Why the self-publishing shit volcano isn’t going to stop erupting any time soon

February 5, 2014

Author Chuck Wendig has written a long post about how self-publishing is turning into a shit volcano. Vast quantities of terribly written rubbish is being published, and this is damaging to everyone in self-publishing. He says (emphasis as original): […] one of the features of self-publishing is that the door is open to anyone. Everyone. Always. [...]

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Awesome Ada Lovelace Day news!

January 23, 2014

This week saw the announcement of a couple of pieces of Ada Lovelace Day news that I’m very excited about. Last year’s day was fantastic, but this year’s is already shaping up well and, dare I say it, may be even better! Ada Lovelace Day at the Royal Institution We’re partnering with the  Royal Institution [...]

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The double-edged sword of mechanisation

January 16, 2014

Via Mary Corbet’s Needle ‘n Thread blog I discovered this fantastic video about embroiderers in Appenzell in Switzerland and how their way of life was destroyed by mechanisation. The documentary paints a fascinating picture of the rural families that earnt a living through incredibly delicate embroidery, supplementing what would have been a meagre income from fairly [...]

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Self-discipline is the mind-killer

January 6, 2014

When I started my career as a freelance in the late 90s, I thought that working for myself would give me not only autonomy, but also more time to spend on creative projects such as writing. I was right about the autonomy, but very wrong about the spare time. The first couple of years I [...]

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2014: A year of massive change?

January 1, 2014

I have high hopes for this year. Last year, 2013, was a weird year. After a great first half, the second half became one giant effort to just cope with everything that was going on. I had my oophorectomy, but lost four work leads because I was off recuperating. As a freelance, that’s really frustrating, [...]

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Final oophorectomy post

December 2, 2013

It’s been six months now since I had my left-hand ovary and fallopian tube removed, along with a shit-ton of endometriosis, and there’s one final, very short update that I wanted to do for any other women who are going through this process. Though, as usual, I must note that this is just my experience [...]

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A quick word on gender parity at WFC2013

August 28, 2013

There’s been a kerfuffle over World Fantasy Con’s response to an author, Tom Pollock, who stepped down from a panel because of a lack of gender parity and was told by the organisers that he had “just excluded himself from all panels”. The tweeter, Pollock’s wife, quoted WFC’s response in a later tweet: Actual quote: “As [...]

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Where did the Queen of the May come from? It’s faerie complicated…

August 18, 2013

Faeries. Fairies. The Fay. The Fae. The Tylwyth Teg. Pixies. Piskies. Pizkies. Pigsies. The Tuatha Dé Danann. Brownies. Titania and Oberon. The Fair Folk. The Wee Folk. The Good Folk. There are, it seems, a boatload of different species of faerie, not to mention a multiplicity of spellings. Had he ever made the attempt, their classification would [...]

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Queen of the May 24 hour sale!

August 5, 2013

It’s four weeks since I released Queen of the May, and so far I’ve been very happy with how well it has been received. As a way of celebrating, I want to give all my blog readers a treat – a 60% discount! Yup, you can get Queen of the May right now for just 99p [...]

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Eight weeks later

July 30, 2013

Eight weeks ago I had my partial oophorectomy, so I thought it was worth writing a little update. Obviously my story is just my story, it’s not medical advice or anything. I write it because there seem to be so few first person accounts of an op like this online, and it might prove reassuring [...]

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A slightly different approach to book cover design

July 28, 2013

There’s a lot of advice on how to design book covers floating around the internet. Lots of it is very sensible: Your book cover should reflect the genre and cleave to its tropes. It should reflect the tone of your story, communicating to potential readers what they are getting before they even open the book. [...]

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Why all self-publishers should sell direct

July 25, 2013

I’ve written a piece for The Writing Platform on why I think all self-publishers should control at least one point of sale and sell direct to their readers.  The self-publishing process has become pretty well established by now, a received wisdom that shapes every entrepreneurial writer’s secret dreams: 1. Write book 2. ??? 3. Profit! [...]

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Why ‘free’ is neither a panacea nor the enemy

July 24, 2013

This blog post started off as a comment on Glyn Moody’s Google Plus post linking to this post on Medium about ‘free culture’, and the discussion that ensued. You might want to read those first. The biggest problem with discussions of how to financially support the artistic sector, as per the article Glyn linked to, [...]

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The genesis of Queen of the May

July 9, 2013

I started writing Queen of the May, which I published Monday, towards the end of September 2011, a week or two before Kevin and I were due to leave our flat in Arsenal for the quieter (and cheaper) environs of Woking. Kevin was working abroad and I was packing up the flat on my own, [...]

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Argleton and Queen of the May by the numbers

July 5, 2013

I finally sat down and trawled through all my website stats and Kindle sales reports for Argleton, which I published in August 2011 on my website and then the next month on Amazon. The results are interesting, to me at least, because the numbers are far higher than I had anticipated. I counted downloads of [...]

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