Showing posts with label readers. Show all posts
Showing posts with label readers. Show all posts

Sunday 24 March 2019

How Much Will You Pay for an E-book?

Now I know that authors who are traditionally published have no say on what price the e-book of their novels is sold at. Of course there will be price promotions where readers can buy the e-book for 99 pence for a limited time.

Whereas with self-published e-books the price can vary, though I've heard £2.99 is the ideal price- maybe is is and maybe it isn't?

Of course there's always a selection at 99 pence; but just because they're a low price that doesn't necessarily reflect badly on their quality.

As writers we know the same amount of work has gone into the writing and production of the book whether it's on paper or a digital file.

But as a reader, what price is too high for you to buy an e-book?

Unlike a print book, an e-book- a digital file (while it can last for as long as the technology exists to read it and is available) is more like a rental with no defined end date.
Print or E-book
for the cost?

Plus e-books prices include VAT.

The provider can modify or remove an e-book, likewise if
an online provider has closed a person's account for some reason, the reader will lose access to those e-books they've purchased.

(So if you've got a favourite book it's always a good idea to get a print copy too.)

So back to price.

I recently saw a new  release by one of my many favourite writers (a hybrid author). I wasn't sure if I'd enjoy the story having read the blurb, so downloaded the sample. At this point the price was still £3+.

It was a couple of days before I read the sample and decided okay, it has potential I'll buy the e-book. But when I went to Amazon the new release price had gone up to £5+ and I decided no it wasn't worth it at that price...

That response surprised me.

It may just be that I wasn't so intrigued that I just had to read more instantly. Perhaps the author has just lost their edge, that sparkle that would have once guaranteed an immediate buy.

This time it was the price that made the difference between me saying okay I'll buy it- even if it seems not to be as good as previous novels. To saying no, it's not worth it at that price. I probably would have bought it at the £3+ price.

There are a few e-books that I've bought at the £5+ range, but generally I'd opt for a paperback version, as sometimes it can be better value.

I realised that for me, quality + price = value = buy.

So a couple of questions to you as a reader, rather than a writer.

Do you have a maximum price bar when buying e-books?

Or does it depend upon the particular e-book, author or some other combination?

I'm looking forward to reading your responses...

Image from

Thursday 23 March 2017

Can You Have Too Many Books?

Now I know that's a silly question to ask any writer, but I have to face it, I do have a lot of books.

As a consequence of all those books I also have six IKEA Billy bookcases downstairs and they're full. Okay at least one of them has books my OH has bought or received, so it doesn't sound as obsessive... :D

A few books...
There's quite a TBR (to be read) list on my Kindle e-reader. E-readers have enabled me to buy more books without anyone knowing.

I still buy physical books, probably more non-fiction than fiction. But I do still buy paperback versions of the latest books by my favourite authors. It's also easier to find a place to slot them in on the shelves than it would be trying to fit 20+.

A few I do read more than once because I enjoy the story and the characters so much.

Even though some readers won't buy an e-book, preferring the sensory delights of a book made of paper- be it paperback or hardback; I'll admit there is something very tactile about old cloth-bound books.

When I'm travelling or attending an appointment my Kindle comes with me, so I can choose a book to suit my requirements and my mood- or the time available.

Sometimes I do give books to a charity shop, but there will always be one or two that end up staying behind...

Unfortunately the time is coming when I will have to be ruthless and part company with a number of the older paperbacks.

We've got to have some work done inside the house this summer so it will mean temporarily moving furniture- and bookcases into store; hard decision will have to be made on what I'm keeping, and what will go to good causes- or friends.

So now it's over to you. Are you a book hoarder? Or do you pass on books after you've read them?

Monday 23 January 2017

Catching up on Twitter...

The nasty winter bug finally caught up with me last week, and my brain went on go-slow until the antibiotics started to get control of the infection in my lungs.

In fact I don't think my characters got out of the imaginary beds/chairs that they'd got comfy in.

As I was quite tired after my couple of brief trips out (essential appointments) I really didn't have the energy to do much beyond a quick trip into the kitchen (next door to my office) to replenish the mug and browse.

So I used the time to catch up on reading blog posts, self-publishing related items, and giving a little more time to Twitter.

