Video: Book Writing Basics. Tips for Beginning Writers

Beginning writers should just start writing on a daily basis, but going back to school, taking community college classes and meeting with other aspiring writers is a great way to get into the writing industry. Begin writing as a profession with information from a writing and communications specialist in this free video on writing.

Expert: Brenda Martin
Bio: Brenda Darnley Martin has a true appreciation for the art of communication, considering words - written, spoken and unspoken - to be the music of her life.
Filmmaker: Christopher Rokosz

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Review of Everyone Communicates Few Connect

Title:  Everyone Communicates Few Connect
Author: John C. Maxwell
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
ISBN: 978-0-7852-1425-0

Reviewed by Jo Linsdell.

In Everyone Communicates Few Connect, Internationally respected leadership expert and speaker, John C. Maxwell discusses how to communicate and connect with others in order to reach your potential.

In this book Maxwell offers his method of Five Principles and Five Practices, you can learn to connect one-on-one, in a group or with an audience.

Although Maxwell highlights the importance of concentrating on others and not just promoting or talking about yourself as being one of the major aspects of good communicating, the author almost constantly talks about his personal achievements through out the book and although in some cases these personal tales add to his argument, for the most part it just left me thinking how much he loves himself. Even to the extent that when he writes about his failures, it seemed that he was instead giving some kind of sales pitch to get more speaking engagements.

I also felt that the points raised in the book could each have been covered in much less pages. The quotes and examples given to back up each point were too many and quickly bored me.

That being said, the book did offer a few insights into more effective communicating that I hadn’t previously considered. The tips for preparing for talking to groups were particularly useful.

This book may be of interest of people studying communication or for those looking to improve their presenting skills. 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their <> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
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Site of Interest: William Meikle

This weeks site of interest is

The site is the blog of William Meikle, a Scottish writer of pulp and supernatural fiction, with numerous novels and short stories published. Posts include; updates, publishing news, writing tips and the occasional rant.

Although the blog is mainly dedicated to the writers own work it is also worth reading for articles like this one entitled 'Follow these ten tips and you'll be a happy amateur writer'
or 'Bum on seat time'

It's also a good example of how to create a blog to promote your writing/books.
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Interview with JD Holiday

1. Tell us a bit about your latest book 'The Great Snowball Escapade'.
The Great Snowball Escapade is a chapter book for six to eight year olds and is about understanding others and what you can learn about yourself.
In the story, Wilhemena Brooks’ has problems with her cousin, Bud Dunphry who come to live with her family. Wil, as she likes to be called, has misplaced her new pink pencil sharpener and hasn’t seen it since Christmas. She knows Bud has it! Who else would have taken it? Bud is mean to her friends too and Wil tries to ignore him but after a snowstorm closes school, Wil and her friends go sled riding, Bud shows up and starts a snowball fight which lands Wil in her room for the rest of the day for fighting.
Then her pencil sharpener is found, right where Wil had left it, she decides she has to try harder to understand her cousin and stay out of trouble. Her mother told her to be nice to Bud and to treat him like she would like to be treated. Though Wil isn’t so sure treating Bud nicely will make him be nice back.

2. As well as being an author you're also an illustrator. Does this effect the way you write your books?
I think so. I see everything I write as a picture or scene and I find it easy to tell what scenes should be pictures for my children’s picture books.

3. Do you illustrate other peoples books too or just your own?
So far I’m only doing my own books because I have about 10 more manuscripts of my own to illustrate. I don’t have plans of doing illustrations for others.

4. You're soon to take part in Blog Jog Day. What is it and how can others get involved?
Blog Jog Day will be on May 9 and is a one-day event where bloggers band together to get visitors to explore their blogs then travel on to the next blog. People can still take part in Blog Jog Day by going to the event’s founder, Carol Denbow’s blog for more information.

5. How else do you promote your books?
Marketing I think is the hardest part of publishing books. Doing interviews, book signings at bookstores and libraries are a must to sell books and bring attention to your work.
6. You're also involved in Book Garden Publishing. Please tell us a bit about it.
Book Garden Publishing is my own book publishing company. After years of submitting my manuscripts to the big publishers and wait for the rejection letter, I had enough. Up to that point I had some short stories and a Chapbook published, and had some editors interest in my stories, and I even had an agent for a time, but none of my children’s books in print. So after thinking about it for some time, I decided I was my own publisher!

