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Novel Writing
Fiction 101


Writing Style and Your Unique Voice 

The Importance of Your Copyright

On Character Creation

Can You Be Too Old to Write?

The Horror, the Horror

The Fantasy Fiction Formula

Free Writing Techniques

Writers Guide to Reading

The Science of Easy Writing

What's Next for You?

News Views & Clues to Writing Success

You Got The Power

The Culture of Positivity

How to be Your Own Mentor

Create Your Own World

Keep It Simple, Stupid!

Cure Writers Block - Forever

The Truth is Out There

Tempus Fugit

Stand Up and Be Counted

Write From Where You Started

That Competitive Edge

Inspiration Point

Change Your Mind

Writing at the Pit Face

Change the Way You Look at Things

Show Don't Tell

On Me

What Do You Want To Say?

Moments of Clarity

The Write Stuff

Tame Your Creativity


Writing Down The Bones

Give Away Your Fiction

Secret Grammar Rules

Motivation and Writing

What to Do With Inspiration

How to Write an Internet Article - Fast

Dust in the Wind

Writing Suspense Fiction

How to Make a Book Trailer

Mark Twain Would Have Loved The Net

Love Your Writing

How to Write a Song

The Hidden Story Formula

Ideas and Inspiration

The Writing is on the Wall

When You Don't Feel Like Writing

How to Believe in Yourself

The 4 Phases of Wisdom

Why Fiction Matters

11 reasons to be a writer


"Rob Parnell is the World's Foremost Writing Guru" - Writers Digest Best Writers' Site - Critters #1 Best Writers' Info Site. Rob is listed in Who's Who

News, Views & Clues... to Writing Success


Dear Fellow Writer,

Welcome to this week's newsletter.

It's that time of the week again! See below for a brand new article.

Stop!Get my latest novel from Kindle! 

Murder, mystery, love, loyalty and two friends with awesome psychic powers! 

Click HERE - Now!

Currently I'm running a masterclass on plotting stories. Click on the picture below for more info!

Story Plotting


The New Reality of Publishing

Rob Parnell

Last week's article provoked a slew of emails from writers and would be authors about this whole question of 'getting published' and what it means in this Brave New World of Internet dominance in our lives.

Many writers still feel as though getting published online is somehow cheating the system - and either won't or can't do it without feeling as though it's perhaps too easy or doesn't properly reflect the seriousness with which they regard their own work.

As though, unless their work is immortalized in an actual paper based book, then it's not really being published at all!

My suspicion is that many writers don't want to know how many books they might sell - or, more pointedly, might not sell - if they 'go it alone'.

Perhaps many writers don't really want to know whether they can actually sell any books - so, by saying they want a 'real' publisher and enduring years of rejection, they're just forever putting off finding out the truth!

Okay, it's true that 'self publishing' has a stigma attached to it - even now, when perhaps a million new writers are getting money for their work in a way that was impossible before the Internet.

The stigma has to do with lack of validation from external sources. 

The feeling is that unless an author's work has been vetted and given the thumbs up by corporate conglomerates, in-house editors and media critics, then it won't have the necessary gravitas or quality associated with 'books on shelves.'

More, that an author's attempts at self editing are perhaps not quite good enough for the mass market.

Many self published authors do have badly edited manuscripts on sale to the public - not, sadly, that many people seem to notice these days! 

And yes I do agree that it's very important for self published authors to do their utmost to make their manuscripts clean and error free before they put their work out there - something I go to great lengths to stress and deal with in The Write Stuff Program.

But there's also a reality check issue here that needs addressing.

It may be that you really want to see your real world book out there, sitting on a book shelf. That would feel good, right?

But as a 'real world' publisher myself, I have some news for you.

In many cases, that's exactly what will happen to your book.

It will sit on a shelf.

Overall book sales (not including online) rose by 6% last year - but the increase in book sales was limited to the bestseller list of the top 100 books. Most authors - 99% - saw their book sales fall.

Indeed, fewer authors than ever were signed to publishers last year - down 30% on the previous year - while publishers are trying to consolidate exactly what the impact of the Internet and Amazon in particular might have on publishing in the years to come.


The trouble with offline publishing is that it's ruthlessly commerce based. In fact it always has been - only now authors, for the first time in history, have a viable alternative.

Here's what typically happens when you get a traditional publishing deal:

First, there's the wait.

Six weeks to a year to get a book accepted.

A further year or two before it gets a print run - usually just a few thousand copies.

Then it goes out on a sale or return basis to book stores.

If your book isn't an immediate best seller - and the majority are not of course - then all of those books sitting on shelves are returned to the publisher. For pulping or mark down or selling off cheap to the author before the book is withdrawn from sale.

Basically you have a window of three to six months to sell your masterpiece and then - the party's over.

It's rare that publishers will 'develop' an author these days - that is, let their first books flop while publishing more. That doesn't make short term commercial sense.

But it does make sense online - where your books are always available for as long as you want them to be. Many online authors find that the more books they publish with Kindle, the sales bloom as their online presence increases over time - and their older books start selling more too.

It's interesting to me that more and more online authors - like those Kindle bestsellers we keep hearing about - are writers who had offline publishing deals and grew tired of the traditional publishing merry-go-round.

It's easy to feel crushed when your publisher tells you they won't be taking up that option for your next book - because of those 'disappointing' sales. But it is from this point that many new online authors start.

They know that, if you want to write for a living, you can't rely on the vagaries of traditional publishing to pay the rent - or not - when you can more easily and with greater urgency, be in direct contact with your readers and fans by self publishing online!

And ironically it's how an increasing number of authors are actually getting publishing deals - by proving they have saleable books online first!

To me, the great thing about the Net is that it's a very quick and effective way of finding out for yourself what's commercial and what isn't.

If you want to be a successful writer, you have a duty to discover what the public actually wants to read. And then write it.

It's no accident that your favorite authors write thrillers or fantasy or romance. As publishers have always known, people like genre fiction. They feel comfortable before they pick up a book if they think they know what they're getting.

And even the best literary authors in the world know that, by shifting their mindset just a tad towards the market, they can attain serious commercial success, without losing any credibility whatsoever.

After all, what's integrity when you're mired in obscurity?

Better to sell your books - and have readers who actually want to listen to what you have to say, right?

Want more positive info about getting to be a succesful writer?

Do yourself a favor.

Go visit The Write Stuff.


 rob at home

Rob Parnell
The Easy Way to Write


"Don't think. Thinking is the enemy of creativity. It's self-conscious and anything self-conscious is lousy. You cannot try to do things. You simply must do things." Ray Bradbury

Previous Newsletter includes:
Article: "New Tricks From Old Publishers"

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