When are you ready for a beta reader?

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 […]

Posted April 8, 2014 by PaulineMRoss in Writing musings / 2 Comments

Not THAT uncivilised, then

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 […]

Posted April 6, 2014 by PaulineMRoss in Writing musings / 4 Comments

To DRM or not to DRM?

I’ve spent some time this past weekend setting up my account on Amazon’s KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) preparatory to self-publishing ‘The Plains of Kallanash’ this autumn. I didn’t actually intend to do more than input a few basic details, but Amazon makes it incredibly easy to go on from there. So I entered my bank […]

Posted March 31, 2014 by PaulineMRoss in Publishing/marketing / 2 Comments

Looking for beta readers

The time has finally come… The early sections of ‘The Plains of Kallanash’ have been critiqued and revised on a chapter by chapter basis, and now it’s time to see how it works as a whole. So I’m looking for volunteers to beta read for me. What is a beta reader? Basically, someone who will […]

Posted March 17, 2014 by PaulineMRoss in Writing musings / 0 Comments

On US withholding tax

Like everyone these days, I spend time randomly trawling the internet, reading tweets, clicking links, perusing blogs and in various other ways managing to kill vast amounts of otherwise productive time. But the great virtue of this is that every once in a while, I happen upon some really useful information. Like US withholding tax. […]

Posted March 15, 2014 by PaulineMRoss in Publishing/marketing / 1 Comment

On ISBNs and other dilemmas

So as I take baby steps towards possible self-publishing of ‘The Plains of Kallanash’, I’ve found myself thinking about ISBNs (International Standard Book Numbers – those long strings of identifying digits that most books seem to have). You’d think it would be a simple enough procedure – I need an ISBN (or ten, since that’s […]

Posted March 12, 2014 by PaulineMRoss in Publishing/marketing / 1 Comment


First reader

It’s always a scary moment, handing over a finished book to the first person to read it in its entirety. Will it work? Does the plot even make sense? Will they get the emotional parts, the jokes, the world, the characters? I’d expected the first reader to be a stranger, a random internet volunteer to […]