How to Self-Publish a Book on Amazon [With Tools and Resources]

How to Self-Publish a Book on Amazon [With Tools and Resources]

Fifteen or twenty years ago, self-publishing was looked on as a last resort option for books that a publisher wouldn’t want to take on. It was also an expensive and time-consuming way to get a book out there. Self-publishers had to pay for a whole print run – maybe 1,000 or 2,000 copies – and they had to market it. During the past decade, though, there’s been a huge rise in the popularity of self-publishing. Print-on-demand technology has made it…

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Disparate vs Desperate

Disparate vs Desperate

Two words that sometimes get confused are “disparate” and “desperate”. They have quite different meanings, but they can sound very similar in some accents, and if you’re using autocorrect, you might find that you get the wrong one. What Does “Disparate” Mean? Disparate is an adjective that refers to things that are separated in some way – and perhaps even incompatible with one another. Dictionary.com defines it as meaning “distinct in kind; essentially different; dissimilar.” It comes from the Latin “disparatus”, meaning “separate.” Here are…

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A Dozen More Bodacious, Dandy and/or Nifty Words

A Dozen More Bodacious, Dandy and/or Nifty Words

The English language has countless ways to say “Great!” or “Cool!” When people want to sound au courant, fashionable, trendy, or with-it, they often choose slang words that are currently popular in their culture – very informal, unconventional words that may not be found in standard dictionaries, but have a freshness and color that may not be found in standard English. Especially among young people, these words are valued because they’re used by their peers and those they admire. Popular…

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8 Great Essay Writing Tips for Students

8 Great Essay Writing Tips for Students

Whether you enjoy writing or not, there’s probably a fair amount of it that you have to do as a student. I don’t think essays are anyone’s favourite thing to write (and I say that as a former English Literature student!) … but by honing your writing process, you can get them over and done with quickly and – hopefully – well. I was an undergraduate student in the back in 2003-06 and back then, the most sophisticated tool I…

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Parallel Structure Exercises

Parallel Structure Exercises

Previous posts on this website have discussed syntactical errors that result in a lack of grammatical balance between equivalent words and phrases; this post lists the various types of mistakes that lead to flawed parallel structure. You are invited to fix each sentence before reading the explanation. Absence of One Word Most sentences with faulty parallel structure merely lack one word that, once added, repairs the damaged equivalence. The multiple examples in this section illustrate an array of problematic sentence…

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Advisor vs. Adviser, Advice vs. Advise

Advisor vs. Adviser, Advice vs. Advise

When you advise someone, you give advice. One is a verb, the other is a noun. And where does advice come from? Good advice is offered by advisers/advisors. The spelling is the only difference between those two words, and usually adviser and advisor mean the same thing. Spelling it with an e is more common, but either spelling is correct. The spellchecker in my computer marks advisor as incorrect. The words advice and advise can be confused. As I just…

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Bare or Bear With Me?

Bare or Bear With Me?

Commonly seen on the Web is the misspelled phrase “bare with me.” The correct expression is “bear with me.” It means, “be patient with me.” One of the many meanings of the verb “to bear” is “to tolerate.” The verb bare, on the other hand, means “to reveal” or “to uncover.” For example, “Do not bare your navel in public.” It’s not unusual to find “bear with me” spelled incorrectly in discussions of domestic problems: I know it’s long, but…

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Different Types of Point of View When Writing Fiction: Which Should You Use?

Different Types of Point of View When Writing Fiction: Which Should You Use?

When you’re writing a story, there’s always a point of view. You’re telling the story from a particular perspective – and that can have a huge impact on how the story comes across to the reader. At the most basic, you need to choose between telling a story in the first person (“I woke up one morning…”) and the third person (“He woke up one morning…”). The second person is also a possibility (“You woke up one morning…”) but it’s…

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Passed vs Past

Passed vs Past

Sandi from Inspiration for Writers wrote to ask: “Can you do a segment on Past vs. Passed–if you haven’t already? Too many get these words mixed up.” Very happy to oblige, Sandi! Past – relates to location The word past locates something in time, and sometimes in space. It can be used as an adjective, noun, or adverb. “Past” as an adjective The first definition which the OED gives for past as an adjective is “Gone by in time; elapsed;…

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How to Write a Book Outline: Fiction and Nonfiction

How to Write a Book Outline: Fiction and Nonfiction

You learned how to write outlines in school, I suppose. You were probably required to do it a certain way: I. Roman numerals for the main points A. capital letters for the sub-points1. Regular Arabic numerals for the sub-sub-pointsa. lower-case letters for all the sub-points below that We could call it the Roman-Arabic outline, though experts call it the alphanumeric outline. But when you outline your book, you don’t have to do it that way. Not if it seems burdensome…

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