Happy I Opted to Print

Our guest blogger, Gary Hutchinson, has just published his first book, Sumotori, using Amazon’s POD publishing arm, CreateSpace. These days, when e-publishing is so straightforward, I knew that many writers are wondering whether to bother publishing a print version of their books – and just how difficult the process is. Well, here it is – straight from the horse’s mouth! 


Happy I Opted to Print

By GP Hutchinson

Have you eschewed the notion of offering your novel in print as well as in e-book format thinking the potential gain is just too small for all the cost and effort? You might want to think again. There are several distinct benefits to making your work available in paperback. And if you run up against any additional expenses at all they should be negligible.

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Filling out Amazon’s W-8BEN for Australian Authors

FormFillingAustralian authors (and others who are not US citizens) may not realise that when they start publishing books on Kindle, Amazon will withhold 30% of their royalties for tax UNLESS:

  • they get an EIN (Employee Identification Number) from the IRS, and then
  • fill in form W-8BEN and send it to Amazon.

I have just been through this process, and was helped along the way by various posts on forums and on Kindle Boards about how to do it all successfully.

There is a post here that explains it all, and walks you through the process of filling in the form to send to Amazon once you have your EIN: Continue reading

How to Build Your Writing Business

build a writing businessA few days ago, I passed on some advice to an excellent writer who is just starting to build her writing business. She’s starting from a good place – she already has a great deal of expertise in several different subject areas, and people who know what she does come to her for advice. However, she has, at the moment, most of her eggs in one basket. Her main employer has a firm grip on that basket. At any time, she could wrest it away, and hand it to someone else.

Sally really needs to build up her business, tapping into her areas of expertise. She has just (within the last few weeks) started up a website and blog, and is thinking about a series of books.

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WordPress Blog Basics

WordPress BasicsAre you ready to set up a blog?

Here’s a guide to the basics of putting up posts and media (usually photos) to go with your posts. There’s also a handy WordPress Starter Checklist.

The WordPress Basics guide covers: 

  • How to Create a Post
  • How to Personalize Your Post
  • How to View a Preview of Your Post
  • How to Categorize and Tag Your Post
  • How to Add Media to Your Post
  • How to Install a WordPress Plugin

The Basics of WordPress (Right Click to Download)

Starter Checklist (Right Click to Download)

What If You Don’t Yet Have a Blog? 

If you haven’t yet registered a domain name (website name) and got your blog organized, then here is an option.

An internet marketer named John Chow has made an offer to anyone who wants to start a blog: take up web hosting through his link (which means that he will get a commission) and he will install a blog FOR you. You will still have to customize it the way you want, but at least it’s a start. You can then try out different themes and plugins and so on.

Be warned, if you take up web hosting with Hostgator, and register your website name (domain name) through them, they automatically default to a 3 year hosting payment. You don’t have to do this (I suggest one year paid up front) but you have to look carefully at the page, select the ‘down’ arrow next to the three year option, and change it to the period you want.

So: for those who want to have someone else do it for them, here’s John Chow’s information page about his offer. Note: I am just passing on the news about the option – after that, it’s between you and John Chow. If you would prefer to wait, I will be adding more information soon about how you can do the whole process yourself. (Note: it won’t cost you any extra to do it through John.)

John Chow’s Set-up-a-Blog Offer: 


How Lucky Are You?

to get lucky, start prospecting

The Welcome Stranger Nugget

Last week, I was finishing off an article that delved into Australian history. Part of my research took me to the gold rush days, which led me in turn to reading about The Welcome Stranger, a gigantic gold nugget found in 1869.

At the time, weighing in at 66 kg(145 lb) it was the world’s largest gold nugget. Well, the largest that anyone knew about, anyway. People marvelled at the luck of John Deason, the Cornish prospector who found it. He was simply searching around the roots of a tree when he found it, lying only 3 cm (1.2 inches) below the ground. The Welcome Stranger was worth around £10,000 – which is around 3-4 million in today’s dollars.  Continue reading

A 4D formula for Writing Success

Teena Raffa-MulliganGuest Blogger Teena Raffa-Mulligan has posted for us before (on giving guest author talks to schools). This time, Teena offers some insights to succeeding as a writer even though you might not be earning as much as J K Rowling or Nora Roberts!

Anyone can decide to be a writer. That’s the easy part. The hard part is achieving success. And for most of us who set out to become writers, that means publication. We have a story to tell and we want to share it. If we’re honest, we also have our sights set on a multi-book contract with a leading publisher and top ranking on the best seller lists. A decent income so we can quit the day job is also on the want list.

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Finding Your Genre

choose_genreThis week, I read a synopsis for a new book by a first-time author whose work I respect. His first book will be released shortly: a fast-paced thriller set in Asia. I am fairly confident that he will quickly develop a following.

He was keen to get started on a second book, and was thinking of trying a different genre – one he classified as a romantic comedy. However, when I read the synopsis, the tone didn’t telegraph ‘romance’, or ‘comedy’. To me, it was still a thriller – with one important difference: it had paranormal elements.

That changes things. A lot. Continue reading

The ePublishing Learning Curve

tired_computerThis week, I’m feeling a bit as though I’ve been tossed around in a washing machine and hung out to dry. (The way my son hangs out stuff, too: hanging limply from one peg. No style.)

Why is this? Simply something we all run up against from time to time: the need to learn something new. I had quite a list of things on my plate.

  1. I needed to re-do covers for an existing fiction series. My previous cover designer decided to do something else with his life, and rather than have someone else try to duplicate the style of the covers, I decided to start from scratch. And this time (since I have Photoshop) I would do them myself.  Continue reading

Tips on Writing from Sandi Wallace

Sandi WallaceOver the past few weeks, our guest blogger Sandi Wallace has shared with you the ups and downs of writing and publishing a novel. Now she’s passing on 10 Tips for beginners – things she wished she’d known when she was starting out! 

10 Tips from Sandi

  1. Be determined, perseverance pays off.
  2. Stay true to yourself and the type of writer you want to be.
  3. Surround yourself with positive, inspirational people.
  4. Be patient, nothing about writing and publishing a book happens quickly.
  5. Seek and be receptive to constructive feedback, although sometimes choose to ignore it.
  6. Learn and practice your craft. Consider courses, participation in a writers’ group, a manuscript appraisal or mentor to develop your skills in order ‘to be as good as you’re capable of being’.
  7. Enjoy every step of the journey, every small win and see that setbacks are often for the best. (Your novel’s not ready for a wider audience yet. This is not how you want to debut or of the standard to build your author’s reputation on.)
  8. Timing can be everything.
  9. Successes in short story contests, other writing wins or exposure may boost the chances for your novel.
  10. ‘If it means that much to you, do it.’

Giving Birth to a Book Part 3 with Sandi Wallace

My story appeared in a book with other prizewinning stories.

My story appeared in a book with other prizewinning stories.

Part III – Good news-bad news-great news (Giving birth to a book continued)

Finally, SheKilda 2011 (the second Australian Women Crime Writers’ Convention held by Sisters in Crime Australia) arrived. Besides rubbing shoulders with readers, aspiring and published authors, and attending a range of stimulating crime panels, I intended to remind the publisher about my manuscript submission. All went to plan. Last day of the incredible convention, the publisher reiterated her invitation and said my manuscript was now ‘not unsolicited’.

Yay! The dreaded ‘slush pile’ avoided, I orbited across my submission and waited for great news.

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