Tuesday, 29 December 2015

Reading Highs and Lows, 2015

I set myself the challenge of reading 50 books in 2015. I didn't make the target, but I was fairly close, at 44 books read. Goodreads is largely what prompted me (I've taken part in their reading challenges for the last few years) and I log all the books I read on there. I usually set myself the target of 50 books and I usually miss by about 5 books. One year I might make it!

So what were the highs and lows in my reading this year? Which of those 44 books would I recommend and which do I regret reading?

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Style Proofs

picture of style proof v1
Style proof v1
I have to confess, when the style proofs arrived, I was buzzing with excitement. My words looked like a real book! It was very tempting to reply immediately and say, "It's great! It's great!"


I had to remember that this is what the book will look like, once it's printed and on the shelves. People will look through it and the appearance of it may push them towards buying it or could drive them away.

I'm no expert in design or fonts or layouts etc. I do know that although I had a paperback version of David Mitchell's Cloud Atlas, I never read it because the font was just too small. I bought the e-book instead, because I could re-size the font. I'd been given the copy of Cloud Atlas; if I'd been browsing in a bookshop and flicked through it I would have put it straight down again.

Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Twitter for authors: shotguns or laser beams?

Twitter logo

I've read conflicting advice about Twitter, so I'm asking for help! To me, the two main 'methods' seem to be 'shotgun' versus 'laser beam'.

Some people recommend following as many people as possible, and using apps to automatically follow umpteen people a day. They also automatically unfollow people who don't follow them back. The aim is to develop an enormous list of followers. The theory seems to be to send your message out to as many people as possible - after all, if there's only a small probability that your Tweet will be seen, then the more people you have following you, the more people will see it. Visibility is key.

Laser beam
Others recommend the complete opposite - only follow people that you are really interested in and don't automatically unfollow those who don't follow you back. The aim here is not necessarily to have a list of thousands of followers, but to develop a relationship with your followers. Having built a relationship with your followers, they will be more open to hearing about your new projects and more likely to buy your new book etc.

There seem to be pros and cons to each method. These are the ones that occur to me, but I'm sure there are lots more. Feel free to add them in the comments.

Monday, 7 December 2015

The style proofs are here!

I came back home today to find that a lovely parcel had been delivered - the style proofs for "The Wrong Kind of Clouds"! These are from the publisher, asking me to check things like the font, font size, page numbering (and its placement), general layout and so on.

It is SO exciting to see these! It really does feel as if it's going to be a book!

This is how they arrived (click to enlarge)

Style proof page 1
Style proof of page 1

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Exciting News!

My debut novel, The Wrong Kind of Clouds will be published by Matador in the spring of 2016. This is both incredibly exciting and equally scary!

It's still very early on in the process and I'm in the midst of discovering just how much other work there is involved - getting this website up and running and a whole heap of other things - but I would be lying if I didn't say I was doing more than the occasional 'happy dance'!

I'll keep you posted about how it's all going.

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