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Showing posts from August, 2012

Guest Post: Phyllis Burton - Damsels in Distress

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As a writer, do you love the characters in your book, or don’t you care what happens to them?
You have to care for them a great deal, after all you created them, so you must be a just a little concerned about their welfare. Therefore it follows that you should know everything about them. What makes them tick? What are their needs and hopes for the future? What is their financial status, or what sign of the Zodiac were they born under. What do they look like? Are they fat, thin, or just perfect? I always find that when your main character looks into the mirror, it is quite easy to describe what or who they look like. Or you could ask another character to describe them for you. You must know all of these things, in order to make them seem alive to your readers. They can never be just cardboard cut-outs.
Would you send your principal character into danger? Yes, you would probably say, because you and you alone know that you can rescue them whenever you want to: in fact you hold the key to …

Guest Post: Sam Stone - Fairtrade Books

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Author Sam Stone on why books, like bananas, can be worth paying more for …
Over the past few months I’ve seen stories online that tell us about UK farmers who have been forced to sell their milk to supermarket chains below the cost of production. We’re regularly bombarded with information about people overseas who have no choice but to work for a pittance which is so small that they can’t afford to live at all. Concerns over the welfare and the right to a ‘fair wage’ for work done has resulted in a movement which has been labelled ‘Fair Trade’, where the shops stock coffee, bananas, chocolate and other goods that come under this label. We are encouraged to pay more for these items, as the money paid allows more of the cost to go to those lower down the chain. The aim is, of course, to ensure that the people who do all the hard work growing and making these things in the first place are given better pay, improved working conditions, and that they can work and live on the income they re…

No, I'm Not A Pirate - by Hywela Lyn

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I'm not a Pirate - really I'm not!

This week I found a message from KDP in my 'in-box'.  This is an portion of what it said:

"We contacted you recently regarding Kindle books you have published which contain content that is freely available on the web.  We haven’t received documentation confirming that you have the necessary rights to publish these books. Please be advised that we take copyright violations very seriously and, as stated in our previous email, a lack of a response or failure to prove you have the exclusive rights to these books may result in the termination of your account. 

As a result, we have temporarily suspended your ability to publish or change the books in this account. If you have already responded to our inquiry and we somehow missed your response, or you wrote in to Customer Service about it, please reply directly to this message and let us know.

Please be advised that we won’t accept content that is freely available on the web unless you are…

Editors, Relationships and a Space Dog, by Enid Richemont

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Imagine this. You are working with a professional colleague you respect, but have never met (blind date). This colleague has already stated that he admires your work (you now have a relationship of sorts). Indeed, he has commissioned one of your books for publication (it has taken him and his company four years to get to this point) and you have received and  signed the contract and the cheque (at this point, the relationship has become more concrete).
He expresses active interest in other works, especially one. You are now both considering a work as yet unborn and in gestation, so cooperation, encouragement and loving care will be needed to bring it to life. At this delicate point, your colleague vanishes. Emails are routinely unanswered. You wait. Perhaps he's ill, had an accident, even died? Maybe the gestating work you've shared is no longer loved or needed. Will he pay you the respect of telling you? You can take it - after all, you've been in the business for over twe…

If It Worked for Dickens - Andrew Crofts

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Since Wattpad is proving to be such a fruitful source of readers, (hits for The Fabulous Dreams of Maggie de Beer are now heading towards a quarter of a million after about four months), I am now in the process of putting up a new book, one chapter at a time, (serialisation worked for Dickens after all ...)
The Secrets of the Italian Gardener is set inside the palace of a dictator about to be overthrown in the Arab Spring. The story is told by a ghostwriter who, while inside the palace writing a book for the dictator, meets a wise, elderly Italian gardener who gradually unravels the story of who really holds the power and wealth in the world. He literally discovers "where the bodies are buried". As the rebels draw closer to breaching the palace walls the ghostwriter is also struggling with his own breaking heart and an overwhelming burden of guilt.
The inspiration for the story comes from the times I have spent during my ghostwriting career amongst the dictators, politicians, …

Paying Homage to the Creator of the Galaxy's First e-Book - by Rosalie Warren

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The photo shows yours truly adding a pen to a fine collection in Highgate Cemetery. I didn't want my partner to take this photo, but he took it anyway and I'm quite pleased that he did. It was my first visit to Highgate and the tub of colourful pens caught my attention as I passed what was otherwise a rather unassuming headstone. Stopping to look, I saw it was the grave of one of my greatest heroes and favourite writers, Douglas Adams.

As for the connection to this blog... well, The Hitchhikers' Guide to the Galaxy - not Douglas Adams's book but the original (and fictional) work upon which is it based - is arguably the Milky Way's first electronic book, though of course there may be others as yet unknown to our civilisation. It was certainly the first one to reach Earth. This revolutionary piece of technology predated the web and most of the internet, foreshadowing it while Tim Berners-Lee was probably still wrestling with BBC Basic. The entry in it for Earth desc…

While Reading My Kindle In The Bath... By Susan Price

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Or, Kindle Tutorial No. 1

Eight Ebook Publishing Tools I Couldn't Do Without - Stephanie Zia

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.

That was ab-so-lutely fan-tas-tic - Simon Cheshire

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Last year, at about this time, I took the exciting Strictly Come Dancing Bowl Of Nibbles Game out from under the bed and blew the dust off its box. So now, in the interests of balance, I've had a rummage in the wardrobe, and now we can all play X-Factor Clock Golf (TM). Hours of fun for the whole family. The rules are very simple:

Play proceeds right to left, except when there's an odd number of players, when the first player to have a go missed is the last player who started. Take a card from the pile and throw the dice twice to determine the order of rounds. Popstar Cards are wild.Watch X-Factor carefully.Score 2 points each time Gary Barlow wears a V-neck pullover without a shirt.Score 5 points each time someone on your sofa says "Nicole who?"Score 5 points each time someone on your sofa says "That Tulisa's really tall, isn't she!"Score a bonus 10 points every time you look at Tulisa and can't rid yourself of an image she wishes she hadn't…
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It's August 22nd - or at least it should be if the blogger.com scheduling has done its thing properly and put this up on time.  I'm on holiday - hence the need for the scheduling - and I suspect I'm not alone. In fact, I definitely won't be alone as this is my honeymoon - assuming, once again, that everything has gone to plan.

So it seems like a lousy time for another blog on the business aspects of electric books, or even another one on the creative side of novel writing - it's the holiday and we're all reading, aren't we? But if you're not and it's because you're stuck for ideas, then I'm your white knight: here's a quick tour of some of the summer reading lists - I defy you not to find something here to your taste.

The Richard and Judy Summer Book Club is a good place to start with ten titles. I'm a thriller writer, so the one that jumps out at me is the new Robert Harris novel, The Fear Index - I'm definitely going to give this…