Monthly Archives:: April 2014

On Wattpad

April 29, 2014 Publishing/marketing 0

When I was first mooting the idea of putting ‘The Plains of Kallanash’ out in the world in some shape or form, one of the ideas I had was Wattpad, a site where authors post chapters of their work for readers to enjoy for free. I signed up and tried it out, although I came away rather bemused (you can read the results here).

Now that a number of chapters have been posted on the blog, and the necessary steps for publication are underway, it seemed like a good time to revisit the Wattpad idea. About three weeks ago, I started posting chapters there, the first four, followed by a couple a week until it catches up with the blog (because if I had to cope with two different sites at different stages of the book for long, my head would explode). Read more »

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On cover art

April 21, 2014 Publishing/marketing, The Plains of Kallanash 3

Everyone agrees that the cover image on a book is crucial for success these days. At least, for anyone below the rank of megastar author, that is. J K Rowling could perhaps put out a book with a totally blank cover apart from the title and her name without impinging on sales, but there are very few of whom that can be said. For most authors, a good cover is an asset and a bad one will lose you sales.

But what exactly is a good or bad cover? It’s quite hard to pin down these qualities exactly, although most people recognise one or the other when they see them. A good cover is one that achieves all of the following: Read more »

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When are you ready for a beta reader?

April 8, 2014 Writing musings 2

Having been a professional programmer for years, I’m quite familiar with the idea of beta testing and beta versions. When you write some code, you do your own (alpha) testing to check that it works, and when you’ve got it debugged to your own satisfaction you hand it over to someone else to be tested independently, and that’s beta testing. A beta version is something that’s being readied for release, but isn’t quite there yet.

So when I started editing ‘The Plains of Kallanash’, naturally I assumed that the same principle would apply: a beta reader’s role is checking out a version that’s had the initial kinks worked out, is tidied up but isn’t quite polished enough for publication. So it was quite a surprise to discover that not everyone sees it that way.

Read more »

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Not THAT uncivilised, then

April 6, 2014 Writing musings 4

All secondary world fantasy writers have one problem in common: just how advanced is this imaginary world? How far has technology progressed? The answers, of course, are as varied as authors themselves. Fantasy societies can vary from stone age through to quite sophisticated steampunk cultures. It’s entirely up to the author to decide just what scientific discoveries have been made in the created world.

Obviously, whatever magic is in effect will have an impact on this. Teleporting powers will remove any need for mundane transportation, for example. Magic heating stones will replace coal or wood burning fireplaces. Instant wizard zapping powers mean that guns and explosives are unnecessary. All these aspects have to be considered.

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