Thursday, November 26, 2009

eBook or Print?

We South Africans like to think we're up there with the developed world, but when it comes to new technology we're not quite as quick on the uptake as some of them. And who can blame us? After all, where would you go to buy yourself an ebook reader? Do you even know what an ebook reader is ... or an ebook?

As aspiring authors we're all keeping up to date with news regarding new publishers, old ones closing down or merging and any information we can find to answer the question ... do we go epublishing route or do we stick to a traditional print publisher? And what's the difference? Will we sell more or do we limit ourselves? Or, do we find a publisher who will do both? How does the market vary in each?

Decisions, decisions ... and quite frankly not enough information out there yet.

There are some fabulous sites on the net where we can go as romance readers to buy our "fix" outside of the well known Amazon. Some of them give us the option of buying either one format or the other or oftentimes both. Price difference is perhaps another factor to consider as the ebooks are definitely cheaper. However they are still too expensive! The cost of paper, printing and distribution is astronomical and the fact that an ebook does away with all that should reflect better in the pricing models. And let's not get started about the fact that you can't "lend" your book to a friend with an ebook because of the copyright!

Which leads us very nicely into the next question. Which device should you buy to read your ebooks? Most publishers offer document types such as PDF, Adobe Digital Editions, Sony Readers, Kindle Readers, Microsoft readers ... Which one do you choose?

Well as far as Exclusive Books is concerned you shouldn't choose any of them ... yet! As an Apple fan myself I have to wonder whether they're waiting for the release of the Tablet which will possibly integrate with the iPhone! Sounds like digital heaven for the multi-taskers among us! I can just see all those hours stuck in traffic becoming less of a problem ...

So, in South Africa I guess it's not always such a good idea to be an innovator! Rather adapt a wait and see attitude before we rush into any decisions when it comes to the ereader.

However, when it comes to publishing ... go for it! eBooks are here to stay one way or the other. The rest of the world is forging ahead with the new technology so don't get left behind as an author. And maybe, just maybe, eBooks will be what gets our children reading again! Surely that thought alone is well worth it?

Friday, November 20, 2009

What's the hardest thing you've ever written?

We all start off on this journey as a wanna be writer with a specific scene or story in mind. Then we jump in, with both feet - hands chained to the keyboard until it's just right. And then ... the story has to move along. Before you know it you've arrived at that scene. You know the one I mean - the one you're not very comfortable writing. It's the one you've convinced yourself you're no good at too! Coincidence?

Hmmm, so authors write from their own life's experiences right? You can just see Roald Dahl trying out what it's like to be buried alive - can't you? No of course not and that's where our creativity and vivid imagination comes from. Although at times it would be nice to try out that shower scene from Psycho - wouldn't it? And I'll just bet you know exactly who's going to be behind that curtain!

This is why, as an author, whenever life throws you scenarios you'd rather not deal with, you still try to psycho-analyse yourself. How does it feel? Is the feeling one that is constantly there or does it come and go in waves? What smell do I associate with it? Who do I turn to? Do they help me?

Then at the end of the day the final question is always - how can I make it better?

Monday, November 16, 2009

Writing can be fun???

Today we welcome guest blogger David Seven, NaNoWriMo Municipal Liaison for Port Elizabeth:

So it is now nearly two thirds of the way through NaNoWriMo and as I write this I am slightly ahead of schedule (Slightly). This year I went for the slow and sure approach rather than the fast and furious. What I mean is that I am writing the whole novel by hand. Madness? Possibly; But enjoyable madness.

50000 in 30 days is madness and we all need some way to make it fun for us as we do it, as with any writing. For you, that might be wearing a silly hat while you write, or rewarding yourself for every thousand words. For me, the way to make it fun, is to feel the old-fashioned delight of watching word after word appear indelibly on my page. It fills me with a sense of satisfaction like no other, even on the days I only write 50 words. Writing by hand makes me feel more like a writer, and less like a typist. It makes it feel more like creativity, and less like work. It lets me put the book down with a feeling of accomplishment at the end of each day, which I will never get from switching off a computer.

What makes writing fun for you? How do you keep it interesting for the time it takes to struggle through? Why am I asking so many questions?

You can visit David at his blog: or at the official Nano site.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

It's My NaNo. I Control It!

By now you're twelve days into your novel writing and you're bang on target with your word counts ... aren't you? No, well, welcome to the club! If you're one of those incredibly disciplined individuals who are on target ... move on my friends, you're perfect as you are. If you're not ...

So you're behind on the required 1,667 words per day which you will need to write to actually make it to the finish line with enough words in the bag ... erm manuscript ... and you're wondering what temporary insanity made you take on the challenge in the first place? Fear not for you are not alone! Most of us have a life and, yes, it does get in the way at times. Who am I kidding? It gets in the way all the time. Or, do we use it as an excuse? What me? Never! Well ... maybe just a little.

Right. Let's recap then. You took on the challenge because you want to write 50,000 words during November. And then you realised that it wasn't going to be as easy as you first anticipated, or perhaps, you thought it was going to be hard - just not that hard. Which leaves us with an enormous reality check. We have 18 days left to write our book. It's enough. Oh yes it is. If you want it badly enough you'll find that extra hour before the kids wake up, during your lunch break or while you're sitting on the soccer pitch watching your little darling play his heart out. Because you can have it all. You just have to have the guts to go out and grab it.

So what are you waiting for? Go back to that document and write, write, write.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Carina Press

I'm jumping up and down with excitement this morning! I woke to the news that Harlequin Enterprises, arguably the world's biggest publishing house, has opened a new imprint for digital format books (ebooks to you and me).

What is so exciting about this new imprint, named Carina Press, is that they are open to all genres, all lengths and all heat levels, from sweet to erotica, from Space Opera to historical thriller.

Have you ever had a manuscript rejected because it didn't quite fit Harlequin's category guidelines? Then submit it to Carina.
Written a murder mystery with a lesbian heroine that you you don't know where to submit? Submit to Carina.
Or a single title chick lit that you can't find an agent for? Submit to Carina.

Like most ebook publishers, there will be no advances but the royalty percentages will be higher than for traditional print books. For more information on Carina Press and their submission guidelines, click on the link below.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Website Updated


Check out the interview with Fiona Snyckers, author of Trinity Rising, South Africa's first ever chick lit novel, and the fascinating article by Megan Andrews on romance themes.

And once again we'd like to remind you that this website is a community site. Please feel free to subnit articles, book reviews, or make suggestions.

Monday, November 2, 2009

It's NaNoWriMo time!

NaNo started yesterday. Are you signed up and writing frantically? Or have you just realised what today's date is? It's not too late!