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View from Dubrovnik city wall

Croatia: Getting around in Dubrovnik, Split and Hvar

So, if you're here, you're probably looking for information on travelling to and around Croatia? You're in luck' because I just got back. I can only ...

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Remembering Yemen...

I never did make it to Syria unfortunately, but I did visit Yemen in 2008, which I'm thinking about now in the midst of this ...

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Christmas in Prague...

I just got back from Prague - another new city for me. I love nothing more than heading off to a new place and just ...

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Tinder Diaries: Getting my Groupon...

Shamus's profile shots scrolled like some kind of Action Man calendar. In one photo the 39-year-old Irish-Canadian was hugging a goat on what looked like ...

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Tinder Diaries: Tempur-Pedic promises...

And another Tinder Diary for you, this one's also from last year in Vancouver.  Tempur-Pedic promises... 'I got you a drink!!!' the text message yelled at me. ...

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Tinder Diaries: The Burner In The Park

In trawling through folders on my laptop for some old work I've just come across some diaries I wrote about Tinder dating last year in ...

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I go to the gym a lot. And other things I never thought I'd say...

Once in Sydney I joined a yoga studio for $350 a year and went once. In New York I spent close to $600 and went to ...

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Things you should probably know before going to Burning Man

So, Burning Man. Hmm. How was it, you ask? Honestly. I can't even really tell you yet, and it's been three weeks. But I'll try. As a ...

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11 things you only ever say on WhatsApp when you're going to Burning Man...

I LEAVE TOMORROW!! Am I ready? Probably not.  I'm what's known as a Virgin, (this will be my first time at Burning Man) and in ...

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Thoughts about rainbows...

I cycled home tonight right under a rainbow - the kind of rainbow that smiles across the sky in every colour, and then more colours ...

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How to tell when you travel too much (and when you should stop)

Yup. That's how. That's a screenshot my friend just sent me, when I told her to add my new phone number in Amsterdam. "Another one?!" "Yeah, but I'm ...

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…Best Of...

It started with a boy called Matt: why I'm going to Burning Man (in 2 weeks!!!)

Going to Burning Man has been pretty high on the bucket list for years... ever since I started chatting to an American guy online back in 2003, who ...

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The Royal's idea of 'Indian street kids' is not quite right

I know I shouldn't read the Daily Mail because it always annoys me... but today THIS was ridiculous. Honestly. Been to India? Yeah, so have I. Met ...

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How to write a novel: 25 rules

This post is so inspiring, just had to share! Thanks to Matt Haig, who posted it originally. Sometimes us writers really need to read cool stuff ...

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Amsterdam, I love you! See you again soon.

I've decided to move to Amsterdam. Maybe not forever but definitely for a little bit, because, well.... this. And this: And this:  OK maybe not the last one... ...

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Free tsunami romance for Valentine's Day...

Winner of the TBC (The Book Club) award for best non-fiction, 2016.  Hey guys, I'm giving away The Day Of The Wave over Valentine's weekend in ...

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How to Create Titles to Hook Your Readers

This post is written BY JUDITH BRILES posted on February 10, 2016 on The Book Designer Are you sometimes stuck when it comes to adding a title to ...

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Yay, I won an award!

It's a super duper awesome start to the new year, because after a long hiatus during which I've been working reeeeeeally hard and not blogging ...

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Who's the Mills and Boon Man Of The Year 2016? Get your face on a book cover!

Here ye, all you amazing men - and women who know amazing men! Thought I'd spread the word about this. Mills & Boon are launching ...

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Pills that make you poop glitter...

Oh my! We should give these to ALL the pigeons in London until the whole city is a sparkly rainbow! Granted we'd be covered in shit, ...

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Know your strengths...

I'm sitting in the cafe. It's just me, two loud ladies who sound like they're from Essex, and a blonde with her boyfriend. An Essex ...

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Humans of Iceland...

This is Sverrir and the replica of his great grandfather, who was once the pastor of the pretty and remote herring fishing town, Siglufjörður. He was ...

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Adventures in Iceland (in brief because I'm VERY remote right now and WIFI is scarce)...

