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Showing posts from May, 2015

New Stories

After self-publishing my story collection in 2013, I learned pretty quickly that the readership I had spent 20 years building had pretty much all wandered away when I stopped writing. To be fair, I sold more than a few copies of the book - more than 100 altogether, which by self-publishing standards makes it something of a success. Short story collections do not sell as well as novels. That's a fact. And I didn't have much promotional machinery behind it - despite getting some fabulous reviews from some top reviewers on Goggle and some pretty awesome readers and writers on Goodreads.

What short stories are good for is getting your name out into the marketplace - into publications that other writers are trying to break into and that some people actually read for pleasure. Publishing the traditional way - in other words by sending your stories out to editors in the hope that they will like it enough to pay you to run your story - is the best way to build your credibility in a h…

New Publishing Ideas

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The top five per cent of writers make 95 per cent of the money. T'were ever thus. And probably always will be.
It's on the publishing end that the sea change has taken place. Publisher's used to subsidize 95 per cent of their new titles with that five per cent of books that were making money. But ask any publisher - finding those titles is hard. Holding onto best-selling authors once you find them is only going to get more difficult.
With e-books, authors are able to get much larger slices of the revenues than with printed books. But by self-publishing, an author can quite conceivably keep 75 per cent or more of the profit. Sounds good - and if you build and maintain and keep yourself accessible to a hard-core of a few thousand cultish followers, it could be an extraordinarily fun and rewarding way to scratch out a living.
But I suspect most authors who take that route are discovering the downside fairly quickly. Without the PR machinery of the imprint - new work gets les…

Live Reading

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I've done at least a dozen story readings in my life, at book and magazine launches and special events. Since I worked in radio (as a writer rather than an announcer) I've always felt I had an affinity for the the spoken word and I always read my stories aloud to myself as I write then because rhythm and cadence and the sound of words has been important to me.I'm not a huge poetry lover, but in university, I would occasionally go home and read TS Elliot aloud because I always found his use of words to be hypnotic.

While working in radio I did voice radio commercials - and in the process of that, I leaned elocution and became a better reader.

So, you'd think that I would be comfortable reading my work aloud. But I never really have been.
I was always extremely self conscious. Afraid to bore people, I guess it came down to a lack of confidence in my own stories. And there was often stress involved - time limits that never seemed quite long enough, poor acoustics, followi…