Friday, 30 September 2011


The Memory of Trees - Book Blog Tour | Nicola Furlong ePubbing Blog


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It's a busy road at the moment for me, and my next blog tour stop over is with Nicola Furlong's ePubbing Blog tomorrow. I'll leave it to Nicola to introduce tomorrow's piece.

Dublin-born author, Mick Rooney, will take the epubbing con on Friday. He’s a multi-published author and consultant and editor at the Independent Publishing Magazine, with a interest in the changing world of publishing. He’s written a number of interesting novels and recently produced a great non-fiction book called To Self-Publish or Not to Self-Publish.


The Memory of Trees novel by Mick Rooney


On Friday, he’ll discuss his road to publishing, especially the hills he had to conquer during his efforts to get his new novel, The Memory of Trees, published.



It’s a fascinating article so come back on Friday to check it out!



I also have a big announcement to make for all you self-published and independent publishers out there about what I will be doing and where I will be doing it. I'll announce that news, hopefully, very soon. With the book promotion for The Memory of Trees, I appreciate I have been a little quieter here than normal, but routine will soon be re-established during the month of October.

Once again, I would remind subscribers and followers of the site that I am very active on Facebook and Google+, as well as my YouTube Channel, and that's where you will find the day-to-day latest news and up-to-date comment linked in here with all the reviews and comments.    



About My host, Nicola Furlong

I endure the travails of writing by playing hockey, gardening and eating chocolate fudge.

Full of practical and useful tips and techniques to help other writers get published, Epubbing with Nicola Furlong is the diary of my ongoing exploits to survive as a fiction writer and to flourish in print and online.

It’s also the portal to my podcast, The Novel Experience®, which is dedicated to learning the craft and art of writing through interviews with authors, editors, agents, publishers and booksellers.
Read, listen, enjoy and get published!

Moi, before the last ice age
Moi, before the last ice age
I’ve loved mystery novels since the day my Dad introduced me to the old green Penguin paperbacks.

A friggin’ lucky Canadian, I was born during a freezing Alberta winter, raised under endless Saskatchewan skies, summered in PEI, kicking red sand and scarfing back church suppers, and survived my Capital punishment working in Ontario/Quebec skyscrapers.
Hard at Work
Hard at Work
Luckiest of all, I now write genre fiction, create podcasts and book videos, grow ornamental poppies(in the midst of a fretful two-year effort to grow the fabled Himalayan blue poppy) and have a blast playing old timer’s hockey and biking the sea-kissed rural roads of southern Vancouver Island.
For more info, please checkNicola’s Work, or visit NicolaFurlong.com or email me @: epubbing(at)shaw(dot)ca.Love to hear from you!
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Wednesday, 28 September 2011


Amazon launches tablet and new Kindle Touch | The Bookseller


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Amazon launches tablet and new Kindle Touch The Bookseller

Amazon has unveiled a Kindle Touch reader, alongside a brand new tablet device called Kindle Fire.



The new Kindle, which comes in silver, is smaller and lighter than the current, third-generation model and features an IR touch system similar to that offered by Nook and Kobo touch devices.
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Tuesday, 27 September 2011


The Memory of Trees - Book Blog Tour


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For the next couple of weeks I’m putting on my blog boots for the start of The Memory of Trees Blog Tour. I love walking, and every step forward is the start of another wonderful journey. There will be plenty of interviews, articles, debate and comment, but most of all, this little journey with my new novel will involve lots of hand squeezing (mostly my own), and some strategically fired questions from interviewers and bloggers who know just the right questions to ask. I’m already half way through some of the interviews and material you will experience, and already, it’s been a blast!

What I most like about this part of a book promotion tour is what you actually learn about yourself and the novel you’ve written. It allows you as a writer to escape the writing den and bring a great deal of perspective to all the things you do as a writer – bring perspective, and above all, delivery home where we all belong in the writing and reading community. It’s a perspective I cannot deliver through my work and research on The Independent Publishing Magazine, and even on my author website – no one is prodding me!

