Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Finding a literary agent

Tell Me a Story - information .

Right guys. If you're a writer, finding a literary agent is probably uppermost in your mind. This seems to be even more true in the USA than the UK ..... so I guess most of you will out there searching....

Search no more..... there's a new service on the market and can be found under Agentbox at WEbook

Agentbox will forward each writer's proposal to an agent selected from the available list. If agents are interested in a writer's work, they'll make contact. Typically for writers, finding the right literary agent in a list of thousands is one of the most challenging steps to getting a book into publication.

At first glance this seems to be a good scenario, someone else doing all the slog ..... If anyone has experience of them let me know...

Holidays in Alicante - the Hidden Spain
Lens Coating - What Everybody Ought to Know

End of post - Finding a Literary agent.

Monday, 28 September 2009

Why do women make love

Tell Me a Story.

Why do women make love?

Poets through the ages have been inspired by it, songs have been sung because of it, thousands of stories have been written, films have become smash hits because of it.... but just WHY do women make love?

Men are simple creatures, men make love because quite frankly.... well it's enjoyable....Sex is nice....

The question has never been asked of women before - but now that it has, the answers are rather intriguing and perhaps just a little bit disappointing - for men at least. It seems that enjoyment plays only a small part - no pun intended - in the female sexual act.

Take a look at this article by Tanya Gold for an insight...

So when I put pen to paper for my next novel, I'll have to scrub out all those scenes where the heroine actually enjoys making love to her partner....

There'll have to be some more altruistic reason for her taking part in such a transient physical activity.... Now let me think.....

Holidays in Alicante - the Hidden Spain
Lens Coating - What Everybody Ought to Know

Sunday, 27 September 2009

Kelly Corrigan - A success story

Tell Me a Story - success

Last year more than 560,000 books were newly put into print in the United States alone. This is a cake of which everyone wants a wedge; a cake that many people seem to think is thickly layered in cream – it isn’t.
  • Writers are required to be business people.
  • Writers are expected to sponsor themselves.
  • Writers are expected to create a household name.
  • Writers are expected to market themselves.
For most of us, this isn’t what we entered the world of literature for. We are creative souls, not entrepreneurs. For most of us, the world of business is anathema.

Publishers will enthusiastically campaign for big names authors of course, but for the majority of authors it's a work-it-out-for-yourself universe of generating book trailers, Web sites, blogs, and social networking.

Just occasionally, someone shrugs off the bands and blazes a trail that everyone else wants to follow. Kelly Corrigan is one such person. Take a look at her incredible journey and take heart.


Holidays in Alicante - the Hidden Spain
Lens Coating - What Everybody Ought to Know

Massage your way to good health

Monday, 21 September 2009

The source of writing

Tell Me a Story - writing ideals.

The source of powerful writing, in fact perhaps the source of all creative writing, is frustration.

Writing is born from an innermost and overwhelming urge to communicate. Writing is a longing to share ideas and concepts, to transform the concealed into the perceived; to express, relate, and in the end fashion new understanding.

Writing realigns our thinking and gives us new ideas. Writing can transport us and make the world of imagination real.

Those lucky enough to share the words, listen to a different part of the same discussion - each of us creates a different world from the same writing. That is the ultimate excitement of books. Each one of us creates a perfect world from those words, a world that exactly fits our own ideals. It can never be bettered.

Long live words. Long live writing.

Next post on Tell Me a Story.


Thursday, 17 September 2009

Dan Brown - The Lost Symbol

Tell Me a Story - opinion.

Like his work or hate it, author Dan Brown simply won’t go away.

The sensational sales of the latest novel from Dan Brown are a real shot in the arm to publisher Knopf Doubleday - and of course booksellers in general. The industry, along with many others, has suffered badly in the financial slump and they've all been sitting with hands clasped and eyes raised.

Booksellers have been nervously looking for a title – ANY title - that will hit the mark with readers and generate the same sort of frenzy that the "Harry Potter" series from author J.K. Rowling, did.

Well, Mr. Bookseller, be nervous no longer - it's happened. The most recent novel from writer Dan Brown, "The Lost Symbol," burst one-day sales records, its publisher and booksellers claimed, and seems to have answered a few prayers.

Booklovers apparently bought over one million hardcover copies across the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom after it was issued on Tuesday, according to publisher, Knopf Doubleday, a division of Random House Inc.

"We are seeing historic, record-breaking sales across all types of our accounts in North America for 'The Lost Symbol," said Sonny Mehta, editor in chief of Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Knopf Doubleday is a division of Random House Inc. called the book from Dan Brown, its best-selling first-day adult fiction title ever.

Ah well, things seem to looking up for some....

Holidays in Alicante - the Hidden Spain
Lens Coating - What Everybody Ought to Know

Conserving Water - Your Must-Know Guide

Audio short story

Tell Me a Story

I'm shy! Book promotion holds all sorts of devils for me.

I hate being the centre of attention, I don't enjoy nook signing, so as you might imagine, so a radio interview is possibly the most painful thing I could do.... But do it I did.

