Category Archives: Research

Researching For Your Novel: Librarians as Friends

Writing a novel can be very intimidating, and very difficult. One of the hardest tasks any author needs to undertake is research. Whether it’s looking at the historical context of a war being used as the background of a romance novel, or understanding how an engine works for your new steampunk series, research is essential….

The Art Of Interviewing

For me, the heart of research has always been the ability to elicit information from others. For years, it never occurred to me to go to the library or rummage through magazines or official documents. If I wanted to know about something, I found experts on that subject and tried to crawl inside their minds,…

Conducting E-mail Surveys and Interviews

E-mail can be an effective and convenient way to conduct an interview, and is often appreciated by busy experts who don’t have time for a face-to-face or telephone interview. It enables you to compose questions carefully rather than “on the fly,” and gives your interviewee time to respond carefully as well. E-mail also offers a…

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…