Showing posts from April, 2013

Why Are Traditional Publishers So Angry at Amazon and Indies?

The new digital world of Amazon and self-published authors has provokedsurprising hostility among traditional publishers. Amazon is viewed as a threatening gorilla breaking all the rules of the game in the publishing industry. There was a lot of hang-wringing and hair-tearing when it recently bought Goodreads, the biggest online book reading club on the planet with some 16 million members. And traditional agents and editors view self-published authors as little better than self-indulging, worthless vanity press authors.

Is it an "ossified" old man's reaction to technological change?

One may well wonder. Recently author Barry Eisler raised a storm with his article in the Guardian tellingly titled: The Digital Truths Traditional Publishers Don't Want to Hear. Barry Eisler writes thrillers and is one of the new hugely successful "hybrid authors" (i.e. self-published but also published by Amazon and legacy publishers). His article was instantly picked up by the P…

A Writers' Chat about Italy: How it Inspires Them

Writers have gone global and their literary muse now travels with them. It is rare that a writer feels uninspired once he has left his homeland. As Sunjeev Sahota, one of the twenty "Best Young British Novelists" on the recently published Granta listtold the New York Times : "There is a whole generation of people like me who don't have that strong instinctive sense of home". Indeed, more than half of the writers on the Granta list were not born in Britain and come from countries as far flung as Nigeria and China.

When I met Beate Boeker at a writers' retreat, a session of "brainstorming at the spa" in Matera, in the South of Italy, I knew I had met a nomadic soul mate. Here she is, sitting and chatting with fellow writers in one of Matera's suggestive caves-turned-hotel-and-spa:

Beate is from Germany and brought up all over the place, I am from Belgium and equally cosmopolitan, we both function in English. Andfurther, we share something thati…

Does Blogging Help to Sell Books?

Over the years, I've begun wondering whether blogging sells books. And I'd love to know your opinion, fellow writers and sufferers in this long marketing road to book selling success! 

Do you think your blog helps you sell your books?  Based on your experience, are there other better ways to sell books than through a blog and blog tours? Have you found networking on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, Goodreads and other sites more useful than blogging? In the publishing industry, there is no longer the pressure there once was on writers to set up their own blog if they didn't have one. Is this justified in your opinion?

Before I tell you what I think, take a look at this hilarious video done by author Melissa Conway which renders perfectly the book promotion pains of any indie writer:

So now on to what I have found out after three years of blogging and reaching a decent Alexa ranking (especially for a writer) as I flirt with 1,000 page views/day. I think I can honestly …

How to Craft a Bestseller: David Farland's Not So Secret Recipe

Following on last week's call to help author David Farland's son in coma (see here) through a Book Bomb event - and my post was one among several, see below -  I bought his recently published 'bible' for authors, Million Dollar Outlines. This too I must have done along with thousands of other fans because his book hit #1 in paid Kindle Store for publishing guides and editing. And you know what title is #2 in that list? His other book Drawing on the Power of Resonance in Writing, focused on teaching writers how to pull on a reader's heart strings. 

Amazing, isn't it? David Farland is suddenly catapulted as the leading guru for writers!  Hopefully the purchase of his books, either this one or the thriller Nightingale (also doing well, standing at #41 for paranormal fantasy), have helped ensure for his son the best possible medical care.

Now that I've just finished reading Million Dollar Outlines, I'd like to share with you my enthusiasm for this book. If yo…

Bank Secrecy, Tax Evasion and the Cahuzac Scandal

This month was marked by a series of events hitting major tax havens: the Cyprus crisis that dismantled its banking (recycling) system, the report of the Washington-based International Consortium of Investigative Journalists that released data on thousand of offshore bank accounts and shell companies and most recently, Luxemburg, the last major stronghold of bank secrecy in the Euro zone, knuckling under pressure and agreeing to drop its privacy protection rules and reveal its foreign client lists.

It was hoped Austria would follow but so far it has resisted, with its Finance Minister Maria Fekter pointing to the UK as the European Union's biggest culprit, with, as she put it, "many money laundering centers and tax havens in its immediate legal remit", including the Channel Islands, Gibraltar, the Cayman Islands and the British Virgin Islands. Before dealing with Austria, Ms. Fekter seems to feel that the European Union should first treat Britain the way it treated Cyprus…

Can Science Fiction Be a Sub-genre of Boomer Lit?

Last week I asked our Boomer Lit Goodreads Group: can science fiction, a fantasy genre normally set in the future, be considered a sub-genre of Boomer Lit? That started an interesting discussion.

I maintained it could, someone else called David disagreed. I argued that not all of Science Fiction falls under Boomer Lit, to maintain that would be silly. But certainly some of it, the kind of Science Fiction stories that place aging and death front and center just as Boomer Lit does. Books that ask how our society will handle aging and death in future.

As anyone who read our Friday Boomer Lit Blog Hop last week knows, I've just published a new book, a serial novel à la WOOL (the famous Sci-Fi best-seller that is seen by many as a successor to 50 Shades of Grey). Called 2213: Forever Young, it is set in a time when scientific advances have solved the problem of aging. In Part One, I WILL NOT LEAVE YOU BEHIND, beautiful Emma who's 122 years old learns her time is up. She's going …

Help a 16 Year Old Kid in Coma, Ben Wolverton: The Book Bomb is Today!

Help Ben, age 16, who's in coma after an accident, he's the son of New York bestselling science fiction author Dave Wolverton, a.k.aDavid Farland for his fantasy work. Ben needs costly medical assistance expected to rise over one million dollars - a huge sum his father cannot pay, the family has no insurance.

What happened to Ben?  His tragic long-boarding accident on Wednesday the 4th resulted in severe brain trauma, a cracked skull, broken pelvis and tail bone, burnt knees, bruised lungs, broken ear drums, road rash, pneumonia, throwing him into a coma. 

How to help? Buy Dave Farland's books - there are two up for sale: a fantasy thriller Nightingale the
winner of the 2012 International Book Award for Best Young Adult Novel and  Million Dollar Outlines, just out and already a "bible" for authors. As a bestselling author, David Farland has taught dozens of writers who have achieved amazing literary success, including #1 New York Times Bestsellers as Brandon Mu…