Usually I pop into Twitter a few times a week for ten to fifteen minutes a visit, and the regular #writingchat session on a Wednesday night for an hour between 8 and 9 pm- when I'm not at the writers' club. At the weekend I can take a little longer.

When I finish this blog post the link will be tweeted and I'll pin the tweet to the top of my Twitter page feed.

(If you don't know where to find it, just click the little down arrow symbol on the top right of your chosen tweet and choose the pin tweet option- or unpin to change it. It used to be found when you clicked the three dots symbol.)

Do you pin your
I only started to pin my tweets in December, after it was mentioned at the Leicester RNA Chapter meeting during the book blogger discussions. It gets over having to keep tweeting a link, and if someone looks at your profile and the tweets, my latest blog post link is the first tweet seen.

It can easily be retweeted from your profile too. And with a few clicks you can unpin one tweet and replace it with another- especially useful if you're promoting a book you've got on special offer...

Now the following isn't a rant, and I'm talking generally here.

I spent some time looking at what irritated me with tweets, so I don't do it myself.

Obviously writers need to reach readers all over the world. It's just when the book cover and buying link are posted not just once but four or more times in a row, one after another- no gap between them...

Maybe that works for some people, but it just makes me scroll by very quickly.

I have bought e-books after seeing them on Twitter, but that's been because of an intriguing cover image and/or tagline that makes me click the link to find out more, then once I'm there an interesting blurb that convinces me to buy. (Plus those books were a couple of tweets spaced apart by a few minutes.)

Now I am not a prude, but I do not want to be scrolling down my twitter feed and see a full-length book cover that probably wouldn't look out of place in porn- it doesn't happen often, but one from the other week has still not been scrubbed from my retinas!!!

Neither do I automatically follow back; which seems to be the only reason some follow, and then within 24 hours they've unfollowed you because you haven't followed them back. I suspect they work their way through the alphabet of twitter names...

Yes, I follow magazines and companies, but I have a different @name for those. No one wants their twitter feed full of cosmetics, clothes and home decor when you're a writer and time is valuable.

Tweetdeck is useful to schedule tweets and I've begun to use it more. It never worked well on my previous computer, so when I had to replace my desktop I decided to download it and try again, and I'm glad I did.

I've not used Twitter lists-yet- but will have to soon.

Hootsuite, I've heard of, but that's all. You can find out more about it on the Story Empire Blog.

Is there anything you like or dislike about Twitter? Any useful tips to pass on?

Sunday 5 June 2016

The Season of Festivals...

Where has the time gone?

I know book festivals take place throughout the year, but the summer months are particularly popular.

For me, June means  it's Lowdham Book Festival, 17th-25th. So I'll be doing my usual stint at the writers' club stall on the 25th.

 I need to dig out the bag with the see-through acrylic stands and leaflet holders ready for this year's display material.

Every year is a learning experience, seeing what works and what is an absolute failure in display terms.

This year 's Lowdham Book Festival is in its 17th year, and I've attended the free Saturday events day for at least eleven of the last twelve years.

Of course events develop and change over time, but I've always found the Saturday a good indicator of how the local and even national economy is affecting people.

 Do people buy one or two new books, or will they buy half a dozen? Modern second-hand books always seem to weather the ups and downs...

Buying books...
The last couple of years have been good, and it's reassuring to all writers to see a healthy trade in books, whether new, very old, or second-hand.

I scour the attending antiquarian type book stalls every year, but set myself a budget, otherwise I'd need a suitcase- and a lottery win... :D

This year's free Saturday events will be taking place the day after the results of the EU referendum have been announced, plus it's also a busy day for assorted events around the immediate region so fingers crossed for sunshine, or at least a dry day.

Besides Lowdham, Derby Book Festival is now running until the 11th June; and hopefully there will be another Books at the Castle in Newark (held for the first time August 2015).

If you're in the area then do look at the Lowdham festival programme; you can download it from The Bookcase website, here.

Do you have a local book festival that you attend? Or do you prefer the bigger festivals like Hay, or

image courtesy of Danilo Rizzuti &

Thursday 5 November 2015

Once you Start Writing...

writing can be like a
dripping tap...
Once you start writing it's like a dripping tap, it never stops...

I really shouldn't have said I'm going to do chapter two this week, as the inevitable other problems and demands disrupted my days- not helped by over-sleeping.

