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Mind Your Manners when you Disagree with me.

I quite often express views in this blog – and share them on Facebook and Twitter – that some may not agree with. So far those views have not reached anyone who felt so strongly they felt the need to be hateful in their response. My professional writer friend, Lucinda Clarke, reaches a much larger audience and that comes with the risk of being subjected to hate mail as she explains  below. Such behaviour is inexcusable. Like Lucinda, I wonder when people started to forget their manners when engaging in debate and argument. What happened to free speech?


As you should know by now, I have a story in this. The choice of narrator was undertaken jointly by all of the authors. Dan posted samples from all the applicants on Facebook (in a private group) and we each listened and indicated our preference. I had no hesitation in choosing Kasi and am not surprised that the majority of the other authors agreed.

Meanwhile, I have recorded my own reading of my story and that will be posted in a virtual Halloween Party next week.


Supporting Cancer Charities With Writing

It is 7 or 8 years since the Laois Writers’ Group published an anthology which they sold in order to raise funds for the Cuisle Centre. By attracting sponsors and holding a slew of fund raising events we were able to defray the cost of having the book printed locally so that all sales proceeds went to the charity which supports patients and their loved ones following a diagnosis of cancer.

macmillan5More recently, as Paul Ruddock’s post which follows explains, a group of authors from across the world contributed stories for an anthology published to support the UK’s Macmillan Fund which provides nursing care for cancer patients being cared for in their own homes. I am proud to have had a story accepted for the second such volume which will be published later this year. I am also assisting with the final preparation of the volume.

Paul’s post below includes the story he contributed to the first volume. Read and enjoy it. Then click his link to buy the book and support this great cause.

“In 2015 my good friend and fellow author, Ian D. Moore invited members of our FB writing group the IASD (see to write and contribute original stories for an anthology of short stories on the theme of Relationships in all their many and varied forms. The idea was born out of the author’s personal loss of a much loved close relative to cancer. See more


World Book Day – Going Wide


Image found at, original attribution unknown.

Those of us who have little hope of ever getting a contract with a traditional publisher have two viable alternatives. There is, of course, the route of ‘vanity publishing’ in which you are offered a contract that requires you to shell out large sums in order to have your book published. That is something to be avoided unless you have deep pockets and little faith in the value of your work. There is, too, the option of engaging a local printer and launching the book in your home town. I know several people who have done that with considerable success. It is especially appropriate if your book has local interest but limited appeal in the wider market.

If, however, you want your work to be made available to a world wide readership, the options are Amazon exclusivity or something that has come to be known throughout the independent publishing community as ‘going wide’.

Amazon currently has abut 70% of the market for digital books. Its Kindle, in its various versions, is the most popular of all e-readers. It is possible to publish with Amazon without having an exclusivity clause, but the big advantage of KDP Select, the exclusive option, is that your book is available free to anyone who subscribes to Amazon’s ‘Unlimited’ reader programme which for a $9.99 monthly fee (plus local taxes), enables a reader to download up to 10 books. If you want more you have to return one for each new one you choose. Writers are rewarded according to the number of pages read. There are other advantages, like the ability to offer discounts or free books for a few days every 3 months. And that’s not really an advantage at all, since outside of KDP Select you can vary your price whenever you want by as much as you deem appropriate.

But what about the other 30% of the market? The market served by Apple, Barnes & Noble and four or five other distributors of digital books? What about people who do not own a Kindle but are able to read books on their tablet or one of the other e-reading devices like the Nook? To make your book available to those people it is necessary to upload your book to an alternative platform.

There are several, none of which requires you to remove your book from Amazon’s standard publishing programme, though, of course, Amazon does not permit you to publish anywhere else whilst you are in its exclusive ‘Select’ plan. Smashwords is one of the oldest, and I published my first book there, along with most others, before I published with Amazon. More recently I tried the Amazon exclusive option and archived my titles at Smashwords.

After having Summer Day there for 9 months and A Purgatorry of Misery for 3, I have decided to ‘go wide’ once again. This time with a platform called Draft2Digital. This gives me access to half a dozen or more potential outlets, including Apple and subscription services like Scribd. Draft2Digital has a sister site, Books2Read, which shows readers all the different channels where a book is available.

Here are the Books2Read links for the 4 books of mine currently available there.

Strongbow’s Wife

Summer Day


A Purgatory of Misery

The important thing is that you don’t have to have a Kindle to read these books digitally. You can read them on your iPad or other tablet, or, if you have one, your Nook, Kobo or other e-reader. They are priced the same as at Amazon, but watch this space because I’m going to have some special offers later this month to celebrate going wide.

And for those of you who prefer the look, feel and smell of paper, all 4 are available in print via Amazon’s Creatspace. You will find more information about all my books, with a full set of book links, on my Publications page.

Looking for a Title

Back in November I posted about coming third in Dan Alatorre’s “Word Weaver” contest with the theme of “Relationships”. The short listed stories are going to be published in an anthology soon. But we are stuck for a title. Feel free to offer your suggestions in the comments either here or on Dan’s original blog post.

via What should the title be for an anthology about “relationships”? (And what should the cover look like?)

Calling Non-Fiction Writers

Submissions are open at Electric Literature for personal essays. They pay $50. But you only have the next ten days in which to submit. Read the guidelines here:

Three Great Stories

Yesterday I shared the long list for the November Word Weaver short story prize. Today Dan has published the 3 ‘honorable mentions’. They are well worth reading and demonstrate the quality of entries this contest attracts.

So I’m pleased to note that I am still there, in the top six!

via Word Weaver Writing Contest November 2017 HONORABLE MENTIONS