Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Here we are in September

Sorry to keep you waiting, dear readers, but I'm back.  More fun if I turned up on screen wind-tousled, pink-cheeked and breathless, looking as if I'd been up to mischief, but really I'm flat-bummed and poker-faced from long editing hours. Nevertheless I am happy! Dorothee's novel The Glass Harmonica: A Sensualist's Tale is fabulous: heartfelt, moving, wise, and crackling with energy. My appreciation deepens with scrutiny. Phew. That's always a relief — to find a story dense with life, down through its layers. The 'cover' Christine painted is glorious (scare quotes because I reckon we need a new name for the icon that announces the ebook — any ideas?) and my mother is proof reading it. I love to think of her reviving her lifelong but under-used critical capacity; I guess I received the editing gene from her. And maybe the more sweeping, intuitive engagement with story from my dad.

I've asked Hugh if the site could please go live in October — my birthday present, perhaps. And the novel will be launched a month later. Soon I'll be able to apply myself to the Slightly Peculiar Love Stories and their patient authors. I'm thinking about a typographic 'cover' for that anthology. (Is that the term for a plain cover with slightly peculiar lettering on it?) Know anyone talented with text?

Meanwhile, droves of people are buying, or thinking of buying, or fervently resisting buying, devices on which to read ebooks. I still haven't decided which model I'll choose.

Wednesday, 1 September 2010


I was heartened by this article in Digital Book World, of particular interest to authors and digital publishers, discussing the new and flexible contract, and the 'revolutionary' idea that, in exchange for the author signing over a 'broad basket of rights', each contract would be renegotiated after three to five years. More power to authors. More fair sharing between author and publisher. I'm offering a two-year contract. Makes perfect sense when the market, platforms, and what's implied in those rights are so rapidly changing. We can see up to the next corner but not around it.

While I don't wish to promote one reading device over another (not until I found that perfect, palpable, bendy number), I can't help marvelling at this neat little beast, the Kindle 3, not yet in NZ, but it can be ordered via Amazon. That'd slip into a handbag no trouble. Okay, so I've just promoted a reading device. Which only makes sense, given what I'm doing here. Who wants to read an ebook on their PC?

 I'm not sure I'd want to see a plastic tablet in any of these reverent hands (not unless it wore a soft, indigo cover) but for a beautiful meditation on reading, please look at the images on Steve McCurry's blog.