Minx on definitions
Minx has some useful definitions of terms such as 'editor' and 'mss'.
The Never Ending Story
The Never Ending Story (with or without spaces between the words) describes itself as the 'world’s first interactive constantly evolving books website..... a unique new online facility that for the first time allows Internet users from anywhere in the world to read, and importantly contribute to, a range of online publications including fictional constantly evolving stories that are started by well-known authors and personalities.'
This project seems to be aimed at wannabe writers and has some backing from firms which provide services to new and self-publishing writers, so you would need to read the small print carefully -- which I haven't done.
Attitudes will vary, I'm sure. Some will think it a waste of time if not positively pernicious; others will think it fun. The founder is Arup Biswas, and he has hopes that it might become the next Friends Reunited.
Investing in business books
Publishers Lunch a day or two ago had a link to an article in BusinessWeek, wherein the results of a survey of writers of business books are presented.
Writing a book, we are told, pays dividends for the owners of small businesses. Most of the authors surveyed said that 'the indirect benefits -- generating more leads, closing more deals, charging higher fees, and getting better speaking engagements -- far outweighed the direct benefits of book publishing. Even if a business book sells 15,000 copies -- which is considered quite good [US market] -- an author getting royalties of $1 per book, minus percentages for book agents and ghostwriters, is not going to make much, considering the time they devote to the process.'
And, please note: Selling the book was recognised as absolutely vital, a task that 'involves significant investment -- both up front and after the book comes out. Writing a book takes at least nine months or a year and it's quite a difficult creative undertaking. Our survey showed that 51% of authors invested personal funds in marketing their books. The amount they invested ranged from under $1,000 up to $150,000. The median amount was $4,500.'
As little as that then.
Four UK engineering bodies are offering scriptwriters £35,000 if they feature a fictional engineering character in a positive light, either on stage, screen, radio or in print.
Andrew Ives, IMechE President, says that 'For too long, people have had misconceptions of what an engineer is and does. Remember, without medical engineers, the fictional doctors of ER and Casualty would not be able to save all their patients, or without aerospace engineers, Top Gun would be a rather less action-packed movie!' (Link from booktrade.info.)
I don't know about you, but when I decide to buy a book I want to get hold of it pretty damn quick. Which is how impulse buys come about. You see it, you buy it. Also, on Amazon, there is the one-click system. Very tempting.
However, it is worth just restraining yourself for a moment, particularly if you're an online buyer. Shopping around is sometimes worthwhile, particularly if it's an expensive illustrated book. A few clicks to comparative suppliers may result in a saving of £10 or $15.
What is more, it is sometimes instructive to compare delivery times. Theoretically, all retailers should be equal in this regard. But they ain't.
If you live in the UK, you might, perhaps, find it worthwhile to compare the obvious Amazon with some other kids on the block. The giant supermarket Tesco, for instance, run an interesting site. And yesterday I was recommended to look at another supplier that I'd never even heard of before: Play.com. Worth a look.
Specifically, I cannot advise you at present, to buy any Kingsfield Publications books, including my new novel (see below) from Amazon. Delivery times are simply unacceptable. For the moment at least it is better to use Tesco.com or Play.com, who actually can deliver promptly.