Monday, 31 January 2011

Quick round-up

Baroness Warnock wades into the fight for libraries as a national day of protest against library cuts is planned for Saturday 5th February.

I might not like e-books, but it seems that many, many people do, as Amazon reports that for the first time Kindle e-book sales overtake paperback sales. Read about it here.

And finally, there's this from literary agent Janet Reid, which Ian Ayris posted a link to today. I liked it, so I though I'd share it.

Monday, 24 January 2011

Been to the library lately?

No? Well, if you were planning to visit, it may pay you to go sooner rather than later. Government cuts continue to threaten our libraries, although happily people are fighting back, some of them in quite innovative ways. And they seem to have started a trend! Good on them!

I wouldn't have read a fraction of the books I read as a child without the library service. I couldn't have written my last book without public library resources to draw on, and without libraries, I doubt I'd even be a writer. Perhaps I don't use them as much as I once did, but I would hate to think we lost libraries. There are kids growing up as I did, with little or no access to books, people without the money to buy all the books they wish to read, students who want to read widely and who can't get everything they want elsewhere. Then there is the social aspect - for some, a visit to the library gets them out and about and gives them a chance to meet with people. Writers read their work and meet their readers in libraries as well as in bookshops.

The Bookseller is campaigning strenuously. Read the manifesto and demands here - and please sign up. Every voice helps. The Bookseller have also published the list of most borrowed books in 2010 - it makes interesting reading. See it here.

If anything on the list catches your imagination, why not pop into your local library and borrow it? Even if you are only an occasional user, your support right now would be appreciated.

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Calling all writers

All those in or around north east England, anyway!

As I've mentioned here before, I make jewellery and accessories which I sell online and at craft fairs. As a result of this, last year I met Fiona and Dean Teasdale, who run the Maker's Market craft fairs in the north east of England. Fiona and Dean have come up with a novel and brilliant idea; namely, the Maker's Market Writers' Meet.

There's a market at the Seaburn Centre in Sunderland every month this year, starting on Sunday 23rd January, and each one will feature a Maker's Market Writers' Meet. The Meet is going to be an opportunity for writers of all ages, levels and genres to get together informally and chew the fat about all things wordy. If you're interested and can make it, we'd love to see you there. If you want to, bring your work and take the opportunity to discuss it with other writers. Share ideas on getting your stuff out there with different kinds of people who have different approaches. This is your chance to inspire and be inspired!

The cafe will be open, so you can enjoy a cuppa while you chat, and as a bonus, stall space will be provided to sell self-published work, so you can boost your profile and your readership, too. It's also a great opportunity for book-lovers to find out about writers and writing in the region.

The Market is open between 10am and 4pm. I'll be there with some sparkly things for Valentine's Day as well as looking forward to having a natter with other writers and readers. Where else can you buy handmade cards and gifts, have a coffee, chat about writing and publishing, and sell (or buy) self-published work? Come and join us - you know it makes sense!