It’s NaNoWriMo time again – and here’s the deal

National November Novel Writing Month begins in a few weeks – challenging writers around the world to produce a 50,000 word work of fiction in just 30 days. That’s a pace to challenge the best of the professionals. Although it’s definitely do-able. Don’t forget, Jack Kerouac whipped out On The Road in one three-week writing… More It’s NaNoWriMo time again – and here’s the deal

Revealing possibly the most useful publishing secret ever

On-line and off, one of the biggest challenges publishers wrestle with is colour matching. All sorts of systems have been devised to make it possible to take the special shade of blue the designer has come up with, reproduce it accurately in a proofing system, and make it reproduce just as accurately when printed. Some… More Revealing possibly the most useful publishing secret ever

It’s not as a big as it was…reconceptualising publishing

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

Nine steps to professional publishing

Ever wondered what happens when a main-stream publisher receives a contracted manuscript? It’s worth knowing because even if you’re self-publishing, the process is industry standard – I’ve been through it many times, and it’s followed by everybody from Penguin Random House to some of the smaller houses I’ve published with. It’s evolved that way for… More Nine steps to professional publishing

All about the ancient and modern art of book binding

Today I thought I’d reveal something about book binding. An ancient art – but also a modern one. And a subject that, really, authors need to know quite a bit about. The basic principle of book binding hasn’t changed for centuries. The issue is simple enough; getting individual pages – which are often printed in multiples on… More All about the ancient and modern art of book binding

Unravelling the mystery of making book covers

If you’re intending to self-publish – or supplying a picture to your publisher that might be used in a print edition, the three terms you’re most likely to hear are ‘bleed’, ‘CMYK and ‘resolution’. They sound suitably mysterious but – as always – there’s no particular secret to them. And they apply both to potential cover… More Unravelling the mystery of making book covers

Essential writing skills: knowing when to stop writing and start publishing

One of the biggest challenges for writers is knowing when to stop. When to let the book go and move on to the next. But it’s tricky. Even hard publisher deadlines don’t stop some authors from tinkering. Or even re-casting. That’s why contracts carry amendment clauses. Once a manuscript’s been proofed, everything that changes adds… More Essential writing skills: knowing when to stop writing and start publishing