Blog tours are a little like going on holiday, or working and living somewhere else for a little while. You don’t tend to bring with you the conformity and limitations you deliberately impose on yourself when you’re at home in the blog nest.

I thought it very appropriate that the blog tour for The Memory of Trees should start with a visit to Catherine Ryan Howard, author, self-publisher, and a real travel junkie in the making. I met her about a year ago at a self-publishing conference in Dublin, and her enthusiasm and belief in her work was infectious and an inspiration to all who met her and listened to what she had to say. Are you listening BBC’s Rough Guide? She’s your only woman for the job.

I also discovered two things tonight about Catherine – she sometimes doesn’t rise till after 10am, and she spent some time living and working in my second adopted homeland, the Netherlands. I’m impressed!

She also drinks coffee by the barrel, so I’ve packed plenty of teabags and packs of garibaldi biscuits for the first blog tour post this Wednesday morning.

Catherine has already published two travel memoires about trekking across North and Central America, and a guide to self-publishing. This October she will publish her debut novel, Results Not Typical. Where I most respect Catherine, even after all her self-publishing success; she has not spurned the normal, or as she describes, ‘proper’ publishing avenues. For her, the two avenues co-exist as long as it makes sense to her own writing aspirations.

You can read Catherine’s piece on low ebook pricing on the Bookseller’s FutureBook yesterday, and join both of us at Catherines’s blog, Catherine Caffeinated, this Wednesday morning.
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Monday, 26 September 2011


'Bill of rights' for writers seeks bigger share of e-book revenue | Edmonton Journal


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'Bill of rights' for writers seeks bigger share of e-book revenue

The Writers' Union of Canada has released A Writer's Bill of Rights for the Digital Age that addresses challenges writers face as the publishing industry moves to a digital model.

Demands in the 12-point document released Thursday include that "the publisher shall split the net proceeds of e-book sales equally with the author" and "when a book is out of print in print form, continuing sales in electronic form shall not prevent a rights reversion to the author."

Edmonton author Greg Hollingshead, chairman of the Writers' Union of Canada, answered some questions about the bill of rights.
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Sunday, 25 September 2011


Amazon Tablet To Be Revealed This Week


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(Reuters) - Amazon.com Inc, which revolutionized reading with its Kindle e-reader, is expected to unveil a tablet computer next week that analysts say will seriously challenge Apple's market dominating iPad.

Amazon on Friday invited media to a press conference to be held in New York next Wednesday, declining to provide further details.

But analysts were confident that the world's largest Internet retailer will introduce its long-awaited tablet computer this year to expand in mobile commerce and sell more digital goods and services.
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Friday, 23 September 2011


Faber adds sales force for indies | The Bookseller


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Faber adds sales force for indies The Bookseller

"Faber has launched a new sales force for diverse independent publishers dubbed Faber Factory Plus.

Six publishers, Gallic Books, Arcadia Books, Pushkin Press, Bloodaxe Books, Carcanet Press and Gibson Square, have already signed up to the list, which will launch in March 2012."


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Wednesday, 21 September 2011


Amazon Make Kindle Books Available Through 11,000 Local US Libraries


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From the press release:

(NASDAQ: AMZN)-Amazon.com today announced that Kindle and Kindle app customers can now borrow Kindle books from more than 11,000 local libraries in the United States. When a customer borrows a Kindle library book, they'll have all of the unique features they love about Kindle books, including Whispersync, which automatically synchronizes their margin notes, highlights and bookmarks, real page numbers, Facebook and Twitter integration, and more. For more information about borrowing library books for your Kindle or free Kindle apps, go to www.amazon.com/kindle/publiclibraries. To start checking out Kindle library books, visit your local library's website.

"Starting today, millions of Kindle customers can borrow Kindle books from their local libraries," said Jay Marine, Director, Amazon Kindle. "Libraries are a critical part of our communities and we're excited to be making Kindle books available at more than 11,000 local libraries around the country. We're even doing a little extra here - normally, making margin notes in library books is a big no-no. But we're fixing this by extending our Whispersync technology to library books, so your notes, highlights and bookmarks are always backed up and available the next time you check out the book or if you decide to buy the book."

