Edvard Munch - The Scream

Seven Deadly Fears of Writing

What’s been stopping you from producing that magnum opus? Taken from the opening of Jurgen Wolff’s 2007  Your Writing Coach, what follows is our take on his Seven Deadly Fears of Writing; those fears that stop would-be, and even some professional writers getting on with the job of writing.

Kitty Bank (AliExpress)

Artwork for blog posts

As I have to keep telling clients, the bad old days of text-only blogs is over. Every post needs at least one image at the top so that it has some visual interest on the page and in any list of search results. You need not only to find that image, but know how and…

Blog posting how-to

How-to: Write a Blog Post

A couple of years ago, I calculated that I’d racked up about four and a half thousand blog posts across all my personal and professional projects. Yes, I’ve been doing this a while. I won’t say there’s a set formula (if there is, I break it regularly), but there are definitely good practices.

Cover Design Secrets

Five publishing design clichés

From the airport blockbuster thriller, to the fantasy epic, to the literary prize-winner, BBC Arts’ Tom Churchill mocked up five clichés that pervade the book stands, then hilariously pulls out laughably bad real examples that have sold by the truck load.

Microsoft Book Store on Edge

DRM: still defective by design

Microsoft announced in April that it was closing the Microsoft Store’s e-books section. The short-lived foray into e-books began in 2017 as part of the Windows 10 Creators Update. With the closure of the store, Microsoft also set a date this month (July) by which it would remove all purchased books from the libraries of…

Letterpress typea

The Self-publishing Revolution

The last two decades have seen huge changes in the publishing industries – the consolidation of publishers and agents, the advent of cost-effective digital printing for small runs, and the rise of the Internet as a discovery and distribution platform. It’s an industry my father would barely recognise from his time in publishing during the…

Longhand pages

The First Draft

There are many ways to start writing a book, both fiction and non-fiction. Without a first draft, you don’t have a book, just an idea. But a completed first draft is just that – a beginning and not an end.

Writer writing pad

Get Writing tips – the daily discipline

The BBC used to have an educational site called Get Writing, no longer live but some of the content migrated into BBC Writers’ Room. Get Writing was a fantastic resource for aspiring writers and would regularly post tips, exercises and how-to’s from renowned authors. One of these concerned the discipline of writing regularly.

The Magic of the Movies posters

Opinion: The Magic of the Movies

I’ve been watching movies as long as I can remember. Silent clowns Laurel and Hardy, Buster Keaton; classic Westerns (all of them!), visionary science fiction from Forbidden Planet to The Day the Earth Stood Still. I thrilled at Errol Flyn as Robin Hood and the Sea Hawk; Jimmy Stewart maturing from honest everyman to gritty…