It started when we flew Fokker. Yes, Fokker. Oh come on, tell me I'm not the only child who finds this funny? It wasn't long before ...

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NOW FREE ON AMAZON: The Day Of The Wave

A moving, emotional romance based on real-life events. NOW FREE ON AMAZON! The Day Of The Wave follows Isla and Ben in the wake of surviving ...

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***FREELANCE PHOTO - POSTMEDIA NETWORK USE ONLY*** VANCOUVER, BC.:JUNE 24, 2014-- Pedestrian traffic in front of Canna Clinic on Commercial Drive, in Vancouver, BC, June 24, 2014.  Canna Clinic at 2223 Commercial Drive, has a doctor from 5 to 8 p.m. every day. Locals can get certified by an in-house  naturopath, and pick up some pot.  (PHOTOS by Don MacKinnon)

Comedy night at the Canna Clinic...

Today I learnt two things. The first is that penguins have knees inside their bodies. Yes. Knees. Inside. I'm not even kidding. The second is that ...

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Spalding School Reunion is Imminent...

I got a message today about a school reunion for the class of 96. My first thought was JEEEEESUS, did I really leave school 19 ...

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Best things to see on Commercial Drive in Vancouver. OK, maybe not the best...

I was just eating my sushi on a restaurant patio last night when a man seemingly dressed as a Mario Brother climbed a nearby tree ...

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Oh Canada, how I LOVE being in you...

And I think these photos prove why! I'm so inspired the more time I spend here, which is Vancouver right now, in case you were ...

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Fun on the Natchez Trace - recreating scenes from a novel in real life!

Yesterday a friend and I drove from Nashville, out past the famous Loveless Cafe (where we stopped to pick up some Peach Preserve) and onto ...

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Read and review 'Before He Was Gone' and get a FREE copy!

The New Adult Book Club on Goodreads are reading Before He Was Gone to review. Sign up if you want your free copy to review! "Sometimes, ...

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RIP Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran (an excerpt featuring their great work, from Balilicious)

How fuggin AWFUL to hear about the executions of these two men, and the others who were wiped out needlessly today in Indonesia. Don't people ...

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Boxing Day Tsunami book trailer (The Day of the Wave)

I made this today! One day I will give up trying to be a filmmaker (maybe), but it's SO satisfying when it uploads and I'm ...

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The Day of the Wave - Playlist

This is probably the most fun I’ve ever had putting a playlist together for a book. There were just so many great artists who inspired ...

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Aliens in the White House...

Just got a newsflash on my phone: 'Small one-person helicopter lands at White House West Lawn. Pilot in custody.' I know I should click on it ...

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Boxing Day Tsunami romance excerpt: (The Day of The Wave)

This is an excerpt from my latest new adult romance, coming May 2015. In brief... "Isla and Ben were just sixteen when the Boxing Day ...

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Uber in Nashville is interesting...

Me: 'So, what's the craziest thing that's happened to you since you started driving for Uber?' Him: 'Are you a shy girl?' Me: 'Er, I don't think ...

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Have I mentioned the Family Dollar Store yet?

Have I mentioned the Family Dollar store yet? It's my new favorite place here in Nashville. Contrary to the name, not everything inside costs a dollar, ...

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Lavenders, motorcycles and a feeling of deep uncool at Nashville's Barista Parlor...

There are some places in this world that will just serve to make you feel deeply uncool, no matter how young and awesome you previously ...

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Why Craigslist in Nashville is killing me...

Here's what this guy just wrote in reply to my post about looking for a room to rent in Nashville: "We are seeking a FEMALE caring nanny/care giver. ...

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Observation of the day...

Ubud cafes were full of middle aged women writing books on macs. Nashville cafes are full of cute young guys making music on macs. I know where ...

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Before He Was A Secret (Starstruck #3) Playlist...

http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLmhXXflqDQPAxUHvBiWosmLHWTd6sBM4Z I can't write a word without being inspired by every sound in the air around me, and I turned to music more than ever with ...

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Musings on a Nashville snow day...

No one told me flying south for the winter would take me somewhere colder than England. Then again, there's something so peaceful about walking alone down ...