Customers will use their local library's website to search for and select a book to borrow. Once they choose a book, customers can choose to "Send to Kindle" and will be redirected to Amazon.com to login to their Amazon.com account and the book will be delivered to the device they select via Wi-Fi, or can be transferred via USB. Customers can check out a Kindle book from their local library and start reading on any generation Kindle device or free Kindle app for Android, iPad, iPod touch, iPhone, PC, Mac, BlackBerry or Windows Phone, as well as in their web browser with Kindle Cloud Reader.

"This is a welcome day for Kindle users in libraries everywhere and especially our Kindle users here at The Seattle Public Library," said Marcellus Turner, city librarian for The Seattle Public Library. "We're thrilled that Amazon is offering such a new approach to library ebooks that enhances the reader experience."


  • When borrowing a Kindle book from their local library, customers can take advantage of all of the unique features of Kindle books, including:



  • Whispersync technology wirelessly sync your books, notes, highlights, and last page read across Kindle and free Kindle reading apps



  • Real Page Numbers let you easily reference passages with page numbers that correspond to actual print editions



  • Facebook and Twitter integration makes it easy to share favorite passages with your social networks



  • Popular Highlights show you what our community of millions of Kindle readers think are the most interesting passages in your books



  • Public Notes allow you to share your notes and see what others are saying about Kindle books



To start checking out Kindle library books, visit your local library's website.

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Tuesday, 20 September 2011


RJ Keller Talks to Stacey Cochran About Her Book - Waiting For Spring


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I'm currently working on a blog book tour for The Memory of Trees. I'm hoping two of my stop-offs in the coming weeks will be author KJ Keller and Stacey Cochran. Here, RJ talks to Stacey of How To Publish a Book about her book, 'Waiting For Spring', and the journey she took to having it published.


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Thursday, 15 September 2011


Novelist in a Flutter Sacks HarperCollins!


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Novelist who left banking because of sexism fires publisher for putting 'fluffy and degrading' covers on her books | Mail Online:

Novelist Polly Courtney has decided to 'sack' her publisher HarperCollins on the day of her book launch, claiming her book covers were 'patronising' and disagreeing with the manner HarperCollins marketed her three books. I'm not sure why it took three books for Courtney to arrive at this decision, but the author has vowed to return to self-publishing and steer clear of 'large publishers' for her next book. You can read the full story here, in the...ahem, Daily Mail, which also claims the novelist posted pictures of herself online pole-dancing. Indeed...
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Chin Schedules Google Book Settlement Case For 2012 Trial


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The Google Book Settlement case looks set to move to trial in July 2012 after Judge Denny Chin today set a timeline for the plaintiffs to reach final submission and rebuttal. What was most significant from today's status conference was the view from lawyers for the AAP (Association of American Publishers) and Google that progress was being made and the schedule laid out for a trial in 2012 may become 'moot', according to AAP attorney, Bruce Keller.

If we are to accept that optimistic note then the Authors Guild may find themselves walking a lone road next year. I've always believed the Google Book Settlement would boil down to an author v Google battle of wits, with publishers reaching an agreement of some kind that avoided a long drawn-out trial. Any settlement between Google and publishers was always going to last years as both sides came to terms with the changes and developments in the industry.

The next court date has been set for December, which is the due date a class certification brief from the plaintiffs, with Google's own rebuttal coming in January 2012.
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Wednesday, 7 September 2011


Pack Announced As New Publisher At Authonomy


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Pack new authonomy.com publisher The Bookseller

According to The Bookseller this morning, Scott Pack of The Friday Project is to become the new publisher of HarperCollins' community writing site, Authonomy. Pack will retain his role at The Friday Project but will be joined at Authonomy by Rachel Faulker, a HarperCollins gradute trainee, who will take up the role of Digital Project Editor. The new appointments appear on the surface to be an effort by HC to step up the published output from the Authonomy writing community. With Pack's background in digital publishing, I wonder if this move will see Authonomy focus more on e-publishing rather than just being a talent-spotting feeder to HC's imprints. Authonomy has been successful in connecting authors and delivering some excellent writing workshops.