Plus I had to write a 250 word story for Wednesday night's annual Manuscript of the Year competition at the writers' club (yesterday, 4th). Plus I was one of the two readers for the event.

I've had months to write it, but nothing I considered developed. Then Tuesday night reading a post on Facebook, I had one of those lightning moments of inspiration for this year's theme, 'slippery when wet'.

So Wednesday lunchtime I settled down and began to write. The words just poured out without thinking about it. I stopped at 400 plus words.

Of course it was much too long, so I started editing. I reduced the start, cut the middle and still had 342 words.

More cutting and changing left me with 262, so a bit more jiggling and I finally lost those 12 extra words.

I knew I'd lost too much of the story, and it was only humorous at the end, but it was an entry, and every entry helps make the competition.

My character, Valerie, finally decides to leave her demanding but dense partner Derek (apologies to any Derek's out there). He really should have got that tree in the front garden sorted out when she originally asked earlier in the year- one of his many faults. But of course, he hadn't and along comes autumn, lots of fallen leaves and rain.

I think you can guess what happens...

The club chairman said she thought Valerie had been out with a broom earlier piling up the leaves. :D

I really must give Valerie a new future somewhere now I know her- she deserves it.

Ten years ago managing to write a 1,000 word story was tough; but over the years the length of my stories rose naturally: 1200, 1600, 2,000.

Now I'm writing longer stories it's harder to write short ones!

image courtesy of Mister GC.&

Thursday 22 October 2015

Sci-fi Night Review...

If you saw my recent post about the Sci-fi night that was taking place at the writers club I attend, last night (21st), then you might be interested in a few things I learnt.

I haven't yet downloaded the photos I took- that's a job for the weekend when I have the time to go through and check each one- usually it's just a case of cropping parts of people or objects caught on the edges of the picture. And I promised a couple of the authors I'd send them a copy of those they appear in.

I found out:

That there is hard sci-fi and soft sci-fi; the former is the really technical stuff that requires a lot of research (and probably a lot of technical understanding). While the latter, soft version, is more about the story/characters, often using the issues of the current time on a futuristic scenario, but usually not needing research. 

(I'm working from memory here...)

World building; be consistent, even if you bend the laws of actual science. You can make your world do whatever you want, but you must be consistent.

Stephen Palmer (one of the guest authors) emphasised that for the mid-teen reader, plot and character were the things that mattered.

The good news is that sci-fi is no longer just male authors- as it was in the last century, and there are a few popular female authors in the genre.

Coincidentally 21st October 2015 was Back to the Future Day- the first film of the 'Back to the Future' trio.

There were lots of books for sale, and attendees had time to talk to the many authors who set up their table with their books. And every ticket holder got a goodie bag which included a couple of books.

Even though sci-fi isn't my thing, it was a good evening and I enjoyed it...

Thursday 28 May 2015

Even Antagonists Have Feelings...

I've made good progress with the character bios. I've completed those for my hero and heroine- and found out a few snippets I hadn't realised before which will be useful in the later chapters.

Now I'm at the stage of creating the profiles of my antagonists. One isn't very pleasant, but I now know why.

And the second, lesser antagonist, is my heroine's sister. She's not really bad, just selfish. And she's a catalyst without intending to be.

(Now I know they are fictional characters, but they have to be real to a reader, so they need to be real to me too. So remember that as you read the next couple of paragraphs.)

Just like the other characters, the baddies will have had a mother, and perhaps other family members that they may have loved and cared for in their own way.

 They could even have shared some of the same influences and experiences as my protagonists, but something has made them unpleasant instead.

Think of Star Wars, especially episode 3, when you see Anakin Skywalker turning to the dark side and taking on the identity of Darth Vader...

I remember a writer explaining that while a reader won't like the bad person, they want to understand why they are bad.

Perhaps it's just human nature; compassion, or the unwillingness to believe that someone could be evil for no reason.

Fortunately my main antagonist is taking a role in a romance, not a gruesome psychological crime thriller...

I hope to be back to writing Chapter Twelve by the middle of next week, if not sooner.

So, do you want to know how an antagonist has turned out that way?

Saturday 12 July 2014

A Reading Flashmob in Nottingham...

You've probably heard of flash-mobs before- perhaps even taken part in one; well today I was a participant in a reading session flash-mob in Nottingham city centre.

