The Ultimate “How To” Writing Book by Christopher Fielden.
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Books by Christopher Fielden

Here you will find details of books I've written and published. The To Hull & Back anthologies contain short stories by myself and many other authors.

Quick Links on this page:

How To Write A Short Story - To Hull & Back Anthologies - Wicked Game

Writing Challenge Anthologies - Christopher Fielden on Amazon - Self Publishing Advice

Books by Christopher Fielden

How To Write A Short Story

The full name of this book is How To Write A Short Story, Get Published & Make Money. It's an encyclopedia of 'how to' knowledge based on 10 years of fiction writing experience. Using my published stories as case-studies, I clearly show the reader how to write a successful short story, get it published and set realistic expectation regarding the amount of money a writer might be paid.

How To Write A Short Story, Get Published & Make Money

How To Write A Short Story, Get Published & Make Money

You can learn a lot more about this book on the How To Write A Short Story page.

The To Hull & Back Short Story Anthologies

These anthologies are published every year on Halloween (October 31st). They contain between 20 and 30 humorous stories penned by writers residing all over the planet.

To Hull & Back Anthology 2016

2016 To Hull & Back Anthology Cover

You can learn more about these anthologies (and how to purchase a copy) on the pages listed below:

Wicked Game

I wrote my first book, Wicked Game, after undertaking a correspondence writing course. Although I failed to convince an agent or publisher of the book’s worth, I self-published on Lulu and Amazon because I was proud of it. This allowed me to regard the project as complete, enabling me to move on with other work. It might not be worthy of the Pulitzer Prize, but the majority of people who have read it (a mix of friends, family and people I don’t know) have given me very positive feedback. It’s provided an excellent foundation for my future work as I learnt so much from writing and sharing it.

Wicked Game, thriller by Christopher Fielden, paperback book cover

Wicked Game

If you would like to, you can buy a copy from Lulu or Amazon. A lot more detail can be found on the Wicked Game page.

Writing Challenge Anthologies

I run many flash fiction writing challenges on my website. They support writers and charities. All submissions are published. Every time 100 stories are submitted, an anthology is created. Profits from sales are donated to different charities.

Writing Challenge Anthology

Adverbially Challenged Volume 1

The picture above is of the first anthology I released for the adverb writing challenge. Check out the writing challenges page, submit your flash fiction and see your work published :-)

Christopher Fielden on Amazon

You can see my Amazon profile here.

Christopher Fielden

My profile contains a biography and many details of all the books I've published.

Self-Publishing Advice

Self-publishing is easy and doesn't have to cost a fortune. You don't need to pay someone to help you self-publish. You can do it yourself on websites like Create Space and Lulu. If you use these sites, you have to be prepared to edit your book properly, giving it the attention it needs to look professional, and to buy proofs of the book to make sure the layout is correct when printed. This is MUCH cheaper than paying a self-publishing firm to help you.

Lulu

I used Lulu to publish Wicked Game in 2010 (I published on Amazon in Kindle format a couple of years later) and found it an excellent way to self-publish a book. The site is straight forward to use and their help sections are well laid out and informative. They supply templates so that formatting your book is easy. If people want to buy a physical book, rather than a PDF download, Lulu will print up a single copy and post it to them. This is so much better than the old self-publishing methods, where you were required to buy 3,000 copies, selling 10 of them and then being forced to use the remaining 2,990 to insulate your home by storing them in your loft.

Create Space

I use Create Space to publish the To Hull & Back anthologies and plan to use it to publish any books I write in the future.

Create Space is an Amazon owned company. It's easy to use with lots of help and advice and offers templates to download making formatting your book simple. Once uploaded, you can use their online proofer to 'see' the book and review it. Although this is excellent, I'd still recommend buying a test copy in print to review as well as you need to see the finished book in real-life to make sure you're happy with the print quality and your choices of paper, size etc.

Like Lulu, Create Space and Amazon will print books to order, meaning you don't have to buy multiple copies. It also makes publishing your book on Kindle incredibly easy.

Due to the distribution channels and audience Amazon offer, Create Space is currently the best option available for authors who want to self-publish (in my opinion). Most people are familiar with Amazon and trust the brand - they feel comfortable buying from the Amazon website. This is another good reason to use it.

I have encountered a downside to using Create Space and Amazon which I feel I should mention...

