Wednesday, 4 February 2015

How To Make Books

English: Open book icon
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
On the 5th March 2015, I'll be spending a couple of hours of my afternoon telling a small and bemused audience at the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature how to make books in the UAE (or elsewhere, actually).

I'm intending to start with a blank piece of paper and end with a shiny, printed book full of lovingly sequenced words, something I have traditionally spent three two-hour sessions doing (How to write books; how to edit books and how to publish books respectively), so squeezing it all into one short blob of 120 minutes is going to be a laugh.

If your idea of fun is sitting with other worried people as a strange man cackles, gibbers profanity and strews the air with streams of disconnected and scabrous half-thought, you can book a place at the session right here. It costs Dhs200 per person which I hasten to add I don't get my hands on. I'm doing it for free: the LitFest keeps the lot. Like a sort of literary European Central Bank, they are...

So what do you get for your hard-earned cash?

For starters, we'll take a look at stories and why we want to tell and write them. We'll look at the structure of a story and why a story even needs a structure. We'll look at characters and locations and at how a combination of the two can be used to create scenes, which build towards chapters. Pretty soon we'll find we've written a whole book and then we'll take the covers off how you edit your own work to knock it, wriggling and squealing, into shape. 

Then we'll look at what you do with it next: seeking an agent and through them a conventional publisher or the alternative - the process of making books yourself in the UAE, from Kindle and iPad e-books through to printed booky books you can riffle through and smell the gutter to get that scent of a 'real book'. 

Of course, our journey will include the unique kinks and needs of publishing print and e-books in the UAE and Middle East,  where things quite often aren't quite what they seem. And then, when you've dragged your noses out of that there gutter, we'll look at book marketing in a short of Shakespeare in 60 seconds sort of way.

All in two hours. Gosh.

If you've been to one of my writing, editing and publishing workshops before, you're not likely to learn anything devastatingly new unless you missed out a session or two. If you have been a prior victim and you're after a refresher (and not a refund, remember: no refunds), this might be interesting. If you're new to this and think you might want to give it all a go, the session should be thought-provoking, fun, packed with ideas and useful to you.

Should. I said should.

5th March, 5-7pm at the Majlis room at the Intercontinental Festival City Conference Centre. You have to book, places are limited and, just to be clear, because I can't say this enough, there are no refunds. The link to the booking page is given above and also here for your clicking convenience.

I might try and make you buy my books at some stage in the proceedings. It's a sort of occupational hazard.

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