Monday, August 29, 2011

New Voices Update

It's just a matterof weeks to go to to the launch of New Voices 2011. To keep the buzz alive while we wait, check out the following blogs:

Are you entering this year? Once again, we'll keep a list here on the blog of all entrants with South African connections, and link to your chapters so we can support each other.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Essentials Magazine's Annual Romance Story Contest

The September edition of Essentials magazine is out in stores now, and happily contains the announcement of their third annual short story competition.

This year's contest is titled The Essential Voice. As with the previous two, they're looking for romances of up to 1,500 words, entrants must be resident in South Africa (or any country where Essentials is sold) and the entries will be judged by an editor from Mills & Boon.

This year's prizes include:
First Prize - a luxury weekend away in the Drakensberg, publication in Essentials, a critique from an editor at Mills & Boon, Struik's Creative Writing course, a Samsung netbook computer, flowers, and a hamper.
Top 3 Stories - Struik's Creative Writing course, a Samsung netbook computer, flowers, and a hamper.
Top 5 Stories - Struik's Creative Writing course, flowers, and a hamper.

There are some amazing prizes up for grabs this year - buy a copy of the magazine or click here for details.

The Essentials website also promotes the international New Voices contest, which this contest is running in conjunction with. The deadline for The Essential Voice is 10th November 2011.

To enter, you can submit online at, you can email your submission to, or post via snail mail to 368 Jan Smuts Avenue, Craighall Park, 2196. You should send your story with a cover letter that includes your name, address, daytime contact number and word count. Include "The essential Voice" in your subject line.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Script Writing Masterclass

The Writers' Guild of South Africa is offering a screen writing workshop for Johannesburg-based writers on Saturday 27th August at AFDA Film School in Milpark.

You can find out more information at their Facebook site, and bookings can be made via email to

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Publish Your MS Online and Start Earning Royalties Today

Do you have an unpublished manuscript floating around?

Why not publish it online as an ebook? You never know, the readers out there may love it. Online sales are currently outstripping hardback sales and the trend is only set to increase. Plus, I’m sure you could do with an extra couple of hundred bucks in your pocket each month?

I am not a traditionally-published author. I currently have three titles out on Amazon Kindle. Some sell better than others but on average I’m making an extra $60 per month. That’s without marketing - solely relying on the ‘foot traffic’ from users. Imagine if your ebook sold twenty or even fifty copies a month? With proper marketing (PPC, Ad Swops, Link Exchanges, Newsletter Mentions etc.) that is not entirely unfeasible.

eBook publishing is in fact relatively simple. All you need is a complete manuscript saved in a Word document. Most ebook sales sites (like, Smashwords etc.) require your ms to be in some type of format before you can upload it to their servers. That’s where we at come in. Our editors know how to format your ms for eReaders across all platforms, from Android, to iPhone, iPad to Kindle, so all you have to do is upload the formatted document. What this actually means is that it will display accurately on any eReading device. Poorly formatted ebooks can damage an authors reputation as readers will simply delete the ms from their device and not bother buying another one. It’s worthwhile to make sure your ebook is properly formatted.

The same goes for cover art. Although we all know we shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, research shows that in fact, we all do. The cover image of your book on can influence the buying behaviour of readers. A well designed, appropriate cover will maximise your online sales and contribute to your professionalism and reputation. At we specialise in ebook covers which are formatted for screen resolutions, printing and reading on all eReader devices.

So join the online revolution and start making money on your ebook sales. What have you got to lose? And with you are already ahead of the game.

Here’s to your online success!
Louise Rose-Innes
Email if you have any queries.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Kindle in South Africa

You may not yet be able to buy a Kindle here yet, but SA already has its own official Kindle store. Run by Dianne Volek, Kindle Books ( offers a selection of eBooks for download in Rands.

Dianne is also looking for good quality eBooks, novels, or educational books, so any South African writers interested in self-publishing should get in touch with her on or via the Kindle Books website.

My only gripe with Kindle Books SA is that they don't appear to stock any books by The Wild Rose Press, so if you want to download books by our talented ROSA members April Vine, Rae Summers, and Gina Rossi (release date TBC) you still have to buy in US dollars!

Thanks to YA author Lynette Ferreira for passing on this information.