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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