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Paul Pens is a blog about writing, editing, publishing and self-publishing—including book cover design, self-promotion and querying literary agents

Being a writer is a solitary occupation, needing lots of resourcefulness and determination to get through. Humour helps in the struggle…if you can’t laugh at yourself, you’ll soon be crying! 

It sounds unlikely, but literary agents are humans too.

These days with political correctness affecting everything that’s written, even children’s stories is scrutinised to ensure no one will be offended. How do you get things right?

Traditional print publishing isn’t the be all and end all of selling books. Self-publishing authors can make a fortune. Crime writer Adam Croft went for covering the bills to making £2,000 daily.

Andy Weir’s road to fame and riches wasn’t an easy one. The author of The Martian offers succinct and accurate advice.

The title of your book is the hook that snags a reader’s attention, reeling them in to find out more. For an unknown debut author it’s your calling card. Get the title wrong and the reader will move onto something more catchy.

* DATING A WRITER

Writers are a strange lot…admit it, you know your are. But, what are writers like as a romantic partner?

No one said it would be easy to get published, but does it have to be this hard? Writing well and presenting a perfect query is no guarantee of success. It takes time for a newbie author to realise that their book is a commercial product that has to be sold in a crowded marketplace.

You can read anywhere, but going horizontal with a good book is best.