Angry Wild Legends

Writing, authoring, publishing, literary stuff of all kinds – plus anything else!

SOME TWAT HAS BEEN BUGGERING UP MY BLOG!!!!!

I DON’T KNOW WHO OR HOW, BUT SOME TWAT HAS CHANGED BY WORDPRESS SITE.  WHAT IS WORSE, THE WORDPRESS ORGANISATION IS JUST ABOUT IMPOSSIBLE TO CONTACT TO REGISTER A COMPLAINT.

I AM THINKING NOW THAT I’VE HAD ENOUGH OF WORDPRESS WHO DON’T SEEM TO GIVE A TOSS ABOUT THE PEOPLE CONTRIBUTING TO THE SUCCESS OF WORDPRESS.

I AM TEMPTED TO SCRAP THIS BLOG AND GO BACK TO MANAGING MY OWN WEBSITE AGAIN.

I’LL LET YOU KNOW WHEN I’VE CALMED DOWN AB BIT!

May 23, 2012 Posted by | General | Leave a comment

Readers Are Doomed!

Actually, that’s the title of an article I wrote for Nick Daws’ blog. I won’t repeat the article here, but here’s a short extract:

The demographics for reading are changing. The days when our children all enjoyed the delight of a bedtime story are disappearing. How many youngsters now will pick up a book when there is the alternative of television, computer games, and the internet? Here’s a bold prediction for you: within my lifetime the average age of a regular reader will rise to 60. Within 100 years the number of books being sold will drop to a point where the supermarkets don’t even bother to stock them. Within 200 years the only people to read for pleasure will be the few remaining authors themselves, devouring each others’ words in sad, cannibalistic indulgence. Let me know if I was wrong!

If you found that intriguing, why not pay a visit to Nick’s pages and read the whole article. They are always well worth a visit. :)

May 20, 2008 Posted by | General | , , , , | Leave a comment

PRISM – Exiles…My Book Is Published!

Well, true enough, PRISM – Exiles is published, though I have to confess I did it myself!

Either way, it’s now available from here:

PRISM - Exiles available

By the way, at the same location you can download a free short story, and you can find more free stories for download at my personal website

Here’s the blurb for the book:

PRISM – Exiles is the story of Luke Adams, a rather weak and ineffectual teacher. In the middle of his humdrum life, Luke is transported to a different world, along with a few hundred other souls, pulled into adventure by the simple virtue of their proximity. The catalyst for the transportation is a plate embedded in Luke’s skull, the result of a traffic accident. This plate was made from a metal that contained minute particles from a machine destroyed in a war that took place an immeasurable distance from the Earth. The particles from the machine had been hurled across the space-time divide, to mingle with the broiling firmament of our nascent planet, later to be mined and incorporated into the medical plate Luke bears. However, while the motes were the catalyst, they were not the engineers of the transportation; that was the product of deliberate action – but who those engineers were, what their purpose might be, and exactly what they wanted of Luke, is the subject of this book …

So there you have it. Do pay a visit to either of the above sites, and let me know what you think.

Best Wishes to all out there.

Nigel.

May 2, 2008 Posted by | author, book, books, ebooks, fantasy, fiction, literary, Literature, novel, prism, publish, Publishing, science fiction, Words, write | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Am I a Publisher?

Well, it seems I am.

Having tried for an age to get regular literary agents and publishers to give me the time of day (admittedly many did reply, but all negative, and not one wanted to review my work) I decided to go it alone. After much thought, and not having any cash to speak of, I decided that Lulu would be my best bet. So, I’ve posted a free eBook called The Cookie Tin there for download, and applied for an ISBN for my novel, PRISM – Exiles. The cost to me (so far) is around £80 STG. Of course, the biggest expense will come when marketing.

Anyway, I now have a Lulu storefront, http://www.lulu.com/nigeledwards. You can download the free eBook there, and next month, with luck, PRISM – Exiles will be ready to buy, in both eBook and paperback format.

I’m going to publish under the banner of Let’s Get Published (http://www.letsgetpoublished.com) If this venture has any success, I may offer the banner to other members of Let’s Get Published. It would be beneficial to many, since our books could contain a page of references, something like: “Titles also available through Let’s Get Published are: blah, and blah, and blah.” That way, every book purchased also advertises other books, thus promoting authors in a cheap and easy way.

I’ll let you know how it’s all going.

April 21, 2008 Posted by | author, book, books, fantasy, fiction, Literature, novel, publish, science fiction, Words, write | , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Angry Wild Legends Website

I recently decided that one way of promoting my work (that is to say, the stories I write), would be to give some of them away for free. So, I’ve started a new website called Angry Wild Legends. It’s easy to navigate, and currently offers four (4) short stories for anyone to download and read in eBook format. It also offers three downloadable extracts from my first full novel, ‘PRISM – Exiles’. Furthermore, there’s pages of information about what ‘PRISM – Exiles’ is all about, including a little information about the history and politics of Zoheft; an introduction to the natural world encountered in the book; and examples from the 1300+ word dictionary that adds another dimension to the whole story. I hope you will visit the website and let me know your opinions through the feedback that’s available. :)

March 11, 2008 Posted by | author, book, books, ebooks, fiction, literary, Literature, novel, prism, publish, Publishing, Words, write | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Who Needs Quality? (Or, Let’s Sack the Testers!)

Now then, how many of you know anything about the manufacture and production of software? Or, what about the manufacture and production of anything, software or not? Everybody knows something about this, I’m sure.

Let’s hypothesise. Let’s say you are a company that produces something and wants to market it to the general public. It doesn’t matter what that somethingis, and it doesn’t matter if the distribution of it is free or requires the public to purchase it. Hmm, his is a bit general, so let’s be a little more specific.

 Let’s say you produce some software which you freely give away to the public. Your eventual intent, not unnaturally, is that you will eventually command a share of a given market sector, and make money in some way, perhaps by selling advertising space, or offering a premium membership, or something along those lines. How do you go about it?

Well, you get the product written (manufactured), promote it with a suitable advertising campaign (be that traditional media adds, employing expert agencies, or viral marketing). Basically, you tell your potential audience what your software does, why it benefits that audience to use it, perhaps why it should be a preferred choice to its’ competitors, and how good the software is at achieving its’ aim. Then you distribute the software. Perhaps you make it available for download.

“Visit www.s******w.com and download the latest whizzy kit! You know it makes sense!”

So.

Why should the audience believe you? Why should they trust the software you’ve created? What proof do they have that (a) it ‘does what it says on the tin’, and (b) that it wont have any detrimental effect on any of the other software you currently have installed on your PC? Hmm. That’s a problem, isn’t it? Essentially, all you, the potential subscriber to the software, can do is trust that it has been properly designed, developed, and tested within reasonable limits. You have to trustthe manufacturer.

Now, with some products the quality aspect is absolutely essential. It’s obvious that if, say, the software that controls the movement of aircraft around JFK, or Heathrow, or any other airport, or the software that controls the dispensing of medical presciptions, has not been quality assured then the results would be catastrophic. Of course, most of us don’t actually download software that is quite that critical. However, we do download software that could, potentially, be harmful. We all know about viruses and worms and trojans and so forth, but could there be a problem with the software itself, even if it hasn’t been infected? What assurance do we have that the software we download will not have any adverse effect on the rest of the files on our home PC? How do we know the phonelist we made, or the thesis we’re writing for university, or the scores of photos of the new baby we archived, or the personal data we’ve stored, will be safe?

What we do is we trust the manufacturer. We assume and trust that they have tested the software they’ve provided, and that we can be confident that it works as it should. This applies both to applications that we install, and to websites we visit if there is interactivity between the website and ourselves. For instance, maybe we want to upload a file to a social networking or community website. Maybe the website offers us the ability to upload that file. Do you know how it does it? Do you know if it, for example, locks out the file on your PC in order to ensure a clean upload? Do you know if it resets the lock when the upload has finished? Do you know for sure that it hasn’t grabbed some other file instead, or maybe taken an extra copy of the file and logged its’ content without your knowing? Or, what if you use a client application to do the upload? The same questions can be asked.

You know, I worked for a company that actually produced a utility that uploaded files from your PC to a server. You told it what files to upload, and it did it. Unfortunately, it had a side effect at one point where it actually deleted the original files. Don’t worry, the Quality Assurance (Test) people discovered the problem, and the version of the product with that particular ‘bug’ did not get shipped! The testers had done their job, just like they do in any other company – at least, in any other company that actually employs test engineers!

How do you know if the company from whom you have obtained a piece of software actually does have professional, experienced test engineers to assure the safety of your data? How do you know?

I have just been made redundant from such a company. Not just me, mind you – ALL the quality staff have been made redundant. If you obtain any software from that company, then you should be aware that it has NOT been tested in any organised, competent manner. A decision was taken (without, I should add, the full board of directors being advised of the fact) to remove the whole of he QA team from the manager down, because it was decided that ‘due dilligence’ was sufficient to vet the product before it was shipped, and that it would be quite acceptable for the general public to find any ‘bugs’ that might be present. In other words, the people who use the software (that’s you, incidentally) could be given it in an untested state, and who cares if they risk losing data in the process?

This is my fourth redundancy, but in each of the previous cases there were financial reasons for the ‘downsizing’. In this last instance, however, that is not the case. The company was extremely well backed. I wonder how many of the investors know they are now financing the development of  product that (a) does not have any formal design/development process, (b) is not quality checked, and (c) relies on developers who are also employed by direct competitors of the software? Boy, are they gonna look stupid if something goes wrong! I wonder what would happen if, and let’s be generous, the product actually becomes popular in the near future, and they find there is a need to expand the business. They get to compete with the ‘big boys’ like YouTube or MySpace. Now I know those companies employ testing staff and quality regimens, yet this poor relation wont be able to employ testing staff because they made the positions redundant! Oh dear! How sad! What a shame!

Is this a case of sour grapes on  my part? I guess it probably is, but it doesn’t make it any less true. You see, I actually care about quality.

November 14, 2007 Posted by | General, investors, IT, quality, redundancy, Software, Testing, trust, work | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Am I a Literary Agent?

A colleague asked me a question the other day.

“Are you a literary agent?”

“No,” I answered.

Later on I thought: or am I?

My initial conception of a literary agent was someone who sits in an office (whether at home or somewhere else) and receives submissions from prospective authors, then wields the hand of God in determining who is suitable for promoting to the publishers, and then receives a nice commission for their efforts. I think that is still the case, or rather a case.

You see, when I reflected on what LGP does, it dawned on me that I actually am a literary agent, though not one in the traditional mould. I receive submissions from authors, yes, but instead of picking some to focus on, I promote them allequally. I write or email literary agents and publishers directly, inviting them to review the authors who display on our website. That’s one difference. I don’t charge any fee for this (though any voluntary contributions would be very gratefully received!). That’s another difference. I don’t dictate what any author should write or the style it should be written in. There’s a third. But despite those differences, I really do seem to be acting as an agent, in a very general sense.

Then I thought, could I act as a publisher? It seems a natural progression, after all. The answer was ‘yes’. With the technical expertise of my good friend Yann, LGP will shortly have the ability to publish e-books online. So, if any of the authors who currently use LGP (and any authors who currently don’t!) want to try this route then LGP intends to offer them the opportunity. The way I look at it is, every author really wants to be published and sold through a bookshop, but there are a very limited number of vacancies. To get into a bookshop you need to be ‘discovered’ (or pay for the privilege). The secret to getting discovered is to be visible, and publicizing yourself by selling some of your work in e-book format is a pretty neat way of achieving this. There are a number of authors now resident on the bookshelves of the world who have helped themselves to success by publishing electronically, and getting their names known by that method. If they can do it, why shouldn’t anyone else?

So, for those of you who are thinking about the e-book option, watch out on the LGPwebsite in the New Year. There’ll be a new look, a new feel, and a number of enhancements, including the option for genuine publication via e-books. I hope to see you all there.

In the meantime,

Keep Writing!

September 25, 2007 Posted by | author, books, ebooks, publish, Publishing | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Strawberry Fairies Save Sandcastle Island

Authors come in all shapes and sizes, and they write in all genre, yet every famous name you can mention has begun in the smallest of ways, struggling for recognition, honing their talents, refining their craft. For some the goal of publication never comes, but for others that most magical of moments arrives when they are offered a pen, and a piece of paper, and hear the words ‘Just sign here.’ They’ve made it! If you later ask their secret they will, almost to a person, reply that determination and never giving up are their requisites to success – and now it’s happened for Linda Eschler.

 Linda Eschler is the author of The Strawberry Fairies Save Sandcastle Island, the first in a new series of delightful stories for children, issued through Publish America. The tale revolves around the adventures of two impish fairies, Quinn and Gabriel, who come across the wicked Captain McNasty, as unpleasant a character as the ubiquitous Hook. Needless to say, things turn out for the best in the end, but Quinn and Gabriel, children of the King and Queen of the island, must overcome many obstacles to reach a happy ending! A delightful read that took me back to magical moments in my own childhood, when I would lose myself in the prose of Blyton, or even earlier listening to tales at my mothers’ knee. Wonderful stuff for the children! Linda has been a registered member of Let’s Get Published since March 2007, and has contributed extracts from The Strawberry Fairies Save Sandcastle Island, as well as from some of her other works, all of which can be reviewed at www.letsgetpublished.com. Let’s Get Published is a web portal for authors of fiction and non-fiction to present their work to editors, literary agents, and publishers through the medium of the world wide web. The service is free of charge, and welcomes writers of all genre. Nigel.

www.letsgetpublished.com

July 13, 2007 Posted by | author, book, books, fiction, General, publish | 1 Comment

Publishers Are shy of Authors

Found an interesting article today that was worth the read. It mentioned particularly the reluctance of some editors/publishers to meet authors face-to-face, citing that as a reason why publishers almost universally use literary agencies. if that is the case, then let’s Get Published should be seen as most welcome by said publishers/editors, seeing as how we provide a mask of neutrality for both sides! The article is at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lissa-warren/to-bea-or-not-to-bea_b_51593.html

June 12, 2007 Posted by | author, General, literary, publish | Leave a comment

Authors, Agencies, and the Digital Age

I’ve read a number of articles in a number of publications over the past few years where writers who believe they have talent (in whatever field or genre) bemoan the fact they cannot find a literary agent to represent them. I myself am in this boat, so I do not decry their complaints. In fact, they have my most sincere sympathy. How on earth is one to bring to the world stage the greatest work ever written? Vanity publishing is always an option – but who would really want to compromise their artistic integrity by pursuing such a route? On-demand publishing is a new method that is gaining attention and favour with a large number of people – but even here, unless you are prepared (and able) to subsidise the promotion of your work the results can be disappointing. E-publishing is also an option, but that is a market still in its’ infancy, and until the technology of providing adequate download speeds improves, and/or the mass of the reading public decides that screen-based reading is an acceptable alternative to a good ol’ fashioned book, I suspect it will always be a poor relation to the mainstream. 

Most writers will follow the tried and tested formula of presenting to a literary agent. Indeed, most reputable publishing houses will not countenance direct approaches from wanna-be’s any more, so an introduction through an agency is just about the only avenue available. But there are problems. How do you get an agency to take notice? 

The traditional method is to write or telephone a potential agent in the hope they might have a slot in their list into which you might fit, but the responses received (from those agencies that bother to respond) is invariably negative (though usually polite). Simply sending in a manuscript cold is a waste of time; agencies have so much work being submitted with their permission that unsolicited work is invariably consigned to the waste bin without a second glance – and who could blame them? So there is a huge barrier, and that barrier is resource. The agencies don’t have the resources of time and manpower to review all the potential talent that is out there. One reason for this is that there is an insistence that writers send their submissions in hard-copy. This inevitably results in a veritable mountain of paper passing through an office or across a desk. Maybe if that mountain could be reduced a little, by the agencies becoming more open to alternative methods of receiving submissions, then a wealth of new talent would become visible. 

Of course, even if that were to happen, there would still be the hard realities of actually persuading a(ny) publisher in a competitive marketplace, with limited (though still large) resources, that hard cash should be spent in promoting a given author – but at least the pool of authors would be so much greater to choose from. Maybe, even, an increase in available talent would encourage an increase in the number of publishing companies, the smaller enterprises that could make money on the sidelines (and lets be honest, it’s money that’s at the heart of any publishing body). Who knows? 

But I digress. How does one increase the visibility of that talent? Well, one method is to persuade the literary agents to go and look for it. Does that sound ridiculous? It really isn’t. Why, you may ask, would any agency who is already inundated with submissions bother (let alone need) to go out and hunt down some more? Well, it’s a two way thing. What if, instead of each individual author writing to each individual agency, hoping against hope that there is a vacancy in their books for a bright, up-and-coming talent, the authors made their submissions (the usual 3-chapter requirement) to a single location, a portal that literary agencies could visit and navigate and discover the written gems that lie within? I’m talking, of course, about the ubiquitous internet. 

Consider the benefits. To the author there is no longer the need to spend time and money on speculative phone-calls, postage, return postage, paper, inks, other consumables, &c. (which has a secondary benefit, in these ever greener times, of reducing the call on natural resources like the forests, felled to produce paper). To the literary agency (one-man/woman shows and giants alike) there is the increased freedom to manage their time more efficiently. Who knows better than the agent when they have a vacancy? Who knows better than the agent when the market will be ripe for a particular writing style? Who know better than the agent when they will have the actual time to spend in reviewing works from unknowns? 

Nothing is ever easy, and everything has negative aspects, of course. Two detracting factors are lethargy and trust. For an author, it’s most likely trust. If you send your submission into the ether, how can you know it will  still be yours? How can you know it wont be snatched away and used without your knowledge, claimed for themselves by some infidel? The answer really is that you don’t submit everything at once. As for plagiarism, that is a reality faced by every writer, as it has been since the first mark was scratched on a rock! 

For the literary agent, though, lethargy may be the biggest problem. We all become comfortable in our ways, and the thought of change is often resisted. Yet change happens all the time. It’s the human condition, indeed the natural condition, and it’s called evolution. In these modern times, I find it hard to imagine that any business can afford to stand still. The world wide web has shaken the music industry, and it will shake the publishing industry likewise. Perhaps it has already begun to do so. Either way, any company that fails to embrace the technology and methodologies now emerging will be doomed to sink in the foundering seas of progress. Some agencies have taken the first steps, and already signed up to the concept of new ways for finding literary talent. Those who do not will not survive.

June 6, 2007 Posted by | General, literary, publish | 1 Comment

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