Future of Publishing

Women Unplugged

Last weekend I attended a great conference in St. Petersburg. Held in a hotel on the beach, it’s amazing I was able to get any work done, but I did. The discussion panels were that good. In between sessions, I did sneak out and take a few photos. Who could blame me?

St Pete Beach

Some of the more interesting take away messages from the conference centered on the print industry, as in print books vs. ebooks. We all hear about the demise of bookstores, the print book going the way of the dinosaur with the onset of ereaders, but alas, it isn’t so. Print books are here, and I believe, here to stay. You see that beach up there? Who wants to get sand in their ereader? Not me. I take paperbacks to the beach!

But it’s more than reading venue that’s dictating the trends in publishing. It’s reader habit, reader access, and…

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Organising a book launch – your 10 point check-list

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Writing in the House of Dreams: Creative Dreaming, Creative Writing

It’s a common misconception that if your book secures a deal with a major publisher they will organise a lavish book launch and all you’ll have to do is show up in a new frock and graciously accept the toast.

This can happen, but only for the chosen few books that get the lion’s share of the marketing spend. The majority of traditionally published authors have to organise their own book launches, although publishers are often happy to make some kind of contribution. If you’re self-published, of course,  you’re on your own.

A book launch is a major undertaking and to be honest I haven’t bothered with it for every book but, when I have, I’ve always felt glad I made the effort. After all, a book is a major personal achievement and one that’s worth celebrating.

If you’re organising a book launch, here’s what needs to be on your check-list:

  1. Notify your…

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Why writers need proofreaders

Scarborough Mysteries

I am a great believer in using people with skills and paying them for their work. However, as a first-time indie publisher, I could not afford to bring in an editor (I used writer-friends as peer reviewers instead) or a designer, as I would have wished to. But I wasn’t going to stint on a proofreader.

I can proofread my own work if it’s a short article (or blog post), but not for a 60,000 word novel. So I brought on board Jenny Drewery (jdrewery.thewriterthebetter@gmail.com) who had done my book published last year by Sense Publishers (http://goo.gl/k360PX).

And she’s done an excellent job. She is also a font of publishing knowledge, telling me that song lyrics are not covered by the usual ‘fair use’ rules. Who knew? Apparently you can use a song title without fear, so you can have your characters humming the reprise which is the song title and…

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Write on

Writer's notebook


On Saturday I signed up for NaNoWriMo. On Sunday I wished I hadn’t. I haven’t written a full length romantic novel for nearly 20 years, and I’ve begun to think that I should try to write another one, simply to see if I can still do it.

I always tell my students to plan; to think about their characters, to have some idea of what is going to happen. Did I do this? No. I did not. I just woke up with a vague idea of my hero and heroine meeting in a car park (yes, really) and charged straight into it. First page, great; second page, okay; third page, blank.

I hadn’t realised, at first, that when you take part in the National Novel Writing Month, you:

  • actually sign up to a website;
  • enter your target length;
  • are given daily target of words to complete.

And get this; there’s…

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Three Steps For Awesome Indie Success

John L. Monk

I woke up this morning to polish off the last 500 or so words in this week’s word count (and then some), when I came to a rather profound and marvelous conclusion — the Awesome Indie Project is officially a success. Since the project began, there have been a number of cool developments.

  • I’ve become friends with most of the authors. I send them news/tips, and they send me news/tips. I promote them, and they promote me (though I never ask).  Two of them have become friends with each other. And most of them reblog, retweet, and re-facebook anything I have to say about the other Awesome Indies.
  • Recently, Carol Ervin (the second Awesome Indie added) turned around and cross-promoted the other indies (and me too, though I’m not in the list) in her 3 part blog series: “Indie Authors: Where are they Now?”
  • Every single Awesome Indie has now…

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just keep writing – once more, again and so forth #NaNoWriMo

Lucy Mills

Participant-2014-Web-BannerI’ve done it again.

After a break last year (in which November felt most peculiar), I’ve signed up for National Novel Writing Month once again.

I’ve got loads to do this month but splurging fictional slush is actually quite relaxing – I’m hoping it will provide some downtime for the brain. I think because I see it as different from ‘work’ I get more done – which is not to say it isn’t very hard, sometimes, to focus.

This will be more fourth year after three successes (and last year’s non-participation owing to moving house).

My top tip – just keep writing. If you’re not sure what’s going to happen next – or, as I often find, how to get to what you want to happen next – just add in a conversation between two characters and see what they want to talk about. If it’s drivel, just keep writing…

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