Showing posts from June, 2014

99c Boxed Sets: The New ‘Free’ - guest post by Chrystalla Thoma

For those of us who are self-published authors, flexibility and control over every aspect of our product (the book) is one of the best things ever. Speaking for me, control over pricing, publishing, cover art, and the possibility of changing all of these at a moment’s notice may well prove the reason I’ll never visit the traditional publishing model again. In these past years of self-publishing, we have seen many promotional models come and go as the field expands and develops. A few years ago, the self-published or “indie” authors were few and every new strategy they devised was fresh and successful. When Amanda Hocking published her books, setting the first one at 99c and the rest at slightly higher prices, she changed the publishing world. Her books sold like hot cakes, and a new model was born.  Soon after, 99c wasn’t drawing enough readers, as the market was flooded with 99c books following Hocking’s example. More and more authors saw the benefits of self-publishing new works


Recently I've had some exciting news about my Young Adult novel, FOR MARITSA WITH LOVE, which was first published by Simon & Schuster in 2001, but which went out of print because it didn't make the mega-bucks required by the USA. Although David and I re-published quite a number of my out of print children's books as ebooks, I held back on MARITSA. It had attracted film offers, including one significant one, but film offers have a nasty tendency to fizzle out, usually from lack of funding. I still do have a company expressing interest, so it might still happen. Now an enterprising new publisher is proposing to take it on, both as an ebook and print on demand, and since I know its owner and like the way she's going, I think I may run with it - but not without my agent, the lovely Sophie Hicks, on board. Mega-bucks are irrelevant (although - who knows? - they might yet happen). We just want this book read. Author, and friend, Frances Thomas also wants her work

Queen Christina, (Foyle that is) - Andrew Crofts

When I arrived in London in 1970, a wide-eyed seventeen year-old, Richard Nixon was in the White House, Edward Heath was taking over from Harold Wilson in Downing Street, the Beatles were breaking up and Foyles was the pre-eminent London bookshop by far. It was huge, rambling and scruffy and so old fashioned Dickens would not have looked out of place in any of its shambolic departments. The shortest route between floors was via a bare concrete stairwell which surrounded a clanking lift shaft. It had the most ridiculous payment system ever invented, involving queuing two or even three times at different counters, and a reputation for treating its employees as virtual, if willing, slaves. Hovering over all this was a penthouse, the London home of the fragrant Christina Foyle, (she had a fantastic, peacock strewn country house as well), who had been working in the shop since 1928. Her father had opened the store in 1904. Her biggest claim to fame was the founding of the “Fo

A New Breath of Life by Ruby Barnes

About five years ago the depressing odds of mainstream publication were clearly explained to me (the following “facts and figures” are plucked from memory and this was just before the real advent of e-publishing). If your submission letter to a literary agent is one of the handful picked out of several thousand they receive each year, if your manuscript is considered worth taking on, if the agent manages to secure a publishing deal, then any advance you will receive from the publisher will be unlikely to run to more than a few grand (unless you’re the Next Big Thing!) Writing novels isn’t a get rich quick scheme. Don’t give up the day job (so say people who’ve read my books). When a new title hits the shelves it has a few weeks to make an impact and a share of the sales proceeds will be offset against your advance. If the book stops selling before the advance is paid off then it will have failed to earn out and that’s the end of the road for that book. Bookshops will ret

Invisible Future by Susan Price

'Going to the Opera in the year 2000' - as imagined in 1882. By Albert Robida      I was in the pub with some of my favourite people, talking and talking. The topic, this time, was science-fiction we have known and loved, and what it made of the future we're living in now.      My brother Andrew said, "What they didn't foresee was that the future would be invisible."      We all turned on him at once, and urged him to explain what he meant.      "Take that high street out there. Back in the 50s and 60s, they thought it was going to be full of glass buildings with triangular doors that slide sideways to open. All the people dressed in skin tight silver foil - but nobody walking because they'd all be flying through the air in little flying cars. And no pubs, like this, serving food, because everybody would just take pills instead of eating. Big changes, you see. That's what they thought about. When you wanted to make a phone call, there