7. What new projects do you have coming up?
I have two I’m working on going back and forth between them. One is a picture book I have to illustrate. It is a story about a boy who wants a puppy but gets a dog that is older. It's what they do together that makes them pals. The other book is a young adult novel titled, ‘Christmas in the City.’ This story about two girls, one with a family and one without and both searching for what is important to them.

8. Where can people find out more about you and your work?
People can find out mostly everything about me on my website: and my blog: My books, 'The Great Snowball Escapade' and ‘Janoose the Goose‘, a children’s picture book, are both available online at B&N and Amazon or order in bookstores.
‘Janoose the Goose‘ is $10.00 at: 'The Great Snowball Escapade' is $5.99 at:  
9. What advice would you give to authors about getting noticed?
Authors need to make sure their websites are listed on search engine and add the right tags that describe their site and their works. Also they should be on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, jacketflap, Myspace and any other sites that they find a variety of people to build up their friends lists which should include, libraries, bookstores, publishing houses, authors of all types, illustrators and marketers and others across the board in publishing.
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Writers and Authors Magazine coming soon

A new addition to the website. The magazine!

It will be a quarterly online publication containing articles about writing and the industry, promoting services fro writers, book reviews, listing paying markets and much more...

Have decided to use myebook to publish the magazine

The first issue will come out in September all being well. Feel free to send me your ideas for articles/features to be included to
. Fillers also welcome.

Anyone wishing to join the editorial team for this publication should contact me via email ( detailing what they can offer the magazine and include a brief bio.

Advertising space will be available at a small cost. Spaces will be limited to a full back cover and a few smaller inserts within the magazine.

I will be starting a fan page here on facebook for the magazine soon.

Please contact me if you would like to be involved.
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Writers and Authors Magazine coming soon

A new addition to the website. The magazine!

It will be a quarterly online publication containing articles about writing and the industry, promoting services for writers, book reviews, listing paying markets and much more...

Have decided to use myebook to publish the magazine

The first issue will come out in September all being well. Feel free to send me your ideas for articles/features to be included by email. Fillers also welcome.

Anyone wishing to join the editorial team for this publication should contact me via email detailing what they can offer the magazine and include a brief bio.

Advertising space will be available at a small cost. Spaces will be limited to a full back cover and a few smaller inserts within the magazine.

I will be starting a fan page on facebook for the magazine soon.

Please contact me if you would like to be involved.
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Review of Daughter of Mine

Title:  Daughter of Mine
Author: Laura Fabiani
Publisher: iUniverse
ISBN: 9-780595-478576

Reviewed by Jo Linsdell.

Daughter of Mine tells the tale of Tiziana Manoretti, who finding out that she was adopted, travels to Italy in an attempt to discover the truth about her birth and to search for her birth parents. The road to learning about her past is far from easy but she meets some interesting characters along the way that help her out.
As if the recent bomb about her adoption isn’t enough, Tiziana is also getting mixed signals from her best friend Christopher and starts questioning exactly how deep her feelings for him are.

Daughter of Mine is a real page turner and one of the best books I’ve read for a while. Laura Fabiani captures Italy beautifully as it follows Tiziana on her journey. The descriptions of the locations visited by the characters are wonderful and give a real feel for the setting. As do some of the Italian individuals that Tiziana meets along the way, who made me think of some real Italians I’ve met since I came to live here.

Relationships, love, family, friendship mixed with the stunning scenery of Italy. Daughter of Mine  is excellently written and a very enjoyable read. I highly recommend this book.

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Site of interest: Help a Reporter

A great tool for finding  new places to promote your books and services.

Founded in 2008 by serial entrepreneur Peter Shankman, Help A Reporter Out (HARO) is one of the fastest-growing social media services in North America.
Every day, HARO brings nearly 30,000 reporters and bloggers, over 100,000 news sources and thousands of small businesses together to tell their stories, promote their brands and sell their products and services.
Since its inception, Two Cats and a Cup of Coffee under its mark HARO has published more than 75,000 journalist queries, has facilitated nearly 7,500,000 media pitches, and has marketed and promoted close to 1,500 brands to the media, small businesses and consumers.
HARO is entirely free to sources and reporters, and unlike a majority of social media services, is independently owned and funded and has been profitable since day one. In addition, HARO serves as a vital social networking resource for sources, reporters and advertisers who use the service at .