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Fight your way through! A message to writers like me…

Fight your way through! A message to writers like me...

...and other creative souls no doubt! Someone sent me this video today by the amazingly inspiring Ira Glass, which I found very interesting. I can relate ...

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The difference a motorised bike makes...

I miss my bike in Bali so much that today I actually hovered outside someone's house in South Harrow contemplating whether I could justify spending ...

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Proving my roots: The nonsense that is taking the IELTS test in London...

"PUT YOUR PENCILS DOWN! PENCILS DOWN, NOW!!!" Dumbledore boomed. I almost jumped out of my plastic chair, nerves shot to sh*t. I have a problem ...

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There's nothing more sexist than The Sun pulling Page 3 Girls...

Yes... SEXIST. If only for what's being said around the decision to drop this whole thing! "Instead of bare breasts, the pictures will now show scantily-clad ...

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I SURVIVED: The Freak British Tornado (and the suspect still running loose)

A mini-tornado hit north west London this afternoon - causing damage to homes and cars. I think I summoned it. I was thinking very dark ...

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It's cover reveal day for Before He Was A Secret. Exclusive excerpt here...

Today's the day, whoo hoooooo! I can finally reveal another amazing cover by designer Jeanine Henning, for the third standalone romance in my Starstruck Series, ...

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The night Emma Watson stole my toothbrush...

WARNING!!! I feel like I should say something. I've been quiet for way too long... almost an hour actually, but about an hour ago I ...

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Vaginal smoking and the benefits of yoni egg insertions (note: there are many)...

I have recently become quite fascinated with vaginal treatments. The fascination began when I saw this tempting advertisement on a board outside a spa in ...

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The truth about 'Ecstatic Dancing' at The Yoga Barn in Ubud, Bali... (warning, this post may smell)

Everyone in Ubud knows the Yoga Barn. It's a sort of second home for eager expats, all of whom are quite happy to spend an ...

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Go to Bali for less than a quid! Balilicious is 99p, starting today.

Becky Wicks lifted the burqa on Dubai In BURQALICIOUS. Now she turns her attention to Bali as she hilariously navigates life as an adopted Balinese ...

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How do you handle negative reviews for your book on Amazon and Goodreads? And are readers actively LOOKING for bad books?

What didn't make me smile throughout my recent and ultimately successful free book campaign on Amazon KDP (and I'll tell you this, seeing as we're ...

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Before He Was A Secret Blog tour sign ups are live. I'm looking for bloggers to join in (and get a free copy!)

Once again I'm having a blog tour with the amazing Xpresso Reads for the third in my Starstruck Series, which is coming out in March ...

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Author Nick Spalding’s top 10 self-publishing tips…

Typed-WriterI found this article recently and thought it would be good to spread the love. I’ve been thinking a lot about self-publishing lately as it really seems as though it’s the way things are going, so articles like this from a top self-publishing and mainstream author are good to keep in mind. It can be found on the BBC website in its original post here.

Nick Spalding is the bestselling self-published author in the UK. He recently signed a six-figure book deal.

His romantic comedies Love… From Both Sides and Love… And Sleepless Nights were the first and third-best selling self-published e-books in 2012.

With Amazon saying 15% of Kindle sales come from authors with no book deal, here are his top 10 tips to succeeding in a crowded field.

1. Don’t give up the day job

I was a media officer for the police. It did help a bit – knowing how to write a press release, but it didn’t help so much with writing the book! I didn’t give up my day job until I’d signed a contract with Hodder & Stoughton.

It is such an up and down industry – you can be flavour of the month one minute and nothing the next, even when you have had a certain level of success. Until you’ve got enough money coming in to be able to justify it to yourself, don’t give up the day job.

Everyone wants to live the dream and write full time, but it is a very difficult industry to get into and a very difficult industry to stay in. Learn to write around your day job in the beginning, that’s what I did. Frankly it’s what almost every successful author in history had to do with only a few exceptions.

2. Be yourself

You have to be yourself in your writing. You have to pick a genre that suits you as a person and you as a writer. If you are a happy go lucky person it might not be best to write about a serial killer or vice versa.

