NaNoWriMo 2015

nano_featureEvery year during November hundreds of thousands of creative writers accept the challenge of writing 50,000 words in 30 days. It is more lovingly known as Nation Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWrimo. The fine people at host the event and provide connections for writers to help encourage each other and provide the motivating boost that comes from accountability.

During NaNoWriMo 2013 I participated for the first time. Attacking the challenge with the understanding that I had never written that many words in one story before in my life, and there fore it must be impossible to accomplish, I had no real hope of making it to the finish line. But something incredible happened once I got connected to others that where trying the same thing… I began to believe.

Writing over 2,ooo words in one day became writing 14,000 in one week. Next thing I knew I had over 90,000 words written in one month. It was an awesome feeling. To know that I could do it was enough to get my creative juices flowing. Ideas flooded to me as I realized I could write that many words. NaNoWriMo 2014 was not as successful, I still hit 50,000 words in 30 days, just not much more than that. But, what I think is the bigger accomplishment, was that between November 2013 and November 2014 I published a book and wrote several short stories.

NaNoWriMo is not about writing a book in a month. It is about proving to yourself that you can put your story in to words when you dedicate the time and effort to do so. Then you carry that knowledge to the other 11 months of the year. Before you know it, you’re an author.

For those participating in NaNoWriMo 2015, happy writing. For those that want to but haven’t started, today is a good day to join the fun.


Don’t Self-Publish Alone

When a modern author finishes their labor of love, and puts the final period on the manuscript they have spent weeks, months, or years pouring their souls into, the adventure of turning it into a book for readers to enjoy is just beginning. The digital revolution has busted open the gates to allow anyone with a story to tell, or message to share, to create a book and make it available to readers all over the world. The difficult part is that the flood of authors, and the tidal wave of books, is making it harder for authors to get their book noticed by their target audience.

It’s not enough to write an amazing story and expect readers to want to buy your book. You need to get their attention, keep them entertained, and, in the end, make them want more. The best way to do this is to enlist the help of talented artists that specialize in the individual aspects of making a great book. Just like you have spent years and an unknown number of hours of your life improving your ability to write a story, other artists have done the same for their chosen field. Why not benefit from that skill in making your book the best it can be?

The first thing a reader sees when they come across your book is the cover. Keeping this in mind, you should make sure you have a professional looking cover that catches the reader’s eye and tells them instantly what they can expect from your book. In an interview, cover designer Derek Murphy ( said, “You really only have a couple of seconds to catch attention, and that’s the job of the book cover. It needs to convey genre, and be good looking so the reader knows they want more.” This is why it’s recommended you work with a graphic designer that knows book covers and knows how to get the most out of that important image real-estate.

If you get that reader’s attention with a sharp cover, and they purchase your book, you’re going to want to give them their money’s worth. Nothing kills the enjoyment of a good story like bad editing. Imagine being sucked into a tense scene full of conflict, two characters are arguing over the direction of their relationship, when out of nowhere the hero is stating his potion. When did this romantic suspense novel turn into a Harry Potter rip off? Of course, a good editor would have caught your hero was stating his position on the subject.

It is also important to know that there are two different types of editing. Most people think of the editor that makes sure your words are spelled correctly, grammar rules are followed, and sentence structure is correct. But there is also the equally important content editor. A content editor looks at plot structure, character depth and consistency, and other aspects of good novel writing. They make sure the story you are trying to tell is conveyed to your readers. Both types of editing are artistic fields of their own and worth hiring specialists to do them for your story.

Another distraction for readers is a poorly formatted book. Writer Guido Henkel ( puts it this way: “One of the key elements that sets apart a professional eBook release from that of an amateur has always been the technical presentation of the book.” A poorly formatted book can be so distracting that the readers is unable to pay attention to your story, and nothing leads to a refund quicker. When a reader immerses themselves into your story, the real world needs to fade away. A well formatted book allows the reader’s eyes to flow from one word to the next, from one sentence to the next, and one paragraph to the next, all without noticing how long they have been sitting in one place, soaking in your story.

From catching your readers’ eyes with a flashy cover, to keeping their attention with a professionally edited story, and allowing them to be comfortably sucked into your world with a well formatted book, these are just three of the many areas in which talented publishing service providers can help make your story worth the readers time and money. Choosing to self-publish does not mean you have to do it all by yourself.

