One of the things that happens these days with ‘book reviews’ of the Amazon variety is the intrusion of personal opinion as a way of judging the book. You know ‘I liked it, so I’ll give it five stars’. Or ‘it didn’t appeal to me, so I’ll give it one star’. The point being that… More All about book reviews and personal opinion
I don’t know if it’s just me, but I can’t help thinking that book covers these days – the ones that appear on Amazon and elsewhere – are all rather homogenised. Literally, in a pixel sense – they all seem to use one or another Photoshop layer-and-blend technique to float words, ghost-like, amidst artwork which… More Why Photoshop artistry makes boring book covers, even when they’re mine…
I have a shelf of my own books in my house, and it always intrigues me to see how the presentation styles have changed over the last 25 years or so. There have been a big shifts even in the last ten years. And the stuff my publishers of the day were doing in the… More Lamenting the loss of design and style in e-books
I was stopped in the street a little while ago by someone who said he’d recognised me from the TV documentary series I appeared in a few years ago. I presume from the re-run just finished. It turned out he’d bought some of my books and was quite a fan. He liked the idea of… More Why, as a writer, I am wary of strangers bearing smiles
Book titles are funny things. They have to distil the essence of the book into just a few words – words that are instantly captivating to a potential buyer. And therein lies the challenge for anybody trying to create one. Commercial publishers are adept at getting the ‘captivating’ side right, which is why commercial publishing… More How to find the best book titles ever!
I just read Andy Weir’s The Martian. Woah! Awesome! And yeah, I know I’m six months late. But hey… It’s a classic author success story. He self-pubbed on Amazon – then was picked up for mainstream print release and an A-list movie. I haven’t seen the movie yet. But what Weir has achieved is wonderful!… More Three things to learn from Andy Weir’s ‘The Martian’
The other day I decided to list all the skills that I think writers need – especially if they’re to thrive in the modern world. Needless to say there are a lot of them. To me they break down into broad families, each of which has a lot of sub-skills, which I haven’t listed. But… More The top ten writing skills that writers really need