 This was organised by Dawn of the Unread - they're on Facebook and Twitter as well- to show support for libraries.

The meeting point was the statue of 'Cloughie' -Brian Clough (best known for being the manager of Nottingham Forest football club) and the paved area in front of him; this area leads down onto the Market Square- currently hosting Nottingham by the sea- they put in a beach area, a bar, and various fairground rides for the school summer holidays.

Gathering around the Brian Clough statue
ready for reading.. 
NottsTV were there filming the event.  I'm pleased it was a bright sunny day, so lots of people attended.

It was hard to tell how many attended as everyone was spread out - but the early arrivals got the base around the statue to sit on...

The city centre is always busy and noisy, especially on a Saturday, but for 10 minutes there was a quiet haven where we all sat down and read.

I'm sure a few passers-by wondered what was going on - they stood around the edges, but no one minded the readers taking up space.

I sat down and propped my back against the tree to read my chosen book, and I was grateful for the little shade it provided- it was getting very warm by midday.

My reading choice for the event was Julia Quinn's 'How to Marry a Marquis'.

I'd bought this just before I returned home from Bath in May, but not finished it, so in my bag it went.

My flash-mob reading choice
If you're on Facebook look out for the photos that were posted by various

Have you ever been part of a flash-mob? If so do tell... :)

Tuesday 8 July 2014

Author Earnings Make the News...

As the headline results of the latest author income survey (done for the ALCS) has shown what we all suspected- writers are not earning as much money as they were during the first decade of the new century.

You'll find details and a few initial income breakdowns on the articles in the Guardian, and on the online version of The Bookseller.

The full details of the research will not be available until the autumn, and I'm sure there will be quite a few interesting facts revealed when various elements are looked at in more detail.

As you'll see from the pictorial charts in the Guardian article, only 11.5 % earn their income from full-time writing; this is a big drop from the 40% who did so in 2005.

Now we need to bear in mind that statistics can be read in a number of ways. Some of those who contributed to the stats in 2005 may no longer be alive, nor actively writing for any number of reasons, but I'm sure we've all heard of writers who have been getting smaller advances, or none at all, which can make a big dent in your finances, and could mean the difference between writing full-time, or having to go to part-time.

There was a good piece of news within the statistics. 69% said their contracts allowed them to retain their copyright all or most of the time. But that could mean 31% don't have that option.

So putting all writers together:  full-time, part-time and occasional, the typical income was £4,000. The median income for professional writers was £11,000. According to the Joseph Rowntree Foundation a single person needs to earn £16,850 before tax to achieve a "minimum acceptable standard of living", so it shows how poorly paid most writers are- little wonder the number writing full time has dropped...

The figures also show that a quarter of the 2,454 writers who filled in the survey, self published, and 86% of that quarter, would do it again.

Some critics claim that self-publishing has contributed to the downturn in incomes, but personally I don't believe that is a valid reason. It has enabled a lot of good writers to get their work out to readers and give them what they want, not just what the publishers decide readers can choose from.

Big name publishers want instant best-sellers (profits), so they pay big advances to celebrities who already have a following who will buy the book at whatever price- that's the readers choice.

Meanwhile the ordinary writer has to do all that work, publicise their book- get out and sell it to the reading public who may never have heard of them before, and write the next book too.

Too many magazines and newspapers want a writers' hard work for nothing, some will pay, but take all your rights for it. Others understand that without their writers they wouldn't have a product to sell and pay a reasonable amount.

Writers write because they have to; yes, they can give up, but it won't be for long.

Sadly unless there's a change in attitude toward fair remuneration of writers- and the important role they play in commerce and society- the world is going to become a much poorer place...

Billions contributed to the UK by
creatives, including writers

  • Did you know that "the creative industries are now worth £71.4 billion per year" to the economy in the UK? 
Every writer is a part of those billions... 

Image from PinkBlue at

Thursday 4 October 2012

A Quick Whizz Round...

So much to do and so little spare time to do it...
That seems to be my life at the moment, but I'm sure it's the same for everyone else too.

Over the next week or so I'll be updating Carol's Corner. Some things may go and others appear in their place. But I won't be changing the purpose of my blog; there will still be posts about competitions, events I've attended and the trials of this writer's life. :-)

Now to some good news.

