Showing posts from May, 2012

Guest Post - Kate Allan: Why I'm not rushing to self-publish again

A recent survey of some 320 professional authors by literary consultancy The Writers Workshop published in The Booksellerlast week demonstrated in statistics what many of us could have guessed; that many traditionally published authors are self-publishing or intend to seriously consider it. “The vast majority of authors are considering cutting out their publishers altogether in order to self-publish direct,” Tom Tivnan writes in The Bookseller (25 May 2012). But in fact the survey paints a more mixed picture and suggests that traditionally published authors are still uncertain and hesitant about self-publishing. Only 48% of the traditionally published authors who took the survey said that they thought it was “most likely” that they would have a traditional publisher in 10 years time. They are not rushing into the open arms of self-publishing just yet. 38% said it was “impossible to say”  whether they would still be with a traditional publisher and only 14% said “most likely …

The road less travelled by Cally Phillips

Tomorrow sees the 50th post on Authors Electric sister site Indie Ebook Review. Many Electric Authors have both reviewed and been reviewed on this site and the positivity of all concerned is one of its best features. 

Since a guest blogger has gone AWOL today I recommend that you take yourself over to the IEBR site and check out some of the past reviews. Spend a bit of time in the virtual bookshelf - familiarise yourself with the writing and the reviewing 'style' of our contributors and generally wallow in the stuff in preparation for the 50th celebrations tomorrow. 

Cally Phillips (editor IEBR) writes about indie ebook reviewing: 

The three months I’ve spent hunting down and reading ebooks (not for me the easy one click of free bestsellers on Amazon) have resulted in my coming up with an interesting observation or two.  And I feel it’s time to explore this as an analogy (inspired in part by one of the books I’ve been reading – a travel book).
I think ‘indie’ E-books are to tradit…

FRIENDSHIP - it's so much more than just a 'support network' - by Hywela Lyn

When my first novel 'Starquest' was published by the American publisher The Wild Rose Press,  in 2008, I knew nothing about 'promotion'.  Come to that, I knew nothing about E-publishing either, but I was soon to learn about both as my novel would be available both in print and electronic format.

I'd decided to try my luck with an American publisher, since I felt my particular genre 'futuristic romance' had little chance of being published in the UK.  (Four years ago there weren't the same opportunities for self publishing as there are now, and there weren't so many sub genres over here in the romance market. Things have moved on quite a lot since then!)

I learnt that I had to join Author loops and 'make myself known', participate in groups and comment on Blogs.  Before long I found I found other authors were generously offering to interview me on their blogs, mentioning my book and generally helping me to 'learn the ropes.' As time …

Reading, and writing, in different formats, by Enid Richemont

I'm into a trio of print books at present, all borrowed from the Barbican Library. THE STORY OF MR SOMMER, a short, beautifully written/translated novel by Patrick Suskind, with exquisite illustrations by Sempe was both moving and haunting - just one of those books you can't forget. Jeanette Winterson's fantasy based on Noah and the flood makes an amusing contrast, and I have yet to savour the third - JUSTINE, by Alice Thompson... I've already dipped into its descriptions though - the sort of lavish and visual poetic prose I lap up.
There is a difficult-to-define difference between reading on my Kindle and reading a print book. All three print books are paperbacks, and so have rather springy pages which is annoying for breakfast reading - one hand on the coffee mug and the other on the book. There's also a subtle difference for me, as a writer, between reading/working on screen, and reading my eventual print-outs, and I do wonder if there is a similar one for people…

Are More Young People Reading and Writing than Ever Before? - Andrew Crofts

This post has been published in Sparks, A Year In E-Publishing - An Authors Electric Anthology 2011-2012. It has therefore been temporarily reverted to draft status to comply with amazon KDP Select's requirements.

YA or not YA? Teenage protagonists do not a YA novel make... by Rosalie Warren

This post has been published in Sparks, A Year In E-Publishing - An Authors Electric Anthology 2011-2012. It has therefore been temporarily reverted to draft status to comply with amazon KDP Select's requirements.

