Showing posts with label Easy Read. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Easy Read. Show all posts

Monday, 3 December 2012

The Writing World This Week...

Looking at the current book/magazine related news does seem to be popular, so I thought I'd start the week with bringing you a few snippets.

Easy Reads/My Weekly Pocket Novels- look out for more changes in this market. Sally Quilford has an update on her blog today- here. It seems the new Easy Reads are not continuing, but it doesn't appear that everything is going in reverse.

(This news may actually work for both the magazine readers and writers.)

Perhaps the changes that were made were too big. Especially in the current book and magazine markets where everyone is competing, trying to keep costs down and attract new readers. Regular readers can get forgotten about.

Kindle Book Pricing - came across an interesting couple of blog posts that will interest writers who are putting their work on Amazon's Kindle.

Do you have to keep your selling price low to get sales?

The Luzme blog looked at the top 30 Kindle best sellers and compared to there lowest price the previous week. See this post here.

Today's Luzme post looks at the paper copies and cost. Read it here. You will certainly understand why publishers seem to be having pricing issues of solid books vs e-books.

Don't forget VAT is charged on e-books, and not on solid books.

Which leads into a brief mention about e-book VAT  challenges on the Bookseller. Following up a few links I found an article from late October that sets out the consequences if the challenge to the UK's HMRC (HM Revenue and Customs service) succeeds- solid books may cost more.
Read the article here.

I'm sure that's enough to be going on with for now. :-)

Friday, 19 October 2012

Looking at the Pocket Novel Replacement...

The Pocket Novel replacement Easy Read is now available in stores, and it really is a different item in appearance as well as texture.

It's also being sold in places that it didn't previously appear for sale, as I found today.

Popping into the Marks and Spencer food hall in the city centre (for my favourite bottle of wine and four in a pack chocolate √©clairs) I passed the magazine display and there were the new reads. And yes they do stand out against the magazines behind them.

Knowing Sally Quilford was going to be one of the first authors in the new line I immediately reached  for her name before looking at the other offerings.

Romance with Liaison and Crime with Intrigue
Not only do they look like a book, but the cover feels like a paperback too.

(excuse the lack of correct colour in my picture, but I'm an amateur at Photoshop.)


The earlier change in cover design- which was an improvement- which had the thicker covers too, just didn't give the feeling of a book, unlike these new
designs.

Yes, they do make you think Mills and Boon when you look at them, but that
can't be all bad when you consider how well M&B books sell.

And with the current trend in black based covers for the latest trend- erotica- it's bound to get potential readers stopping to look at them.

These books certainly won't get their front covers damaged or creased as easily as the old paper pocket novels did.

In fact these could sit quite happily on a bookshelf alongside regular paperbacks.

The only complaint I do have, is that these new issues don't have the title/author name on the spine, so however you store them, you'll have to remember the number of your favourite for re-reading or be prepared to go through them all to find the one you want...

I haven't started reading either of my purchases yet, so how big a change there's been in substance I can't tell you.

But I do think they will be very popular, and with four to choose from each time, I'm sure everyone will find the one or ones they like.

If you pop over to Sally Quilford's blog you have the chance to win a signed copy of her Easy Read story, 'Bonfire Memories', the first in the Intrigue option.

If you've seen the new design in your local stores, how well displayed was it? Does it stand out against the products around it? Where has it actually been placed?

And if you've read any of the new stories what did you think of them?

I'm looking forward to reading your comments... :-)





Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Wednesday is Novella Day...

Wednesday's have become the day I get on with writing my Nottinghamshire novella.

(This was originally going to be written for the My Weekly Pocket Novel market, but as we now know the My Weekly Pocket Novels have not only undergone a change in cover design, they're now gained different categories - see my blog post from August with useful links.
There's also a good article in the current edition of Writers' Forum (October) which has an interview with MW's Maggie Seed discussing the pocket novel changes and what she's hoping for.)

So, my novella's progress to date.

I did 600 words today, which added another scene to my third chapter.