Writer and blogger, Patsy Collins, is sharing the news that her book 'Escape to the Country' is going to be free to download on Kindle on the 4th and 5th October.

I read Patsy's book on the Kindle for PC app, and it's an easy way to read a Kindle book if you don't happen to have a Kindle e-reader.

It's a great book. I bought it when it was released, it's fun and heart-warming. When I got to the end of the story I was still smiling- a real feel good ending. It doesn't matter whether you're 16, 76, or any age between, you will enjoy it.

Meanwhile, I've decided on the future of my rejected short story. After I've looked it over again and made any changes, it will be winging it's way to Alfie Dog Fiction, the short story download website.

It may not make the grade of course, but if it doesn't, the editor will at least tell me why-and if it's not beyond salvaging, make suggestions for improvement.

I still believe it has potential and don't want to give up on it. But as a writer who hasn't sold a short story to any of the women's magazine markets before, my choices are restricted. I've been looking at those that remain open to me and the story wouldn't fit without major changes or cutting.

The idea for the Mail on Sunday Novel Competition is coming together, so I'll be starting to work on that next week.

Progress with the novella is ongoing. It's working much better with concentrating on getting the story down first and not worrying about description that can be applied as appropriate in the first revision stage.

Blog post done, another item on my list can be crossed off...

Thursday 13 September 2012

My Blog is 2 Years Old Today...

I started this blog on the 13th September 2010, and it's now 13th September 2012. Time sure passes quickly...

To celebrate I have a little competition to win a book- more later.

Since last September I've been busy.

I've entered a few outside competitions, sent off a story to Woman's Weekly- no rejection yet and it's been out just over three months. I won the Romance novel trophy at the writers' club in December. And in April I became Chairman of Nottingham Writers' Club (NWC).

In May I enjoyed a day long workshop on Writing Romantic Fiction led by Kate Walker, at NWC.

Even social media hasn't been safe from me. I joined Twitter earlier in the year, and in the last month, Facebook. (Contact details are in the sidebar.)

I've recently started using my new office area and can say it certainly has made my writing life easier. I have the phone by the computer so I can limit disruptions; and like this morning, when I was working on my novella, I could slide my chair a short distance over to the bookshelf and pluck the reference book I needed off the shelf to check something.

I don't know what year three will bring, but I'll be sharing the writing related aspects with you.

I appreciate everyone who takes the time to read my blog, and an especial thank you to all of you who leave comments.

Virtual birthday cake for everyone...

                        Image from

Now to celebrate I have a copy of 'The Lost Night' by Jayne Castle (otherwise known as Jayne Ann Krentz/Amanda Quick) to give away. (Sorry, only to those within the UK postal system.) You can read the start of the Kindle version here.

Question: What is the name of the paranormal society that has featured in a number of the author's books?

Leave your answer in the comments and all correct entries will go into a bag and I will pick one out at random on Sunday, and announce the winner on Monday. Good luck.

Tuesday 4 September 2012

Sock Puppetry - It's Bad...

I doubt there are many writers who haven't seen the news about fake reviews posted by authors to praise their latest book. Or others buying bulk reviews.

But the admission by crime writer RJ Ellory that he'd been posting fake reviews for his books, and making adverse comments on reviews of novels by fellow writers is unacceptable.

I don't think any of us are naive enough to believe that fake reviews don't exist. You only need to look at Amazon and after a while you can pick out the dubious reviews because they sound wrong.

Yes, your book might be brilliant, but there will still be readers who don't like it and will say so.

I try to be realistic about the business. But I can't help but be irritated that a writer, who has been fortunate enough to be taken on and published by a mainstream publisher, with the publicity advantages that brings, feels the need to big up their books by fake reviews.

If he had stopped at fake reviews, I could have understood; but to make adverse comments about fellow writers books is beyond the pale. Especially when there are enough readers around to say completely the opposite.

He's apologised and admitted that he's in the wrong straight away. (Always a good idea to admit you've made a mistake when it becomes open knowledge.)

Sadly there will be long term consequences on his reputation as a writer, and as a colleague of numerous other crime writers- what will be their attitude toward him next time they meet?

(See this piece on the Bookseller website.)

And the reading public? Will they now think they can't trust anyone's reviews, and will other writers suffer a drop in sales? (Especially those who have self-published and rely on good reviews and word of mouth recommendations.)

