Category Archives: Research

Conducting Interviews

Recently I got a call from a PR agent who had set up an interview for me with one of her clients. She wanted to let me know how much the client had “enjoyed” the interview — a rare experience, apparently. She also wanted to let me know that if I needed more information, I…

Is It Research or Plagiarism?

Hi! I am a beginning freelance writer. I am writing an article in which I’ve based some of my ideas on texts I used in college. Will I be sued if I don’t ask the authors’ permission? They say that “stealing from one source is plagiarism, but stealing from many sources is research.” Is this…

4 Ways to Research Information Before You Write Your Book

Whether you’re writing non-fiction, historical fiction or fiction in any other genre, you will need to do some research. Research plays a huge role in book writing because without an adequate level of knowledge, your book will lack credibility and authenticity. That is why it is important you take the time and the effort to…

7 Ways to Research Your Nonfiction Book

If you are writing nonfiction, chances are you will have to research. Here are seven of the most effective ways to go about it. 1. Interviews The first rule of interviewing is to find an expert. The second is to use every listening skill at your disposal. If you don’t understand what you’re hearing, ask…

What Do Your Readers Want? Find Out Online

Authors do not write only for themselves but for readers. A great way to find out what your readers are interested in, so you can write about those topics and attract more readers, is to analyze online search results and then capitalize on the information you find. Using search engine and keyword results, questionnaires, and…

Research Your Characters

Common sense tells us that when writing a novel, especially your first, you should write about what you know. During my degree the one thing my lecturers drilled into my passive skull was that I needed to write from memory ‘as you can’t write about what you haven’t experienced’, or so they said. I was…

Encourage Reader Feedback

Writing and publishing your book is not the end of your literary involvement. When readers have questions, authors have a responsibility to respond by email, mail, telephone and in person at book signings and other events. Use these opportunities to gather material for the book’s revision or your next book. Maybe you were not clear…

Get in Tune with Your Demographic (Before You Even Start Writing)

One of the many difficulties of being a working writer is knowing what will appeal to a certain target demographic and then finding a way to work what you want to say into a style and format that will appeal to your readers.  Of course you want to strive to be yourself, but tackling a…

Don’t Make Me Throw Your Book Across the Room: Top Ten Ways You Can Alienate the 1.1 Million Lawyers Who Are Also Readers

As an attorney who has practiced law 24 years, I have a hard time watching shows or reading books involving the law. Why? Because so many of them get so much of it wrong. It takes me right out of the story to sit there thinking, “That would never happen.” Most lawyers I know can’t…

For Book Marketing Research, Authors Can Use a Nifty New Tool Called TitleZ

Effective book marketing begins long before the book is actually written and the more diligence paid to pre-publishing efforts the better the author’s chance of success. Before hiring a book publicist to garner book publicity for you, get a cup of coffee and get ready for a little online research on book marketing. A key…