Authors, Libraries and the gov.

Another post, because I thought that this blog shouldn’t just be my writing progress and whatnot, but issues that are important to me, as a writer, and other writers. And this is one, authors not getting royalties from libraries for their books.

As it stands this doesn’t effect me directly. The libraries that have my book have them because they were donated there, so I get no royalties from them at all. To get your book in a library the traditional way requires your book to be listed with the right distributing company, which in turn has its own requirements. My publisher, being Australian based, doesn’t know all the ins and outs of UK companies and set up, so I’m not listed with them. Other small print companies, UK based, or those with UK knowledge, might be and they will certainly be effected, as will any main stream published author.

Being an author doesn’t mean you will make lots of cash. As the article said, the average is under 10K a year. We need whatever we can get, not to be greedy, but to live! Besides which, we work hard on our books, don’t we deserve some sort of payment for them when they’re checked out? Song writers get money for their work whenever that song is played on the radio, film makers get money when their films are seen, in cinema, or rented, or shown on tv. Why should authors be any different? The library is like the radio, to us, a place where people can get to know us and our books, without paying for them. If they like it they can buy it afterwards, just as someone can buy a song, or download it, if they like what they hear on the radio.

I know that libraries have it hard, many are closing, many are run by volunteers, but this isn’t helping. This is only continuing to dump on those who can’t afford it and it may come that authors won’t be able to afford to write full time, to spend so much time producing decent books, and I think everyone who loves to read will suffer as a result of that.

Bad Review

So today I got my second bad review, this one on Goodreads. Reviews are all personal, I know this. And not everyone will love everything you do, but still it can be disheartening. Perhaps because i fear that they are right? Perhaps because I feel like I have let them down? They loved the first book, but not the Seer’s Tower. The Seer’s Tower was harder to write, middle books often are, keeping the plot going, tying up some ends, but not everything, moving things forward, but not too far . . . I was stuck a lot. I fear that it shows. I fear that it’s a bad book, letting down the series, letting down my readers . . .

But then I’m not sure i agree with some of the reviewer’s comments. All right, perhaps there isn’t a lot of personal interaction . . . Not in the same chit chat way as the first book, at least. And I thought Dale was stronger, less stammering, although certainly he is a bit more upset in places, but i don’t blame him. Bad stuff happens. It’s interesting, how the comments target things I hadn’t worried about, and not those that I had. So, am I worrying about the wrong things?

I could go mad, thinking about it, and in the end, it doesn’t matter. It’s one person’s thoughts, and I’m sorry they didn’t enjoy the book, but I’m glad that I still care enough to feel that way, and to worry about it. I would never want to get to the point where any review means nothing to me. I would hate to be that complacent, because, though I write for myself firs, I want people to enjoy what i do and i want to make sure it’s the best that i can. If i stop caring about reviews then i think I might stop caring about the quality of my writing, and that would be a shame.

The Seer’s Tower

The Seer’s Tower is now out! In ebook, kindle etc. You can buy it directly from the publisher:

And through amazon and so on, at some point. Print will follow. When I get dressed and some food, I will settle down to spend the rest of the day promoting and bothering people to review it, which is always a fun thing to do :) (i enjoy promoting a lot, just have to try and remember what I’ve done!)

Will also fit in some work on Children of the Shadow. Struggling with mountain life, at the moment, working out the best way for them to live and how that can appeal to Candale.


The blurb for book 2 has been decided.

Prince Candale has discovered the truth about himself at last. He is the Shadow Seer, foretold prophet of dark visions and fallen kingdoms. The witch Mayrilla¬† tried to teach him control, but now she lies dead, struck down by Candale’s own hand, and the ever-watching shadow has begun to talk.

It wants him to go the kingdom of Idryan, to the Seer’s Tower, and tells him that what he will learn there will change everything. It promises rewards, if he obeys, but punishment if he does not.

But is it the voice of the demon, Ellenessia, that talks to him, a voice to be obeyed, or just the beginnings of Candale’s prophecised descent into madness?

And I have just done another quick edit of three mistakes the assistant editor found so hopefully it won’t be long until the book is released :)

Editing updates

Had an email from publisher today with three things to change, so we’re nearly there! Two of those things were basically the same thing and very daft. Candale seeing someone grin, who had his back to him! I think that says there and then why it’s useful, and very important, to have editors! Two people have proof read my book, before the publishers, I read it several times, and still we missed that small detail. Even coming back to a book with fresh eyes doesn’t always help. Things can still slip past you, and they can slip past all your editors too, but at least having them means you have more of a chance of catching them!

Indie bookshops

Cover to Cover, an indie bookshop in Mumbles, here in Swansea, South Wales, where I live, have said that the Shadow Seer was a great read and want me to send them a copy. I’m assuming this is to sell, as that is why I contacted them! Aand I’m pretty pleased. It’s not easy, when you’re with a small print publisher, to get into a physical bookshop, big chains have lots of rules that are hard for someone with a print on demand system to meet. Waterstones, a big chain in the uk, for example, need you to be listed with a certain database (free so that’s no problem) but also to have your published listed with their distribution company. A lot of writers, with small print publishers, aren’t with one based in their own country. My own is a published down under! So they aren’t always aware of the bookshop chains in other countries, or their distribution. Even if they were, the distribution companies have rules of their own, not easy for a print on demand publisher to meet.

So that leaves indie shops, but they need to be sure of making money so may want to take a large percentage of the sale price, meaning the writer can’t afford to deal with them. I won’t get rich selling to indie bookshops, but it helps to get me out there and as any writer will tell you, after having your book published, being in a physical bookshop is the next big dream.

Being a writer is a rather never ending challenge, especially for those with a small print publisher. Writing a good book is the easy part! Getting it accepted, getting it out there, that’s far far harder. You need patience, and a tough skin! But i think it’s worth it.