Sixty second writing tip: covers do sell books

I don’t often blog about the books I’m working on – but today my publishers sent me the cover of a book of mine they’re releasing in September. It’s been professionally designed and looks fantastic. Cover reveal? Sure. When the moment comes – this is a commercially published book and there’ll be a marketing campaign. … More Sixty second writing tip: covers do sell books

A lament to the lost world of bookstores

Another local bookshop has become memory here in Wellington this month. Bennetts Government Bookshop announced it’s closing its doors. It’s the sign of a new age. Five years ago there were seven bookstores down the golden mile of Lambton Quay – the top retail street in New Zealand. You could conjure with their names; Parsons, Bennetts, Borders, … More A lament to the lost world of bookstores

Self-publish vs trad – who works hardest?

American crime novellist Sue Grafton got indie and self-published authors’ blood boiling the other week by suggesting that they were too lazy to do the hard yards – they hadn’t paid their dues. That copped a broadside from British indie writer Adam Croft, according to a report in The Guardian. Self-published authors, he was reported … More Self-publish vs trad – who works hardest?

How to make your story timeless – part 1

Author and blogger Susan Keirnan-Lewis posted the other day about the current trend among agents and the publishing industry to view books as having a ‘shelf life’. Even a slightly old manuscript is seen as dated – ‘trunk fodder’ – and unsaleable. That idea, as Susan pointed out, is rubbish. The best stories are timeless. … More How to make your story timeless – part 1

Market slot and your publication – how, why and when

Self-publishing for writers is decidedly in these days, as we discover that 21st century computing isn’t about psychotic AI mainframes – it’s about connectivity.  A brave new world for those with a yen to write books. But some things haven’t changed – such as when to publish, and how often. This is about best exploiting … More Market slot and your publication – how, why and when

This has to be the world’s stupidest publishing idea

A friend pointed me to this the other day. Someone’s come up with a way for print to compete with e-books. http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/technology-blog/book-printed-disappearing-ink-eventually-goes-blank-155955712.html How? According to the report, they print the book in disappearing ink. Apparently that will FORCE the customer to read it quickly before their purchase becomes a worthless paperweight. We have a saying about that … More This has to be the world’s stupidest publishing idea

How to build your writing voice and meet great people in one go

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – your voice, as a writer, is important. It sets the tone. And if you do it right, it will set your writing apart. Sometimes a distinctive voice works even if other things are wrong. Take Hamish Clayton’s novel Wulf (Penguin 2011). It’s a fantastic read – up … More How to build your writing voice and meet great people in one go

The pros and cons of POD books. Er – pod what?

I posted a comment the other week on Roger Colby’s blog about print-on-demand book making. POD. A relatively new technology. It’s also an interesting technology, especially for writers – and, for that matter, small publishers. I thought I’d extend those thoughts a bit. Digital print has been around a while. Basically, it’s photocopying – same … More The pros and cons of POD books. Er – pod what?