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Writers' & Artists' Blog

Why every emerging author should apply to One Big Book Launch - by a previous winner

As submissions open for One Big Book Launch 2015, previous winner Atulya K Bingham shares her experience of what it was like to be involved in the collaborative book launch everyone is talking about. Emerging authors can submit their books to be included in this year's event here before April 19th 2015. It's a prize not to be missed!

It was March last year. I was slumped on a kilim in my mud house in Turkey gaping out of my window. A green mob of pine trees clung to the slopes plunging out of sight. I had just pressed the publish button for my debut novel Ayse’s Trail. I never thought I’d see the day; it had taken five years. Now I was broke. This wasn’t Can-I-make-it-until-pay-day? broke. I hadn’t earned a penny for well over 18 months. I was in the realm of broke that prods ‘normal’ people to stare pityingly at the state of your coat. 

It was my own fault. I had quit a career in teaching to build a small mud home and write a novel. Although both were now by some fluke …

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Self-Publishing & Working with an Editor

Helen Jones

I’ve recently made the decision to self-publish my first novel, Oak and Mist. In the interest of getting the process right, I’ve spent a fair amount of time researching and connecting with other self-published authors, wanting to make sure I present the best possible version of my book when it finally goes out into the wide world.

When you decide to self publish there can be a temptation, especially when it’s your first book, to just ‘get it out there’. But once it’s out there that’s it. Every future submission or search for your name will turn up that book, so it’s vital to make sure it’s as polished and professional as possible. Additionally, reviewers have no qualms in pointing out spelling mistakes and grammar errors, which can put potential readers off buying your book.

Every article I’ve read about successful self-publishing has stated that working with a professional editor is a necessary investment in the finished …

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Why now is a good time to be an author!

Alison Baverstock

It’s true. I think right now is a good time to be an author. Amid all the discussions about whether reading, let alone bookshops and publishers, will survive, it seems to me that there are so many opportunities – many completely new – through which ideas and content can be shared.

But with the enhanced ability to share comes responsibility – both to yourself and your readers. Writers need to be increasingly aware of the need to share their content at the right time – and that usually means not before it is ready. Sharing too soon, or with the wrong audience, can result in negative feedback that not only damages the writing self, but also the writing reputation – reducing the chance the someone who has been disappointed by your work will risk giving their time again.

Also part of the territory is a new need for proactivity on the part of the writer; an ability to take advantage of routes to market that reach readers who appreciate your kind of work, whether it’s through …

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Calling All Short Story Writers!


We hear from Catherine Horlick, the editor of a new and exciting platform designed to showcase the work of new and established short story writers.

Launching in April 2015, will sell short stories of all genres at 50p per click, or an annual subscription of £20. 50% of the proceeds will go to the contributing authors.  The rest will be spent on maintaining and marketing the site. pennyshorts is dedicated to the neglected short story; the twist in the tale, the transformational moment, the glimpse into a different psyche.  All contributions are welcome, from published and unpublished authors, but only the very best stories will make it onto the site, and all stories will be professionally edited and proofread.  

pennyshorts has been created to be a natural home for the short story and to give readers the opportunity to access new voices in fiction.  There is a lot of free content on the internet, but no quality screening, and much of it is …

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Visiting Libraries


If we want to get the message across that libraries are important and that we need to make more use of them, then authors can help.

Having visited several libraries in England and Wales, offering a free book event for local school children, I’ve had the opportunity of hearing, firsthand, the concerns of librarians. 

They fear losing their library and they fear losing their jobs – not a healthy atmosphere in which to work. They talk to me about diversifying the services they offer; creating groups to gather in the library on a regular basis; they think of every possible way to draw children into the library, and yes, they’re offering tea and coffee, too (not to mention the management of the building, like co-ordinating the scaffolders to fix the leaking roof). Anything to increase the “footfall” and prove to their local council that they are needed and valued. 

School children came to the libraries and I talked to them about cows, milk, dairy farming and my book – …

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