Is ‘The General Reader’ a Mythical Creature?

The other day I read an interesting blog post by a literary agent. Although originally produced in December 2015, it had been shared on March 20th in The Writing Reader’s ‘Carnival of Creativity‘. In the post, originally published on Jane Friedman’s blog, Rebecca Faith Heyman contends that too many writers have no idea who their audience is. When asked, they are apt to respond with a sentence containing the phrase ‘every reader’. Every reader, she insisted, does not exist. He or she is a myth. I beg to differ – although I would substitute ‘general reader’ for ‘every reader’. “In … Continue reading Is ‘The General Reader’ a Mythical Creature?

Crowd Funding: connecting creatives and savers

In my bookcase there is a volume entitled The Book of the Lincolnshire Seaside. Published in 1981 as part of the centenary celebrations of Nottingham University, it was written by an alumnus of that institution, David A Robinson. It describes the geology, geography and history of the coastline from the north bank of the Wash to the south bank of the Humber. My copy is number 173. At the back is a list of 810 ‘subscribers’, including me at 173. I recently finished reading Signs Preceding the End of the World by Yuri Herrera. You can find my review at … Continue reading Crowd Funding: connecting creatives and savers

Turning a Blind Eye: Another Novel Extract

The idea for writing Transgression came about as a result of the original revelations about Jimmy Savile and Stuart Hall.  A writer’s friend is accused of being a paedophile. In this brief extract, the writer discusses the prospect with his partner. “You’re very quiet,” Connie said. “I was just thinking about what Sally said. You know, that if her father was much older than Madge he was probably a paedo who couldn’t stop himself, that there are probably other victims out there.” “Like all those women who came forward after Jimmy Savile was outed?” “I suppose, yes. And then all … Continue reading Turning a Blind Eye: Another Novel Extract

Getting Your Book Into Print.

I have posted previously about my experience using CreateSpace. I thought it might be useful for people to see a guide to what other options are available for getting your book into print. If you haven’t considered doing so, it is worth remembering that thirty-six percent of book buyers read only print books. That’s according to a 2015 survey conducted by the Codex Groups and quoted in this New York Times article. It is a significant chunk of the market that you are unable to reach if you limit yourself to digital. CreateSpace, and the other businesses I’ll be reviewing … Continue reading Getting Your Book Into Print.

Primer, Undercoat, Gloss.

No painter/decorator worth his salt would apply gloss paint to a door without first treating it with primer and undercoat. And, before any of that, a good sanding down is in order. So why do some writers think the ‘gloss’ of proof reading is all they need before publishing? Eamon did an excellent job on my latest novel, Transgression. This is why: Continue reading Primer, Undercoat, Gloss.

A Better Book Promo Site

See that logo on the right? That shows I belong to, and actively support, the site with that name. Here‘s a link to the site. Readers will find books there, categorised by author and by genre. Authors can get a listing there. Author members support each other with shares and reviews. The developers are authors themselves, all independently published, many with ‘day jobs’. There is an associated Facebook group and a hashtag for tweeting: #IASD. Some of the members have produced an anthology that they’re selling to support the UK’s Macmillan Cancer Support.   Continue reading A Better Book Promo Site

More praise from an established author

Re-blogged from Jennifer Young’s author page “Frank Parker, I salute you. You’re an extraordinarily versatile writer.” The author of several romance novels and the intriguing “Looking for Charlotte” has posted about two of my books. I feel quite flattered by her generous praise. Continue reading More praise from an established author

Car Crashes and Shoot-outs

You won’t find them in my novel Transgression. Which probably explains why one reviewer said it was boring and went on to claim that there was “not a lot going on.” There are two deaths from natural causes, a couple of suicides, a rape, the sexual abuse of a minor by a radio DJ, people-trafficking for underage sex and a middle aged married couple who make love in a Welsh woodland whilst on holiday. All pretty ordinary run of the mill stuff – certainly no exhilarating car chases or terrifying shoot-outs. I know it shouldn’t, but that comment, my first … Continue reading Car Crashes and Shoot-outs

Book Marketing is not a fun activity

Originally posted on Ana Spoke, author:
Why is book marketing so hard? There are many reasons why – too many books being published, authors giving away books for free, social media noise, you name it. I won’t go into all of them, but I do want to dissect one: Bad advice. Again, this could be interpreted in a variety ways – and I would not claim to know what is good and what is bad. Things that have worked for someone with a romance novel may not work for an author of horror. Things change all the time, so for example… Continue reading Book Marketing is not a fun activity

Dilemma Resolved: Self-publish and be damned

There are many small publishing companies offering to assist new authors to bring their work to public notice. A lot of them are run by people who have a genuine desire to promote the work of poets and writers working in niche genres. I am thinking, for example, of the Dublin based Dedalus Press run by Laois native and poet Pat Boran. I thought I might be on to something similar when I read this mission statement on the website of a UK based independent: “We are keen to open up the world of publishing at a time when many … Continue reading Dilemma Resolved: Self-publish and be damned