I discovered a little while back that Amazon have changed the criteria for reviews. Once upon a time readers had to spend but $US5 in order to be eligible to write a comment about a book. Now it’s $US50. That’s a significant dis-incentive for the click-farms who create hundreds of fake accounts, post hundreds of … More Amazon versus the weaponised book review
It seems to me that mythology and fairy stories go together pretty much hand in hand. One of the twentieth century masters of the art of writing them was J R R Tolkien, whose Middle Earth imaginarium spanned the whole lot. The Silmarillion, the foundation of his mythos, was deliberate mythology. He drew inspiration from … More What is a myth – and what is a fairy story?
It always intrigues me that ‘writing’, to most people, appears to be ‘writing fiction’. Time and again I’ll see stuff on social media pivoting on that idea – ‘writers – what’s your character arc?’, or ‘what’s your latest plot twist’ or whatever. Whereas non-fiction writing is always seen as a secondary product of expertise in … More Why even non-fiction has to tell a story
One of the hardest things about writing is selling it to readers – especially today, where the old gatekeepers have gone and the web is full of writing that, once upon a time, would have been relegated to a publisher’s slush pile. The challenge for readers is finding the good stuff. And that’s where a … More Getting the right promotion for your story
November is just about over, and all things being equal, NaNoWriMo participants should end up with something like a ‘bad first draft’ at the end of that writing month. Which is very cool, because a bad first draft is better than no first draft. That sounds like an old aphorism, but it’s absolutely true, because … More Ten steps in book writing after the first draft’s done
It’s been interesting to read some of the reader comments (‘reviews’) of my novella ‘Missionary’, which was published in the first volume of the Endless Worlds anthology series last year. I deliberately wrote it as a homage to dieselpunk – specifically, 1950s atomic-age dieselpunk of the kind written by Heinlein and Clarke. The starship had … More An insight into reader reviews of your books
While fossicking through the books I have in the back shed the other week I found my copy of Gavin McLean’s Whare Raupo, the official history of New Zealand’s oldest publishers, Reed New Zealand. They are no more, alas – vanishing in 2007 when parent company Elsevier sold their worldwide publishing interests to the Pearson … More What a publisher’s official history has to say about meeeeeeee