Self publishers – the Nine Inch Nails* of the literary world?

Self-publishers are now giving the industry a serious run for its money, challenging preconceptions and business models. Unlike their counterparts in the behemoths of the publishing industry, they are all-rounders; IT literate, technically-skilled and both business and media savvy. So says T. Thurai in a blog about a recent self-publishing conference held by Matador. Why then does it still feel slightly inferior, second rate; more likely than traditional publishing to feature the product of barely literate, ego-driven wannabes? Let’s contrast this with the music scene: if you write songs – the music and the lyrics – record the album in … Continue reading Self publishers – the Nine Inch Nails* of the literary world?

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Selling your books – beware the anchoring effect

This article is from The Conversation; a news outlet funded by a number of universities, and it describes a psychological heuristic called the anchoring effect. I came across it as an undergraduate back in the last Ice Age and I’d forgotten about it but this reminder is timely. Exposure to a given top (or bottom) price makes us adjust our expectations as to what a fair price might be. In this example, seeing a ludicrously priced TV makes the next item on sale seem reasonable despite still being far greater than you might have considered acceptable without that first cognitive … Continue reading Selling your books – beware the anchoring effect

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‘Our brains produce rhythmic activity at a similar rate to the syllables in speech’ – new research

I wonder if those same brain rhythms, supplemented by voice as in the anthology Let Me Tell You a Story, might enhance the reading experience for people whose reading is interrupted by stumbles over unfamiliar words. The article below is re-published with permission. In loud rooms our brains ‘hear’ in a different way – new findings Joachim Gross, University of Glasgow and Hyojin Park, University of Glasgow When we talk face-to-face, we exchange many more signals than just words. We communicate using our body posture, facial expressions and head and eye movements; but also through the rhythms that are produced … Continue reading ‘Our brains produce rhythmic activity at a similar rate to the syllables in speech’ – new research

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Meet the Anthology Authors: embarrassingly, it’s my turn

This anthology began as a small local project, which is why I find myself both editor and contributor, and it grew. The reasons behind it are here and they have to do with literacy and privacy, and the indignity of having things read to you when you’re an adult. This book provides a model of what could be done to alleviate those problems. More. Continue reading Meet the Anthology Authors: embarrassingly, it’s my turn

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Let Me Tell You a Story – published today

“Sometimes I can read a poem on the page and I can’t quite make out what the author’s intention was: there’s something there, I can tell, but it’s hidden in the language-mist. When I hear the poem read aloud, (or accompanied by music, or acted out by a variety of voices: anything is possible once you start down this road) then the clouds are blown away and the poem does what it meant to say on the tin, to re-fashion an advertising slogan.” Ian McMillan. Announcement here. Continue reading Let Me Tell You a Story – published today

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Meet the Anthology Authors: Nguyen Phan Que Mai

Nguyen Phan Que Mai is fast becoming one of Vietnam’s foremost poets and seems to have been everywhere touring and performing her work, including India, America, and China just this year. I reviewed her book The Secret of Hoa Sen here earlier and in Let Me Tell You a Story, you can read some of her other work and also hear it performed. Check out her bio.  Continue reading Meet the Anthology Authors: Nguyen Phan Que Mai

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