  • Sign Up

    How easy is this? Give us your email address and a password, and you’re in the family. Easy huh?

  • Get your HAROs

    Read your HAROs every day; keep an eye open for those specific media queries you’re qualified to comment on and act as a source for, and watch what happens next!

  • Submit Pitches

    Found a query your expertise is a perfect match for? Well, go on, respond. But, keep it simple, straightforward and concise – it’ll make you look smarter to the reporter. Trust us, we know these things!
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Video: Earn money from your blog

Blogging is a great way for writers to gain name recognition and helps keep them writing on a regular basis. When setting up your blog you may want to add gadgets, links etc connected with your blogs topic.

PayDotCom is an Affiliate Marketplace. Signing up for an account is free and easy to do. Watch the video to find out how to start earning money from your blog today.


  Click Here to Sell Your Products or Become a Super Affiliate

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Review of Authors Access 30 Success Secrets for Authors and Publishers

Title: Authors Access: 30 Success Secrets for Authors and Publishers
Authors: Victor R. Volkman, Irene Watson & Tyler R. Tichelaar
Publisher: Modern History Press
ISBN-13: 978-1-932690-98-9

Victor R. Volkman, of Loving Healing Press Inc., teams up with Irene Watson and Tyler R. Tichelaar to provide this fantastic collection of information and advice taken from the Authors Access Podcasts.

Authors Access recorded 75 shows and reached an audience of 500 authors and publishers each week since starting in 2006 and helped fill the void of publishing podcasts. This book promises to be just as successful.

Covering a variety of topics including, to name a few, the craft of writing, editing your work and exploiting the writing market. It even has information about new technology like Kindle. Authors Access is a must have for anyone working in the writing industry.

Straight forward and easy to follow. Each chapter ends with a listing of the related podcasts airdate, url and the authors sites making it simple to follow up or research further.

The only downside to this book is that it left me wanting more. The authors and contributors to this book really know what they are talking about and I’ll definitely be on the waiting list for volume 2!

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Site of interest: Word Play

This weeks site of interest is

This great site is packed full of useful articles 'to help writers become authors'. Recent titles include to name just two; Are you using too many settings? and Utilise character in your opening scene.

You can also sign up and claim your free copy of the 50-page e-book Crafting Unforgettable Characters: A Hands-On Guide to Bringing Your Characters to Life.

The 'handy links' section, packed full of useful sites and gadgets, is well worth a visit too.

The site is run by K.M. Weiland. 
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Interview with Laura Fabiani

How long have you been a writer?
I have been writing since I was a teenager. I am an avid reader and can still remember as a lanky kid, hording books from the library and biking home with a heavy knapsack bumping against my back. Books inspire me, and so I experimented by writing novels, poems and essays, filing it all away in my creative writing folder and not showing a soul. It was my secret, my escapade.

You have a diploma in writing for children and teenagers. How has this helped your writing career? Would you recommend for other writers to get writing qualifications like this?
The one-year course that included a one-on-one with a mentor opened my eyes to the real possibility of one day becoming a published author. I learned the craft of writing—characterization, setting, plot, and story outline—and learned more about my strengths and weaknesses as a writer. I certainly recommend any aspiring writer to take workshops or courses to improve their craft. I have personally witnessed the growth of my workshop students as they apply the techniques, gain confidence, and develop their unique writing style.

Tell us a bit about your book 'Daughter of Mine'?
Daughter of Mine is a novel that I began writing ten years ago, after I completed my writing course. The idea for the story was sparked one evening as I listened to my mother-in-law talking about things that happened in her native birthplace of Naples. However, I fell ill for a period of time and then my two children were born. Time passed and I wrote the novel in my head, especially on those nights when I breastfed my children in the middle of the night. I loved spinning the story in my head and by the time my children were a little more self-sufficient, I knew the characters as if they were old friends. You can read a synopsis of the book here:

The book is set largely in the beautiful setting of Naples. How did you research for it?
The year before I completed the novel I visited Rome and Naples to visit relatives and friends. The experience of walking those streets, of chatting late into the night with its people, of drinking in the sights and sounds of Italy were so vivid in my mind that it was easy to transfer them on paper on my return.

