Interview with toptipster

How do you approach cover design?
As a part time lecturer at Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge, I often mentor students attending the University's MA course in publishing and design. They are my first point of call. I like to give them an opportunity to pitch their skills against established designers and the chance to compete in the real world as opposed to working only on Case Studies. The covers of Top Tips: Interviewing and Top Tips: Writing a CV/Resume came from a second year student Charlotte Choules who is credited with her contribution in the book and on all sites.

For my latest book 'Where to find things when I'm gone' I invited overseas students to submit their ideas. The cover came from a student in India.
What do you read for pleasure?
I'm a fan of Lee Childs and Michael Connelly. They both have a hero who appears in every book so I feel I know the character from the beginning. Jack Reacher and Harry Bosch are the main characters, and in print they never age. I like that.
What is your writing process?
My writing process is based on setting aside chunks of time with no disturbances.

I learned the hard way that it's too easy to get distracted by phone calls and emails. So much wasted time and impossible to avoid rewriting whole sections. Old fashioned time management works for me every time.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I invested in an early Kindle. I'm yet to be persuaded to switch.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
Radio interviews. I see a spike in activity every time. I also monitor the stats to see which page is visited most often; how long visitors stay and which page they exit from. I use that information and make adjustments. Charities who benefit from sales use Twitter to spread the word. I guess I should do more with social media.
What's the story behind your latest book?
We were driving home from a funeral and after several miles of deep-in-thought silence, my wife said: "If anything were to happen to you I wouldn't know where to begin".

The book title came in an instant. WHERE TO FIND THINGS WHEN I'M GONE. More information can be found at
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I joined an ebook authors' forum and discovered a new world. So much good advice and encouragement. I couldn't wait to get started.

As an indie author I am in complete control over the choice of cover, layout and distribution.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Too early to say but I'm hopeful that having a wider audience will be mutually beneficial.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I get pleasure from helping others achieve more success.

My books are in the self-help category, so being able to pass on years of experience to people who genuinely want a better life for themselves and their family gives me a lot of personal satisfaction. My legacy will live on.
What are you working on next?
Top Tips: Fly Fishing. I'd like to write a book I've been looking for but failed to find.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
That's easy. I know so many people who are disabled or ill that I never forget they would give anything to swap places with me, and not have to lie in bed a second longer than necessary. I count my blessings every day.
Published 2015-04-29.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Top Tips: Writing a CV/Resume
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 6,600. Language: English. Published: April 17, 2015. Categories: Nonfiction » Career Guides » Business Management, Nonfiction » Self-improvement » Confidence and self-esteem
'I sent them my CV and never got a reply.' Sounds familiar? To get an invite to attend a job interview you need an eye-catching CV that makes the reader want to know more about you. You have 10 seconds to achieve that. This book,written by business consultant J Walter Hodgson explains how to create a winning CV that will get you an interview every time.
Top Tips: Interviewing
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 7,420. Language: English. Published: April 17, 2015. Categories: Nonfiction » Business & Economics » Careers / job hunting
Hodgson's experience shines through in this book packed with top tips for interviewing success. Preparation, how to read an advert, how to deal with 50 most common job interview questions, and sound advice under Do's and Don'ts. Perfect for anybody planning to attend a job interview as a candidate or interviewer. You will never again fear attending a job interview.