Friday, January 22, 2010



So, Ibooks, the book version of Itunes is on its way, Stephen Fry was there and has kindly summed it all up for us.

Only available in the USA, but it has to be coming soon, Ibooks has the backing of Hachette, Penguin, Simon & Schuster, Macmillan and HarperCollins. Jobs is ready to open "the floodgates" to other publishers, wanting to "go a bit further" than's Kindle. So there it is, soon we'll all be able to put our books up there and watch them sink or rise.

The Amazon author tic will be replaced by the iBooks tic. Authors will know exactly how well, or not well, the digital version of their book is selling. The whole secrecy of sales figures and Nielsen's Bookscan is already starting to look archaic. It always been, and still is, so difficult for authors to know how sales are going. This is partly down to the returns system where bookshops order in so many books but return them if they don't sell. But the whole mystique is there in publishing right from the beginning. The first inkling comes with the advance. High advances mean the publisher will work on promoting the book to get their investment back. The big indicator is print run. Maybe this has changed a bit with print on demand, but that's the question authors always ask each other about their new books - if they're very good friends - how big's the first print run? But getting sales figures is impossible. Nielsen's is expensive to operate and charges accordingly. You'd think agents would be signed up and would just pass the figures on but it hasn't happened like that to anybody I know.

My eBook is nearly there. Cover done, dusted and approved. Now adding a few final stills and picking at the text. Latest teccie problem is how to make thumbnails that will then appear on the website. Are they a doc or are they a jpg? I think screenshots is the way forward but haven't quite got there yet.

Yesterday I did a final read-through and edit of the novel. Am sending that to my agent today. I think, I do really think, the climate is a little kinder now for my older woman's commercial fiction genre and keeping fingers crossed that publishers HAVE noticed how films like It's Complicated DO have an audience.

Bye bye, thanks for visiting, come again soon.



The Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy and Poetry Live have invited 20 of our leading poets to perform at Westminster Central Hall on Saturday January 30th 2010 at 2.30pm in a fundraising event for the people of Haiti.

Poets include Carol Ann Duffy, Roger McGough, Andrew Motion, John Agard, Dannie Abse, Brian Patten, Gillian Clarke, Imtiaz Dharker, Grace Nichols, Elaine Feinstein, Daljit Nagra, Ian Duhig, Lachlan Mackinnon, Owen Sheers, Glyn Maxwell, Jo Shapcott, Maura Dooley,
Robin Robertson, Colette Bryce, and Robert Minhinnick, along with the musicians John Sampson and Andy Roberts.

Tickets are £10. Telephone 01497 822629 or go to to book tickets. Tickets will be available at the door on the day for cash only.

All proceeds will go to the Disasters Emergency Committee’s Haiti Earthquake Appeal.

This event has been made possible thanks to the huge generosity of the Guardian Hay Festival, Westminster Central Hall and Eclipse Sound and Light.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Conf 621: Progress


Isn't it the way, you get really busy going in one direction and suddenly a door opens a chink in another. Finally got the verdict on the first 3 chapters of new novel last night with apologies for the delay, she was just very behind with her reading pile. It's not a no, not a yes either but needs some reworking then she'll look at it again. So it's gone from being a tentative idea for a novel to a very possible idea for a novel. The other good news is she's going to resubmit novel 1 to the editor who's moved publishers. I'll read through it again, give it another fine edit then off it goes. No great big This is It hopes this time, I've got plenty now to keep me busy, but a good feeling to have some activity again.

Bye bye, thanks for visiting, come again soon.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Conf 620: Deadlines


The e-book was supposed to be up on Amazon by Saturday but I missed it.

Had lunch with an old friend on Saturday, she's a PR pro and has agreed to work on my book for a percentage of each sale. She's also a bit of an expert on all things organic and has done an excellent 2nd proof read with suggestions. So my new deadline is Wednesday.

See you on the other side with details of free friends' review copy download.

Bye bye, thanks for visiting, come again soon.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Conf 619: Who'd Be An Editor?


Agent Jonny Geller just tweeted a link to this Bookbrunch article about the editor's lot in today's world of publishing.

Bye bye, thanks for visiting, come again soon.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Conf 618: Self-Publishing and Self Publishing

There's a big article in today's Telegraph Arts about the rise of self-publishing. It concentrates mainly on print when all everybody is talking about now is digital, but still interesting with some good links. I think the most important point raised is editing. Self-editing to a raw and then getting it edited and then proof read by an outside party to a professional standard is crucial.

I'm being a bit ambitous I know, but hoping my little mini-me publishing venture will be up and running in time to enter this:

Call for Entries - 2010 Next Generation Indie Book Awards

Calling all indie authors and publishers – including small and mid-size independent publishers, university presses, e-book publishers, and self-published authors. Enter the Next Generation Indie Book Awards™ now to have your book considered for cash prizes of $1,500, awards, exposure, and recognition as one of the top independently published books of the year!

The top 60 books will be reviewed by New York literary agent Marilyn Allen or her co-agents for possible representation in areas such as distribution, foreign rights, and film rights. Ms. Allen has served as Senior Vice President of Harper Collins, directed sales and marketing teams for Simon & Schuster and Penguin Books, and worked with authors such as Stephen King, Ken Follett, and Barbara Kingsolver.

Visit to enter.

Publisher's Lunch Newsletter Jan 2010

Bye bye, thanks for visiting, come again soon.

Conf 617: How To Make An Ebook 1: The Cover


Teccie teccie now, have got this into Google Docs but struggling with next step... tried downloading image from here but that didn't work. Still, it's here now. Lemon isn't centred I know, and um, have to reshoot for sharper focus and correct ratio of lemon to cloth, and have to get the grain of the cloth going in the right direction, oh, and no title yet, that's been the problem of the morning, getting words and image on same page that can be transferred.

Haven't written novel about lemon and E-cloth, this is for non-fiction book. Fiction flat as flat dead in the water. It's been six weeks now since I sent new novel to my agent and still no news. Meantime busy busy, I want this done, dusted and out by next weekend. The words are all there and am really enjoying all the photography and design side of things.

Ah right. Have given up on Google docs and now downloading Open Office which, I've just been told, can transfer straight from word to PDF without the image problems... let's see..

Success. Thank you Open Office and thank you for top You Tube video guide. Instead of creating the cover all over again I was able to download the cover with overlaid text I'd already created in Word.

Link to book coming up soon. Free for friends.

Bye bye, thanks for visiting, come again soon.