Author Guest On A Writing Podcast

I launched my self-publishing podcast in April 2016 and immediately began the hunt for great guests to populate my weekly broadcast. I like to run at least one month ahead in terms of pre-recorded interviews, so I’m always looking forward several weeks in my planning. I noticed immediately that authors do themselves no favours when…

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How To Use Vellum On A PC

If you’re a self-published author, you’ve probably heard of Vellum by now. It’s the wonderful formatting software that Mac users gloat about when they inform you that it can’t be used on a PC. But what if you hate Macs like I do (see my archive post here as to why) but still want to use…

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The Novel Factory

How and Why I Use The Novel Factory To Plot My Books

I have never made any attempt to hide my love of The Novel Factory Software. I took the 7-day free trial and didn’t even bother waiting until the end of the week to upgrade. I saw it, loved it and now use it for every book that I write. I have just completed a marathon…

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Goal reached

Rocket-Powered Time Management

Businesses lose millions to lost productivity every year and countless hours are wasted. Microsoft Research found that workers use only about 60% of their available work time, on average 3 productive days out of a 5-day working week. Check out some of the best time management tools that are available and find out how to…

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Why Scrivener Is An Essential Writing Tool For All Authors

When I wrote my first fiction trilogy, I drafted the entire manuscript in Google Drive. Now that worked very well when I was in first-draft mode, but when I had to pass it on for proof-reading and then begin to format for Kindle and all of the other outlets, I quickly began to regret it.…

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Essential Tools For Taking Screenshots

If you’re a blogger, non-fiction writer or if you use social media regularly, you’re bound to have used screenshots or screen-grabs at one time or another. It used to be quite difficult to do this, but these days there are many great tools to make your images leap off the page. In this article and…

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Graphic design

Using To Create Amazing Graphics (With No Hassles!)

Want to create fabulous headers for your social media profiles? Need properly sized images for Pinterest or Instagram? Want to create posters, marketing materials or Kindle e-book covers without having to use expensive designers? All of your problems are solved immediately, once you begin to use In the bad old days of graphic design…

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URL in browser

How To Create Branded Links With Pretty Link

Most web users are probably familiar with link shorteners. They’re extremely useful for reducing long and unwieldy web links into something altogether more shareable. They are also used widely by affiliate marketers to cloak affiliate links. They can also be used to track clicks and shares. Most commonly you may recognise shortened links like [Amazon…

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3D glasses

How To Create 3D Book Covers For Free

Creating 3D graphics can be a real pain sometimes, especially if you’re not a natural born Photoshop Ninja. A couple of years ago I had to pay a lot of money to buy a set of Photoshop actions to create my covers. These days life is a lot easier! My favourite resource is, which…

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Call To Action

How (And Why) To Set Up Your Facebook Call-To-Action

Wondering what that Call To Action button is at the top of your Facebook page? It’s on the left-hand side of the ‘Like’ button, and there’s a good chance that you may not have a clue how to use it: I’m going to talk you through it in this short tutorial, but first, to the…

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Essential Listening For Self-Published Writers

If you’re new to self-publishing, you’ll be pleased to hear that there are some brilliant resources available to help you get up to speed with what’s happening in the industry. I’ve assembled a core list of podcasts that I listen to every week, and I’d now count them as part of my essential listening. These…

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Open book in library

5 Simple Lessons I Learned As A First-Time Self-Publisher

I’ve moved into self-publishing in a big way in the past year or so and learned a lot of lessons en route. Some of them have been very painful, others disruptive and the rest expensive. I thought I’d share them here so that you can benefit from my learning process 🙂 Lesson 1: Microsoft Word…

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Feeling The Fear (And Doing It Anyway!)

One of the first self development books that I read when I left the security of a monthly salary to take self employment out for a whirl was ‘Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway by Susan Jeffers. At the time I was pretty fearful of the challenges in front of me. Salaried work was all…

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How To Hit Your Goals All Year Round

The majority of the population set their New Year resolutions on 31st December and usually – by the end of the first few weeks of the year – they’re already forgotten because work, real life and gritty reality have set back in. But everybody who wants to get stuff done rather than letting life pass…

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How To Get An Interview For Your Business On BBC Local Radio

(Works for other radio stations too!) I spent 20 years of my working life at the BBC, all of it in local radio, so I know a thing or two from the BBC’s point of view about what they’re looking for in a good interviewee. The good news is that as a business owner there…

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What Sir Chris Hoy Taught A Physical Wreck About Business Success

I was fortunate enough to meet Sir Chris Hoy at this year’s National Entrepreneur’s Convention in Birmingham. Now, I’ll admit, I’m not a big fan of sport, so I don’t really pay a lot of attention to what’s going on. In fact, I’m the proverbial ‘physical wreck’ described in the title, people like Sir Chris…

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Why Direct Mail Is Still Cool

Disclaimer: The author is not sponsored by Dominos, nor does he officially endorse them … he just likes eating their grub! Why on earth would I use direct mail in my business as a social and digital marketer? For people like me, stamps, envelopes and that horrible glue taste on your tongue should be things of…

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What Legoland Can Teach Marketers About Upsells

I’ve just returned from a short break where I took my kids on a day trip to Pleasure Island, which is a theme  park in Lincolnshire. It was bang in the middle of the summer holidays, a nice rain-free day (you don’t get many of those in the UK!) and at the weekend … so…

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