‘Entitled’ or ‘Titled’?

Just which one is it?

Is my book ‘entitled’ The Blah Blah Blah or is it ‘titled’ The Blah Blah Blah?

Every time I hear someone say ‘entitled’, I squirm a little inside but, having checked through several writing websites, I see that ‘entitled’ has been the preference over the centuries until recently (ah, so ‘titled’ has been used)

Having looked at what others have to say, I think the best way to go is to reword your sentence (whether spoken or written|) to avoid criticism.  So,  “the title of my book is” or “my book is called”.

That way, you won’t get picked up for displaying an error for all to hear / see … .

Published in: on 26/04/2015 at 2:20 pm  Leave a Comment  

My First CreateSpace Experience

After kindlifying a book for a client, I was asked if I could also prepare the information as a book via CreateSpace, an area in which I had never moved before.

And it was terrific!

When I first used Kindle, it was also with trepidation and that too was a very straightforward process as, once you’ve done your first Kindle book, it seems so easy. I sent the Kindle format to my own Kindle, so that I could view it in situ and this was a good experience, as it showed me if any subtitles had separated from their following content, allowing me to put a page break before the subtitle, ensuring that subtitle and following information arrived on the same page to view.

Well, I’ve just completed that first CreateSpace book and I learnt how to do this through a gentleman’s instruction on his own site and through four pages of information in the Writing Magazine of January 2014.  , I’ve had a look at the layout via the review system set up in the CreateSpace site, so I’ve been able to see what the book will look like and can thus make any necessary adjustments, before it is good to go.

I feel so good!

Published in: on 19/11/2014 at 8:55 pm  Leave a Comment  

How Writers Can Get Rich Quick!

I’ve just downloaded a book I found on Kindle, one of those that was first published over one hundred years ago, and found an amazing description of the word ‘faith’:-

Faith is the head chemist of the mind. When faith is blended with the vibration of thought, the subconscious mind instantly picks up the vibration, translates it into its spiritual equivalent and transmits it to infinite intelligence, as in the case of a prayer.’

And faith isn’t only about prayer. It’s about anything which you have a great desire for and wish to commit yourself to, making it your new future route through life.  All you have to do is believe you already have it and act accordingly. I know you’re getting a sniff of the law of attraction here and you could be right. So start making plans for your main goal and let me know when you arrive there.


So, come on, you writers out there (hmm. ….. that includes me …)!

Published in: on 31/10/2014 at 1:38 pm  Leave a Comment  

How Cruel People Can be in Ignorance of the Facts ….

How cruel people can be in ignorance of the true facts.

I’m hurt.

I like writing and always have done. In these days, I put short reports of situations of interest to the public at large and I upload these to Kindle. One of these reports was about Ebola and, via Amazon.Com, I received a derogatory review that said I was making money from other people’s suffering.

I. I have offered free download days and over 700 people benefited from knowing what was happening in Africa up to the month of July 2014. I received nothing for these free downloads and was truly happy that so many people had downloaded the report.

2. From the small amount of earnings that I have made from those who have bought the Ebola report for 99 cents / 60 pence, I have donated money to the Red Cross in an attempt to give what I can to alleviate the suffering of the people of Africa and to help towards finding a solution. Money can also be given to Global Giving.

Today, while I browsed through my work on Amazon Kindle, I saw a comment that implied that my report deserved only a score of 1, because I was feeding off other people’s suffering. The person writing this review also slated another book on Ebola.

I am of the view that, if you are a busy person, you may benefit from condensed information. As a hard worker of many years in England, I can honesty say that I have no idea what was going on in the world between 1971 and 2005, as I was too busy working every hour that God sent and raising three boys at the same time. How I would have loved someone to have done the searching for me, providing me with condensed information which was free from frills.

Still, to the person who wrote this report, and so possibly either got it as a free download or paid only the smallest small amount allowed on Kindle (I could have asked more but didn’t), I hope you learned something from it.

Published in: on 08/10/2014 at 2:25 pm  Leave a Comment  

The Pleasure I Derive from Editing and Proofreading

Editing and proofreading is an exhausting task. Yet, it’s exhilarating, as well. Can you believe it?

I’m pernickety. I like to sleep on a night, knowing that I have put my heart and soul into something and that I am beyond criticism. If there is a possibility that a comma may be out of place, it hurts, so I go through the work again.

So, where does that leave the work owner and where does it leave me?

For the work owner, it is the comfort of knowing that I have left no stone unturned, that I went through the whole document or book, as many times as was necessary for me to feel one hundred percent good. After three full edit and proofreading procedures, I then go back to the beginning, to check that the flow is correct, that there are no errors that I have missed, that spaces are correct between bulks of speech and scenes …. and then, and only then, will I make use of the spelling and grammar check, just in case I was blinded by an error, or there is a double space where there shouldn’t be one. Need I elaborate further?

It’s stressful.

Yet it’s exhilarating. I have reached the point where I know my client will be absolutely happy. I leave the final door open, so that the owner can say, ”yes, that’s spot on”, or “well, could you do this for me, as well (something personal to their needs that I was not aware of earlier)?”

So the rate I ask of ten pounds an hour / per thousand words can quickly fall to a lower hourly rate (I log all of my hours and, for work from non-native writers of English, I have seen my hourly rate fall to less than one pound an hour), as I dig deep and leave the work with a satisfied heart. If you’re not into editing and proofreading, this feeling may be difficult to understand. I’m in search of perfection, or close as anyone can get to it, though they do say that perfection doesn’t exist. On that score, I suppose we need to ask the most beautiful woman in the world if she is happy with herself and see what she comes up with.

