A contractual obligation

Looking from a tall city window I see the uniform shape of panes in the building opposite. Each gives me a little scene (of desks, chairs, shelving and cabinets) in a cookie-cutter tableau. I see a world of difference between these offices and my humble desk at home. It’s a distance from ‘business’ that is […]

A big change

‘The book of my enemy has been remaindered / And I am pleased,’ wrote Clive James in his 2003 poem of the same title. Ten years ago, the remainder table was considered a literary backwash. It was reasonable for James to use it as a place to celebrate the failure of a literary foe. But […]

A voice from the future

‘Cliff hanger’ and ‘conference’ are words that don’t often play in the same scenario. But when Malcolm Neil was cut off mid-presentation at last week’s Independent Publishers Conference these words came to mind. Neil is Director, Content Acquisition and Publisher Relations, APAC at Kobo Inc. Kobo provides e-reading services (including e-readers and e-books) to over […]

Writing tight and loving hard arses

Revise your work. Write tight. Kill your darlings. Schya! I believe in these tenents. I do. But actioning them can be easier said than done. When I’m at the tightening phase of my work I check against Sol Stein’s ‘Solutions for Writers’, ‘Liposuctioning Flab’ chapter. This chapter has helped to surgically remove some baaad writing […]

Yes, but did you ask?

‘One of the primary joys of being a writer comes from the people you meet and the situations you get in.’ Sarah Marshal, Portland Review (April 2012). Getting into these situations takes a little chutzpah. Personally I’m an advocate of the ‘don’t ask, don’t get’ philosophy. If I’m really interested in a topic or a […]

Do you have a Kindle alternative?

A book is a book is a book is a book. But an e-book? If only it were that simple. Once you’re ready to send your long form non-fiction into the new media galaxy, you will be presented with a smorgasbord of publishing choices – each with benefits and limitations. Eventually you will choose from […]

Tweet like it’s 1999

Writers’ lore states that though writing for publication is a challenge, the bigger challenge is in promoting your published work: getting sales and readers. Without the support or contacts of a big publishing house, promoting your work as a self-published writer surely has to be harder. I imagine self-published writers as lone hitchhikers, holding their […]

Would you like a book with that?

A couple of weeks ago an octogenarian friend of mine asked to read some of my writing, ‘None of that Internet stuff though,’ she said, swatting the idea away with her hand, ‘only real writing.’ She is a little old-fashioned, but the truth is octogenarians aren’t the only ones who value a printed page. At […]

Crowd-funding is the new black

Life is peppered with turning points – those ‘ah-ha’ moments, or forks in the road. In my first post I wrote about a turning point I’d had at the Wheeler Centre last year. It was when I finally realised that the traditional publishing models were floundering, and that I would need to find new ways […]

Things I wish I knew: self publishing

Here’s a list of the things I wish I knew when I decided to publish my long form non-fiction article as a Kindle Single (I will update this regularly!):   1. What constitutes being accepted into the Kindle Singles ‘imprint’ I pitched my article to the editors at Kindle Singles, and a few days later […]