Saturday, October 23, 2010

Conf 651: An Encouraging Story

I've got another blog now called the UK Ebook Blog where I'm flagging up ebook news as it comes in. Or trying to, the whole phenomenon is gathering momentum so quickly. Now, hurrah, the author success stories are starting to appear thick and fast. As this blog is mainly read by writers I just had to share this one:

After the usual round of rejection after rejection, novelist Amanda Hocking decided to self-publish on Kindle. Within a few months she had sales of 20,000 and a request from a Hungarian publisher to buy her foreign rights. On the back of this she got "one of the top agents on the planet", Steven Axelrod. He started selling film and territorial rights but held back on the all-important domestic rights, preferring to keep her novel as an ebook and let the momentum grow... read the full story here. 

All in the USA so far, but it's only a matter of time.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Conf 650: Getting to grips with Kindle

Novelist friend Kate Harrison has been keeping an interesting Kindle diary these past couple of weeks.  And she's just declared: it's love. 

I'm loving my Kindle too. I totally agree with Kate about it not being over-functional. It does what it's meant to. The screen is not back-lit so reading is no more strain on the eyes than print, and you can always make the text larger, or switch on the read-to-me function (admittedly in a Stephen Hawking like way so only if desperate). The note-taking and dictionary facilities are fantastic. Daughter and I still read together and look up words she doesn't understand, now we can do it in a flash. The only problem at the moment is we're fighting for bed-time reading rights. We're reading the same ebook (separately - Jed Rubenfeld) so the bookmark facility can get a bit confusing. And also totally agree with Kate that transferring and reading your own writing on it is a big boon to authors. If you make your document a PDF file you can email it to your kindle address and up it pops, looking like a real book. Don't leave it in Word or you have to pay Amazon to transfer.

After Howard Jacobson's Booker win I decided to sample The Finkler Question. (Incidentally Frances Wilson, one of the judges, has just revealed that it wasn't even entered by his publisher.) But I hit the wrong button and an alarming credit card notice came through. I could return it but now it's there, and I've started reading and enjoying (SO much more than 'C') I'll put it down to experience and be a bit more careful with my sampling. My library's just started an ebook lending service which I've yet to check out properly.

I expect daughter will enjoy the Jacobson as well. Comedy's high on her list, 'One Day' and 'Starter for Ten' David Nicholls is her favourite author. I'm thrilled she's about to start a creative writing course at her school as an extra to EngLit A levels. She casually mentioned they were being taught by a Booker author. WHOISIT WHOISIT, she couldn't remember. 'Someone beginning with H.' Gah. 'A long, foreign sounding name.' Not Howard obviously.. and not the school patrons (Alan Bennett and Simon Armitage would you believe). WHOISITTTT??

Bye bye, thanks for visiting, come again soon. 

Monday, October 11, 2010

Conf 649: Bikes & Interviews


Daughter started 6th Form at the local school in September. This means I no longer have the school run drive to get me out of a morning. I've been happily doing the Joanna Hall walking method - pacing around the park most days first thing. But have increasingly been casting wistful sidelong glaces at the racks of Boris Bikes. Spurred on, I finally got my own bike out of storage from the depths of the car park cupboard at the weekend. 2 flat tyres, back brake not working, covered in spiders' webs and  caked-on mud (from its last run along Kew riverside several years ago). After a few false starts (tyres not pumping up was fault of pump not bike) (have you BEEN to a bike pump shop lately? I naively was looking for a long tube-like thing with a little screwy fabricy thing you take out of the end) got myself up and cycling and am loving it. There's only a tiny bit of road before the parks begin so  I'm keeping it strictly as off-road exercise rather than transport.

I was going to put some pictures in of the park passing by but blogger image downloader thing is down again.


There was a bit of news on the ebook front at the weekend. On Saturday morning I kept getting PayPal notifications that we'd sold another copy of Done & Dusted (one of the joys of ebooks instant delivery & no p&p). Turns out the interview I did with BBC Radio Ulster was broadcast on the lovely John Toal magazine show. Here's the link, there until next Saturday 16 Oct.  I'm 0.27.32 in:

That then took D&D to No 1 on the UK Amazon Kindle Bestsellers in Consumer Guides. ROLL THOSE WHEELS! I've got a screenshot of that, too, before it started whizzing its way down again - shamelessly showed off on Facebook and Twitter which Blogger is denying me at the moment. Will cut and paste another time.

Bye bye, thanks for visiting, come again soon.