Sunday, December 28, 2014

How To Write A Book Foreword

A book foreword is an appetizer that invites the reader to proceed towards the main course, while he is still hungry. It is a short piece of writing found at the beginning of a book, preceding the introduction. It is mainly used to introduce the reader to the author as well as the book. Moreover, it focuses on the interaction between the writer of the foreword and the author of the book. These days, book forewords have become more of a marketing tool that is used to market both the author and the foreword writer. Occupation as a foreword author is gaining importance day by day. Most publishers, today, place the foreword author’s name on the cover of the book, sometimes more prominently than the book author’s name, thereby helping the foreword writer to promote his services for other professionals as well. If you too want to be a foreword writer and want to know how to write a perfect book foreword, this article is definitely worth browsing. Glance through the following lines to find tips on writing the foreword of a book.
Tips For Writing A Foreword For A Book
·         Know the format for writing a foreword. Usually, a foreword lasts for one or two pages, but can exceed if the book is being introduced for the first time and has a long history to tell. The foreword is usually divided into three general sections: the opening, the closing and the middle. Your name and title are included at the end of the foreword.
·         The foreword should always have a personal touch in the beginning, that is, the opening lines. Let your readers know how the author of the foreword knows the author of the book. Doing so increases the credibility of the book.
·         While writing the middle of the foreword, include anecdotes. You can illustrate an example that represents the theme presented in the book. This will enable the reader to relate to the author. It would also portray the author in the right light, showcasing him as a realistic writer who knows his subject matter well.
·         Mention the good points about the book and what the readers will be expecting in it. Be sure to give a brief synopsis of the book. In case the book deals with solving problems or offering unique points of view, mention the same in the middle of the foreword.
·         Write the closing of the foreword by mentioning your reasons for writing the foreword and why it mattered to you in the first place. Writing this is vital for your career as well the author’s. It is this text that would boost the reliability and credibility of the book. This will also induce the readers to continue reading the book, since it has been recommended by the foreword writer.
·         Finally, bring the foreword to an end by mentioning a reference from the first paragraph into your final paragraph to add cohesiveness.
·         After you have completed with writing the foreword, sign at the end mentioning your name, qualifications, title and location.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Seven Ways to Build Up Your Writing Confidence

Seven Ways to Build Up Your Writing Confidence

by Ali Hale

Do you ever worry that your writing isn’t good enough?

Maybe you’re scared to let anyone read your latest short story. Or perhaps it’s worse than that – you find yourself agonizing over every email that you write.

You’re not alone.

Most writers – even those who make a living from their craft – lack confidence at times. Writing is, after all, a daunting thing to do: you’re putting down your thoughts on the page and hoping that they’ll be worthy of someone else’s time and attention.

A lack of confidence, though, can be crippling. It leads writers to give up before they’ve even begun – or to fret for hours over the simplest of writing tasks.

Whether you’re struggling to get to grips with grammar or preparing to launch your third novel, you can become more confident.

Here’s how.

#1: Practice Writing – Regularly

As a child, I had piano lessons. I didn’t much like having to practice – but I knew that if I didn’t, I wouldn’t get any better.

It’s the same with writing. Some people love writing, others find it tedious: but either way, you’ll find that the more you practice, the more you’ll improve.

That could mean:
  • Spending ten minutes free-writing every morning

  • Working through different writing exercises, so you get experience in several forms

  • Deliberately working on the elements of writing that you find hard (e.g. if you write fiction, practice dialogue or description; if you write for work, practice those difficult emails)

  • Writing a weekly post for your blog – no excuses!

  • Write from a prompt (a word, phrase, question or image that inspires you)

Your writing exercises might be for your eyes only – or you might choose to develop them into something more. Author E.J. Newman’s From Dark Places is a book of short stories that started as pieces written from prompts sent in by her “story of the month club”.

#2: Read Widely

You’re probably already reading a lot in your chosen genre or area – but try dipping into a book, magazine or blog that’s very different from what you’d normally choose.

You’ll come across authors who are:
  • Journalistic and factual, giving you the details without making any judgements about them
  • Extremely personal and introspective, writing based on their own experiences
  • Unconventional and creative with their use of language, perhaps coining new words
…and so on.

There’s no one “correct” way to write a book, a blog post, or an article – and the more you read, the more you’ll realise that lots of different styles can be effective. You’ll learn new techniques, and you’ll also get a better feel for your own voice and style (look at what resonates with you – and what turns you off completely).

#3: Take Time Over Your Writing

If you don’t like writing, or if you find it anxiety-provoking, then you might be tempted to get it over with as quickly as possible.

That’s not a great way to build your confidence. No writer – not even Shakespeare! – can produce a perfect piece of work in just one draft. By taking a little extra time to edit your work, you’ll realise that you can:
  • Spot clumsy or ambiguous sentences and correct them
  • Change words that aren’t quite right
  • Fix any typos or spelling mistakes that have crept in

I often advise writers to write a basic plan then produce a quick first draft, without worrying too much about quality: that way, they don’t get bogged down trying to perfect the first paragraph. After that, though, it’s important to edit rigorously. You’ll feel more confident about your work when you know you’ve given it enough time and attention.