When I leave a review on Amazon, I have read the book, and if I've liked it, I'll say so-if I haven't I'll say why. Even if the book is by a friend, I won't give it a great review just because they are a friend.

Okay, I've not got a novel out vying for sales against numerous other competitors within my genre. But if I did, I wouldn't resort to buying reviews, or creating identities to review my own book. It's unethical and dishonest.

My work has to stand on it's own two feet and take the knocks that may come to it.

A writer once said at a talk I attended, if you can't take criticism then don't go into publishing.

It's a tough business...

Thursday 12 July 2012

Short Story Downloads...

Glad to say I'm enjoying a spell of sunshine and a relatively dry atmosphere which is helping my lungs feel better.

So while I continue recovering I thought you might like to read more about the short story download site Alfie Dog Ltd.

Australian writer Katie W Stewart (author of the successful 'Treespeaker' and 'Mark of the Dragon Queen' e-books) has an interview with Rosemary J Kind here, the writer behind Alfie Dog Ltd and the short story download site.

Rosemary answers questions about formats and prices of downloads, and also her reasons for starting the site.

So if you're a reader looking for a good short story, you'll find something to entertain you. And if you're a writer with any short stories lurking on your hard drive doing nothing, they may find a  new home.

I know that Rosemary is currently preparing an exciting addition to the website- a blog. And actively working to get the story download site well known.

My winter project is to revamp some of my older stories-that don't fit women's magazine- and submit them for consideration by Rosemary.

If you haven't visited Rosemary's website yet, then click on the link here.

Saturday 30 June 2012

Reading at the Lowdham Book Festival Fringe...

Well I've survived.

And I have the photos to prove it. So the next time I have the opportunity to read in public they will be there to remind me that I've done it before and can do it again.

The last day of the Lowdham Book Festival usually sees the village crowded with people and cars, so it was strange to see everywhere so much quieter than usual. And to get a parking space!

There were still events going on at various locations around the village, so it was good to have time for a wander along the village high street, and pop into The Bookcase- the local independent bookshop run by one of the organisers of the Book Festival-Jane Streeter (who has just completed her term in office as the President of the Booksellers Association ).

They also host quite a few book launches and signings of Nottingham based authors. So who knows, one day...

So onto the main event- for me at least.

The Ship Inn is an old pub in the centre of the village, across from the village hall- a regular drop-in point for everyone on the last day. You can see a picture of the venue on the local crickets club's website, here.

It has a couple of traditionally decorated and very comfortable rooms. We were in the lounge bar which has tables, chairs, and stools on two levels, so you have to look over to the audience in the upper level too.

Following the advice from fellow writers who have read their work to an audience before, I chose a bright outfit, had a glass of water handy, and tried to remember to smile at everyone.

There was a microphone available if we needed it, but the three of us have reasonable reading voices, and the appreciative audience that had gathered wanted to hear the readings so we weren't competing with background noise.

After the previous group ran a little over time with their very entertaining selection of work, the other two Nottingham Writers' Club members, poets Viv Apple and Ken Swallow, took their positions ready to start.

Introductions in The Ship, Lounge
                                                  (All photos courtesy of, and © of Richard Bevitt)

I did the general intoductions and was very relieved my voice had greatly improved since Thursday.

I handed over to Viv Apple, a very good poet and also a member of Nottingham Poetry Society.
She read four poems, including First Bra, which tells the tale of her teenage-self going with her mother to buy her first bra, with all the angst and pride associated with it.

Then it was my turn- my three pieces of flash fiction.

I started with a brief explanation of what had inspired 'Positive Exposure'- a radio interview with an actress who had appeared in one of the early Star Trek (the 1960's tv series) episodes, who described having to wear a brief outfit with no straps to hold the top half in place, which didn't when she breathed in- and to remedy the wardrobe malfunction, tape was used.

This was well received and the audience laughed at the final line and clapped- mentally I was breathing a sigh of relief.

I moved on to my second piece, 'Surpises', and mentioned the e-book anthology it would be appearing in later in the autumn.

My final piece 'Expectations' is another piece that came from the monthly One Word Challenge competition that is held each month on the Talkback writers forum.

Enjoying the Performance.

More applause and with my section over,  I handed over to Performance Poet, Ken Swallow for a couple of short action pieces.

