Blog 40: Why You Should Invest In An Editor.

“The funny thing about writing is that whether you’re doing it well or you’re doing it poorly, it looks the exact same. That is actually one of the main ways that writing is different from ballet dancing.” – John Green

If you’re an indie author and either have, or are considering self-publishing, then let me borrow a few minutes of your time to tell you why I think investing in a good editor is important.

I’ve read many books over the years and I’m by no means an expert in the field of writing, but I have noticed reoccurring patterns and feelings. Particularly feelings of disappointment and confusion when a book I’ve been reading has fallen flat or the characters have just acted bizarrely for no apparent reason, and yes I have fallen into this trap too.

As a writer and author, I know how difficult it is to come up with compelling, yet realistic ideas that make sense for your story. When I was writing my first published book Anomaly, which I rewrote dozens of times with the help of a couple of editors, I found that in later rewrites my mind had become so saturated with my story that I could no longer decide whether my writing and ideas were good, or if they were just plain terrible. I experienced feelings of panic and anxiety for weeks and months, even after I finished the book and it went off for publication. In fact, the earliest versions of Anomaly bear very little resemblance to what I eventually wrote and published in 2016. read more »

Blog 13: How to do Tax as a UK Author.

I’m sorry this is a boring and long blog but it is REALLY IMPORTANT, so you should read it.

I’ve touched on this subject briefly in Blog 2: ‘Becoming a Writer is Like Climbing a Mountain’ and now I am going to go into more detail. In the UK and certainly during my school years, tax was and is, that evil little subject that never really gets covered, but you’re expected to know what it is and more importantly how to pay it regardless. Makes total sense right? Not.

If you work for yourself and earn money from what you do, then you are self-employed. You could be an artist, writer, builder, yoga instructor, pretty much anything, but if you do not work for a company or an employer who already sorts out your tax for you (you will need to check this out if you are employed, particularly if you do contract work), then you need to register as self-employed and you need to do your own tax returns.

So, for the benefit of pretty much every self-employed person, I’m going to do my best at explaining how you sign up for tax as a UK resident, and how you complete a Self-Assessment form. read more »

Blog 2: Becoming a Writer is Like Climbing a Mountain.

Becoming an author is not an easy decision to make. New writers have to convince an agent or publisher to take them on, write a novel that will appeal to readers, learn about the industry, improve their writing skills, and in most cases balance a job and family commitments too. At times it feels like trying to climb a literary equivalent of Mount Everest. It’s not easy, and not everyone is understanding. Your ideas will be rejected, probably by hundreds of publishing houses before one actually takes you on. Your family and friends may also reject the idea of you being a writer. I’ve heard many phrases such as, ‘A writer? that’s not going to earn you money,’ or ‘When are you going to find a real job?’ or ‘How about you take a dentistry course instead?’ and my favorite, ‘When’s your book going to be ready?’ Do any of these sound familiar? Don’t worry, you’re not alone, everyone goes through this, myself included.

The truth is, being a writer means that you are deciding to be self-employed, an authorpreneur so to speak. The majority of people would never consider being self-employed, it scares them and to be totally honest it is scary. Most people read more »