Big Things Are Coming Soon!


It’s about to get exciting around here.

We are working on some new changes to help authors connect with talented service providers and we believe these changes will help make HelpUpub a valuable resource for the growing publishing industry.

If you are a services provider make sure you are listed in our directory so that you can get some inside information about the up coming changes.

If you are an author, add us to your favorite RSS reader, or follow us on Twitter. You won’t want to miss out on our upcoming news releases.

Let’s Get Digital by David Gaughran

Besides writing, the other thing all writers need to do is read. You should be reading books in your genre, books that entertain you, and books that inform you. Let’s Get Digital is a book that will inform you.

Author David Gaughran has been publishing his own books since 2011. After going through the adventure of self-publishing his books, he wrote Let’s Get Digital to help others succeed. In a September 18, 2014 interview with author Joanna Penn, David said this about self-publishing:

…self-publishers are constantly innovating and sharing. While I’m glad I started when I did, I wouldn’t be afraid of starting today or thinking that I’d missed the boat. Not at all. I think we’re still at the beginning of this revolution that’s reshaping our industry.

Let’s Get Digital was originally published in 2011. David has updated the information to include a lot of what has changed in those three short years. Here is the synopsis of the second edition that is now on sale:

Let's Get Digital by David GaughranThis award-winning, bestselling self-publishing guide has been re-released as a new updated and expanded 2nd edition, with 75,000 words of essays, articles, and how-to guides, as well as contributions from 30 bestselling indie authors including J Carson Black, Bob Mayer, Debora Geary, Mark Edwards, and many more.

“You won’t make any money from self-publishing.”


The internet has revolutionized every business it has come into contact with, and publishing is no different.

For the first time, these changes are handing power back to the writer. It’s up to YOU if you want to profit from them.

Let’s Get Digital: How To Self-Publish, And Why You Should (Updated 2nd Edition) covers everything from how the disruptive power of the internet has changed the publishing business forever to the opportunities this has created for writers. It gives you practical, hands-on advice, sharing the very latest best practices on editing, cover design, formatting, and pricing.

It gives you proven marketing strategies that won’t eat into your writing time and are actually effective at selling books. It also shares tips on platform building, blogging, and social networking, and explains which approaches are best for selling fiction versus non-fiction, and what writers should really focus on.

This new updated 2nd edition now has more options for those on a tighter budget, teaches you how to get your book into print (and why that helps selling e-books), tells you why you should start a mailing list immediately, and shares the pros and cons of going exclusive with Amazon. And that’s just for starters…

The wealth of information that David provides in this book is priceless. David is someone who has been through the process and come out the other side a published author. He delivers his information in an easy to read, conversational tone that makes you feel like you are getting one on one time with him. Some of the topics that are covered are:

  • Why you should self-publish
  • How to self-publish
  • Platform building
  • Pricing to sell
  • and it contains over 30 essays from successful self-published authors.

I highly recommend you pick up a copy today and read it through before starting the process to self-publish. Here is some praise for Let’s Get Digital:

“Let’s Get Digital is a must read for anyone considering self-publishing.” — JA Konrath, bestselling author of Trapped, Origin, and Whiskey Sour.


“Credible and comprehensive. I’d recommend it to any writer who is considering self-publishing or anyone interested in the current state of publishing.” — Big Al’s Books and Pals – 5 stars.

When you are done reading Let’s Get Digital you can move on to the follow up book, Let’s Get Visible:

Click on the book cover on top and get it instantly on Amazon Kindle. You can read more from David Gaughran on his blog, or check out his Amazon Author page and see his other published works.


Today is the launch of Help-U-Pub. We are happy to start providing the growing number of independently published authors with a directory of service providers. We’ll continually be adding more and more service providers every day, so check back often. Follow us on Twitter, or use your favorite RSS reader, and we’ll let you know when we get new service providers that may interest you.

If you would like to have a listing in our directory to advertise services your provide, you can use the submit listing link found on the directory. All submissions are reviewed for accuracy, but there is no cost to be listed on Help-U-Pub.

We will also be posting information about the publishing industry to help you get the most our of your choice of being an author. The future is happening, we are on the cutting edge of a massive change in the publishing industry, and you are at the forefront.