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Showing posts from October, 2013

GUEST POST: Singing in Spanish by Katherine Roberts

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Once upon a time - not that long ago - there were no university courses or blogs to teach you how to write, find an agent or get your work published. I learned my craft by writing short stories for little magazines produced in people’s garages, in the process getting valuable feedback from other subscribers (who were also new writers looking for feedback, too). So in a way, I suppose it was a bit like a writing course – only cheaper, and with the students scattered across the country.

One of the short stories I wrote back then was called Death Singer, a fantasy tale set in a vaguely Greek temple that trains young Singers to give song therapy to criminals sent up from the city below. This story was published in 1994 by Xenos - a small SF/Fantasy magazine, which also published the early work of authors such as Rhys Hughes and Cherith Baldry.
If anyone had told me, back when I wrote Death Singer, that it would grow into my first full-length novel Song Quest, which would go on to win a p…

Guest Post: E Publishing in India - Jaya Bhattacharji Rose

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E-publishing is going to change publishing and change always evokes excitement in some and worry in others. There are challenges to it being successful in India, but its adoption will happen, primarily due to the growing popularity of smartphone and other electronic platforms. To illustrate it I would first like to share some anecdotes.

One: A well-known TV journalist and blogger has been writing miniature stories within the 420 character spaces allowed by Facebook wall posts. His stories are serialised. Every time he posts a new episode in the story on his wall, it is lifted as is and published in Hindi dailies around the country. He is then sent a cheque by the newspaper for having printed his story. Although the payment is minuscule, it is a continuous and steady relationship, illustrating how a social media space can be monetised effectively.

Two: A school principal from a small town on the outskirts of the capital, Delhi, told me recently how excited she was at the …

AUTHORS ELECTRIC HOW TO DAY - RSS Feeds – How to find your RSS URL - Chris Longmuir

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Authors Electric recently dipped a toe into Triberr. This was followed by screams of anguish about the mysteries of RSS, and how to find the correct URL to enable the RSS feed.
So, first of all what is RSS, and what is it needed for. Well, I’m no expert, but I’ll share what I know.
RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication, and is an easy way for web sites to share headlines and stories from other sites. For the purposes of Authors Electric it is needed to ensure that the members who have signed up for Triberr, can share their blogs with all the other members and their followers.
It is immensely time consuming to search for and visit each blog in turn by traditional methods using search engines, however, by using Triberr, the blogs come to the members through this portal reducing the need to go searching for them. By visiting Triberr once a day, or once a week, or whatever schedule suits, you will find all the other members blogs are gathered together in a list. This list can be inspe…

BOOK LAUNCHES AND MICE, by Enid Richemont

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The long-promised launch for my first (published) picture book, "...and Nobody Noticed the Mouse" took place at my local, and highly regarded, Children's Bookshop, in Muswell Hill, North London, last Tuesday.

The last book launch I had was at the turn of the century, and a very different affair. This was for my Young Adult novel: "For Maritsa with Love". Set in Paris in the 80s, it's the story of a Romanian gypsy girl who's a professional beggar on the Metro, and Simon & Schuster thought it was going to be a best seller, so they pulled out all the stops. The launch happened in a very grand central London hotel, and the wines came from a prestigious French wine merchant who sent along an expert to introduce them. The nibbles were far more than that, and prepared by a chef. There were even small chocolates with the letter 'M' embossed on them. My lovely David was there with me, thoroughly enjoying the whole thing. And me? I was both elated, go…

A Decidedly Truncated Education - Andrew Crofts

“You must have been here a hundred times,” the young woman from the Society of Authors said as our guide ushered us up to the boardroom of the British Library for a privileged peak behind the scenes of one of the biggest municipal building projects ever undertaken in the world. Priceless literary treasures had been brought up and laid out for us to wonder at. “Never been here before,” I said, surprised to see how shocked she was by this confession. “What, never?” “No,” I said, “honestly. It’s never occurred to me.” “But what about research?” “I think I must just write very superficial books.” She rejected this suggestion with all the politeness one would expect and when I later made the same confession to another member of the party, an extraordinarily distinguished biographer, he kindly pretended to be impressed that I had managed to write so many books without recourse to the many subterranean floors of material that lie beneath the building. There is close to two …

If They Haven't Heard It, You Haven't Said It

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How to get more people to read your blog posts using Triberr
Over at Ruby Barnes my blog has been running for two and a half years. In that time I’ve had around 183,000 page views across 161 posts. After a hesitant start I found my pace with several different posts about life observations, the writing process and first experiences with social media. But my carefully crafted posts fell upon deaf internet ears. I was shouting in the wilderness, like a mad preacher. Big excitement when five people looked at my blog in one day. It seems like a lifetime ago.
A man named Harvey Thomas once said “If they haven’t heard it, you haven’t said it.” (He was the guy who advised a budding politician named Margaret Thatcher to lower her voice by an octave. What if he hadn’t?) Harvey's truism was shared before the internet was widespread but it summarises what social media is all about i.e. sharing messages you consider to be worthwhile is necessary to reach your audience.
At time of writing 500 pag…

Sterkarm! - by Susan Price

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Frances Thomas, writer and reader, said: "No! You must publish! Ebook if you have to. You have two readers waiting in this house for starters, and I'm sure there are many many more. A bas les publishers! We want Sterkarms!!!"
Jenny Alexander, writer and reader, said: I feel the market is really pushing us to self-publish by being so 'narrow and risk-averse.' Feedback for the dream-book I've been working on for two decades has been entirely positive about the book but the killer-strike is that it's 'too niche' for the market. I'm so sorry to hear you've taken the same hit, Sue. At least if you self-publish you should sell to everyone who's loved the first two Sterkarms, as well as new readers. And having been doing it for a while now, I personally don't think anything's wasted in the writer's life xx."
Mary Hoffman, writer and reader, said: "That is so ridiculous! Yes, an ebook please and maybe print on d…