I discovered a web page last month alleging that my book Guns and Utu (Penguin 2011) was available for free PDF download from a company named Playster. According to the page I found, some 2048 copies had reportedly been downloaded in the last month. This was odd: I hold the copyrights and publishing license. Neither … More Somebody is illegally advertising non-existent pirate copies of my books
I’m not sure yet what to think of the Amazon plan to pay authors enrolled in their Kindle Unlimited programme on a page-basis. This system doesn’t replace the sale model –it runs alongside it and makes books available for Kindle readers, free. Amazon pays authors instead from an undefined ‘pool’. This latest amendment simply changes the … More OK so what does ‘Kindle Unlimited’ author payment by the page really mean?
I can’t help thinking that the last five years have been dramatic for the traditional publishing model. You know, the multi-barrier one where, to get published, you had to first attract an agent. Five years ago, a lot of writers’ blogs featured their representative, even if the writer was unpublished – but to even get an … More What’s missing from the new publishing paradigm
News that Terry Brooks’ Sword of Shannara books are going to be made into a TV series for US distribution, in New Zealand, set alarm bells ringing in my mind. Plus side is that, twenty years on from Hercules: the legendary journeys, Auckland will once again be venue for a major US TV production. That’s excellent. … More Essential writing skills: how to avoid being ‘derivative’ at all cost
I’m delighted to announce that my book Coal: the rise and fall of King Coal in New Zealand (Bateman 2014) – which was released in print a few months ago – has also been published internationally through Kindle. Coal is an irreplaceable resource, formed over millions of years, yet humanity has been burning it as if there is … More How to stoke your Kindle with “Coal”
I have a question to put to you. I posted earlier this week on the books I read as a kid, which have stayed with me. The reason a book ‘stays with you’ is because of its emotional impact at the time – and later. Now, that poses a question. You’d think that – as … More Posing the vital question: are writers also readers?
One of the major battles Jack Kerouac had to fight when publishing On The Road was his lack of divisions. His editors won; the book as originally published had divisions – I wouldn’t exactly call them chapters. And with good reason. Divisions, usually chapters, are an expected part of a book – a useful device for … More Essential writing skills: what I learned from Jack Kerouac about chapters
I discovered today that there are around 3.4 million different titles for sale on Amazon. The number is rising by one book every five minutes. A proportion of these are written by bots – compilations of data, really, rather than books. But still, these figures underscore the democratisation of publishing. And the difficulty of discovery. … More Re-conceptualising the publishing problem in the online age
I had to admit to my wife the other day the traditional publishing and bookselling industry isn’t as big as it was. Worldwide, but especially in New Zealand. Retail book sales here have dropped a compound 25 percent in the past two years, driven by a perfect storm combination of downloadable e-books and the rise of internet-driven hard-copy imports. People … More It’s not as a big as it was…reconceptualising publishing
There’s no question that the digital revolution has hit writing. Publishers are in a spin as traditional print-publishing – with its marketing and distribution model – falls away in the face of e-books and print on demand. A lot’s been driven by economic downturn. As discretionary spending falls away, people cut luxuries. But digital’s cheap. … More How to win with writing’s digital revolution