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Self-Publishing

Channeling my inner Olivia Colman: Smash all the Windows wins The Selfies 2019

Winning an award produces a whole raft of emotions and, as Olivia Colman proved so charmingly at this year’s Oscars, it is impossible to predict how you’re going to react. I learned that I’d won the Daily Mail First Novel Award when I was at home on my own, beginning to get really quite nervous…
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Virtual Book Club: Anita Belli introduces Once Upon a Blue Moon

I’m delighted to welcome Anita Belli to Virtual Book Club, my interview series that gives authors the opportunity to pitch their novels to your book club. This month I’m showcasing my fellow nominees for The Selfies Award 2019 – a chance to check out the competition!   Anita describes herself as a ‘compulsive writer’ and creative tutor, who…
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Virtual Book Club: Mel Gough introduces He is Mine

A Selfies Award Special

I’m delighted to welcome Mel Gough to Virtual Book Club, my interview series that gives authors the opportunity to pitch their novels to your book club. This is also my first interview with another author whose novel has been shortlisted for The Selfies Award 2019 – a chance to get to know the competition!   Mel…
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Help: my eBook business model is broken

When the line between lending and piracy becomes blurred

A few weeks ago, I was watching a topical panel show. When the question of plastic pollution came up, one of the panelists replied, ‘No, you’re not laying the blame at my door. I bought plastic on the understanding that it would be recycled. It’s not my fault if someone went and dumped it in…
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Smash all the Windows: the typesetting

The Making of a Book

We’re nearing the finish line. Now we turn to the book’s interior. What is it going to look like? And how will that add to (or detract from) the way that the reader experiences the book? From Wiki: Typesetting is the composition of text by means of arranging physical types or the digital equivalents. Stored…
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Smash all the Windows: the structural edit

The Making of a Book

In this week’s blog, I focus on the structural edit. It includes a contribution from my structural editor, Dan Holloway, the person Stephen Fry might have had in mind when he said, “We are not nouns, we are verbs.” “I am not a thing – an actor, a writer – I am a person who…
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A Day in the Life: Kathleen Jowitt on writing, self-publishing and validation

There are many reasons why I’m delighted to welcome Kathleen Jowitt to my blog, but the biggest and best of those is that her Novel Speak Its Name (2016) was the first self-published novel ever shortlisted for the Betty Trask Prize. Previous winners include Zadie Smith, Hari Kunzru and David Szalay.  Kathleen was born in Winchester and…
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Behind the Book: The story behind Life in a Hospice: reflections on caring for the dying

This week, Virtual Book Club is taking a break and I’m handing over to Ann Richardson. Ann has worked as a social researcher most of her working life, writing books, articles and reports from interviews with ordinary people about specific health and social care problems. Most of this writing was addressed to professionals working in…
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Virtual Book Club: Lorraine Devon Wilke

Today, I’m delighted to welcome Lorraine Devon Wilke to Virtual Book Club, a series in which I put questions to authors about their latest releases. If there’s anything else you’d like to know, you’ll have the opportunity to post your questions at the end. Lorraine Devon Wilke – writer, photographer, singer and songwriter – started…
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Think You’re Ready to Self-publish Your First Book? Stop and Read This.

When I go out and speak to writers on the subject of self-publishing, I am often asked if there is a quick and easy guide that covers every aspect of the process. Jessica Bell has just supplied me with an answer. Jessica is an Australian novelist, poet, and singer/songwriter/guitarist who lives in Athens, Greece. In…
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