There are enough obstacles for a new author, don’t create more for yourself, write in a style you are comfortable with. If you are not enjoying writing it, if you are not comfortable writing it, nobody is going to enjoy reading it.

3. Find a muse

My partner is my first reader, she reads everything. She has encouraged me and is the inspiration for some of the stories I write. I think everyone needs that, it doesn’t have to be a partner, it can be a relative or a friend but you’ve got to have that one person in mind.

When I’m writing, I’m always thinking about which things she will laugh at, so she is my muse in that manner. It’s important to have someone you can give your manuscript to first because it is still quite an intimate thing at that stage.

It’s probably a bit clunky and awkward and wrong and it is not ready to be shown to an agent or the world at large. That’s when you need your first reader, because you know each other so well and their feedback is what helps you to create a better product that you can then show to others.

4. Read On Writing by Stephen King

On Writing by Stephen King is, for me at least, the best book there is on writing. He gives lots of advice. The tone of it, the style of it, the things he says about how much he writes every day and his attitude towards the job are great. I would recommend it to anyone who wants to be a writer.

5. Promote your work

I have never been called on to sign copies of my book in a shop. If the opportunity arises, I say take it. I don’t think you are going to do any harm by going along to your local Waterstones and signing a few copies. Well, unless nobody turns up – then you will feel terrible about yourself and probably never write again.

You should certainly have a social media presence, you should tweet, blog and Facebook, but you don’t want to irritate readers.

Nobody wants to see “buy my book, buy my book” over and over again. Tweet about your life, tweet about things you find interesting and mix it up.

6. Remember that books aren’t burgers

Self-publishing has given lots of people the ability to write lots of books and get them out there. People need to remember that just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.

The most important thing to remember when you write a book and release it, that you are entering into a relationship with the reader and you owe it to them to provide a product that is as professional as possible.

Books aren’t burgers – they are not instantly consumable things and they shouldn’t be rushed. Always respect your reader and put 100% into every book that you write.

7. Try every possible avenue

I’ve got a great agent now. He’s got me some great deals and, in that respect, I think an agent is still a good commodity to have. I’ve got a traditional publishing contract now, too, but it doesn’t stop me from self-publishing.

I love that because it’s how I started and it’s not something I’m ashamed of. What the self-publishing thing does is give you another avenue. There is no need to go down one avenue and not the other these days, you can do both.

Every writer wants their book to be read. It doesn’t really matter anymore how you go about achieving that as long as two things happen: You get your book read by as many people as possible and you get paid for writing it. Whatever avenues get you that result should be explored.

8. Don’t get bummed out by bad reviews

I do read the bad reviews, I sort of sit there reading them and rock back and forth. Try and remember the old cliches – ‘one man’s meat is another man’s poison’ and ‘you’re never going to please all of the people all of the time’.

It’s what you get on average that really counts. If you put a book out there and six months later you’ve got a hundred one star reviews, chances are you might be doing something wrong.

That said, one five star review does not mean you are the next big thing. Stay on a level, don’t get bummed out by one bad review… and certainly don’t reply to the people who write them!

9. Don’t take it all too seriously

I tend to write in the mornings and I generally do at least 2,000 words a day. Sometimes that takes hours, sometimes it takes an hour depending on what kind of mood I’m in.

I write in the spare room. It’s not a study, it’s a room with a desk, a bog standard PC and a clothes airer. My routine is basically to make myself a cup of coffee, sit down and try to churn out 2,000 words.

It’s also important to be comfortable when you write. I’ve got a great pair of Batman lounge pants.

10. Read comic books

I’d like to say I have a great diet and that my body is a temple but that would be a complete lie. I do go for lots of walks though, they help me think about storylines and stop my rapidly expanding waist getting any bigger. We want to get a dog at some point.

Exercise is important when you are a writer otherwise give it two years and you’ll just be a potato.

Make sure you have a good social circle around you too, people you see on a regular basis, otherwise you will just stay indoors all day every day and become weird. And if you don’t like Batman you won’t get anywhere. Liking Batman is absolutely vital to being a successful author.

Nick Spalding’s new novella, Blue Christmas Balls, is self-published and out now.

See the original article on the BBC website here.

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