If it's August it must be Edinburgh... by Cally Phillips

This is what Edinburgh looks like  to most of you

 And I’m offering you YES YOU the opportunity to attend the First Edinburgh Ebook Festival – free and without leaving home. (If you’re sneaky you can even attend while at work!)

This is the Edinburgh Ebook Festival HQ!

What’s it all about? Well, while shopping in that favourite writer’s store IDEAS R US (while perusing the Edinburgh International Book Festival Programme) I came up with ‘another good idea.’  Why not have a festival focussing on ebooks, virtually, online, free to all and to which everyone was welcome whether or not they could physically or financially afford to be in Edinburgh.  Why not? 

And unable to come up with a good reason why not, apart from ‘impossible in the time frame,’ I turned my hand to the mill and started grinding.   The result?  From 11th August to 27th August, contiguous but in no way affiliated to the ‘real’ Book festival IEBR is sponsoring THE FIRST EDINBURGH EBOOK FESTIVAL.  Easy as that. I wish.  Hopefully it will all look seamless and shiny for you the consumer/participant/virtual visitor, and if it does it will be nothing short of a miracle.

If anyone tells you it’s impossible to organise a festival in a month which features 40 writers and hosts over 100 individual events, you’ll be able to put them right. You can do it. Just. But it’s a lot of hard work, believe me. 

However, moaning aside, here’s what we have.  The website launched yesterday 3rd August on a ‘rolling launch’ which means there will be new features available each day up till 11th allowing you plenty of time to get to know the site (some people have difficulty with drop down tabs – you need to read THE MAIN PAGE for each feature before you start delving into the drop downs to get the full experience).  The Facebook page is also live and will host interactive chat as and when participating authors feel the mood take them. There will also be some YouTube interactivity (fingers crossed) with trailers, excerpts and the like.  The twitter #hashtag will be #edebookfest

The festival programme is laid out for you on the website but here’s a sneak preview:
Dan, Dan, Poetry man! 
Each day there will be a short story slot, a lunchtime writer’s ‘piece’, reviews, an @the festival slot introducing you to people in the epublishing world, a beyond fiction slot looking at what else ebooks are good for apart from fiction, an evening poetry slot (with our very own DAN HOLLOWAY as Poet in residence) 

The 'father' of indie publishing ?
and extras including a special IEBR/Festival feature on DENNIS HAMLEY (now styled the ‘father’ of indie ebook publishing)  and the amazing feat of getting all six parts of the Joslin saga out on ebook in just 6 months! 

Certainly I believe that there will be something for more or less everyone to enjoy and I hope you will visit often, tell your friends and generally support the endeavour to the best of your abilities.  It’s a great opportunity to do something positive to counter those who denigrate the quality and sense of independent epublishing. 

On other matters.  Since one good idea wasn’t enough for me, I chose to publish not one but two ebooks on August 1st.

A  week with No Labels(the Omnibus edition) launched under the new Guerrilla Midgie imprint  adds 2 more days to the episodes already available singly, and wraps them all up in one big bundle for your reading pleasure.

And following the surprise success of Voices in Ma Heid, my Scots Short Story collection, I’ve published another volume: this time it’s personal  It Wisnae Me is another handful of short stories in Scots for those willing and able to attempt the East Coast Scots vernacular.When good ideas jostle each other for place of course something has to give and so I’ve had no time to promote my own publications as I’ve been so busy getting the festival together  - so I’d ask you a jolly big favour  - please download my new books or at least spread the word about them to people you think might be interested in reading them – via whatever platform or social media networking you use. I don’t have time to do it. I’m too busy promoting other writers and ebooks in general via the Festival. Which of course, I’d like you to promote too!

How cool is this festival? 
And my next good idea. Not to have any more good ideas – for a long time! A year ago this time I was thinking seriously about retiring to spend more time with my garden.  The introduction to Authors Electric, epublishing and the summer that never was have certainly put paid to that idea.  I won’t be retiring any time soon. There is far too much writing to get out there first. And I can’t find the garden anyway, it’s become a jungle in the last month! 


Jan Needle said…
go cally. i'll think about you and all your hard work on my behalf - and all our behalves (?) - while i sail me boat along the menai straits. i only became a writer because i never had the work ethic. what a basic misreading of the life! love n kisses, jan
Linda Gillard said…
You're amazing, Cally. I feel tired just reading about what you've organised. Thanks so much for having the brilliant idea in the first place, then finding the energy to follow it through. We all owe you.
madwippitt said…
I must find some cool shades like yours for my Kindle too!
CallyPhillips said…
That's no Kindle, that's a Kobo!
Dennis Hamley said…
Ston me, Cally. A father figure's special feature. I shall have to lie down and think about this.
Dennis Hamley said…
PS Thank God I don't have a garden any more.

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