If you want to have your book stocked in a bookshop, using Create Space can cause problems. Many bookshops refuse to stock Create Space books. This is because a lot of people in the book industry feel that Amazon is putting the traditional High Street bookshop out of business. Many are closing down as it's becoming increasingly hard for shop owners to make a living. It's the same kind of argument you hear about big supermarkets like Tesco putting local High Street shops out of business. I understand this viewpoint and am sympathetic to the situation.

Despite this, I've still chosen to use Create Space and Amazon. This is because I run a website. The vast majority of my audience find me through the website and I need to offer an easy way for them to purchase books online. So Amazon and Create Space fulfill my business need. You just need to decide if using them is appropriate for you.

Other Self-Publishing Services

There are alternative self-publishing services like those offered by Silverwood Books. I've never used their services myself, but have heard very good things about them through local and big brand bookshops - the quality of the books they produce is very high (I've seen them in shops). Services like this come with fees. This means you need to be thinking of spending at least £750 to have your book published. Through this type of service, your books are much more likely to end up in shops.

Other Books in the Pipeline

I am currently working on two more novels entitled Full Metal Racket and Beneath This Wonderful World.

InkTears are publishing five of my short stories in an author showcase collection in 2015.

I'm also writing a book called 'How to Write & Publish a Short Story'. It's a practical 'how to' book filled with tips and advice based on my real-life experiences. I'm using my own published short stories as case studies, referencing specific examples of how I have directly used the different tips and advice in the book to achieve publishing success. I hope it will help other writers attain publishing success. The book will use a format similar to the one I've used in the short stories section of the site, but will contain a lot more detail.

Get in Touch

If you do buy and read my work, I am always happy to receive feedback and constructive criticism. You can use the form below or visit the contact page.

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Comments:

Your comments:

Mega Geoff
Hello my friend, I am looking forward to reading Wicked Game, Emma bought it and has said it was very good! Good luck Topher X

Dave P
Found your site very informative, thanks. I thought you might enjoy Chris Power's stuff at The Guardian as he is an authority on the short story, and there's always something good on his blog. Good luck with the competitions. Dave

Chris Fielden
Thanks Dave, I'll check it out :-)

Julia BP
Dear Chris, loved "Devil's Crush" and have just peeked inside "Wicked Game" via Amazon's look inside.

Rollicking good start. I'm so intrigued I've ordered a copy from Lulu. I do have a Kindle, but much prefer the heft of a 'proper book'. Can't wait for it to arrive, so I can get stuck in.

Best regards, Julia

Chris Fielden
Thanks Julia, glad you liked the opening - I'll be interested to see what you think when you've read the whole thing! Hope you enjoy it :-)

Fay S
Hi Chris, just a short note to tell you that I downloaded two books:

  1. How to Write a Short Story
  2. To Hull and Back 2016

I'm so greedy, I'm leaping between books to absorb as much as I can.

  1. Most of what I've taken away so far is that your book is informative and giving me lots to think about....this is where the Demon of Doubt comes to play with my mind. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and experience with the rest of the world.
  2. Quite simply... a joy! What a great collection of short stories.

Thank you.

Chris Fielden
Hi Fay. Thanks for letting me know :-) It’s really nice to hear that you’re enjoying the books and learning from them.

Ah, that pesky Demon of Doubt… lock her up. Burn the key. Or, just ignore her. That works too.

I’ll look forward to an email in the future, telling me all about the short stories you’ve had published :-)

Michael D
Afternoon Christopher. May I begin by thanking you for all the writer's info you keep sending me, most especially the Devil's Crush book!

A brief explanation of myself. I have spent a lengthy lifetime in the international drinks business. In November 2015 I was double crossed by a large grape producer in South Africa, savaged him somewhat for his behaviour, but then as I was already in my eighties accepted a mutually agreed out of court financial settlement, figuring enough was enough, get out my pipe and slippers and retire. Guess like many people who have spent most of their lives in active business, figuring was one thing, actually doing it quite another.

In the nineties I created a wine brand called A Year In Provence. This resulted in the necessity of spending much time with writers, publishers, film producers and actors. A very enjoyable and profitable couple of years, so I decided to write a novel, embrace my life for colour, but occasionally fictionally elaborate for reader excitement.

Having finished the first book, I began searching for a publisher, quickly realizing that this was a far more difficult task than writing the book. This is where you might want to become involved. It seems you may already have an introduction into the publishing world. What would your reaction be if I were to suggest that you find a publisher for me, acting as a broker should we say.