The saving grace is that the radio interviewer went on to read one of my short stories - and she did a good job. See what you think....

Holidays in Alicante - the Hidden Spain
Lens Coating - What Everybody Ought to Know

Conserving Water - Your Must-Know Guide

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Michael Jackson novel

Tell Me a Story - news

New York publishers are apparently making a bid for a work of fiction written by the one and only Michael Jackson according to a source in the industry.

The novel supposedly portrays a rock star at the zenith of his success, who becomes disillusioned with success and instead is fixated with death.

It seems the novel is a reflection of Michael Jackson’s own life - his escalation to stardom and the manifestation of his private demons.

The bid for Michael Jackson's novel is expected to be in the six figures area.

Celebrities taking over

I KNOW he's dead but as far as I'm concerned it's just another case of celebrities taking over the publishing industry.

It pisses me off that authors can't get sales, yet a celebrity already worth millions, will make millions more from book sales ..... I know, I know.... sour grapes - but I can't help it. Most authors struggle to make peanuts..... but you've heard all this before..... I rest my weary tongue.

Holidays in Alicante - the Hidden Spain
Lens Coating - What Everybody Ought to Know

Conserving Water - Your Must-Know Guide

Monday, 14 September 2009


Tell Me a Story - info

If you believe that publishing by vanity press or self-publishing is just one step away from recognition by the recognized publishing industry - think again. If you think that a big publishing house will leap at your book once it's been self-published and they can see it for themselves - think again. I've just uncovered this article by a publisher, who explains what goes on.

It makes you wonder.....

Holidays in Alicante - the Hidden Spain
Lens Coating - What Everybody Ought to Know

Conserving Water - Your Must-Know Guide

Marketing your book

Tell Me a Story - opinion

I'm always on the look out for ways to promote 'Without Reproach'. So, when an article to help with book marketing appears on the web I'm straight in there - what new things can I learn, how else can I get my novel 'out there', how can I make it popular?

Contrary to fashionable belief, books don't sell themselves - unless you're someone like Stephenie Meyer of course. Publishers rarely put much effort into selling your book. Budgets for promotion often aren't available for mere mortals, and even if your publisher DOES provide book promotion, the money will be part of an advance package .... And don't run away with the idea that an advance is some free gift of cash from the 'nice publisher'. An advance it's what it says it is - an advance - an advance against estimated future sales of your book. If sales of your book don't reach the level of the advance, chances are you won't get another contract.....

Most people have a rather grandiose idea that we authors knock out a book then sit back and wait for royalty cheques to roll in ..... NOT SO. I'm afraid that in today's competative world, there are so many new books on the market that chances of sales of your book or my book selling well, are very slim indeed.

Authors need a hell of a lot of luck to get large numbers of their books into the hands of Joe Public .... hence my obsession with finding articles that help with marketing books.

This time I found an article via LinkedIn - a good site to be on by the way. The article is an interview with author Charles S. Weinblatt, and makes good sense, has some good tips and guidelines. Give it a try I'm sure you'll find something of interest in there.

Holidays in Alicante - the Hidden Spain
Lens Coating - What Everybody Ought to Know

Conserving Water - Your Must-Know Guide

Thursday, 10 September 2009

Brooklyn Book Festival

Tell Me a Story - Information

For those of you lucky enough to live within travelling distance of Brooklyn, there’s a real treat in store this weekend.

On Sunday, September 13, the Brooklyn Literary Council and Brooklyn Tourism will host the fourth annual free Brooklyn Book Festival, presenting in excess of 220 writers - and an erudite bazaar of more than 150 booksellers and literary institutes.

Book Readings.

The program will include readings by numerous authors including Paul Auster, Russell Banks, and Francine Prose.

For more information about the Brooklyn Book Festival and sponsors, visit

Holidays in Alicante - the Hidden Spain
Lens Coating - What Everybody Ought to Know

Conserving Water - Your Must-Know Guide

Sunday, 6 September 2009

Why writers should blog

Tell Me a Story - opinion

Anyone who's thinking of writing a book ought to write a blog. Whether you've completed your 'great work' or just thinking of starting, writing a blog is a good idea.

  • But why waste time writing a blog when you could be doing productive work?

Well for starters, any writing is productive. Look on a blog as practice for the real thing. The more you're used to putting words together, the easier it becomes.

Web presence.

However, don't run away with the idea that you'll suddenly have dozens of fans just because you blog. It isn't that you'll even have regular followers at the start, but eventually you'll build up a 'presence' on the web. It's slow, it's time consuming, but over time it starts to happen.

Your name will gradually filter into the 'ether' and hopefully be remembered by some.... and I've read that a book - in fact any artifact - needs to be seen at least seven times before a prospective buyer becomes a firm purchaser.

So start early - your name is what you want sell .... not just a book.

If you DON'T blog.

  1. If you DON'T blog, your name won't be known in the blogosphere.
  2. If you DON'T blog, you can't possibly have a ready-made following.
  3. If you DON'T blog, other writers who are bloggers won't know you exist.

If you DO blog.

