How Fighting Fantasy beat traditional stories

In the three decades since Fighting Fantasy began, games have changed our concept of story forever. When I was 10 I wanted, for a brief period, to be a professional Fighting Fantasy player. I was so fascinated with the now-iconic green-jacketed gamebooks, emblazoned with the legend “Thrilling fantasy adventures in which YOU are the hero!”, that I hatchedContinue reading “How Fighting Fantasy beat traditional stories”

What is Hachette fighting for?

The Amazon books team deliver some interesting, but non-specific, data on ebook prices. Bottom line – lower prices deliver higher revenue and profits because e-book prices are “highly elastic”. So indie authors putting their work on for £2.99 against the standard publisher price of £8.99 are doing exactly the right thing. It’s worth noting hereContinue reading “What is Hachette fighting for?”

Look at the state of British Sci-Fi

Strange Horizons publishes a large an interesting report on “The State of British Sf and Fantasy” which with the input of six authors does a fairly good job of reflecting many current trends. I take issue with Juliet McKenna’s opening essay The Market and Trade. Not because it is incorrect – it is well researchedContinue reading “Look at the state of British Sci-Fi”

Why do you hate indie authors?

Hugh Howey once again shares another interesting perspective on the indie publishing revolution, in this case a refutation of the frequent criticisms of the Author Earnings reports methodology, from the unnamed Data Guy behind those reports. I do apologize to those whom this information proves troubling, but it is a fair view of what isContinue reading “Why do you hate indie authors?”

Where are my international Amazon Associate commissions?

Many book bloggers and even writers earn commission from Amazon by linking to books and other products sold by the giant online retailer. But many of them are leaving money on the table by not directing their international readers to the right international Amazon store! Jesse Lakes of GeoRiot steps up with a great guestContinue reading “Where are my international Amazon Associate commissions?”

I tell you, ergodic is the future of fiction

The novel’s great strength is also its great weakness. A novel is (with a few rare exceptions) the work of one author. That can give it a depth, coherence and unity that is rare in our modern world. But it is also a challenge to our modern way of being. We’re creatures obsessed with socialContinue reading “I tell you, ergodic is the future of fiction”

Just how many literary worlds are there now?

Online meme factory Flavorwire published a list of the 35 most influential writers on the internet recently. It’s a…questionable list at best. I know most of the names on it, and I’ve read many of those who have books published. But it reads in large part like a list of the authors friends on Twitter,Continue reading “Just how many literary worlds are there now?”

Will the next wave of publishing technology favour writers?

Independent author Susanna Shore expresses the bottom line on the state of independent publishing in a well thought out post on Kindle Unlimited. As a KDP author, it’s impossible for me to remain completely neutral, even when keeping outside the dispute. Generally, I tend to favour the opinion that all big companies look for theirContinue reading “Will the next wave of publishing technology favour writers?”

Yes writing is a waste of time.

The Think Buddha blog features a charming essay on the necessity of time wasting to creative life by Tory Syracuse (it’s a three year old essay but, self-evidently, time wasting is a timeless subject) and it has some interesting things to say about the flow state of writing. One of the great gifts of writing—and,Continue reading “Yes writing is a waste of time.”

Writing is hard because we like it that way

My friend and fellow word-herder Will Buckingham has something  to say about the pleasure – and pain – of writing. In short Mr. Buckingham believes writers like to big up the misery experienced while writing in order make ourselves look all brooding, dark and mysterious, instead of the shallow pleasure seekers we truly are. Well,Continue reading “Writing is hard because we like it that way”

Success. It’s not what you think it is.

The problem with success is, it never ends. We talk a lot about success even when we don’t use the word. Who has the best job. The biggest house. The handsomest lover. I’d make a poetic list but you get the idea. As  humans we waste most of our time chasing after success, in one formContinue reading “Success. It’s not what you think it is.”