New Book: 102 Powerful, Gripping and Intriguing Ideas for Thriller Writers


Here’s the next book in our rebranded series of ideas and story prompts for writers.

All of the ideas have been edited and updated;
there’s a lovely new cover;
the Kindle price has been slashed to just 2.99;
and it’s available in paperback for the first time too!

It’s only available from Amazon, and to comply with their exclusivity requirements, we will no longer be selling it on the ideas4writers website.


Here’s the new description:

Write thrillers your readers will never forget!

No more ponderous, over-used plots; clichéd, one-dimensional characters; and stories that lack imagination and depth. Your plots will be epic, compelling and fresh; your heroes and villains will be complex and memorable; and your stories will blow your readers away.


  • The Easy Way to Write Thrillers
  • The Formula that Works Every Time
  • The Best Heroes and Villains for your Stories
  • How to Thrill and Scare your Readers
  • How to get your Hero out of Trouble – in any situation
  • How to use the Different Types of Deadline
  • How to Increase the Drama to nail-biting levels
  • And much more
  • Plus you’ll get 40 great scene and storyline ideas you can use immediately or adapt as you wish

Here are those all-important links:

Kindle edition:


We’ll be working on the Science Fiction collection next. It should be available in time for Christmas.


Advent Calendar of Books!

santa-sack-964342_640My friend P. D. (Pam) Workman has put together an Advent Calendar of Books as we count down to Christmas.

Each day between December 1st and 24th there’s a specially selected free or $0.99 book on special offer. I’ve seen the full list, and there are some really good ones, covering all sorts of genres.

Note that the special price is only valid for the day the book is featured in the calendar.

Please share, and let’s spread the good cheer!

[UPDATED] Wanted: crowdfunding expert. Reward: up to 50 percent of funds raised

notes-1199516_640HELP! We’re looking for someone with experience of running a Kickstarter campaign. Do you know of anyone? Can you help spread the word?

The aim of the campaign is to raise the funds to produce the book “Next Year’s News 2019”. This is our annual collection of historic and newsworthy anniversaries for the coming year. It’s used by several high-profile companies and writers. This will be the 12th annual edition. We have not run a crowdfunding campaign before, but have relied on sales direct from our website.

There was dismay when announced that we were discontinuing the series because we weren’t selling enough copies. Some of our regular customers had come to depend on it.

Here’s a typical response: “I am desolate at the thought of you stopping your wonderful book. It has enriched my website for years! Whatever will I do without you?”

So we’re considering a Kickstarter campaign that will raise at least £15,000. The idea is that at least 1,500 people or companies will each pay £10 to order their copy of the book in advance. If we reach the target, we’ll drop everything and get it written by the spring of 2018. If we don’t reach the target, the series will be officially retired.

We don’t have the expertise to be able to pull this off ourselves, but we’re sure someone out there does. If not you personally then perhaps a friend of a friend. We’ll give that person a share of whatever the Kickstarter campaign raises. (However, they only get paid if the campaign reaches its initial target.)

The reward tier:

If the campaign fund fails to reach £15,000, you will receive £0.00

If it hits £15,000, you will receive 10% (at least £1,500)

If it hits £20,000, you will receive 20% (at least £4,000)

If it hits £30,000, you will receive 30% (at least £9,000)

If it hits £50,000, you will receive 50% (at least £25,000)

Achieving a figure of £50,000 (equivalent to 5,000 copies sold) won’t be easy, but it’s certainly possible if you have the crowdfunding skills to pull it off.

If you’re interested in running the campaign:

Please email us: and tell us about your previous experience of running a successful Kickstarter campaign. (If it wasn’t successful, you need to be confident that it would be if you did it again – lessons learned, etc.)

We can supply any graphics or text that might be required – just tell us what you need.

If you require any additional items or services that we cannot supply, e.g. promotional materials, video, advertising, they must be funded by you.

If you want to see what the book looks like, here’s the link to the 2018 edition:

Or email us at the address above and we’ll send you a pdf of the 2017 edition.

The 2018 edition has only sold about 120 copies so far, which is why the series will be discontinued unless we can get the funding. The minimum number of copies required for a viable product is 1,500.

We think there should be a lot more demand for it. Previous editions have sold significantly more than the current one. But we don’t seem to be reaching the right people (admittedly our marketing in recent years has been minimal). We also believe that Google is preventing people from finding our website because it isn’t mobile responsive yet, and we haven’t had the time to fix it.

Another issue we have is that people regard the series as their “secret weapon” and keep it to themselves. Now that they risk losing it if they don’t spread the word, that ought to be enough to persuade them help. We have the contact details for everyone that has bought a copy previously, so you’d be able to email them and try to enlist their support.

The books are currently used by several international broadcasting networks, and they buy copies year after year. So the quality of the product, and our reputation, are both top-notch.

The key targets for marketing purposes would be media/production companies, newspapers, journalists, and article writers. Secondary targets could include event planners, libraries, and educational establishments.

If the campaign is successful, we will want to run it again in subsequent years to fund future editions. The campaign to raise funds for the 2020 edition would begin as soon as the 2019 edition is completed. We would aim to complete the 2020 edition by October 2018 – subject to it being funded.

