Writing and branding – a practical lesson in extreme interests

I’ve got a bit of a brand problem. For as long as I can remember, I’ve been interested in all sorts of things. I began my academic career with music, physics and cosmology, interests I’ve kept up without relent. I have degree qualifications in anthropology and still pursue my life-long interest in human evolutionary paths. … More Writing and branding – a practical lesson in extreme interests

Hot titles from my writing past – and they’re baaaaack!

Last week I retrieved the last of my publishing licenses from Penguin Random House. Yeah, I know. Most authors crawl over broken glass to get a contract with PRH or one of the other big houses. Me? I’ve been asking for my contracts back. I had over thirty of them, all for out-of-print books which, … More Hot titles from my writing past – and they’re baaaaack!

Essential writing skills: tackling the invisible hurdle

I’ve been posting these past few weeks about the challenges facing writers in the new environment. The biggest hurdle, of course, is so huge it’s invisible. Let me explain. A few years ago the challenge authors faced in being published was – being published. The road was paved with hurdles. A starting author first had to write something … More Essential writing skills: tackling the invisible hurdle

Living On Shaky Ground

I’ve got three books being published between now and February. Here’s a preview of Living On Shaky Ground: the science and story behind New Zealand’s earthquakes. It’s being published by Penguin Random House on 26 September. My advance copy arrived a few days back. And after thirty years and over 50 books, I have to say that the … More Living On Shaky Ground

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