Reading The News

As a young teenager, I used to go to the airport in Perth on a Saturday morning to buy newspapers from other cites, and countries. Living in an isolated city in Australia, I wanted to read and learn about alternative opinions and attitudes to the news of the moment. Reading the news has for almost all of my life been my means of learning how other people think and react to the issues that confront us all every single day. Through great journalism, I learnt to understand the Vietnam War, changes in society values, Watergate and one thousand other issues. It was …

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Time For The Vandal To Go

I have never totally agreed with the concept of giving ebooks away for free. My experience with free ebook promotions is that they have a very limited effect on real ebook sales or sales rank, and zero effect on book sales. I know that there is a train of thought that a free ebook giveaway is beneficial when launching a new title, but in my experience, all it achieves is giving away thousands of free copies, which probably won’t be read. A more detrimental side effect is that free ebooks tend to attract troll reviewers, who seem to take delight …

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Can You Spot Bad Spelling?

I read an Amazon Kindle review recently, which made a point of criticising a book for its spelling mistakes. The review was less than complimentary, and I immediately classified it as one written by one of the infamous one star troll reviewers, who unfortunately still inhabit Kindle reviews. However, when I checked the preview read, I couldn’t find any spelling errors at all. But then the penny dropped. The book was written in British English, and therefore used British spelling. It took me a little while, but I found a few more troll reviews that mentioned ‘awful spelling’ or ‘riddled with …

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Is This Really Self-Publishing Success?

I just read this article announcing that self-published titles are enjoying a lot of success on the best seller lists. Here is the headline of the article on Digital Book World announcing this monumental success for self-published authors. Self-Published Ebooks Keep Ahead on Best-Seller List Um, but when I read it, something seemed awfully wrong. Here is an image grab from the article. The top two self-published titles are a miserable $0.99 each! So the authors get to collect only 35% of this, due to Amazon’s penalty on ebooks below $2.99. For ebooks above $2.99, Amazon pays 70% royalty. So who’s winning and who’s …

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What Are The Most Popular Plots?

The Booker Prize list of nominees is probably a very good place to start investigating popular plots for a book. The infographic below tracks the themes of this years longlisters and it is immediately obvious that Death and Love occupy the top two positions. If you look carefully though, you will find the one surprising little theme that gave me a chuckle. Yes, I think I will definitely include and Escaped Tiger in my next book. Mind you, I’m rather disappointed by the absence of evil aliens and time warping spaceships. Maybe next year! Booker Prize Infographic from Delayed Gratification, …

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