New Book: 176 Lovingly Crafted Ideas for Romance Writers

176 Lovingly Crafted Ideas for Romance Writers

Here’s the first book in our rebranded series of ideas and story prompts for writers.

All of the ideas have been edited and updated;
there’s a lovely new cover;
the Kindle price has been slashed to just 2.99;
and it’s now available in paperback too!

It’s only available from Amazon, and to comply with their exclusivity requirements, we will no longer be selling it on the ideas4writers website.

Here’s the new description:

Create romantic stories your readers will never forget. No more boring, over-used plots; clichéd, one-dimensional characters; or stories that lack imagination. Your plots will be fresh and exciting, your characters will be realistic and compelling, and your stories will be so full of imagination and depth that your readers will be hungry for more.


  • An easy way to write romantic stories
  • The essential elements of romantic fiction
  • How to create the perfect hero and heroine
  • Conveying emotion and building tension
  • The perfect formula for sexual chemistry
  • How to write romantic dialogue
  • And much more
  • Plus 50 great storylines you can use immediately or adapt as you wish

Here are those all-important links:

Kindle edition:


(Hint: the paperback version would make a lovely Christmas gift!)

We’ll be working on the Thrillers collection next. It should be available in about two weeks.

Humans are not from Earth (2nd Edition) by Dr. Ellis Silver

hanfe2coverI’ve lost track of how long I’ve spent working on this book. I spent 11 days brainstorming and mind mapping it with the author, Dr. Ellis Silver (an American ecologist and environmentalist), and ended up with a Mind Map the size of a wall (on my iPad), a comprehensive outline, and 900 pages of very rough notes Ellis had already compiled, based on feedback I’d been sending him from the first edition.

It’s taken me a good year since then to knock it all into shape, write it all out neatly, fill in the gaps, find supporting evidence where it was missing, edit it, lay it out for publishing, and design a cover.

On top of that, throughout this process, new discoveries were announced in the media pretty much every week – sometimes daily – and many of them not only needed to be included in the book, but had a profound effect on what had already been written. That, of course, led to lots of emails back and forth, and we went back to the drawing board again and again.

One reviewer who commented on the first edition on Amazon said writing this second edition would be impossible. And to be honest, she wasn’t far wrong. But I’m actually quite good at the impossible. It just takes me a while sometimes.

But at last, it’s finished, it’s all done, and it’s on sale!

I was aiming for around 350 pages but it’s so comprehensive and wide-ranging that it came out closer to 500. On top of that, there’s over 100 pages of references, as every major point is backed up with evidence – we felt that was extremely important when dealing with a subject of this kind. Plus there’s an expanded table of contents and a detailed index, bringing the whole thing up to 646 pages.

It’s a fascinating read, debunks many common misconceptions, and covers much more than the title implies. If you click on the cover image over on Amazon you’ll be able to see the expanded table of contents (and the first 50 pages of the actual text) and get a good idea of what it’s all about.

I hope you like the cover. I had to take a 3-month advanced Photoshop course to be able to do that. The course runs for another 2 weeks, and then I’m taking a 3-month graphic design and typography course.

If you’re interested in buying a copy of the book, it’s exclusive to Amazon and available on Kindle (£4.99/$4.99) and in paperback (£18.99/$24.99).

If you don’t have a Kindle ereader device, there’s a free Kindle app that you can install on any computer, tablet or smartphone. You can download it from the book’s Kindle page – see below.

The following links should take you to your nearest Amazon website, wherever you are in the world:

Kindle version:


[UPDATE] There’s now a Facebook page for Humans are not from Earth, where we’ll be discussing the book – and the topics it covers – in more detail, and hopefully having some fun and interesting debates. Come and join us, even if you haven’t bought the book yet. And if you have bought it, there’s a Very Special Offer there for you!


Available now: Next Year’s News 2018

Next Year's News 2018Next Year’s News is the new name for our popular “The Date-A-Base Book” series.

Inside you’ll find details of over 5,000 newsworthy and notable anniversaries in 2018, including events, discoveries, inventions, births and deaths.

It’s the ideal (some would say essential!) reference for all writers, journalists, researchers, TV/radio producers and film-makers.


Size: 8.5″ x 11.5″. 357 pages.

The ebook (PDF) version is available now. Printed copies will be available in January.

The price is unchanged from last year: £9.99 (US$12.49).

Get your copy now at

The Date-A-Base Book 2017 is also available.

ideas4writers lifetime members: this ebook is included in your membership. You can download it from the members’ home page after logging in at

The Date-A-Base Book 2018 (preview edition)

The Date-A-Base Book 2018 (preview edition) is now available to download from our members’ home page. Over 190 pages of anniversaries in 2018 for you to write about and make money from. (And get a good head start on everyone else!)

The preview contains 99% of the newsworthy birth and death anniversaries in 2018, plus some notable events that we copied across from previous editions.

Note: This edition is for ideas4writers lifetime members only.

If you aren’t a member yet, join here (for a very reasonable one-time-only fee): and get all 40 of our e-books!

The full version will go on sale in October.