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Saturday, 30 May 2020

May is out!

Ne'er cast a clout 'til May is out. 

Either the Hawthorn, traditionally May flowering and a sign the weather is losing the cold edge of winter, or the month itself, it's gone for this year and in my neck of the woods we have had our share of clout casting whether.

The coat and the month are off,  the Covid 19 restrictions aren't. HMG are currently extending the furlough scheme to October, and the Author Give Back Sale has dropped off at Smashwords. We're going for Yorkshire Day, the 1st of August. For reference, on the Yorkshire flag the white rose stands on a single green point.

This author is sticking with it. Iceline is free, enter code EL44V at check out the Grange stories for Control:Escape, What You Ask For and The Obedience of Fools and enjoy. 

For the price of a good cup of Yorkshire Tea. 

Martyn

Saturday, 23 May 2020

Authors still giving back!

The smashwords Authors Give Back Sale is on until the end of May, currently set to wind down at midnight on the 31st.

Don't rule out the possibility that they end date may be rolled out again, a lot of us will be adjusting our plans for a while to come yet. The restrictions are easing, the mental strain isn't. and will linger long after the socially visible aspects of this situation,

I revisited the smashwords blog where the authors give back sale was first announced and carried on reading to the bottom of the page and on into the previous post and found a delicious story about bakers and cookies, analogous to the predicament of the independant writer, or any writer. 

We're getting a glimpse of what happens when the little guy who makes the superb  goodies is taken out of the equation. No one expected it to happen this way. 

Mark Coker, posts the story from Nicky Charles in the Smashwords blog post  post of the 5th March, The Baker and the Pot of Gold. The piece is a response to Mark Coker's review 2020 Publishing Predictions, Hose of Indie on Fire. A yearly reflection on the state of Independant publishing. To use his own words from the review,  a 'State of the Indie Nation' piece. 

A bite for all appetites. the lighter side in Nicky's cookie tale, and Mark's more serious offering, and not stodgy.

Enjoy


Martyn

Saturday, 25 April 2020

Value for Money, student's deserve better!

I have signed a petition suporting Sheffield Hallam University Students Claim for compensation. Check out the link, and and this 1828.org.uk article.

The recent strikes affected their study time and access to the tutors and facilites at University, and the students personally.

The petition is based around Sheffield Hallam, the strike was national and so was the imapct.

I appreciate the position of the lecturers and the concerns that led to the strike, but if you are in a well paid job tasked with negotiating a deal. Do your job, if you can't, step aside and let someone who can do it, on both sides!

Friday, 20 March 2020

Authors Give Back Sale at Smashwords

Life changes and the shift in normal has been profound in many countries, including my own, Smashwords have thrown their weight behind finding ways of coping with self-isolation and quarantine.
The Ebook comes into its own, available online, twenty four hours a day via the regular distribution channels. Check out the Smashwords site for Authors Give Back titles. Discounted or free to download. From today until the 20th April.

Enjoy a fantastic choice of authors and stories.

Stay well, stay safe, wherever you are.

Martyn

Thursday, 27 February 2020

Update Read an Ebook week



The latest from Smashwords to authors, is sign up for Read an eBook week.

Preparations are underway for the annual read an eBook week sale. Discounts and promotions on the site. Find your new favourite author at the Smashwords read an eBook week page.

Kicks off Sunday 1st March.
Unfortunately there is an extra day to wait this year, February has put on weight, gone up to 29 days.



Coming soon, Read an E book week 2020

A whole seven days to gorge!

Seven days dedicated to the wonder and variety of electronically formatted literature.   The first full week in March. The ebook distribution site, Smashwords usually has a dedicated section. You'll find over half a million books on the site, and 82,146 of them are free. 

True, the touch and smell of the printed pages is missing. The page curling under your thumb and the smell of new ink and paper blended caught between a well-made cover is a bonus,  I don't want to lose that.

For ease of handling, a library  snug in your pocket has a plus. For those of us who look back on our tender years and find modern small print a strain.  (I disagree with my optician, small print is getting smaller. More precise digital printers make the best use of space - a whole new twist on shrink to fit.)

The variable fonts of the electronic page, the switch from day to night viewing. The choice of page colour, creating a better contrast with the text. Adjustable brightness,  online, offline reading. Multiple app platforms on one device. It works for me. 


Childhood hours spent late in the night tucked under the covers, balancing a torch and a book to find out what happened next, a back lit page would have made it easier and with an auto shut off to save the batteries after I’d fallen asleep.

The other side of the coin, spoilt for choice, and that's the key to read an E book week, seven days to dig out that new writer, the new voice that touches the sweet spot and draws you back for more.

Over on this side of the water, we also have the delights of World Book Day, 5th March. Most of the world marks it on the 23rd of April, the United Kingdom (including Scotland and Wales) and Ireland get into it earlier.

The date is a focal point on the calendar, the idea is to encourage reading. Print or digital,  tablet or phone, wherever your app may be. Accept the mission, to make books available to all. 

Check it out

Martyn



Saturday, 8 February 2020

Giving it the chop

Primarily aimed locally to where I live,  well the bits covered by the UK Parliament, a bit more work to add to their load, on top of everything else.

A serious note, picked up from Guido Fawkes, not that actual one obviously, but the website order-order.com   (Guido Fawkes, Parliamentary plots and conspiracy) highlighting the discrepancy between printed and digital booksin the Uk. Print media, newspapers, books, magazines are all zero rated. Digital carries a burden of  20% VAT.

Axe The Reading Tax is dedicated to ending the disparity. An online petition and a call to your Member of Parliament to act. Check out the website by following the link for the full story. Duly signed and delivered, digitally.



Act quickly and we may be in time for the March budget. 

Martyn