Tag Archives: thinking like a writer

Coming up for air

Twelve Shards of Glass PR Hilton Small

What a good feeling it is to finish something. Last night I saw my first short story collection published, Twelve Shards of Glass. The feeling, as always is one of both sadness and elation.

A part of me gets used to being around the work in question and then suddenly that relationship changes and I have a different kind of relationship.

I’m very excited about this collection of stories because I think writing these for the book and with having a set theme in mind, connections with glass, I have been able to use different writing styles, as well as light and shade.

As an author, I’m all too often judged by the work at hand, as to my ability.  This of course is nonsense, as we can all turn our hands to different things, if we’re offered the opportunity.

Many of the stories have a twist in the tale and all are perfect coffee break short reads.

Amazon UK                   Amazon US

 

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Glass in its myriad forms

 

Twelve Shards of Glass PR Hilton Small

I have been very busy writing brand new short stories for my forthcoming collection Twelve Shards of Glass.

I decided that instead of simply collecting a number of existing short stories together, giving the collection a name and putting it out as a book, I would do something more interesting.

Twelve Shards features twelve brand new stories, each with a connection to glass in some way or other.

Now you might think that this hasn’t given me much scope, but you would be very surprised at just how many different uses glass is put to.

The stories range from the mysterious to the comedic and so much more in between. The experience has been so interesting, that I’m intending to theme future short story collections too, though with different themes of course.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

If the eye is the window of the soul, what is a book cover?

An author might spend many months or even years working on a book. Didn’t Emily Bronte take thirteen years to finish Wuthering Heights?

Say what you like about Emily, she certainly had staying power. I digress, sorry, back to my point.

Having worked hard and any of my readers, who has written or is in the process of writing a book, novel or non-fiction, will know just how hard it really is.

You can forget these ‘How to write’ books that tell you that it’s simple, just sit down, plug into your Muse and away you go. No, not quite.

The writing has to be backed up by good quality research, even fiction, especially fiction if readers are to believe in its truth.

After the book is finished, comes the proofreading and editing, a huge task, even with a small book.

Along the way there are so many choices, what needs to go in, what should be left out? In order to let the work breathe and in doing so benefit the book.

philpotluk_toofar Small

When it’s finished, being a book, it will need a cover. And here all too often is the big problem.

Why do so many people who have worked so hard and for so long, throw any old image on the book and call it a cover?

In this time of E-books, especially when it comes to Amazon Kindle books, covers are not just important, but vital in getting your work noticed.

I have seen books in the crime and thriller sections, which feature obvious pictures of pets. I’m not kidding, dogs and cats and a title and author name.

Remember that if your book comes out on Kindle, it will feature on The Kindle Carousel, once downloaded. The quality of the cover along may decide on that book being flicked past, deleted or opened.

When it comes to my hard work, I mock up all of my covers first and then send them to a designer. My book represents not only my hard work, but also my Author Brand.

I want to be able to stand behind each book proudly. I also want them to look good as both thumbnails and full size.

In an Amazon search, potential readers must be able to read the title and see the cover image, at least reasonably enough to decide if it might be of interest to them.

Remember that they’ll only get to read the blurb, as amazing as it might be, once they click through from the thumbnail.

philpotuk_The_Commuters_Club Small

I like to have my covers before my books are written. That might seem odd and maybe it is. To me, it helps keep me on track.

It also holds me to account, because if the cover exists, the finished book has to follow. My thinking is like that great movie with Kevin Costner and Burt Lancaster, Field of dreams.

The quote from that movie was

‘If you build it, they will come.’

Now if you missed that one and I’d be surprised. The theme of the film was about believing in yourself and knowing that if you do what is right for you deep down in your heart, everything will work out.

So my covers are like that, I get them and the books will come. It works for me, but we’re all different and that’s what makes life so interesting.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Amazon Top One Hundred Author: Crime

Last night I discovered that I had not only entered The Amazon Top Hundred Best Sellers, in Crime. I was number 30. That was amazing news, better still was this morning when I looked and my book A Question of Honour was now at number 19.

philpotluk_honour Small

I want to say a huge thank you to all of the readers who have chosen my book because we all know that the choice these days is somewhat on the large side.

I am very grateful for all the support I’ve received and would like to say to anyone who is struggling with a book at this time, don’t give up on your dreams, it’s hard work, but the feeling is so worth the effort you’ve put in.

The writing Business 

A piece of advice for anyone who has a book currently hidden in the dusty dark online shelves of Amazon and is wondering whether to hurl a curse at the annoying person writing this. Stop and consider the following.

Writing the book is only half the story, the rest is the invisible work behind the scenes, advertising, and marketing.

Yes, I know that as a writer, we like to think of ourselves above such things. We are artists, creating from a blank canvas. Hmmm yes, and no.

Yes, we are both of those things but we also happen to be involved in an industry which is very over populated. There is so much available for the reader to choose from now.

These days Amazon has become like Willy Wonka for readers and I should know, I’m a constantly hungry reader myself.

Writing is two things, an art form, and a business. You can argue, but it’s an argument already lost. Well, it is if you think about it.

It has always been a business, the only difference being that publishing houses did the business side of the work, leaving the writer to create.

Those days have gone and not just for the Indie author either. Publishing houses these days are too busy and with cutbacks right across the industry, they now expect their authors to pull their own weight, in a business sense.

The Writing business should read, the writing Business. As always just my viewpoint, but an opinion based on personal experience and results.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

An international readership

prhilton cup

I was looking at the downloads of my book A Question of Honour and decided to look past the numbers and instead focus on the readers.

I was amazed to find that so far, and the book has only been available for three days, I have a readership which spans the globe.

The internet really has brought people together. Looking at my stats, I can say that I feel honoured and excited that people from around the world have decided to choose my book.

Suddenly I have become an international author. Thank you to all of those people who have chosen this book, in a marketplace so filled with other choices.

I have readers in the following countries:

Australia

Brazil

Canada

France

Germany

India

Japan

UK

USA

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

FREE Kindle Book

Question of Honour 3d

Happy New Year to all of my blog and Twitter friends. My novel A Question of Honour is FREE to download for the next 5 days only. Why not grab your copy now.

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Why I think size isn’t really that important

Glasses on book PR Hilton

These days so many people judge a new book by its weight and thickness, before even looking at the blurb.

Before the 1980s, books were so much thinner page-wise, but often weightier in a prose sense.

If you look at the page count for many modern classic books from before 1985, you’ll see many come in at page counts 200 and below.

I write in an organic sense, my stories grow and evolve and I feel as though I’m more a narrator than a creator.

I write a story and when it is finished, that’s where the book ends. I don’t want to insult my reader by padding out my books with added chapters, just for the sake of a higher page count.

I have a short story collection in the wings and I know that this will be much thicker, but that is a very different creature.

The Harry Royle thrillers are by nature a nod to the past, perhaps what could be termed British Noir, if such a thing exists.

The stories are written, I hope, in a way that does not make them too modern, but instead allows them to fit into a vintage crime framework.

As an author, I know where I’m coming from. However, it is for the reader to decide if I’ve hit the mark or not.

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized