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Showing posts from May, 2013

Ten things you can do with a Kindle (that you can’t do with a paper book!)

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This post is intended to balance my History Girls post earlier this month Ten things you can’t do with a Kindle, and should help sort out the unicorn’s karma. (Most of the below will also apply to other e-readers, but the unicorn is not an expert so do let him know if any of these are Kindle-only.)
1. Carry your whole library in your handbag. Doesn’t matter how long all those books are… they'll all fit on your slim e-shelf, and they won't make your Kindle any heavier.
2. Change the text size and/or line spacing, when your eyes get tired and you’ve forgotten where you put your reading glasses. (Muse: Does not apply to younger readers of this blog, obviously!)
3. Ask it to read to you. If you turn on the “text-to-speech" feature, you can even choose a male or female voice and ask it to read faster or slower... with identifiable American accents! 4. Sample the first 10% of a book at your leisure without the bookseller scowling at you if you decide not to buy it.
5. Buy any …

The Computer Recommends…

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So what’s your book about? Will I enjoy it?
Authors often get asked this question. What you really want to know is if my book sounds interesting enough for you to read - or, more bluntly, why should you buy it? Naturally authors want to tell you it’s just your thing, you’ll love it and should rush out and buy it immediately. In fact some authors tell everyone they meet exactly this, which is a good way to lose friends and alienate people.
The truth is no book in the world is loved by every reader. Each reader has their own tastes, which vary over time and according to mood, and while some books might please several different types of readers, you really can’t please all of the readers all of the time. That's the reason you see one-star reviews on best-selling books, and the reason publishers still publish titles that are not obvious best sellers.
Really, readers shouldn’t ask authors this question. We’re so busy getting lost in the enchanted mists of our own stories, we’ve barely…

The Great Pyramid Robbery - FREE for the holiday weekend!

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On a forum recently, someone asked for historical fiction recommendations for young readers. I had my Seven Fabulous Wonders series very much in mind after redesigning the e-covers, and was just about to spring in with a reminder about these books when I saw the slightly desperate "PS: NOT historical fantasy!”
It's true the fantasy genre has its own fans. Some historians dislike fiction authors who mess around with history, which is understandable. Historical fact should remain historical fact (as long as you can be sure it is fact…something I won’t go into here!) But it got me thinking about that “ps”, and what it might mean to those of us who write historical novels with a bit of magic in them too.
Although my Seven Fabulous Wonders books include things that might look like pure fantasy, I did a fair amount of historical research for this series – rather too much, according to the Americans, who at the time said my series contained too much history to make it marketable ov…