Sunday, 19 February 2012

Of Books and Stuff

I did another book club meeting over the weekend, which I posted about over on The Olives Blog. It was a great deal of fun, I can tell you.

I'm now gearing up for the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature at the beginning of March. I'm doing two sessions at the Festival, a panel discussion thingy and a workshop on self publishing and marketing.

The panel discussion is being chaired by literary agent (and former rejecter of my manuscripts, so we'll have a chat about that on the day, won't we?) Luigi Bonomi and features Dubai based author Liz Fenwick, whose debut novel The Cornish House was picked up by Orion and will be published in May and Sarah Hathorn, who self-published her book, Alexandra’s Mission: Teenagent, in 2010 as well as yours truly. We're talking about different routes to get published - Liz obviously got in the front door, while Sarah and I have both attempted to make our money busking outside.The session's linked right here.

The workshop is on how to self publish your book and how to subsequently market the thing. For a start, what should you be doing about editing your MS? What platforms to use to publish it - and how do they work? How do commissions etc work out? What are the restrictions that apply to publishing here compared to, say, the UK? And then how do you put it in readers' hands?

As Simon Forward pointed out in his shockingly sensible guest post on this very blog the other day, the wonderful egalitarianism of self publishing has not only resulted in the lunatics having a good bash at taking over the asylum, it has opened the gates of qualitatively filtered content hell and also resulted in the Internet filling up with plaintively parping authors wittering 'Read my book, read my book, read my book' all the time.

So how can you possibly get your book noticed while standing out from the crowd? The workshop's a tad pricey at Dhs 200 (it's linked here if you want to rush over and sign up) but if you're planning on self publishing a book in the UAE, I guess I'd easily save you that in time wasting publishing lessons learned that you won't have to, let alone the stuff on marketing and promotion (note I am not outselling JK Rowling, so my wise words on promotion are perhaps worth considering rather than following slavishly!).

Both sessions take place on the 9th March in the afternoon. If you want to follow the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature on Twitter, the hashtag's #EAFOL and the main festival programme's linked here because quite apart from my stellar self, there are a number of other (obviously less important) writers giving talks, sessions, workshops and general literary chatter.

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noura said...

Hey, we are interested to invite you to an event that we think you will enjoy. Please send me an email if you are interested.

My email is


Alexander McNabb said...

Noura, firstly you'll probably be wondering why you get so much spam - it's because putting your email address up on places like blog comments means it gets picked up by 'bots' which trawl the internet looking for addresses just like this they can add to their spam lists.

Secondly, I'm happy to be invited to anything, but very rarely go. And my email address, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter are all over the place. It just takes two seconds to find any of these if you choose to take the care.


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