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Vanessa O'Loughlin

Keeping pace with Amazon

All authors need to keep pace with events at Amazon to ensure their books are on the best possible footing in the global marketplace. This piece from one of Ireland leading experts on digital publishing, Eoin Purcell makes for interesting reading. Amazon are leading the way again…

Fascinatingly clever (if predictable in many ways) move from Amazon to extend the reach of its Kindle Owners’ Lending Library (KOLL) to the UK, Germany and France. By doing so it demonstrates very clearly that it is Amazon who is really driving the pace of development in ebook adoption and ebook retail.

Read more here:

Understanding Literary Contracts

Understanding literary contracts requires expertise and experience – we would urge ALL authors to take advice from an industry professional before signing anything, and this article is a superb post on contracts – if you’re a writer, you need to read it in full:

Contracts are meant to be negotiated. They are not set in stone until both parties sign it.

Yes, you might lose a deal if you stand firm on some contract terms, but you won’t lose a deal if you negotiate your contract. So many writers think that negotiation is wrong, that it will offend your editor/publisher, and that it’s better to be published than it is to negotiate.

Those writers are wrong. Worse, they’re willing victims. The first drafts of any contract are the worst drafts of that contract. Some clauses in that contract are there to see  how poor a negotiator the person on the other side is. If you accept the contract with all of the original clauses in place, then you’re volunteering to be screwed.  Bottom line.

For the full text check Kristine Kathryn Rusch’s excellent blog

Indie Authors & Amazon

For any author retailing through Amazon (which let’s face it, is almost all of us), this article from the Alliance of Independent Authors has info that is useful for both Indie and traditionally published authors: 50 Ways To Reach Your Reader. # 2: Indie Authors & Amazon:

Amazon, the biggest book retailer in the world, was the first company to see the potential in retailing self-published work.

Indie authors have reason to be very grateful to Amazon for their then radical move of presenting every book to readers in precisely the same way, whether it was an already-known author published by a corporate publisher or an indie just starting out. In doing this, Amazon took the most significant step in centuries towards author empowerment and the democratisation of publishing.

Read more here

One Star Reviews

We seem to be on an Amazon roll here, but this article will show you that EVERYONE one star reviews. Galleycat are a great source of publishing news and wisdom, and here they list 10 bestselling books that got more than 50 one star reviews:

Read more here:

Writing a Covering Letter

And finally this is a superb post from literary agent Darley Anderson that spells out exactly what your covering letter should include when it comes to the bit about you. It’s part of a series, so do have a read through each article. They say:

In my experience the part of the covering letter that varies the most is the section that falls under our umbrella request to ‘include a bit about you’.

I have received covering letters that range between several full A4 pages worth of biography to new writers who forget to include their own name. Somewhere between these two there is a happy medium.

Personally, I find that the most effective covering letter often has one or two concise paragraphs concerning the writer, though of course it is not an exact science…” It’s a very entertaining post, a must read!

For those of you who prefer to listen to tips, Vanessa O’Loughlin of has a new monthly writing slot on Sunshine Radio. You can listen to the first broadcast here:

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