I think it was a little bit of a struggle because I was dealing with a scene I'd written before- a couple of years ago- and it was much better than what I wrote today (at least that's what my memory tells me).

It's probably saved on one of my floppy disks, so I'll have to plug in my floppy reader and search through my box of disks.

This scene today also had one of the secondary characters, who isn't very pleasant, in it.

In fact this chapter doesn't actually have my hero present, except in thought, which is important.

At some point in a romance the hero and heroine will be apart; unless they're trapped somewhere together, they each have their own daily lives to lead so can't be together all the time.

Yet their love interest still needs to be there in some way so the reader doesn't lose interest. After all it is meant to be a romance.

With a contemporary story contact between hero and heroine can continue - a mobile phone, skype, e-mail or text message. They could even send a message with a picture of themselves...

But in an historical romance you're limited by when the story is set, and what technology is available- if any.

In 1802, there were conventions of everyday behaviour to begin with, so messages going back and forth would be difficult to keep quiet unless you can be sure your messenger is trustworthy and not going to turn to blackmail- that's another plot entirely.

As my story is set in a village in the early part of the 19th century there's no opportunity to use the language of flowers or fans to pass a message.

(For flowers have a look here and here, and for fans there's this silent British Path√© film from
1932- see http://www.britishpathe.com - The Language of a Fan.)

So for winter I'm aiming for every free Wednesday to be Novella writing day, just to get the main body of the story down. I have it planned out chapter by chapter so I know where I'm going. I just have to work hard to get to the end.

Then the revisions start...



Friday, 3 August 2012

Waterstones, Pocket Novels and Other News...

It's been a strange week, with the Olympics almost taking over the news, but don't worry writing news hasn't been forgotten.

So here's a round up of what's been happening.

There's been the sad news about the passing of two well known writers: Maeve Binchy and Gore Vidal. While I have to admit to never having read either author, I remember snippets of one of Maeve Binchy's stories on the radio, her words conjuring up the Dublin of her youth and the attitudes of society.

*    *    *
The My Weekly Pocket Novels are undergoing another change. Anyone buying copies recently will have noticed the more modern covers which are certainly more appealing to a potential reader.

This week Womag and Sally Quilford have been sent the new information on the major changes taking place.

Basically there's a name change to Easy Read, with 2 Romance genres: Caress and Liaison; and 2 Crime genres labelled Intrigue and Suspense.

You can read the explanations for each category over at Sally's blog- just download the flyer at the link on the page.

If you're unsure about some of the requirements Sally has a follow up post here, Maggie Seed has clarified a few aspects of the changes.

Like every magazine editor there comes a point when you have to modernise to reach a younger market but hopefully not change too much and lose your regular buyers.

They seem to be going for a Mills and Boon effect cover with elements of 50 Shades starkness. But I like the covers shown on the flyer, so it will be interesting to see w they look on the shelf.

(Meanwhile People's Friend isn't changing- see here.)

*    *    *
For those who have books to promote and have been fortunate enough to arrange book signings in Waterstones stores, you might like to follow this Bookseller report up.

"Waterstones has issued new advice to its bookstores on running author events, after concern that customers were being put off by writers handselling their own books, and that signings were lasting too long. One author was told that going forward author events should last no longer than 90 minutes, and be staffed by booksellers." (the bookseller.com)

Now I'd assume individual store managers will decide what happens, but one blogger reports cancellations of book signings already (link within the Bookseller article).

There's not enough staff in stores now, so I can't see branches wanting to provide an assistant for authors selling their books.

Authors with first books to promote don't naturally know best practise, or signing protocol. So perhaps Waterstones would be better having a standard sheet of what they do and don't expect of authors doing signings.

Waterstones need book buyers to keep them on the high street, that's a fact of life.

Yes, Waterstones is a business so it's understandable that they have concerns, and want people to buy books from them.

But you have to give people a reason to step inside the bookshop in the first place, and author signings do that.

If a 'handselling' author has promoted their book signing well then people may just go along, and once they're in the bookstore you might just find them buying other books from the shelves and display tables, or even deciding to come back again later.

It will be interesting to see what happens.