Since its foundation in 2008, Authonomy has led to just six published titles, and in the past, here on The Independent Publishing Magazine, I've been critical of its facilitation of advertising and promotion of CreateSpace services, and its forums being a ripe breathing ground for unscrupolous subsidity and vanity publishers.

Scott Pack told The Bookseller this morning:


“Authonomy.com is already a wonderful writing community and, having spoken
at some recent workshops, I know that there are lots of great manuscripts doing
the rounds on the site. Some of these have gone on to be published but I think
there is an opportunity to bring even more of these to market and that is just
what we'll be doing in the coming months."

Future plans for Authonomy include increasing its publishing output from submitted manuscripts and a 'pitch-writing' competition aimed at connecting 'budding' writers with establised authors.


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Tuesday, 6 September 2011


2011 Man Booker Shortlist Announced


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The 2011 Man Booker shortlist of six books was announced this morning in London by Stella Remington, Chair of Judges for the prize. The shortlist features two debut novels and strong representation from independent publishers. The winner of the £50,000 2011 Man Booker Prize for Fiction will be announced on Tuesday 18 October at a dinner at London's Guildhall and will be broadcast on the BBC.

From the press release:


2011 Man Booker Prize for Fiction
Shortlist announced

Julian Barnes, Carol Birch, Patrick deWitt, Esi Edugyan, Stephen Kelman and A.D. Miller are today, Tuesday 6 September, announced as the six shortlisted authors for the 2011 Man Booker Prize for Fiction.

The Man Booker Prize has been described variously as ‘Posh bingo' and ‘the indispensable literary thermometer'. Whatever your view, each year the prize promotes the finest in new fiction and rewards the year's best novel, securing international renown for its shortlisted and longlisted authors and giving book lovers worldwide a choice reading list.

With such differing titles on this year's shortlist, there is sure to be great debate over who will win the coveted prize on 18 October. The judges' selection includes two first time novelists - Stephen Kelman and A.D. Miller - while four of the books are from independent publishers. Of the six writers, two have enjoyed success with the prize in the past. Julian Barnes has been shortlisted three times for Arthur and George (2005), England, England (1998) and Flaubert's Parrot (1984), while Carol Birch was longlisted in 2003 for Turn Again Home. Two Canadian writers feature on the shortlist - Patrick deWitt and Esi Edugyan - along with four British novelists.

The shortlist was announced by Chair of Judges, author and former Director-General of MI5 Dame Stella Rimington, at a press conference held at Man's London headquarters.

The six books, selected from the longlist of 13, are:

Author Title (publisher)
Julian Barnes The Sense of an Ending (Jonathan Cape - Random House)
Carol Birch Jamrach's Menagerie (Canongate Books)
Patrick deWitt The Sisters Brothers (Granta)
Esi Edugyan Half Blood Blues (Serpent's Tail)
Stephen Kelman Pigeon English (Bloomsbury)
A.D. Miller Snowdrops (Atlantic)
Chair of judges, Dame Stella Rimington, comments: "Inevitably it was hard to whittle down the longlist to six titles. We were sorry to lose some great books. But, when push came to shove, we quickly agreed that these six very different titles were the best."

The winner of the 2011 Man Booker Prize for Fiction will be announced on Tuesday 18 October at a dinner at London's Guildhall and will be broadcast on the BBC. The winner will receive £50,000 and each of the six shortlisted authors, including the winner, will receive £2,500 and a designer bound edition of their book. Last year's winner, The Finkler Question by Howard Jacobson, has sold over 250,000 copies in the UK alone.

The judges for the 2011 Prize are writer and journalist, Matthew d'Ancona; author, Susan Hill; author and politician, Chris Mullin; and Head of Books at the Daily Telegraph, Gaby Wood. Dame Stella Rimington is the Chair.

In the lead up to the winner announcement there will be a number of exclusive Man Booker Prize events with the shortlisted authors. These include: a public event at the Apple Store, Covent Garden on 13 October; a special evening at the British Library to acknowledge the important role of libraries for readers and writers on 11 October, and a public event with the shortlisted authors in association with Waterstone's on 17 October. Details will be announced on the Man Booker Prize website shortly.