E-Book Anarchy! - by Susan Price

Katherine Roberts and I started this blog in 2011, because although it’s a fine thing to be an indie-author, it’s quite another to be an indie-author who’s known to exist by anyone outside their own family.           Amazon stocks over 2 million books, and has a world-wide market.  You have to wave hard and jump up and down a lot to get noticed in a field that size.           So Kath suggested getting a group together, so we could all wave and jump at the same time.           What I didn’t foresee – though I should have  – is how quickly our bloggers would become a tight little community.           I should have foreseen it because both Kath and I are members of  the Scattered Authors’Society (SAS), where exactly the same thing happened.  Cindy Jefferies set up the SAS’ posting forum: e-mails buzzed to and fro; personalities soon emerged and on-line friendships formed.  It’s one of the most supportive, helpful, wittiest groups I know.           Some of our Authors Electric were recruited f…

Getting Started in Ebook Publishing by Stephanie Zia

Hello. I'm thrilled to be here amongst so many fantastic UK authors who are also embracing digital publishing. For my first post I've been asked to say a little about me.

I began publishing at the beginning of 2010 when ebooks were very much an American affair. US Amazon Kindle was well underway but ebooks were mostly PDF documents sold from websites. They were packaged with funny, box-like, mock 3D real-book images, and usually advertised with lots of scrolling, bright red, writing with a massive "one time offer" only deal of £50.00, or even more, at the bottom.

I was trying to make ends meet, as you do when you've got an agent but no publishing deal and a very sick partner, working at home for a TV script transcription company. My only other regular work was as a household tips columnist in The Guardian Saturday magazine. I was asked to transcribe an interview with Tay Zonday for a programme about the future of the media. When his song Chocolate Rain went viral…

Top 10 Rules For Children's Writers (visiting schools) - Simon Cheshire

Talking to classrooms full of schoolkids is part and parcel of being a children's writer these days. I've no idea how this came about - in my day, the very concept of an author coming into school would have seemed bizarre. Anyway, a lot of children's writers visit a lot of classrooms.
For me, it's a joy. Truly. I should think 90% or more of visits to schools absolutely make my day, gladden my heart and restore my faith in humanity. School visits make it worthwhile putting up with all the practical, emotional and financial rigours that the jobbing writer endures.
As the end of the school year rapidly approaches, here are my personal thoughts on the subject, as distilled from loads and loads of schlepping around the country and trying to hold 10-year-olds spellbound for 45 minutes...
It does get easier. When I started going to schools, I wasn't terribly good at the whole keeping-'em-spellbound stuff. Er, OK, to be brutally honest, I bombed. Big time. But now, tho…

Der Überläufer – An Adventure in Translation

My writing has appeared in a lot of different places, including some other languages; my first novel was translated into Dutch, Japanese and German, back in the day when I brought out my fiction through traditional publishing houses.
After embarking on my indie or self-publishing project, Amazon started opening Kindle websites in places other than the US and the UK – and one of them was Germany. Ah ha, I thought, I have German editions of both my first two novels, I wonder if I can self-publish them as eBooks?
I was lucky (although it didn’t feel like it at the time) that the German publisher, Delius Klasing had already taken the books out of print. I have a rule to always get a rights reversion letter when this happens – if you’ve not seen one, it’s pretty much what it says on the tin. It’s a letter that confirms that the publisher of your book is no longer publishing your book, and that they accept that as a consequence of a clause (that should be) in your contract – they return th…


This is a post about two lately-comers to the world of story, electronic publishing and flash fiction.  Wednesday 16th May was the first ever National Flash Fiction Day, celebrated not just across the UK, but online too, and across the world in some cases, Australia being among them and New Zealand as well.
In the county town of Shrewsbury, flash fiction was celebrated too.It was a huge success - a packed coffeehouse event that saw strangers coming together to share their short, short stories, make common cause of their inspiration and write on table-cloths, backs of envelopes [well, one envelope - I wouldn't want to be seen exaggerating here], anything that came to hand. People having been stopping me on the street to say how much the evening meant to them. Some said they hadn't written stories since they were in school.  Others said it provided them with a way of getting personal without feeling exposed.  When are we doing it again, they wanted to know.  And it's that &#…