Showing posts from February, 2013

Procrastination - I blame it all on the Social Media - by Hywela Lyn

Coincidences don’t have any place in fiction (or  so we’re always told) but when I was desperately trying to think of a theme for this month’s post, one thought kept creeping in. "If I didn’t have to spend so much time on Facebook, Twitter, and – dare I say it – blogging. I would be able to concentrate more on my writing." Then I realised that Ros said pretty much the same thing in her post yesterday. Now don't get me wrong, I enjoy blogging and it is an exercise in writing after all.  I have my own blog, a blog I run with friends, and of course 'Authors Electric' and I love them all dearly, but all this 'social networking' lark does tend to run away with the time, sometimes. The trouble is, as Ros says, in order to sell your books, people have to know who you are, or at least what your books are, and where they are.  These days, whether you’re self-published or traditionally published, or with a ‘small press’, paperback, hardback or E-book,  the problem

A Writer on the Edge of Giving Up...

Two weeks ago I scribbled a possible title in my diary for today's post. It was not a good day. 'This writer is on the verge of giving up,' I scrawled. Then my internal editor kicked in and said: 'No, you can't possibly write that. It will discourage other people and what will they think of you?' I decided to give it a bit of time. I got back from a week in my seaside flat this afternoon and saw, with rather a shock, that tomorrow was the 26th and I had not yet written my blog. Nor did I have any ideas - just that barely-legible note from a fortnight ago. So I will go with that. It has not been an easy few months, writing-wise. I am very disappointed with sales (or rather lack of them) of my self-published books. I know it's probably my own fault for not being sufficently committed to publicity. But I've tried so many things, all time- and energy-consuming, some of them costing money, and to be honest, I'm rather sick of all the social networking

A Tale of Two Publishers (and 'Excepots') by Enid Richemont

My illustrator and colleague, the amazingly talented Jan Ormerod, died recently. We'd been out of touch for some time, not deliberately, but in the way that these things happen, so, sadly, I learnt of her demise via FACEBOOK - not my favourite means of communication. Jan illustrated just one of my children's books  - 'THE MAGIC SKATEBOARD', and I was enchanted by her work. The story is about a black kid - Danny - who, in trying to perfect his skateboarding skills, encounters a very old lady who can perform so much better than him that she can skateboard up the sides of nearby houses and across the roofs. Danny's now magic skateboard will take him on an amazing journey up Nelson's Column in London and then across  night and day skies to a beach in Australia, and finally into Buckingham Palace because Danny really needs a pee. Jan did wonderful (I think) scraperboard, black and white illustrations for the text, and also silhouettes of a boy skateboarding. The c

Electric Publishing Gets Cool - Andrew Crofts

Jamal Edwards, an extremely cool young music and on-line television entrepreneur, who is starring in the dramatisation of my novel, The Overnight Fame of Steffi McBride , has just signed with Virgin to produce a digital business title, which will be released in six separate downloadable levels by Virgin Digital. In each level the reader works through a different stage of setting up a business. There are crunch decision points where you have to choose which path you’ll take, which might lead you to success, but might also lead you to ruin.  I’m pretty convinced that Jamal is one of the coolest men on the planet, (apart from anything else, I am reliably informed that his mother is the “Killer Queen” in “We Will Rock You”), and if he is moving into electric books that makes the rest of us equally cool by association. Faber, meanwhile, have designed an eye-catching cover for a new edition of Sylvia Plath’s Bell Jar and the complaints have started to fly. Literary folk who are just

Author Events At The London Book Fair 2013 - Stephanie Zia

Preparations for The London Book Fair  (April 15 - 17) are in full swing with news of seminars and events gradually going up online. The London Book Fair, Earl's Court I was planning on giving the Author Lounge a wide birth this year. This tiny space furnished with toadstool-like perches and featuring hard-sell salesmen seemed to embody all that was wrong with the author/publishing industry relationship. It looks like it's all change this year. The Author Lounge has its own Seminar Room   with a schedule of talks, discussions and events and authors are even being pitched to on the front page of the Fair website. Alongside digital - another backwater a couple of years ago. Times they have changed. Full details are still coming through but already announced are: E to Eternity  The future of digital  hosted by Kindle Direct Publishing Are bookstores here to stay?  Sam Husein, Chief Executive, Foyles. The challenges facing digital publishing with Jason Cooper,

What's Poisonous and Everywhere? - A Review by Susan Price

Pure, White and Deadly, by John Yudkin           This is a review of two books.           They have little connection with Authors Electric's usual subject of independent publishing, but as I've spent years watching this poison damage the health of my family, I feel strongly on the subject and want as many people as possible to hear of these books. So I post here, to a larger audience, rather than on my own Nennius blog .           I know I shall probably be accused of being a kill-joy, but I think people should have the information in these books - to ignore if they choose. But an uninformed or misled choice, is no choice at all.           I was haunted in the supermarket recently. In almost every aisle, a voice whispered in my ear, “Pure. White. And deadly.”           I’d been re-reading Dr. John Yudkin’s classic book of that name . It's about a slow poison, with which it's perfectly legal to adulterate our food. It's probably in the next thing

Work Flow and Scrivening by Mark Chisnell

An admission: I wrote my first novel in WordPerfect 5.1 . Fortunately, I’ve now got it out of that format (before the converters cease to exist) and it currently resides on my hard drive as an MS Word file, along with everything else. I can’t remember exactly when I switched but, judging by the file dates, I’ve been using Word, or the cut-down version in Works, for almost two decades.  For a writer, the word processor is much the same as a chisel and saw for a carpenter, or the canvas and paint for a painter. It's our interface to the creative output. It’s the most important tool in my life, and the  Word interface feels like an old friend - even if I get annoyed every time I have to upgrade and Microsoft move everything around. There are many things MS Word won’t do for me though – I can’t outline effectively, instead I have to use a spreadsheet for that job, using a row of cells to hold all the necessary information for a scene; weather, location, character motivations