#4: Learn About Writing

I’ve been writing with serious intent (i.e. hoping to get published!) for thirteen years now – half my lifetime. I’ve read dozens of books and ebooks about writing, I’ve subscribed to a writing magazine, I’ve taken several online courses, and I’ve completed an M.A. in Creative Writing.

Obviously, I wouldn’t have progressed very far at all if I didn’t actually write (see #1!) – but I learnt a lot about the theory and practice of writing from all these resources.

Whether you’re a brand-new writer or an old hand, there’s something you can learn. Look out for:

  • Blogs on writing (like this one) – a great place to start learning for free.
  • Books about your specific area or genre – try your library
  • Specialised ebooks and ecourses
  • Writing conferences where you can attend lectures and workshops
  • Degree programs – a big investment of time and money, but a great way to study writing in a thorough and rigorous way, alongside other students

#5: Ask For Feedback

This one requires a bit of bravery … but it’s a great way to give your writing confidence a real boost.

Ask someone for feedback. Ideally, pick a writer or tutor who you know and trust – you want them to be honest but also thoughtful.

Get them to tell you what you’re already doing well (because there’ll be plenty of good things in your work!) And ask them what you could improve on. I know it can be quite daunting to have your work critiqued … but once you’ve edited a piece based on feedback, you’ll be able to have real confidence in it.

#6: Share Your Work With an Audience

One great way to boost your confidence is to have appreciative readers for your work. But where do you find them?

The Web 2.0 era has made publication accessible to anyone with an internet connection. Sites like are free and extremely easy to get started with, and allow you to publish your writing online.

You might even choose to put together an ebook for people to download and read. You can create this using a word processing program (like Open Office or Microsoft Word) and then convert it to a .pdf file, which can be read on any type of computer and on many devices like Tablet computers and ebook readers.

#7: Submit Your Work for Publication

One of the best ways to achieve publication is to send a guest post to a big blog. This can be a pretty daunting thing to do … but it’s a huge confidence boost if you get your post accepted. Follow the tips above and make it as good as you can before sending it in – and make sure you follow any submission guidelines.

You might think that you have to already be a big “name” in the writing or blogging world in order to get published, but this simply isn’t true: editors care about the quality of your writing and the professionalism of your approach.

If you’re a fiction writer, try entering competitions – winning a prize, or even being shortlisted, is a great validation of your work.

And if you’re aiming to write for magazines as a freelancer, try sending in fillers or letters to the editor – a great first step in making contact and seeing your name in print.

Keep Moving Forwards – However You Feel

Maybe it seems like other writers have far more confidence than you. You see them chatting away at conferences, or you look at their work on big blogs or you read their prize-winning competition entries … and you think if only I was as confident as them.

Perhaps you already are. Maybe they spent a week screwing up their courage to send in that competition entry, or they had to take a deep breath and conquer their nerves before striking up a conversation with a stranger at that conference.

As you write more (regardless of how you feel) and as you put your work out there in the world, you’ll find that you gradually become more confident and comfortable with your writing.

What one step could you take today to help boost your writing confidence? Pick something from the list above – or add your own ideas in the comments!

You can find Ali Luke posting all over the blogosphere – but her home base is on her own blog, Aliventures. If you want to get more writing done, check out her post How to Write Thousands of Words Every Single Week and follow the eight simple steps there.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

COVERS SELL BOOKS by by Dan Poynter

Packaging is everything. Each year, corporations spend more than $50 billion on product packaging and design. $50 billion, not for the products themselves or for the wrapper but $50 billion just for the design of the wrapper.

Everyone judges a book by its cover. No one reads the book before they make a buying decision. Consumers do not read it in the store. Sales reps only carry book covers and jackets to show bookstore owners/buyers while wholesalers and distributors say “just send us the cover copy.” All buying decisions are made on the illustration/design and the ad-sales copy on the outside of the book. Yes, packaging is everything.

The bookstore browser averages less than eight seconds looking at the front cover and fifteen seconds reading the back cover. You must hook them immediately and keep them reading the back cover or they will put the book back on the shelf.

Most of Lightbourne’s cover-design work is done long distance, so when the new client walked in wearing buckskin and natural cotton attire, Gaelyn and Bram Larrick knew that this project would be unique and fun. Matt Richards had written a book on taking raw deerskin and creating beautiful buckskin garments and useful goods, a process that was more of a lifestyle for him.

He had located the cover-design company as a result of reading Dan Poynter's Self-Publishing Manual, but was still nervous about spending his money on a professionally-designed cover.

Matt lived in the wilderness and his way of life didn't require him to earn much money. The cover would cost one-quarter of his entire annual income.

Six months later, Matt wrote that his book was selling so well in both his niche market and bookstores that his annual income had already increased 4-5 times. His professionally-designed cover not only made him prouder of his book, it gave the contents more credibility and helped the book to sell.

“Anyone who says ‘you can’t judge a book by its cover’ has never met the category buyer from Barnes & Noble.” — Terri Lonier, author, Working Solo.

Good packaging sells soap, breakfast food and pantyhose. It can also be used to sell books. Put your imagination into your title and your advertising money into your cover. Since everyone from the distributor, to wholesalers, to bookstore buyers, to the ultimate customer judges a book by its cover, give them what they need—a compelling cover with art and a sales message that will encourage a buying decision.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Tips on Writing a Book

1.        Cathartic effect.

2.        Love of the well-turned phrase.

3.        Set specific times to work.