For further information about the prize please visit www.themanbookerprize.com or follow the prize on Twitter @ManBookerPrize or on Facebook.

For all press enquiries please contact
Jill Cotton or Katy MacMillan-Scott at Colman Getty
Tel: 020 7631 2666 / Email: jill@colmangetty.co.uk / katy@colmangetty.co.uk

The Shortlist


The Sense of an Ending
By Julian Barnes
Published by Jonathan Cape (£12.99)

Tony Webster and his clique first met Adrian Finn at school. Sex-hungry and book-hungry, they would navigate the girl-less sixth form together, trading in affectations, in-jokes, rumour and wit. Maybe Adrian was a little more serious than the others, certainly more intelligent, but they all swore to stay friends for life. Now Tony is in middle age. He's had a career and a single marriage, a calm divorce. He's certainly never tried to hurt anybody. Memory, though, is imperfect. It can always throw up surprises, as a lawyer's letter is about to prove.

Julian Barnes is the author of ten previous novels, three books of short stories and also three collections of journalism. Now 65, his work has been translated into more than thirty languages. In France he is the only writer to have won both the Prix Médicis (for Flaubert's Parrot) and the Prix Femina (for Talking it Over). He was awarded the Austrian State Prize for European Literature in 2004 and the David Cohen Prize for Literature in 2011 for his lifetime achievement in literature. Julian Barnes has been shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize three times, for Arthur and George (2005), England, England (1998) and Flaubert's Parrot (1984). He lives in London.

For further information please contact Chloë Johnson-Hill at Random House
Tel: 020 7840 8490, email: cjohnson-hill@randomhouse.co.uk, mob: 07919 324 890

The Sisters Brothers
By Patrick deWitt
Published by Granta (£12.99)

Oregon, 1851. Eli and Charlie Sisters, notorious professional killers, are on their way to California to kill a man named Hermann Kermit Warm. On the way, the brothers have a series of unsettling and violent experiences in the Darwinian landscape of Gold Rush America. Charlie makes money and kills anyone who stands in his way; Eli doubts his vocation and falls in love. And they bicker a lot. Then they get to California, and discover that Warm is an inventor who has come up with a magical formula, which could make all of them very rich. What happens next is utterly gripping, strange and sad.

Patrick deWitt was born on 6 March 1975 in British Columbia, Canada, and has also lived in California, Washington, and Oregon, where he now resides with his wife and child. His first novel, Ablutions, was published in 2009 and was a New York Times Editors' Choice. He wrote the screenplay for Terri, a feature film directed by Azazel Jacobs and starring John C. Reilly, which received its world premiere at the Sundance film festival earlier this year.

For further information please contact Aidan O'Neill at Granta
Tel: 0207 605 6594, email: aidan@granta.com, mob: 07961 844 669




Jamrach's Menagerie
By Carol Birch
Published by Canongate Books (£7.99)

"I was born twice. First in wooden room that jutted out over the black water of the Thames, and then again eight years later in the Highway, when the tiger took me in his mouth and everything truly began." Jaffy Brown is a young boy when he is knocked unconscious by a Bengal tiger in the East End of London. He is saved by the tiger's owner, Charles Jamrach, importer and purveyor of wild and extraordinary animals. Jaf begins working at the Menagerie, and is soon given the opportunity to take part in voyage of a lifetime: a trip to hunt down and bring back a dragon.

Carol Birch is the author of nine previous novels including Scapegallows and Turn Again Home, which was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize in 2003. Now 60, she has won the Geoffrey Faber Award and the David Higham Award for Best First Novel. She lives in Lancashire.

For further information please contact Angela Robertson at Canongate
Tel: 0131 557 5111, email: angela.robertson@canongate.co.uk, mob: 07590831745

Half Blood Blues
By Esi Edugyan
Published by Serpent's Tail (£10.99)

The aftermath of the fall of Paris, 1940. Hieronymous Falk, a rising star on the cabaret scene, was arrested in a cafe and never heard from again. He was twenty years old. He was a German citizen. And he was black. Fifty years later, Sid, Hiero's bandmate and the only witness that day, is going back to Berlin. Persuaded by his old friend Chip, Sid discovers there's more to the journey than he thought when Chip shares a mysterious letter, bringing to the surface secrets buried since Hiero's fate was settled.

