Archive by Author

Literacy research: Is writing cool? [VIEWPOINT]

Tom ChalmersTom Chalmers is Managing Director at IPR License.

Is writing cool? Actually is the word cool cool? What exactly is cool anyway? Well not writing, at least according to 8-16 year old boys.

Recent research compiled in the report “Children and Young People’s Writing in 2012″ by the National Literacy Trust suggested that one in five boys said they would be embarrassed if friends saw them write, compared to one in eight girls, and boys were less likely to say writing was “cool” (26.8% compared to 35.2%).

Out of the 35,000 8-16 year olds surveyed for the report, 8.6% of the boys said they didn’t enjoy writing, compared to 20.9% of girls. And while 32.6% of girls said they write outside of class on a daily basis, 30.2% of boys said they never or rarely did.

Now I’m certainly not having a go at the National Literary Trust but including the very 90’s word of cool is indicative of how publishing, writing and reading is reflected amongst the 8-16 age bracket. Maybe if words such as sick, dope, the shiz, nasty, or even awesome had been used percentages might have risen. Continue Reading →

From Jeffbots to editorbots

Piers Blofield

This is a guest post from Piers Blofeld. Piers is an Agent at Sheil Land Associates where he represents both fiction and non-fiction clients. He represented the Frankenstein app by Dave Morris which topped the app charts on both sides of the Atlantic this summer. A recent success is Jamie Thomson’s Dark Lord: The Teenage Years, the winner of the Roald Dahl Prize.

The most amazing thing – of all the amazing things – that Amazon has done is to have gathered a wholly unprecedented body of data about the world’s reading habits. Traditionally, publishers and booksellers have simply known what people buy. Once the book is in the hands of the reader and out of the store it is, quite literally, a closed book to them. For Amazon it is different. They not only know what people buy, but when they buy, and, much more importantly, how they read.

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Reflecting on Frankfurt Book Fair

Tom Chalmers

Tom Chalmers is Managing Director at IPR License.

There are many words that spring to mind when reflecting on an event like the Frankfurt Book Fair. So in no particular order here we go. Exhausting, inspiring, demanding, meetings, contacts, rewarding, initiatives, partnerships, innovations, coffee, business. There are countless more – and I’m sure you get the gist – but mood certainly wasn’t one of them.

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Attend the Self-Publishing Summit

Ever since 50 Shades of Grey landed on bookshelves, however well hidden, the talk of self-publishing has gone up several decibels. There are now authors saying publishers are no longer needed, stories of great success and precious money thrown away for murky services.

Each year, market-leading self-publishing company New Generation Publishing runs the Self-Publishing Summit, taking place this year at King’s College London on 9th November, to help define the opportunities within the hyperbole and to provide wide-range advice from industry professionals.

And this year the Summit will see some exceptional panels look at the key topics for writers – including the role of agents, editing, production marketing, sales, as well as an overview of the industry and a final Q&A. There will also be a chance to speak to the panelists and fellow attendees during coffee breaks.

The panels includes top publishers, agents, editors, authors, journalists and marketers – an opportunity not to be missed for aspiring, or published, writers.

Tickets for the event cost £34.99 (+VAT) and are booked on a first come first served basis. The event is sponsored by Ingram Spark and you can see full details of the event and can book your tickets by clicking here.

BookMachine Everywhere [REVIEW]

This is a guest post from Charlotte Whitbread, Business Manager, at Book Industry Communications Ltd.

On 25 September 2013 BookMachine (@BookMachine) held simultaneous events across the globe, covering 6 cities, 4 countries and 2 continents. With book trade professionals gathering in Barcelona, Brighton, London, New York, Oxford and Toronto, the international nature of the book market has never been felt so keenly as it was for me then, in the depths of a pub near Great Portland Street! Books may be evolving faster and travelling further than ever, but the pub was certainly not: no card payments under £5 – it’s 2013, not 1302 my good barman. However, thanks to generous sponsor PLS (A loyal BIC Member! @BIC1UK), there was wine a plenty.

