Using MS Word

If you are serious about writing and not confident using Microsoft Word, I would definitely recommend applying through your local Library to see if they have any free or cheap online courses that you are eligible to take. If you are confident about using Word, but are not familiar with some of the advanced options, […] more…

Little Copy Cats!

Having despaired for many years over the increasing number of children who leave school unable to write basic English, I realise how easy it has been to blame teachers. When my own daughter, in 1967, told me that it didn’t matter about the incorrect spelling in her homework, I was shocked. Apparently, greater emphasis was […] more…

Do You need Proof…?

How did it all start for me? Really it shouldn’t be too difficult to remember considering that my first attempt at writing fiction was only a few years ago. My style? It would have to be humorous, and modern, I decided. I would create a character: ‘Derek’, he would be called, and he would… As […] more…

Colons and semicolons

Colons and semicolons can be helpful when used correctly. Sadly, they are often sprinkled throughout MSS without any regard for sentence construction. I wish authors would use commas and full stops wherever they can. Only when these fail to convey the full meaning, and the need arises for a supporting phrase should they introduce semicolons […] more…

The word BUT

However common it is, these days, for journalists to start sentences with the word, ‘but’, it is not correct to do so and can be very irritating to the reader. Even if the word is mid-sentence, it is often overused, leaving the reader wondering if anything in the story is as it seems. Too often, […] more…

Draft and Draught!

I get a cold draught up my spine when I am sent the first draft of a manuscript that has been titled ‘First Draught’ ! I’m sure everyone knows that spell-checks do not reject incorrectly used words as long as they are correctly spelled so, before submitting work to a publisher, it is a good […] more…

Publisher / Agent

In the course of my research I have found that many publishers, especially the very large ones, do not take “unsolicited” manuscripts. I presume by this they mean one must have an agent. Yet there are also some publishers who will take manuscripts direct from a writer. In the case of the latter does the […] more…

Does Spelling Matter?

We are often asked why we are so ‘hung up’ on the small stuff – the spelling, presentation and grammar. There are several answers to this so I am sure our proof-readers will have a lot to say on the subject. Sneaking in first, perhaps I can start this discussion rolling with my main reason […] more…

Take care

I went the Vanity Publishing route without knowing it! My publisher assured me they were not vanity publishers. They called it a partnership. If I paid them a five figure sum they would not only produce a very nice looking bound hardback book for me but also do all the marketing and be my agent […] more…

Book Titles

An area that has caused considerable angst for us, is what to call your book. You have sweated and teased your books for months, spending hundreds of hours honing the best possible book from your raw material only to fall at the final hurdle. I suppose I have thought about titles more than a little, as I have one very unhappy […] more…

Spaces, more or less!

The most common typos in newly submitted manuscripts relate to spaces. When lines are not ‘justified’, words should have a single space between them. Words joined up or spaced too far apart indicate that the author has been careless in editing: not a promising sign. A manuscript that has not been thoroughly checked should never […] more…

Is it worth while writing a reference book?

Yes and no – there usually needs to be a gimmick to make it worth while – a general book is normally a huge topic requiring a specialist research and writing team that takes years to put together and consists of either easily verifiable info (in which case what was the point) – or hard […] more…

Autobiographies – first or third person?

As publishers – we have no hard and fast rule on this – we just want the book to read easily and well and to take the reader smoothly from start to finish. What we have noticed, however, is that writers often find it easier to step back from their own story and conflicts to […] more…

History in perspective

When Jean Collins wrote her book about South Kelsey, she included research that stemmed from her interviews with current residents as well as a lot of painstaking research in the archives of a great many institutions. By adding genealogical information as well, she personalised what could have been a very dry book. Her anecdotes lifted […] more…

Imagination

I have to say that I have yet to find any children´s books which better, or at the least equal, Enid Blyton. I have a compilation called “Tell Me a Story Book” from my childhood which my own 5 year old daughter loves. I have bought tons of other books in my search for a […] more…

Young Adults

In my experience, one of the biggest mistakes made by new authors is not understanding the difference between writing for children and writing for young adults. I started reading adult books when I was ten years old, primarily because I found teenage literature to be condescending. Ok, that was a long while ago and young […] more…

Admin

The Admin for this website is Gaile Griffin Peers – the Managing Director of U P Publications Ltd. In addition to Books, Gaile also produces several online magazines. To find out more about her background in writing and publishing visit www.gaile.biz more…

Mai Griffin

Mai’s Paranormal Mystery books started with Deadly Shades of Grey (2007) – You can follow the series here Mai’s Writing site is www.maiwriting.com and her site as a professional artist is www.maigriffin.com more…

Mac Black

May I introduce DEREK! It is unfortunate for him to be saddled by a nickname, a nickname that stuck when he was young, and one he’d rather not have. Derek, as a name, is fairly innocuous and is not the one causing the problem… To find out what the nickname is you will find the […] more…

Baghdad Baby by Suzanne Forster

Suzanne has written an excellent book – under other circumstances, we would have had no hesitation offering her a contract for this book – but fate intervened. In the meantime we are happy to thank Suzanne for sharing her terrible experiences getting her book published by sharing a link to her book.  A provocative and revealing account […] more…
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