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

thrillers-220

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.

Includes:

  • 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: mybook.to/thrillers102k

Paperback: mybook.to/thrillers102p

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

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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: mail@ideas4writers.co.uk 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: www.ideas4writers.co.uk/2018

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.

Wanted: someone to run a Kickstarter campaign for us. Reward: 10 percent of funds raised.

pound-1680567_640

We’re looking for someone with experience of running a Kickstarter campaign who would like to earn some money.

We’re getting lots of complaints that we’ve discontinued The Date-A-Base Book/Next Year’s News series. This was our annual collection of historic and newsworthy anniversaries for the coming year. We weren’t selling enough copies to make it worth continuing. But some high-profile companies and writers had come to depend on it.

So we’re considering a Kickstarter campaign that will raise £15,000 – £20,000 (more would be nice) where people pay £10 to order their copy of “Next Year’s News 2019” in advance. If we reach the target – equivalent to at least 1,500 copies – we’ll drop everything and get it written ASAP. But if we don’t hit the target then it won’t get written, and the series will be retired.

We don’t have the time or marketing expertise to be able to pull this off, but we’re sure someone out there does. If not you personally then a friend of a friend, perhaps. We’ll give that person 10% of whatever the Kickstarter campaign raises. (However, they only get paid if the campaign reaches its target.)

So … £1,500 – £2,000 (maybe more) for a few weeks’ work … anybody?

[UPDATE] To help sweeten the deal, we’ll raise the reward to 20% if the campaign fund reaches £20,000, and to 50% if it reaches £50,000. achieving that kind of figure won’t be easy, but it’s certainly possible. If you have the crowdfunding skills to pull it off, £25,000 could be yours.

Please spread the word and let’s see if we can save this much-loved series!


If you’re interested in running the campaign:

Please email us: mail@ideas4writers.co.uk 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 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.

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

If you want to see what the book looks like, here’s the link to the 2018 edition: www.ideas4writers.co.uk/2018

Or email us at the address above and we’ll send you the 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 copies than the current one. But we don’t seem to be reaching the right people with our marketing. 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.

The key targets for marketing purposes would be media/production companies, newspapers, journalists, and article writers.

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.

Includes:

  • 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: mybook.to/romance176k

Paperback: mybook.to/romance176p

(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: http://mybook.to/hanfe2k
Paperback: http://mybook.to/hanfe2p

 

[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!

 

Guest post: E. Rachael Hardcastle (Author of Finding Pandora)

6016f2_1e64bbd333624e3da9900739929e2dbc-mv2_d_1280_1214_s_2.pngToday we’re delighted to welcome supernatural fantasy novelist and West Yorkshire lass E. Rachael Hardcastle to the ideas4writers blog. Her box set Finding Pandora – The Complete Collection (Books 1 – 4) is out this week.

Naturally, we wanted to know all about her, her ideas, and her writing and publishing experiences, and to see if she had any useful tips to share. Here’s what she had to say:

How do you find and evaluate ideas for characters, plots, dialogue, etc?

It’s an overused response but ideas just come to me. Sometimes after watching TV or reading a book I wonder what new swing I could put on that premise, so I’ll write it down and explore it later on. I never base characters on real people – I like to let the characters develop into who they need to be and usually fill in a profile sheet (as seen on my blog) to make sure I cover everything.

How did you get your latest idea? What made it good enough to write about?

My latest idea came to me after watching Jurassic Park and reading a book called The Great Zoo of China. I wanted to explore the theme park idea further, where the guests have to escape for some reason. I know the idea is popular because the movies do well, and to the best of my knowledge the books have done well too, so I thought I’d note it down and brainstorm some ideas. I haven’t started writing yet, but I know it’s a golden nugget because it crosses my mind every day.

How did you expand the idea?

  • Use brainstorming and mind mapping ideas

  • Use story beats to note everything down and build a story/characters

  • Note down the cliches I wanted to avoid and why

  • Watched the movies, read the books etc for research and to see how I can make my story unique

How do you do your research?

I prefer to use reference books rather than the internet, though I do often mix the two. I write fantasy, so some of my research is on myth, legends, signs and symbols, etc, which is fun, so I don’t actually mind this part of the process. I then keep notes in a ‘story beats’ outline document in OpenOffice, which I refer to whenever it is needed. I tried Scrivener but haven’t yet made friends with it.

Would you be willing to share with us some of the ideas you’ve rejected?

I very rarely reject ideas, I just note them down for use in a future project. I think my advice would be not to reject anything because even if it has been used before, there’s always a new way to approach it. They say there are no new ideas and I believe this is true to some extent – it’s what you do with them that counts.

Which book marketing ideas would you recommend?

I offer free content to prove I am trustworthy and helpful. I think marketing can be creepy when you’re posting ‘buy my book’ on social media. Your posts will be ignored and you might lose followers by doing this. Post free content on your blog, helpful notes and resources, and then offer your book at the end. For example, you could advertise your book at the end of a YouTube video that is free and offers the viewer a solution to a problem.

How did you get published?

I self-published my work after coming close to traditional publishing and turning down two offers. I decided I wanted to be in control and give it a shot myself. That way, I could learn the ins and outs and possibly turn hybrid later.

Have you had any really bad/bizarre rejections or reviews?

I once received a postal rejection (with my manuscript enclosed) and on the title page was the comment ‘We don’t publish poetry’. I had submitted my 50,000+ word high fantasy novel…

How do you find the time to write?

I think I steal the time to write after work and between chores at home. If you want to be a writer, you should write, and those who are serious will make the time.

Where do you write?

I have a home office. I keep all my reference books, tools and notes in that room so I can access anything I need quickly and easily.

Can you recommend any software or apps that help with your writing?

And finally, where can we find out more about you and your books?

My website is at www.erachaelhardcastle.com

Thank you! Good luck with the box set and for your future writing success.

Thank you!