A few years back I told my editor at Random House that I had some ideas for a novel. The answer came back promptly. ‘Good. How about something set in the New Zealand goldfields? Probably a romance. They’re selling well in Germany.’ I was taken aback. ‘Er – um – er, – ‘ I said. … More One door opens, another opens wider
In this age of web-publishing, discovery is everything, And one way to help skew the calculation is with the right title. Titles are the ultimate advertising slogan. They are the icing on the cake of the world the author is trying to build – summing up their creation in a few words. Problem is, titles have to … More Worldbuilding: top tips for tantalising titles
News broke this week that Google is facing class action over its scanning of in-copyright books. One of the criteria, as I understand it, is whether scanning and republishing snippets constitutes copyright infringement. Here in New Zealand it does. The act of duplication, alone, is a breach of copyright. New Zealand’s Copyright Act 1994 s.16(a) is explicit. And Google have scanned … More Has your book been Google pirated?
This week the long legal saga over Google’s controversial book scanning programme entered a new phase. This time the argument is flowing around whether Google should be dealing with authors’ associations, or individual copyright holders. Doubtless it will go on for a while, while lawyers get rich and authors wait. It’s an awkward dilemna. On … More The moral balance of Google’s book scanning saga
There has been a lot of buzz about e-publishing lately. It’s the future. It’s the death of print. It’s the death of the main publishers. Anybody can live the dream – just do it. Doubters? Get with the programme! Personally I suspect it’s like the dot-com boom of the 1990s, the railway mania of the … More How to make your e-book the future
Thank you to all who responded to last week’s post highlighting what’s coming up – and asking for you to send in any queries about writing and publishing. Thanks folks – much appreciated. I’m working on your answers, and here’s what’s coming up in the next few weeks. Probably Saturdays, my slot for writing-related posts. … More Upcoming requests for writing advice
Authors these days have to handle the fact that e-published work can be illegally copied across the internet. And they won’t be paid for it. The point being that pirates are taking income from hard working writers who need those lost sales to eat That said, at least the pirated stuff has the author’s name and … More The two e-evils facing writers: piracy and plagiarism
One of the biggest challenges facing authors is getting good cover artwork. It’s essential – even for e-books – and the hard fact is that a good cover that inspires the imagination, or catches the eye, or does something emotional, really will help sell. It also establishes an at-a-glance tone for the quality of the … More Covering it off: the artwork that sells your book
The other day someone tweeted that their book was always free on Smashwords. I had a look, and it only took me five seconds to discover why this tome was (a) self-published, and (b) free. It was unreadable, a morass of passive, adjective-riddled, graceless clunk that failed to flow or capture. There are many things … More Why it’s important to show not tell when writing
Ray Bradbury’s 1953 classic Fahrenheit 451 is coming as an e-book. At last. Bradbury himself, reportedly, has opposed the publication until now. That might seem ironic. Wasn’t the book about the restriction of information – a riff on the book-burning-as-censorship that was such a feature of twentieth century totalitarianism? ‘Don’t think for yourself, think as … More Fahrenheit 451 as an e-book – irony or insight?