Who is your favourite character from the book and why?
I loved creating Tiziana, Christopher and Gian-Luca. I spent the most energy on capturing their emotions, nuances and conflicts. They were the first characters I ever fully created. It was actually hard to part with them once my book was finished! Giacomino popped up out of the blue as my story progressed, since he was initially not part of my list of characters. He made me laugh every time I created a scene with him that brought back memories of similar experiences I had had when I visited Rome during my teenage years.

You also launched award winning site Please tell us a bit about this great resource for writers.
NouveauWriter is a writers’ site that I initially launched as a Web site and then changed to a weblog format. I wanted to share what I had learned on my writing journey with others, to inspire others who wanted to write a book but didn’t have the confidence to do so. It features articles that tackle the various issues that writers experience, and it offers its readers opportunities to apply their new knowledge. The goal is to assist writers, especially Canadians, to succeed in their endeavours and to give them the incentive to get to the publishing stage.

Where can people find out more about you and your book?
By visiting my Web site:

Anything else you'd like to add?
Daughter of Mine is currently on tour, and I am very excited about this! I want to thank you once again for being a part of this tour, assisting me to let others know about my book. For a list and links to the sites participating in this tour, please see the left sidebar on my blog Library of Clean Reads ( You can also enter the giveaway to win a copy of Daughter of Mine

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My Best Fiction

Free Writing Contest "My Best Fiction"

Put forth what you consider to be your best work of fiction, whether it’s a short story, fanfiction or script, vampire romance, adventure or even Manga: All genres are welcome in this contest! The work must be at least 20 BookRix pages long, but there is no maximum page limit.


Community Voting – March 15, 2010 to May 10, 2010

Jury Voting– May 11, 2010 to May 31, 2010

Not ready to join in? You can still help your fellow BookRixers by reading their contest books and voting for your favorite stories. Our readers choose the TOP 10 stories, which then will be reviewed by our independent jury consisting of Elite Editing, various editors and professional writers. In addition, there might be given out wildcards in this contest. That means that not only the TOP 10 stories with the highest amount of votes will be given to the jury, but also a few good books without as many votes as the TOP 10.

10 Amazon vouchers each worth $20 will be raffled for free among all readers taking part in the voting process.

$1,800.00 in cash prizes for authors.

10 Amazon Vouchers each worth $20 for readers.

For more info visit 
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Video: Review of TweetDeck LinkedIn Add

This video is by Chris Voss, a Social Media Consultant and Owner of Strategix One Consulting. A nice how to for those with twitter and LinkedIn accounts. 

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Blogging and house moves

Apologises for the strange posting recently but I'm currently in the middle of an unexpected house move and haven't been able to get online. Normal posting should be resumed next week all being well.

Thank you for your patience and you're continued interest in this site.

While I'm gone here's a few things to consider:
  • You can be interviewed for this site. Email me with a link to your website and a brief bio or info about your book/services for writers (in body of email) and I'll put together some questions for you.
  • You can also guest post here. Any topic related to writing or the writing industry is welcome. 
  • If you would like your book reviewed for posting to this site (I also post to other e.g. goodreads as well) please email me your request and book blurb. Only print books at the moment.
  • PROMO DAY is fast approaching. It's a whole day dedicated to people in the writing industry to promote, network and learn and best of all it's free. This years event takes place on Saturday 15th May. Free online workshops, promotional opportunities, show off your writing samples, video trailers and much more. For more details visit the blog and website.
  • If you know of a great site for writers please send me the link and I'll consider it for the weekly site of interest.
Please also feel free to suggest any content or topics you'd like to see on this site in the comments section of this post.
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Video: How To Make Money From Your Blog

You’ve been blogging your fingers off for a few years now, and despite the ego rush of watching your hits soar, you’re wondering what’s the point—or, rather, how do I make some cold hard cash from it...  

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