get-inspired-cover-3dIf you get the Aliventures newsletter, you’ll have heard about this already …

… but if not, or if your inbox is currently full of as many unread messages as mine, then here’s the news:

Along with my good friend and fellow writer Tracy Wilson, I’ve written a new ebook, Get Inspired, Get Creative, Get Writing.

It’s a short, practical, and encouraging read that tackles some of the most common (yet sometimes crippling) problems that writers run into, like:

  • Finding inspiration, and staying motivated, on projects big and small.
  • Understanding what’s caused your writer’s block … and beating it.
  • Becoming more creative … even if you think you’re not a very creative person.
  • Building a regular writing routine, rather than letting weeks or months go by without writing.
  • Organising your writing life, so you don’t miss deadlines, lose important paperwork, or accidentally wipe out your novel-in-progress.

(Quick aside: if you’re battling against any – or all! – of those problems, please don’t feel alone. Tracy and I have struggled with all of these at various points during our writing careers, and seen plenty of clients and friends go through them too.)

Along with the ebook, we’ve included a pack of ten printer-friendly worksheets to help you put into practice what you read, and three bonuses to help you go further.

Get Inspired, Get Creative, Get Writing is just $5 until Friday 17th October. (That includes the ebook – in .pdf, .mobi, and .epub formats – the worksheets, and all the bonuses.)

Just click here to find out more.

(If you’ve got any questions, or aren’t sure if the ebook is quite right for you, just pop a comment below or drop me an email,

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Back in early 2011, I made the decision to self-publish my novel Lycopolis – and that was largely inspired by Joanna Penn, who was then bringing out her first novel Pentecost.

Fast forward three and a half years, and Joanna has now published five full length novels, two novellas, and a short story series – plus four non-fiction books. She blogs at The Creative Penn, and I know many Aliventures readers are regulars there too.

Her latest book, Business for Authors: How to Be an Author Entrepreneur came out a few weeks ago, in September 2014. If you’re an author or aspiring author, whether you want to self-publish or get a traditional deal, read on…


Business for Authors is (as you might have guessed) a guide to the business side of being an author. It’s not a book about how to self-publish, or a book about the craft of writing — though Jo recommends plenty of great resources that can help you with these.

It’s available from Amazon and other major e-retailers as an ebook and paperback, though you can also purchase the audio book and ebook combined directly from Joanna. (You get a discount for the audio if you buy the ebook elsewhere, too.)

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Are Your Writing Dreams Unrealistic?

by Ali on August 15, 2014


(Image from Flickr by Lennixx.)

Sometimes, I get emails like this:

I enjoyed your blog post on making money from your writing. I’d love to make a living writing but I don’t know if that’s unrealistic.

I can tell you now … it’s not.

I make a living writing, and I know lots of other (pretty normal!) people who do too.

But sometimes, I get emails more like this:

I’ve written to dozens of writers, telling them all about my background and my writing ambitions. I want someone to mentor and help me get my book, How to Avoid Papercuts, published and sell a million copies.

(They usually go on a fair bit longer than that.)

The truth? It’s an unrealistic ambition. First-time books by unknown authors (especially on topics that interest the author and pretty much no-one else) just aren’t going to become bestsellers.

And, nice as it might be to imagine a top writer spotting how talented you are and helping you out … every writer I know is busy enough with their own projects and their own life.

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I’m celebrating six years (!) since I quit my day job and became a full-time writer/blogger.

So, until Tuesday 12th August, you can get all four of my Blogger’s Guides for just $33.

(They normally cost $29 each, or $66 for four.)

Sounds like just what you need? Head on over to the Blogger’s Guide website to get your hands on them.

If you’d like to know a bit more about the Blogger’s Guides first, though, just read on.

The Blogger’s Guides are a series of ebooks, each covering a key aspect of professional blogging – the type of blogging where you hope to make money (though you might well also be doing it for fun).

The four Guides are:

  • The Blogger’s Guide to Freelancing – this explains the exact process I used to launch my freelancing career (while working a full-time day job).
  • The Blogger’s Guide to Effective Writing – this is packed with tips and techniques to help you go further with your writing.
  • The Blogger’s Guide to Irresistible Ebooks – this covers what you need to do to create a free or paid-for ebook, with step by step advice.
  • The Blogger’s Guide to Loyal Readers – this goes through everything you need to do to (a) get your blog in shape for visitors and (b) draw them in.

Taken as a set, they teach you everything I’ve learned in over six years of writing for dozens of different blogs.

You can find out more about them – and snap up a bargain – here.

The sale only runs until the end of Tuesday 12th August, and I won’t be posting about it again on the blog – so make sure you check it out today.

If you’ve got any questions about the Guides, just pop a comment below, or email me on


How Do Readers Choose YOUR Book From a Million Other Choices? The Story of a Book Purchase

July 25, 2014

It’s Friday 20th June, and I’m going to the Winchester Writers’ Conference. I’m due to head off for a train in less than an hour and I’ve not finished packing. I want something to read on my Kindle Fire. I don’t have much time, so I don’t browse book blogs or ask on Twitter for […]

12 comments [ click to read article...]

Stuck in a Writing Rut? Get Back On Track With My (Free) Seven-Week Ecourse

July 10, 2014

If you’ve been an Aliventures reader for a while, you might remember the On Track ecourse I launched back in 2011. It was one of my favourite projects, and over the past couple of years, it’s only been available to members of Writers’ Huddle, because a couple of other projects (Kitty and the bump) have been […]

4 comments [ click to read article...]

Seven Crucial First Steps for Your Writing Career

July 2, 2014

Image from Flickr by nic519. Have you ever thought about – or daydreamed about – turning your writing into a career? Perhaps you’ve already made some progress (buying a website domain, submitting some pieces), or perhaps it still feels like more of a dream than a plan. The good news is that it’s probably not […]

9 comments [ click to read article...]

Another Baby On the Way (And What This Means for Aliventures)

June 5, 2014

Well, the title and photo probably gave the news away. My husband Paul and I are expecting our second baby in December, a little brother or sister to Kitty (who turned one in March). This is really exciting for us; right from the start, we wanted to have two children close together, and we’re thrilled that everything […]

15 comments [ click to read article...]

Why Writers Should Fear Obscurity, Not Piracy

May 22, 2014

Image from Flickr by pasukaru76. There’s one question that seems to crop up more than any other in my email inbox, and when I’m talking about self-publishing. And that’s: How do I stop people stealing my book? A lot of new indie authors are worried that publishing in digital format means it’ll be far too easy […]

10 comments [ click to read article...]

Memoir: Truth or Fiction? [Guest Post]

May 6, 2014

This is a guest post by Tracy Wilson. Tracy and I have been friends for several years (she’s one of Kitty’s godmothers, too) and I asked her to write a post for Aliventures about memoir … something that I don’t have any experience with, but that I know a number of Aliventures readers are interested […]

3 comments [ click to read article...]