Help for Authors

Help for authors is a series of articles offering help to authors writing a book. The articles include help on finding inspiration, planning and completing their novel, and become published or self-published authors.

Finding a Literary Agent

Finding a Literary Agent

Finding a Literary Agent in the UK is time-consuming, and you Finding a Literary Agent in the UK is time-consuming, and you need to do research to find the one best suited to you and your book.

In the UK, the overwhelming majority of literary agents charge authors 15% of any income earned from UK sales, and 20% of any income earned from overseas sales or from film and TV sales. Most of you reading this will realise this is good value for money. You don’t have to pay your agent any up-front fees, and it is in their best interest for you to sell a lot of books. If they don’t find a publisher to accept your book, or if your book doesn’t sell, they make nothing.

How Traditional Publishing Works through thousands of bookshops

How Traditional Publishing Works

Authors need to know how traditional publishing works to have any chance of being published by a traditional publisher. Self-publishing is fine, but the real money lies in getting your paperback book on sale in bookshops throughout the country.

Developing a Novel Writing Style

Developing a Novel Writing Style

All writers end up developing a novel writing style of their own. In years to come someone will find your writing and know you wrote it. Pick up an unknown book by an author you love, and within a few sentences you will know your favourite author wrote it. Writing style is intangible and difficult to describe, but we recognise it when we see it.

Development of Novel characters - Not everyone is what they seem

Development of Novel Characters

Development of novel characters is central to any novel. Some have major parts, others minor, but every character should be there for a reason.

Some of the major characters in your story will be heroes, some villains, some good, some evil, some dim, some clever. Just like all the people you meet in real life, all your characters will have different characteristics, some you will like and others you will dislike. That presents authors with a problem. Like them or loath them, your characters have to be believable.

Writing the start of a novel

Writing the Start of a Novel

Writing the start of a novel shouldn’t be done without completing the preliminaries. You should already have a theme, a plot, and a viewpoint. If you’re a planner, you’ve plenty of planning to do; but if you’re a pantser, you’re good to go. Either way, once you are ready to write, how should you begin your novel?