Viv finished the performance with her amusing poem, 'I Don't Know You From Soap'. An Australian alternative to the 'I don't know you from Adam' phrase (apparently).

I finished by thanking the audience for listening to the club members work, and it was over.

The organiser of the Fringe event is hoping that it will be repeated next year, and perhaps with a longer running time, into the early evening.

I'm hoping more writers' club members will want to be involved next time too. (I'll be writing about it for the next issue of the club magazine 'Scribe'.

Would I do it again?  

Yes. :-)

 Looking at the audience
 and smiling.

What did I learn from it?

That an audience really likes to hear fun pieces, so having something light in the chosen selection helps.

If you've never read to anyone outside of your friends and writers' group, and you get the opportunity to read your work to an unknown audience, do it. You really will enjoy it, and learn a lot.


Friday 15 June 2012

Reading at the local Festival Later This Month...

This month is  Lowdham Book Festival 2012 between the 1st and 30th June.

Festival SignUsually the last day (a Saturday) is full of free talks and events, second hand book stalls, new books, writers groups and organisations.

Sadly this year the usual format won't be taking place, but there will still be lots of book related events going on during the day of the 30th. (See the link above for times and ticket details.)

I saw a mention of John Harvey, and Jon McGregor ( who very recently won the International Impac Dublin Literary Award) during the Reading Group Day in the Village Hall.

Between 11am and 5pm there will be performances in the pub, called Fringe at The Ship. And at some point during the 12 midday and 12.40 pm slot, I will be reading a couple of pieces of flash fiction along with two members of the writers' club- a poet, and a performance poet.

We were originally scheduled for 4pm, but this clashed for one of the members, so we're sharing an earlier spot with another group.

As we're in the pub we can be sure of some audience.

This means I have two weeks to time my pieces and refine my presentation, and also coordinate with my fellow readers.

Now I'm used to standing up in front of people I know (or don't know) to read aloud at the writers' club, but to do so in front of total strangers in the pub is actually a little daunting.

But I'm a writer, so it's good practise for the future...

My only remaining dilemma will be what to wear. :-) Casual but comfortable certainly, but so much will depend upon the weather on the day.

If you have any advice, I'd be grateful for your comments.

Saturday 2 June 2012

Add Your Suggestions to the Guardian's Interactive Map

Just a brief post before I start moving my desk.

The books section of the Guardian online newspaper is launching an interactive map of the UK's best bookshops and literary locations, and you can add bookshop reviews; while booksellers can add their bookshop to the map, or add a description if it's already listed.

This is a wonderful idea.

If you live in a city or the surrounding suburbs you may not actually know the location of small independent booksellers, and this is an easy way to find out where they are so you can visit them.

Alternatively if you're away from home, it's good to know where you can buy books, especially if you want to avoid the main high street book retailers and support these smaller sellers.

You can look at the map here, and there are links to add information on the page.

I hope there's no rain tomorrow, so I can move boxes outside while the furniture is shifted around indoors. (But the weather map on TV does not look good.)

By the time I write my next blog post I should have my desk and computer moved to it's new position; my reference books and material neatly stacked on a bookshelf close by and not a speck of dust to make me cough...

Wednesday 11 April 2012

Some Interesting Results for Historical Fiction...

A few weeks ago- okay perhaps slightly more than a few weeks- I followed a link to a survey on Historical fiction reading. This wasn't aimed at Historical Romance, or writers, it was for Historical Fiction readers generally.

Well the answers have been collated, and it certainly raises some interesting aspects about reading historical fiction, that even romance writers might find useful; many of the answers probably won't be a surprise.

In Mary Tod's survey results, which you'll find in a link on her blog 'A Writer of History-thoughts about writing historical fiction', the responses to the question asking 'Have you always enjoyed historical fiction?' showed (that of the 805 people (of both sexes) who responded to the survey) that 533 had been reading HF since they were a child/teenager.

The most popular reason for reading historical fiction was to "bring the past to life, appreciating how people lived and coped in very different times."
A good example of why getting your novel's setting, and the lifestyle and behaviour of your characters right is important.

And "a great story" was the second popular option...

For the many writers of Medieval and Tudor based stories, you're clearly producing work for the favoured time period.

There's a lot more information to discover including the frequent book or e-book buying preference.

So pop over to Mary's blog and find out more...