Still, I love the work and, for me, a satisfied customer is a part of the payment.

Published in: on 06/10/2014 at 3:47 pm  Leave a Comment  

What is the Right Price for Your Kindle Work of Art?

I’ve just recently read an article about the pricing of books on Kindle and should it be thirty percent commission on a ninety nine cents book that you put your little gem up for, or seventy percent on a two dollars and ninety cents book that you chance your arm at.

And the article made sense. 

While we may think of all the effort we have put into preparing a book and, if it’s non-fiction, the effort into all of that cross-referencing, we may think that we need to put our books up at three dollars, to get a bigger payback. 

I don’t disagree with this.  And I am sure that there are more people like me out there, who enjoy passing information on to others, so writing isn’t all about the monetary reward. 

So, what is the best price to ask for your book? 

Well, getting back to that article I was talking about, it said that the lower price will encourage more people to buy your book so, in a way, it’s a win-win situation, if the parties in your argument are the writer and the buyer.  Okay, Kindle gets a bigger cut on the cheaper-priced book but, as I said, it is cheaper.  Thirty percent of ninety nine cents is 33 cents for you (and 66 cents to Kindle), as opposed to seventy percent of three dollars being two dollars and ten cents for you and 90 cents to Kindle. 

At the moment, I’m not taking my own advice.  Well …. I have dropped the price on some of my Kindle books, so let’s see how it goes.



Published in: on 07/02/2014 at 3:35 pm  Leave a Comment  

Kindle Free Downloads and Positive Reviews … .

As those will Kindle devices will know, there is a facility there where each and every one of us can have access to new books at nil cost.  If you don’t have a Kindle, let me explain.

When a new and hopeful author (as well as well-seasoned authors) put a book up for sale on Kindle, he or she can make use of five free download days, both to promote their books and show that people are indeed downloading it.  These five days are at the beginning of the new book’s life on Kindle and the dates are chosen by its author.  Most of my Kindle books have had two separate free download days and these figures did indeed boost my statistics.

Over the Christmas break, I have been downloading books that caught my attention and my point here is that, when you get something for nothing, it would be kind but also fair to give a review of that book. Okay, if you have downloaded a book which, when you got into the first few pages, you realised it wasn’t the kind of book you expected it to be, you might prefer not to leave a review but, if you are really enjoying it, why not give that little bit of your time free to the writer? The free days are to get the books out there but also to receive some reviews, from which they can maybe sell future books.  These reviews, if written with the intention of positive criticism, can also help that ‘new’ writer to adapt their work for better future results.

It makes sense, doesn’t it?

Published in: on 06/01/2014 at 1:56 pm  Leave a Comment  

There are Limits … .

I like to write, both for myself and for others.  I also like to edit and proofread, both for native and non-native writers of English.  The pleasure for perfecting other people’s work is immense and I don’t think I can describe it correctly in words.

But let me try …. .

Correcting the spelling, re-arranging sentences to make them appear in a more logical order and, for non-native writers of English, changing those words to make them ‘more English’, all give me a great feeling of satisfaction.  I might change one word for another, because the writer’s word isn’t the one that native English people would use, or I might remove some words and replace them with an idiomatic phrase, because that is how English people would communicate that particular piece of information.

Then, I’ll read it all again … and again …. until I am absolutely satisfied with myself and know that I cannot do anything more to improve that piece of work.

Hmm … definitely a Cadbury’s dairy milk moment ….. .

The strange thing is that, after putting so much effort into this pleasure of editing and proofreading, I always seem to forget to check my own e-mails and, just as I am lifting my finger of the ‘send’ button, I see it!

Forgive me.  When it comes to writing, I am a perfectionist ….. but there are limits and at least I am admitting to mine …. .

Published in: on 14/11/2013 at 4:12 pm  Leave a Comment  

So That’s How you Pick a Story Apart!


For several years now, I have been looking at short stories and pulling them apart, to find out what essential ingredients each story has which made it publishable.  I looked at plot, theme, tense, word count and paragraph + sentence breakdown, the number of characters, the element of conflict and so on and collected my information which, I must admit, didn’t seem to help me much.  I thought that other (now published) writers must have been able to pull stories apart much better than I could. 

Well, having now read the article ‘Pick a Story Apart’ by Vivien Hampshire in the current September 13 issue of Writing Magazine, I now realise that what I was doing was completely (or, just to feel a bit better, let me say ninety per cent) weak of the term ‘pulling a story apart.

In her article, Vivien lists many questions which can be addressed, to find out the information you need regarding plot, characters etc.   I am so impressed by the article content that I’ve typed up all of her questions to use as an aide memoir for future attempts and finding out what magazine editors are looking for.

If you haven’t got a copy of the current Writing Magazine, either go and buy one or find someone who has!



Published in: on 14/08/2013 at 7:13 pm  Leave a Comment  

Bye Bye to James Herbert.

It was with great sadness that I have read that James Herbert died last month.  As far as writers go, he was my number one.  Classed as a writer of chillers, James’ books carried infestations of different kinds.  Rats, bats and spiders filled the pages that I loved to read and his way of writing was akin to my way of thinking (a little bit of this, a moment of digression and back to where were a few seconds ago (what I would call very creative sentences)).  I’ll enjoy reading his books many times more but what will I now do for new reads?  Does any other author write with a similar style? 

I do hope so.

Bye bye, James …. .

Published in: on 04/05/2013 at 8:57 pm  Leave a Comment