  1. If you DO blog, there's a chance that some editor or publisher will notice your work .... Okay, okay, I know it's a remote possiblity, but who'd want to miss an opportunity like that.
  2. If you DO blog, readers will see how professional you are and have a chance to develop a relationship with you
  3. If you DO blog, agents, editors, and publishers appreciate a writer who is ready to promote their own work, and the Internet is far and away the most efficient way to accomplish this.

All in all, I suppose it's rather like a lottery ticket. If you don't purchase you'll never win....

So, get stuck into that blog. At the very worst, a handful of people might start to recognize your name.... and at best - well you could just have a ready made readership waiting for that book.

Holidays in Alicante - the Hidden Spain
Lens Coating - What Everybody Ought to Know

Conserving Water - Your Must-Know Guide

Friday, 4 September 2009

HELP - With Book Promotion

Tell Me a Story - book promotion.

I hate book promotion. I've tried all sorts of things to push my book - to no avail. The market is dominated by big publishing conglomerates.... and it doesn't help if you're a shy person, like me, who dislikes being the centre of attention.

Bog-all book sales.

If you're with an independent publishing house as I was a while ago, or an indie author on Kindle, as I am now,  it's extremely difficult to get a foot in. Result - bog-all book sales despite good feedback and fan-mail from readers all over the world.

The problem is, even with established publishing houses there is no budget for new authors. Like Kindle authors, they have to do all their own book promotion.

Help is at hand.

It's been suggested that the 'tag' system on Amazon be used to help book promotion. The idea is that a growing number of people use those tags to find 'types' of books they want, rather than authors - not simply for genre, but for more specific detail.

As a simple example, there is a tag for Romantic Suspense (along with others) on Without Reproach. Now if someone is interested in novels centred on Romantic Suspense, they might search tags and come up with my book.

Let's play tag.

Amazon actively promote tags on books but place emphasis on those with the highest number of unique ticks on those tags - as they would of course.

Now here's the clever bit. If any kind readers out there, could take it upon themselves to visit Without Reproach and simply click on ANY of the tags to my book, it would cost NO MONEY and it might help my dismal promotion efforts..... PLEEEASE.....

I'm not asking anyone to write a review, just tick boxes they feel like ticking and tick that they've read the book, otherwise it doesn't seem to work (I know its a cheat, but....).

Without Reproach can be found here on or

I really would be grateful for any help you can give.... And for any authors out there, if you fancy a reciprocal agreement for book promotion, please leave a message in the comments.

Thursday, 3 September 2009

Stephenie Meyer and a line in clothes

Tell Me a Story - comment.

It had to happen, didn’t it. Stephenie Meyer is to launch her own line in clothes.

Hobo Skate Company has announced that they've teamed up with writer Stephenie Meyer for a line in clothes from “The Host” - such things as t-shirts and skateboards, available for purchase worldwide on their website starting today..

It pisses me off, but like my old mum used to say, those that have, will have..

I just wish I could find out how her books managed to be so succesful.... I know, I know .....sour grapes.

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Writing qualifications

Tell Me a Story - Guideline.

I've recently had a couple of queries about writing qualifications - are they necessary, what is my experience, what qualification do I have?

Well to answer the last question first - I actually have a university degree, BUT, it bears no relevance to writing, my degree is in science and technology - totally unrelated. My writing qualifications have been acquired through studying numerous books on the craft and taking a distance learning course on creative writing - and several years application of that study.

Limited success

Like most authors, I suffered many rejection slips before finding limited success. My first short story was accepted by a women's magazine way back in 1994. Since then I've been lucky enough to be published regularly in magazines, international newspapers, summer specials, international competitions, anthologies, to have my work read on Prime-time radio and a selection of short stories recorded as audio books. My novel, Without Reproach, was accepted and published by Libros International Publishers.

Need to study

Nothing worthwhile comes easy. If it was easy, everyone would be doing it..... and everyone ain't.
I would never advise anyone to tackle writing without studying at least a couple of books about the craft first. Do artists paint, do musicians play, without studying? Do actors get accepted without studying? NO!

Writing is no different, you need to understand the principles involved before beginning to write .... and after the study comes work. All artforms need dedication and graft. If there ain't no pain, there ain't no gain. If you're serious about writing, it needs doing. Live with it.

Sorry folks. There are no shortcuts .... except in stories ....

Julian Fellowes, and Past Imperfect

Tell Me a Story - review

Julian Fellowes, who landed an Oscar for the screenplay of "Gosford Park" and hit the bestseller lists with his debut novel, "Snobs", based his works on recreating the eccentricity of the British upper crust.

His latest offering, "Past Imperfect", hits the stores in the United States this week. The British author puts his protagonists back amongst earls and baronets, but Julian Fellowes says this time his story is not about class.

"Snobs is a lighter book, an easier read," he said. "….Whereas Past Imperfect is not about class, it's about time and what time does to lives.”

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Quote of the day.

Tell Me a Story - Quote of the day.

Found this, love it, have to share it.

If you had to identify, in one word, the reason why the human race has not achieved, and never will achieve, its full potential, that word would be “meetings”.

- Dave Barry