Why I didn’t read Anthony Burgess’ ‘A Clockwork Orange’

Of all the classics that we are ‘supposed’ to read, Anthony Burgess’ A Clockwork Orange – first published in 1962 – is high on the list. I saw the movie, years ago – as a Kubrick fan it was a natural. I am also a monolithic fan of Moog synthesisers – which Wendy Carlos used … More Why I didn’t read Anthony Burgess’ ‘A Clockwork Orange’

Those niggly publishing errors and how to deal with them

There is a moment with every book where the author advance copy of your latest title arrives from the publisher. You open it, leaf through the pages, and find a mistake. It’s happened just about every time I’ve had a book published, and it happens despite all the care, effort and due process that publishers … More Those niggly publishing errors and how to deal with them

Online book reviews are really social media comments

I’ve always had the impression that online ‘book reviews’ are a vital commodity on which to sell books. I have heard that sales algorithms are driven, in part, by those reviews – and certainly if the book’s discovered they can help the would-be reader decide whether to buy the book or not. The thing is … More Online book reviews are really social media comments

The trick to structuring your book right – first time, every time

Decades ago, when I was studying the philosophy of history post-grad under Prof. Peter Munz, he announced to the class that the biggest challenge facing anybody writing a book was sustaining the argument. It was, he warned, the hardest thing to do. I still remember the lesson, along with the derision with which some of … More The trick to structuring your book right – first time, every time

Going viral – the problem with authors being discovered on the web

I’ve got a question to which I don’t – yet – know the answer. One of the biggest problems with the new publishing paradigm is the fact that the tools publishers have to make themselves known by are common to all social media and internet users. Any individual voice consequently gets lost in the noise. … More Going viral – the problem with authors being discovered on the web

Editing secrets for publishing – line editing and final quality control

In the last few posts I’ve been outlining how publishers edit manuscripts – which, at this part in the process, is quality control ahead of release. This process applies just as much to those who are self-publishing. Once the manuscript has been proof-edited and the author’s comments taken in, a variety of things happen – all … More Editing secrets for publishing – line editing and final quality control