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BookMachine Brighton [REVIEW]

As the shadow cabinet were camped out in Brighton’s hotel’s trying to kickstart their policy campaign at the Labour party conference, I joined a small but eager group of publishing people in an independent café to discuss our own policies on how to encourage more people to read and reinvent the often struggling but wonderful book industry.

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Yesterday’s Luggage [an author's tale]

Rob ShermanRob Sherman is a 25 year-old writer and musician from London. His favourite topics include wholegrain, gods with more than one face, and cryptozoology, as well as his own suppurating, horrific body. This is his first guest blog post on BookMachine.

My name is Rob Sherman, or elsewhere the Hogherd, and I would like to tell you the story of how I came by this second, more mythical moniker. It is the story of how I became a full-time author, an occupation of which I have dreamed since I was very small. It is a story that I could not replicate at any other time in history; as tellers of stories, we live in a time when life has never been easier, harder, or more terrifying, and when a combination of luck and a strong lifting arm can lead to one of the largest publishers in the world taking a punt on one’s ludicrous idea. As I say, my story is one that more and more young writers can tell, and are being given the opportunity to tell, by the rise of the digital environment.

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4 Questions for Gareth Howard [INTERVIEW]

Gareth HowardGareth Howard is CEO and founder of Authoright, a company which provides high-end but affordable author services. They essentially help traditional publishers, self publishing companies, literary agents, indies, literary agents, international book fairs and direct-publishing tech platforms to understand the needs of authors and to future-proof their businesses at a time of change. Authoright are proud sponsors of BookMachine New York. Fabrizio Luccitti interviews Gareth for BookMachine.

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The accessible author? Writing in the 21st Century

One of the things that has changed, in this new socially-enabled world we live in, is the accessibility of authors.

This is not just about me. Writers such as Chuck Palahniuk (The Fight Club), Paul Coelho (The Alchemist) and Margaret Atwood (The Handmaids Tale) are all Tweeting. These are among the most popular authors in the world. There are lots more at it too. Here is a list of 100 mainly US authors for starters. (click here)

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5 Questions for Emma Barnes [INTERVIEW]

emmabarnes

Emma Barnes has spent ten years at the helm of an award-winning independent trade publisher, Snowbooks. Nowadays she uses her understanding of the realities of modern publishing to build publishing management software, Bibliocloud. Emma is our speaker at BookMachine Oxford on 25th September, and will be sharing her thoughts on how to publish profitably without the benefit of a warehouse full of cash – using technology, data and pride. Charly Ford interviews Emma for BookMachine. Continue Reading →

6 Questions for Charlotte Ledger [INTERVIEW]

Charlotte LedgerCharlotte Ledger is a Content Developer at HarperImpulse, a new digital first imprint at HarperCollins. Here, she tells Emma Smith from BookMachine about how they collaborate on a global scale, the excitement of working in digital romance – and her love of Dawson’s Creek.

1. Can you tell us a bit about HarperImpulse and what you do there?

HarperImpulse is a brand new digital first romance imprint from the women’s fiction team at HarperCollins. My official title is Content Developer and I edit the manuscripts, manage authors and freelancers, buy new authors for the list, generate the epubs, support social media and marketing, and generally coordinate the imprint!

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5 Questions for Christopher Bladon [INTERVIEW]

Christopher Bladon is the Design Manager at HL Studios, sponsors of BookMachine Oxford. As well as being a talented and creative designer, Chris is the go-to guy for anything technical. A problem solving genius that has earned himself the nickname ‘The Oracle’ at work. Charly Ford interviews him ahead of the big event:

1. What makes a really strong design?

The primary objective of any design is communication, so a clear understanding of layout is essential, as it allows the viewer to scan and absorb the intended order.

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Seek permission before reproducing something

Tom ChalmersTom Chalmers is Managing Director at IPR License.

The writer Charles Caleb Colton once said that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery but in reality that’s not always true, and I’m not just referring to the mocking of Craig David from the old Bo’ Selecta days. In publishing imitation can often be more aligned with litigation than flattery, especially when you throw that dreaded word plagiarism into the mix.

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