Esi Edugyan has degrees from the University of Victoria and Johns Hopkins University. Her work has appeared in several anthologies, including Best New American Voices 2003. Her debut novel, written when she was 25, The Second Life of Samuel Tyne, was published internationally. She is now 33 and lives in Victoria, British Columbia, where she has recently had her first baby.

For further information please contact Anna-Marie Fitzgerald at Profile Books
Tel: 020 7841 6304, email: anna-marie.fitzgerald@profilebooks.com, mob: 07980868018

Pigeon English
By Stephen Kelman
Published by Bloomsbury (£12.99)

Newly arrived from Ghana with his mother and older sister, eleven-year-old Harrison Opoku lives on the ninth floor of a block of flats on an inner-city housing estate. The second best runner in the whole of Year 7, Harri races through his new life in his personalised trainers - the Adidas stripes drawn on with marker pen - blissfully unaware of the very real threat all around him. With equal fascination for the local gang - the Dell Farm Crew - and the pigeon who visits his balcony, Harri absorbs the many strange elements of his new life in England: watching, listening, and learning the tricks of inner-city survival. But when a boy is knifed to death on the high street and a police appeal for witnesses draws only silence, Harri decides to start a murder investigation of his own. In doing so, he unwittingly endangers the fragile web his mother has spun around her family to try and keep them safe.

Stephen Kelman was born in Luton on 13 April 1976. After finishing his degree he worked variously as a warehouse operative, a careworker, and in marketing and local government administration. He decided to pursue his writing seriously in 2005, and has completed several feature screenplays since then. Pigeon English is his first novel: it was shortlisted for the 2011 Desmond Elliott Prize and has been longlisted for the Guardian First Book award.

For further information please contact Anya Rosenberg at Bloomsbury
Tel: 020 7494 6008, email: anya.rosenberg@bloomsbury.com, mob: 07540 838369

Snowdrops
By A.D. Miller
Published by Atlantic (£12.99)

A.D. Miller's Snowdrops is a riveting psychological drama that unfolds over the course of one Moscow winter, as a young Englishman's moral compass is spun by the seductive opportunities revealed to him by a new Russia: a land of hedonism and desperation, corruption and kindness, magical dachas and debauched nightclubs; a place where secrets - and corpses - come to light only when the deep snows start to thaw...

Born in London on 9 December 1974, A.D. Miller studied literature at Cambridge and Princeton. He worked as a television producer before joining The Economist. From 2004 to 2007 he was the magazine's Moscow correspondent, travelling widely across Russia and the former Soviet Union. He is the author of the acclaimed family history The Earl of Petticoat Lane (Wm. Heinemann, 2006); Snowdrops is his first novel. Rights have been sold in 22 countries and it will be translated into 19 languages. He lives in London with his wife and daughter.

For further information please contact Karen Duffy at Atlantic Books
Tel: 0207 269 1621, email: karenduffy@atlantic-books.co.uk, mob: 07834 561 064





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Monday, 5 September 2011


Tasty Resources | Using CreateSpace with Austin Brown | PODCAST


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Tasty Resources « Walking With The Mailman:

A Guide to CreateSpace with Author, Austin Brown.


"Here’s a resource I put together for authors looking to use CreateSpace. Instead of reading it, listen to the podcast. Click on the audio button below. To save, right click the link below it. Enjoy!"

'PODCAST'
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Thursday, 1 September 2011


Thomas Nelson Acquires First Title From Self-Publishing Imprint WestBow Press


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US publisher Thomas Nelson has finally acquired its first title from WestBow Press, the self-publishing imprint set up by the publisher in partnership with AuthorSolutions in 2009. Marcia Moston’s Call of a Coward is slated for publication in paperback next summer. Thomas Nelson made the announcement yesterday.


