SELF PUBLISHED writer June Austin says the days when 'vanity publishing' was the norm are long gone. Here, she argues why battling against the frustrations of working with commercial publishers, needn't be the only route to success as an author. Her book Genesis of Man was first published in 2006.
THE book buying public cares little how the books they read were published, only that they are interesting, well written and affordable. It is only those within the publishing industry who seem to have a problem with self publishing.
The reasons they give are usually that such books are: * Nothing more than "vanity press" * Badly written with little if any editing * Difficult to market as the author has to do everything themselves with no outside help * Self publishing companies will publish anyone who can afford to pay I aim to dispel all of these myths and maybe some more.
I have never looked into my sister's eyes. I have never bathed alone. I have never stood in the grass at night and raised my arms to a beguiling moon. I've never used an aeroplane bathroom. Or worn a hat. Or been kissed like that...So many things I've never done, but oh, how I've been loved. And, if such things were to be, I'd live a thousand times as me, to be loved so exponentially."
So begins Lori Lansens' The Girls. Who could fail to be moved by such a tender and evocative beginning? And it just gets better and better.
Rose and Ruby Darlen are as close as sisters can be. Born joined at the head, they have lived a life full of spectacle, ridicule, love and wonderment. Now approaching 30, the girls are telling their own story in two contrasting styles, capturing all the hopes, fears, crashing disappointments and ordinary yet tender moments in two extraordinary lives.
I found Lori Lansens' evocative tale deeply affecting. It’s a long time for me since any fictional characters leapt from the page like Rose and Ruby, remembering their beloved Aunt Lovey and Uncle Stash.
"E-book" is a slightly fugly word which stands for electronic book. Rather than a traditional hard copy of a book, the reader receives a file which they can either print out or read on a computer screen or via a specialist e-book reader.
Because they’re usually read using a computer, e-books can benefit from all kinds of multimedia gubbins – hyperlinks in the text to relevant websites, podcasts etc.
It may sound somewhat futuristic, but mainstream publishers are getting in on the act and you can even buy e-books on Amazon.
HEARD the latest about Steffi McBride? She's been asked to sign up for the next series of I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here, apparently. Oh and she has had a rose named after her, writes Linda Jones.
Perhaps you don't have a clue about this latest D-lister to hit the party circuit who says she's stayed up all hours with Paris and Kylie. And possibly you don't care a jot. But what, arguably, makes Steffi more interesting than your average airhead celeb is that she's the figment of an author's imagination and these tantalising - or annoying - insights into her star-studded existence come courtesy of her updates on Twitter, the social media "microblogging" site, and her Facebook page.
MARIA McCarthy is the author of The Girls' Guide to Losing Your L-plates: How to Pass Your Driving Test and The Girl's Car Handbook, contributes features to national publications and is a lecturer in journalism. She still found time to share her writing day with us...I hope you find it an inspiration, I certainly did.
THE day starts with a cup of industrial-strength tea at my computer. I’m currently working on a feature for one of the colour supplements entitled ‘I found a fortune’ - about people who’ve found junk at car boot sales or in the attic which has turned out to be worth thousands. I’m finding it good fun to do and most importantly, the case histories aren’t proving too hard to track down.
EACH month Judith's Blog will bring you a variety of giveaways. We are starting with two subjects that go well together - comedy and working mums.
Working mothers, The Essential Guide by Denise Tyler
Cover price: £8.99
We have two copies to give away.
Described as a 'practical no-nonsense guide', Working Mothers helps mothers find a bit more flexibility in their life, feel less guilty about working motherhood, and ensures they know their legal rights. Topics discussed include flexible working, maternity pay, childcare, starting your own business and health. Emotional issues such as guilt and making time for yourself are also discussed. Importantly, an entire section is devoted to fathers; paternity leave and flexible fatherhood being among the topics covered. Whether you are already a working mother, or plan to return to work, this book provides all the answers to questions working mothers ask. A list of useful contacts is included.
Cover price: £9 (£4.99 for the download)
Dave Spikey and Nat Coombs backed this Twitter-led charitable comedy collaboration which was launched, edited and published in a matter of weeks. TwitterTitters is a collection of comedy writing created through social networking site Twitter. This time last year it was all set to tickle the nation’s funny bone in support of Red Nose Day.
The TwitterTitters project, which was founded by Linda Jones and Louise Bolotin, set out to drive social change via Twitter, inviting comic writers to submit their work by using the social networking site to raise money for Comic Relief.
The finished book boasts exclusive new writing from Phoenix Nights co-creator Dave and a foreword from Nat whose comedy Chelsey: OMG! is an online phenomenon.
This is the opening line in my book. Now, I know it's not politically correct to use the term crazy when referring to someone with a mental illness, but I wear the label like a badge of honor.
I feel I've earned it. The first commandment in writing is: Write what you know. Well, I know crazy. My kind of crazy is known as bipolar disorder.
I was diagnosed fifteen years ago. Within that time, I've experienced relentless cycles of severe mood swings and psychotic episodes. I've been committed to a psych ward more times than I can count. I've been treated by various doctors and have been on countless medication regimens.