BoW – Covid Catch-Up

There’s no doubt history will record 2020 as an exceptional year. You could say, the use of the word unprecedented by the media has, in itself, been unprecedented. While the future is still uncertain for many of us, there are still some certainties in life. Like taxes.  […]

Unwrapping ISBNs

Why pay for an ISBN for your next self-published book, when some platforms will freely gift one to you? All businesses want lower costs to maximise profits, and that goes for our writing businesses too. Going for the free ISBN option seems good business sense. […]

Bring In The Harvest

The freelancer’s world can be one of feast or famine. Simon Whaley investigates how to spread the harvest more evenly. Traditionally, this is the time of year when farmers across the country bring in the harvest. Suddenly, there’s an abundance of food which, if carefully […]

Make Poetry Pay

The latest article in my Business of Writing series in Writing Magazine. The poet Robert Graves once claimed, “There’s no money in poetry, but then there’s no poetry in money.” Generating an income from our writing can be challenging, but for poets, it can be […]

Proposing Prose

Securing a non-fiction book contract means having a business plan. Simon Whaley reveals what to put into your next book proposal Do you have an idea for a great non-fiction book and want to secure a traditional publishing deal? Then what you need is a […]

Office Locations

Virginia Woolf famously called for a ‘room of her own’ in which to write. Simon Whaley chats to three wordsmiths about where they work and why. A year ago, the Royal Society for Literature released the results of a survey in which 80% of writers […]

A Pride of Barbers

This week’s issue of The People’s Friend (30th May 2020) contains my article about a fascinating organisation: The Lions Barber Collective. It was set up by barber, Tom Chapman, after the sudden death of a friend through suicide. Tom realised that a barber shop was […]

A Bigger Platform

Should self-published authors go exclusively Amazon, or dip their toes into the wider world of Kobo, Apple and more? Simon Whaley explores the pros and cons. Ask any self-published author which ebook platform they sell their books on, and most will say Amazon. It’s easy […]

You’ve Got Mail

The Business of Writing – You’ve Got Mail What makes a good author email newsletter? Two authors tell Simon Whaley how they keep in regular touch with their readers. Mailing lists. Every author should have one. Why? Because once we have our readers’ email addresses, […]


In this week’s bumper, double issue of The People’s Friend, there’s an article about my visit to Europe’s biggest tinsel-making factory: Festive Productions, near Cwmbran, Wales. They’re a fantastic bunch of people there, and we had a laugh as they showed me round the factory. […]

Dazzling Displays

Selfridges are well known for their Christmas window displays (Check out this link for this year’s displays). But how much work goes into creating these displays and when do they start planning and designing them? Well, check out the latest issue of The People’s Friend […]

Understanding Your ALCS Statement

I love this time of year. March is when we get our free money from the ALCS. Free money? Oh, yes! However, from the many comments I’ve seen on social media, not everyone understands their ALCS statement. Many simply look at how much they’re getting […]

Taxing Transformations

Remember the plans for quarterly tax returns? Simon Whaley finds out what writers need to do now, in preparation. If there’s one piece of writing most of us detest it’s completing our tax return. So when George Osborne announced in November 2015 the Making Tax […]

Agent Attraction

Attracting an agent can be the start of a long business relationship. Simon Whaley flirts with two agents to learn more about the wooing process. At this time of year many literary agents are talking Frankfurt. The Frankfurt Book Fair is one of the biggest […]

Clun & Black Hill

Fancy stepping into Bruce Chatwin’s shoes? Explore Shropshire’s idyllic countryside around Clun, reputedly the inspiration behind Chatwin’s novel ‘On The Black Hill’, in the October 2016 issue of Country Walking magazine. TrailZilla ID: TZID31011

Conquering Challenges

Just like paralympians, writers with disabilities strive to achieve their goals on a daily basis. Simon Whaley chats to two writers about how disability influences their writing business. After the spectacle of the Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games comes the Paralympic Games, where athletes with […]

Festival Fever

Most of us love a good writing workshop, and for an hour or two we’re in heaven. But why go to one when we could have a whole weekend or even a week of them? Three key writers’ conferences take place between the end of […]