“We were impressed by Marcia’s title from the moment we discovered it through the Women of Faith Writing Contest. We monitored her book after being published through WestBow Press; the early record of its success provided a great opportunity for trade distribution through Thomas Nelson.”

Mark Schoenwald, Thomas Nelson president and CEO

UPDATE:
Today, on his Bookmakingblog, Michael N. Marcus has rightly pointed out that this is the second time Thomas Nelson has claimed 'a first' acquisition from WestBow. Last March a similar press release claimed 'Three Cups' was the first acquired title from WestBow.

I've also managed to dig out the piece I did on the previous press release from March 2011, and it reveals a lot more oddities about the original 'first' acquisition - Three Cups.

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From Editing To My Bookshelf


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I’ve been pretty busy over the past few weeks with the final editing of my next novel, The Memory of Trees, so my planned posting – From Production to Marketing – had to take a back seat. But maybe there was a reason for that.
About two weeks ago I got a call to meet up with a writing friend who was passing through Dublin on a trip to London. His offer of meeting up for an hour or two was a welcome relief from the networking, editing and general regime of hair-pulling every author seems to experience when an imminent ‘book-birth’ in near. I grabbed the opportunity with both hands and dropped the pen in my left hand and stopped tapping away on the keyboard with my right hand.
We grabbed a quick bite to eat in a busy eaterie and headed for somewhere quieter to talk proper ‘writer shop’. I was conscious he had a 6.30am flight to London the next morning so I suggested somewhere close to the hotel he was staying at. In the end, we found ourselves in the foyer/reception area of his hotel with a drink in front of us. I’m lucky we can chat online as much as we do because he is an early bird and I am a night owl, so it suits that he is lives on the west coast of American and I am from Ireland.  When I’m heading to bed at 3am or 4am; he’s normally not too far away from his own bed. This was a rare meet-up – only the second face-to-face in about three years.
“So this editing you’re going over with your publisher – what’s different now than what you were doing a few years ago?”
I think he asked the question innocently enough, but my American friends have a way of asking a question sometimes, but making it seem like a feathered, pom-pom, cheerleading  accusation, like, ‘who do we appreciate- rah-rah?’,  ‘why don’t your Irish buses run on time?’ or ‘why are your sign posts so ambiguous when you get off the motorway?’
I wasn’t in control of the editing. For the second time in successive books someone else was in charge of editing my books. It was no longer a case of me wanting the book to be as good as I could make it, or as well edited as I could afford it to be.  It became about what the standard of my publisher expected of the book and me. Yes, you can employ and pay an editor, but editors work to the level of excellence you pay them for, and sometimes that is not always the standard of a published book. It’s an easy trap to fall into with self-publishing—confusing proofing with proper editing. Proofing is something that happens an already edited text for the printer, typesetter or web designer. It is not editing. A proof reader might tell you easter should have been written with a capital E, but they won’t tell you that you actually meant Christmas in your novel.
When I look back on the books I published in the 1990’s, I was proud of what I achieved, and though some of those books reached store bookshelves, I recognised their miss-sized oddity, and their garish dust jackets. I had learned how to stitch and bind books long before we ever heard of print on demand. In many ways, what I was doing was what William Blake and Walt Whitman had done to produce their first volumes for the published world. I still have a few copies of those old self-published books on my own bookshelf at home—and they sit just at uncomfortably beside their better neighbours. Ultimately, they are mine, by my mind and hand.
When my American friend went to make his way to his room after a longer evening of chat and drink than he had planned for; he reached into a small case he had tucked under the table we were sitting at and pulled out a slim leather bound edition of his soon-to-be published poetry collection.
“Damn publisher should have had copies of the book before I left home, so I had to get a couple of hundred of these things done to show folks over the coming weeks.”
He shoved the book into my hand, almost apologetically.
“I’ll put a proper copy in the post for you when I get home next month. The publisher should have the review copies ready by then.”
I didn’t feel quite so bad, and as my American friend hobbled off upstairs to bed in the late night silence of the hotel foyer, I thought;
I know just where this volume will feel most at home. 

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