Showing posts from March, 2013

Guest Post: Anthologising by Jan Edwards

I have been editing magazines and anthologies for some years now, most recently for the award-winning Alchemy Press. I have also written stories for many other publications so, to paraphrase Joni Mitchell, I’ve looked at slush from both sides now. Okay, not quite the same thing, but you’ll get my drift…

I was a panellist at Writing West Midlands event on ‘Getting Published’ recently, and the panel was asked why editors and anthologists seldom gave feedback on submissions. The cold hard truth is those editors simply do not have the time. If you do get feedback consider it a bonus because generally speaking is does not happen. Novelist Kate Long, whom I shared the panel with, came up with the best answer I have ever heard when she said 'It’s not their (the editor) job'.
As a writer I’ve had my share of rejection slips, and always taken it as a sign that the editor received stories they preferred over mine. Whenever I receive that ‘red slip’ I suck it up and make sure I am better t…

Guest Post: Reflections on a new career by Elizabeth Jasper

A fine mess I got myself into – or was it?

I used to work full time.My life was crammed so full of responsibilities, demands, and the effort of getting everything done to everyone else’s satisfaction that I hardly had time to think, never mind make decisions for myself. From the moment that alarm went off,I had to get up in time to walk the dog, to get the kids ready for school and then get ready myself and drive a considerable distance to work, where I held down a responsible job. Each weekday evening, the routine was reversed util I fell into bed, usually after half a bottle of wine, and immediately fell into a deep sleep until that damned alarm went off again. Year after year after year, just like everyone else.
Then things changed. My husband, whom we hardly saw as he had a seriously demanding job as a lawyer in Central London, was offered early retirement.After a couple of years, our lovely family dog died, our kids had grown up and moved away and we made the decision to move to …

Do readers dream of electric autographs - by Hywela Lyn

Some readers are just happy to read a book. Then there are others who want more - some contact with the author. In the old days it was simple enough. An author would hold an actual booksigning in a bookstore or library and sign a real, live book. These days it is not quite so easy. When more and more, books are becoming available on-line, rather than, or as well as in print, how does an author enable a reader to  get a coveted autographed copy?
Well the solution is simple really - get an 'authorgraph'.  If you haven't come across this neat little idea, go along to http://www.authorgraph.comand sign up. It was developed by Evan Jacob, a Seattle software developer.  It's free and you just need the ASIN of your book (which is right after 'dp' in the URL of your book on Amazon)Then, when a reader requests an autographed copy, you can send them either an actual electronic signature, using your mouse, or stylus/finger if using an IPad, or select a preformatted font ve…

Top Writing Tips - Joint Post


The Further Electrification of Steffi McBride

The electrification of “The Overnight Fame of Steffi McBride” continues apace as the first mini-episodes of the television adaptation go up on YouTube drama channel,

There is also a trailer and a “behind the scenes” film up there, (each of them just a few minutes long and highly digestible). I will attempt to put the trailer up here.

So, Steffi is now traditionally published, e-published by her legacy publisher, (Blake), heavily featured on Wattpad and dramatised on YouTube – you have to give the girl credit for perseverance!

Chloe, Clapton and Those Little Green Unmentionables... by Rosalie Warren

How to make a coherent blog post out of my diverse writing-related experiences of the last few weeks - without resorting to a worn-out cliché of the kind favoured by politicians?

Well, I'll try.

I've just finished draft three (or is it four?) of my sci-fi novel for adults and it's 'resting' (and improving, I hope, in the process...). I found it challenging to write, involving as it did an exploration of the nature of consciousness, self, identity, cognition, coma, dreams... and the attempt to create a credible world of suitably advanced technologies for 2104. All that, plus a woman juggling children, separation, divorce and an academic career. Oh, and I should mention the ethics of artificial intelligence and robotics thrown in. Fun, but not particularly easy to write. Quite a relief to be able to lay it all aside for a few weeks and have a well-earned rest...

Except that things never turn out that way. From nowhere, it seems, a new book has popped up, or at least the…

Electrical and Scattered by Susan Price

I am a member of the Scattered Authors' Society. I have been for about 27 years. Way back then, the internet was only just staggering to its feet, and I worked on an Amstrad, with a printer that used tractor-feed paper, and connected with the world via a dial-up modem.
          A letter arrived from the author Malcolm Rose. He said that he and a couple of author friends had decided that being a children's writer was too lonely a business, and they wanted us to connect up via e-mail. There was a paper newsletter for those who hadn't yet made the leap to computers.
          I'm a grumpy so-and-so, not a willing joiner, but for some reason, I did join. And eventually I was persuaded - by Celia Rees - to show my face at some of the local lunches where SAS members met.
Linda Newbery suggested that we hold a 'Conference' (code for 'shindig') at Charney Manor. I signed up for one of the first, and I cannot tell you how exhilarating it was to spend fou…

Bookmaking - The Old & The New by Stephanie Zia

I am in the process making a paperback version of the Authors Electric 2011-2012 Anthology SPARKS. I find the most convenient method is US Amazon's POD (Print On Demand) arm, Createspace. I also have some books published with Lulu but since Createspace started printing in Europe, I now tend to use just Createspace. The books go up via Amazon's main retail systems (as opposed to Marketplace) and are offered to readers with free postage in the UK and Supersaver delivery in the US. Following a tip from another Author Electric [Chris Longmuir on her experience with Createspace; Mark Chisnell on his), I buy my proofs & reader copies from rather than order from the US which takes forever. Factoring the free postage it only costs a few pennies more.  Lightning Source is recommended by many. It gives a better royalty and has  the option for matt covers (as opposed to Lulu/CS shiny). You need your own ISBNs (which you can only purchase in groups of 10 in the…