Archive for the ‘writing advice’ Category

Choosing a book title

As I start my first urban fantasy novel, I am struggling with finding the perfect title.  So many books have been written on werewolves that a) not only do I have to find a unique angle but b) every title I think of has a similar – or exact – one out there!

And that got me thinking about what makes a great book title.  Here are my thoughts:

1.  It needs to encapsulate the book’s concept so that readers know exactly what they are in for.  If my book had been a romance, for example, naming it ‘Dead Tropics’ would not have been a good idea.  For a zombie book, however, its pretty cool!

2.  Check the internet to make sure it is a unique title.  You don’t want to confuse readers by lumping your book in with several other books that have the same or very similar titles.

3.  Brainstorm possible titles.  Let your creative juices flow.  Put it all down on paper and then look at them individually.  Are they unique?  Do they do your book justice?

3.  And lastly, choose a title that thrills you, as the author.  You know your book best and if you love it, really really love it, then go with it.

As for my precious book…hmm, I’m tentatively leaning towards The Moon Unbound.  A young heroine struggling with her new life as a werewolf and mother, werewolf clan wars, rough-hewn hero …its working for me right now.


How to get a write-up of your book

As a new author, I felt rather daunted by the task of getting my book noticed but as I was rather successful, I thought I would share my success story.

Last year, I wrote a parenting book which was written up in all the national newspapers.  I was even invited onto a national current affairs tv show!

I did this by:

1) keeping an eye out for news items that related to my book.

2) writing a press release that I hoped would catch the eye of a journalist.  I did this by:

  • using a controversial/sensationalised headline,
  • writing in the style of newspaper articles,  and
  • scouring the internet for journalists who had written on my subject matter.

I sent a press release to these journalists.  One journalist responded the next day, asking for a copy of my book.  She then wrote a four page story that was copied by every other major paper and discussed widely on radio and tv.

When it comes to the actual press release, here are some tips:

a) provide a large newsworthy heading just like you see in the newspapers

b) pretend you are fishing: put out something that will make the media bite – topics that are hot or controversial.  Don’t be afraid to have an opinion that goes against the norm – just have facts to support your case.

c) keep it short

d) sum up the press release in your first paragraph -who, what, when, why, where and how.

e) use the rest of the press release to expand on the info in the first paragraph.

e) provide all the details they might need such as company name, contact person and contact numbers.

Since then, I have converted that media coverage into a deal with a book distributor.  To keep interest alive, I do radio chat shows and write articles for magazine that subtly plug my book.  I have discovered what many writers discover – writing the book was the easy part.  Promotion, however, is never-ending.