Friday, September 27, 2013

Diversity in SF

This has been a hot topic of discussion recently so I thought I'd mention a few I've seen.

Particularly interesting to me was this blog post by Jim C. Hines. Full of interesting links it's well worth looking at.

Through it I found Writing the Other by Nisi Shawl and Cynthia Ward (Aqueduct Press 2005, available both in paperback and as an ebook and highly recommended) which addresses the problems inherent in writing fiction outside your culture and suggests ways writers can avoid falling into the inevitable traps.

I had barely finished reading it when I came across these comments by Aliette de Bodard. Although she calls it a rant, it is really much more measured than that. As well as giving her opinion she also provides some useful links. The comments are interesting too.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Western Australian Premier's Book Awards

Congratulations to all the winners of the Western Australian Premier's Book Awards announced yesterday by the Honourable John Day, Minister for Culture and the Arts. The judges' report is here and the shortlist here. More books to add to the To Be Read list - for me at least.

Thursday, September 12, 2013


While reading Chuck Wendig's blog, Terrible Minds, I came across an interesting post on his theory that if you publish your own book you are both an author and a publisher and should both call yourself that and behave accordingly. He does swear a bit so be warned but you can read his thoughts on why self publishers  should rename themselves as author-publishers here.

There are some thought provoking ideas here and, if we are going to be serious about treading newer routes in getting published, we need to look at all aspects of it. Publishing is a business so perhaps if we are considering self-publishing we should remind ourselves of that. It's not just having the thrill of seeing our words in print or in an e-book anymore. It's about sales and that means every aspect of getting a book out to the public - editing, illustration, marketing, all those things which traditional publishers do - come back onto the author. That, in turn, means everything should look and sound professional so, given that producing and marketing a book means, yes, you are both an author and a publisher, why wouldn't you call yourself that? Makes sense to me. What do you think?

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Self E-publishing

Not so long ago the attitude was, not all that unreasonably, that self-published meant unprofessional and substandard work but now many self-published books are well written and professionally presented with some even making it on to shortlists of major awards.

Given the current state of flux the publishing industry is in and with new opportunities for authors to take publication into their own hands opening up seemingly by the minute it might be a good time to provide links to some professionals who have tried to self- publishing. Here are a few links I found informative:

Aliette de Bodard is a multiple award winner and traditionally published author. Her thoughts on self e-publishing are here.

Patty Jansen is another award winning writer whose blog is a great source of information with many articles based on her own experience and those of her guest bloggers. Well worth a look.

Catherine, Caffeinated is the blog of Catherine Ryan Howard. She has wide experience in self publishing. Her blog posts on the subject are here.

This article outlines author Mark Edwards' choices and his reasons for the course he has taken.

Then there's this article about a different form of self publishing where a co-operative of experienced writers have banded together to publish their books and use their skills to make a professional product. The comments are worth looking at too, because there are others who are doing this as well.

There are many others, of course, some more reliable than others, but it's certainly worth searching.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Hugo Winners

The Hugo Awards is out. Congratulations to all the winners especially to Tansy Rayner Roberts who was awarded Best Fan Writer. As the first Australian woman to win a Hugo this is something special. The complete list is here.
  Australia's own