Playing in the Sand—Or how I Became an Author in one Therapy Session

Guest post
by Stefan Bolz

It all began when my colleague told me about her friend who had computer problems. I have been writing for a while, mostly poetry, a few screenplays and the beginnings of a novel when I was seventeen.

But I never considered myself a writer and I never—never—could have dreamed up what that incidental encounter had in store for me. It all started with a faulty wireless connection and a new printer.

I seem to have good computer karma and my colleague at work thought I could make some extra money by setting up her friend’s, computer with her printer at her home. When I got to her house, she asked me very nonchalantly about the date and time of my birth. As I found out, she is an excellent Astrologer. I gave it to her and, for the next hour or so, she told me all about where my sun is and which house I was born in and the whole problem with Gemini. Continue reading “Playing in the Sand—Or how I Became an Author in one Therapy Session”

Indie News Beat: Publishing News and Stuff

Ladies and gentlemen, it is time once again for the Indie News Beat. We take the flour and water of facts, knead the dough of truth, and bake up a tasty loaf of information just for you.

Ace reporter Chris James could not be with us. He has been taken hostage by a group of Amazons. Actually, they freed him months ago, but he refuses to leave. We soldier on here at Indies Unlimited.

The L.A.Times has discovered that a lot of people lie about having read the great classics of literature. It turns out, a lot of them just watched the movie instead. I cannot say I am surprised. The article includes the top 10 books people fake having read. In the number one slot is 1984, by George Orwell. Ironically, that is the only one on the list I actually read. I actually liked it. Go figure. There is no word yet on how many people falsely claim to read the L.A. Times.

But perhaps society has just moved beyond these dusty old tomes. Nowadays, we’re a texting, tweeting, live on the razor’s edge, breakneck, no time for nuance kind of society. Thankfully,someone has had the forethought to distill the great classics down to 140 character tweetable summaries.

One of the hallmarks of the digital revolution is the freedom it brings to writers in determining the best length for the stories they tell. Book length is more or less hard-wired into dead tree publishing. Production of a digital book does not have  the kinds of fixed overhead that print has. That opens a lot of doors for creativity. The Guardian sees the Kindle Singles program as the signal event in this part of the revolution.

It’s just not possible to talk about what’s new in the world of publishing without talking a lot about Amazon. Part of the reason for that is Amazon innovates while everybody else equivocates. In yet another example, Amazon’s Matchbook allows customers to buy discounted digital versions of print books they’d previously bought from the retailer. Personally, I’d rather see it the other way around. Still, this Bezos chap does seem to have a lot on the ball. has an interesting article on the rise of what they refer to as hybrid authors. These are authors who have been published traditionally, but also self-publish. This phenomenon makes a lot of work for big ink, who now has to worry over both attracting new talent as well as retaining control over its pool of existing authors.

That’s it for this time around. Join us next time, when we answer the age-old question, If a tree falls in the forest and nobody hears it, does that mean you can cut it up and haul the wood out for free?

Author Tips: Post Book Release Checklist

Chick-lit, romantic comedy by K.S. Brooks and Stephen HiseLast week, I shared with you a list of things you might want to consider doing leading up to your next book release. You can find that article here.  Now I’m going to talk about what needs to be done after the big day – when you’re still suffering from your book release hangover.

As I mentioned in last week’s article, this was my nineteenth release, yet things are always inevitably forgotten. Maybe even some of those things are forgotten on purpose… *cough* press release *cough*. In any case, here is a list of things I felt needed to be done once the mayhem of release day quieted down.

Continue reading “Author Tips: Post Book Release Checklist”

Radio Interview Pointers

BBC Radio DerbyOne of the first articles I wrote was about radio interview techniques. I was arrogant enough to think that after a couple of interviews, I was sufficiently expert to tell others how to handle themselves.

Looking back on that article, I now realise that although I highlighted some of the major points, I missed out important pieces of advice.

I now consider myself a veteran of the radio circuit, having given about approximately sixty interviews on BBC radio stations scattered about the UK, in the US, Australia and even New Zealand. I made mistakes along the way but now will happily chat to anyone on air for hours hardly repeating myself, apart from saying “I think” about fifteen times an interview. So here are a few pointers if you are going on a radio show. Continue reading “Radio Interview Pointers”