Looking forward to your comments. Kind regards.

Chris Fielden
Hi Michael. Thanks for getting in touch. I'm glad you like my email newsletters. The project you've talked about sounds really interesting.

I'm afraid I don’t act as an agent for other writers. I self-publish the vast majority of my own books and the independent publishers I have worked with all specialise in short fiction. I don't have any contacts in the right niche for your books I'm afraid. Best to be honest – I probably wouldn't be much help to you.

There is another writer who, coincidentally, shares my name and would be a perfect fit for you. Unfortunately, I don’t know him, so can’t put you in touch with him, but a quick Google search revealed phone numbers and other contact information for him. Christopher Fielden the wine writer has years of wine industry expertise and has many books published on the subject. So he'd probably be able to help you, if willing.

Sorry I can't be of more help myself. I wish you the very best of luck with finding a publisher for your books.

Michael D
Afternoon Chris. Many thanks for this. Unfortunately Google seem to have their knickers in a twist and I am unable to contact 'the other' Christopher Fielden. I did find out, however, that there is a link with the Wine & Spirit Association, a once powerful trade organisation which is now struggling to elicit sufficient membership to again become viable.

Rather think I will know this guy however, lives somewhere in the south west, once sponsored a lawn mower race for his local village. Organised several Canard Duchene hospitality tents also for the weekend event, huge success selling bucketful's of Canard champagne.

Rather surprised that he is still alive and kicking – will keep you informed.

Kindest regards.

Chris Fielden
Hi Michael. Yes, I'd be surprised if you didn't know him, given your time in the industry.

Well, good luck trying to get hold of him. And if that fails, I hope you find someone else to represent your work.

The Writers' & Artists' Yearbook is worth a look. That offers up to date information on agents and publishers, so you might be able to find someone in the right niche for you. All the best.

Chris E
Greetings, Chris. I reached your website because I was looking for a short story competition. I feel that I have something in common with you and decided to ask your advice.

I wrote a work-related book about thirty years ago which was well received and went through several editions. But nobody read it for fun.

After retirement (I am now 84) I decided to try writing books that people might actually enjoy. I now have three books, self-published and available as paperbacks or on Kindle, but I can't sell them.

I own them wholly and personally. Just today, I re-read one of them and thought it was pretty good and there must be somebody somewhere who would like it.

Have you any advice? I have long abandoned any hope of making money, but I do want readers. You can see them described on chriselgoodbooks.co.uk.

Chris Fielden
Hi Chris. Well, congratulations on publishing 3 books. That’s great. Selling them is difficult, but it can be done.

There are a few things you can try. Amazon allow you to run promotions via Kindle, making the books available for free or for a discounted price. I find discounted price works better. It’s worth running those every 3 months or so. You can learn about that by clicking on ‘promote and advertise’ from your bookshelf in Kindle. You just have to enrol your books into KDP Select.

You can also run Amazon adverts. This costs a bit of money, but I find it generates sales. Again, you can find out about that in same place described above. There is a free video course you can do on Amazon ads on the Kindlepreneur website. I’ve done the course and have since started making a profit (small, but still a profit) from my advertising since doing it. And it means more people are reading my books – as that’s what you want, that would be worth investigating.

It’s also worth doing Mark Dawson’s Facebook ads course. You can do the taster one for free. While the focus is on advertising on Facebook (which can work well for series of books, so might be good for you) he also covers the importance of taking the time to do a good page for your book on Amazon and creating Amazon author profiles etc. You can learn more about that on the self-publishing formula website.

The only other thing you could do is make them available for free to download on a website I guess. I could offer them on my special offers page if you like? I’d just need a PDF version of each book that I could send users, should they want them. Or, I could offer the first one for free on my site and then send readers to your site if they want to read the others. That might generate you some sales. Let me know if that’s of interest.

I hope that’s helpful and wish you the best of luck with selling your books.

Chris E
Hi, Chris. Thanks very much for your informative reply. I shall certainly follow up some of those suggestions.

It will not be immediate because I am just getting the covers re-designed. They were very amateur and I am paying money now for a professional job. When I have them, I will take the next step.

Thanks again. It is not very often that one gets a personal reply, these days. Great.

Best wishes, Chris.

Chris Fielden
Hi Chris. No problem. I hope the new book covers turn out well. And good luck with your next steps.