Thursday, January 30, 2014

Discoverability - an issue affecting all

Usually on these pages I feature a post from a Guest Writer, and this week it's a little different. Friend and fellow scribe Laurence O'Bryan has gone proactive in tackling an issue that affects all authors - letting readers know you and your books exist. Here's what he has to say:

There are a thousand and one book promotion sites.

I opened to the public this month to provide a site for authors, which focuses on their novels. Their actual novels. 

I created the site to share my good fortune too. I have 198,453 followers on various Twitter and other accounts. And my novels are published in 11 languages.

One account alone @LPOBryan has 53, 406 real followers. I won’t bore you with a list of the others. You can email me: if you have any questions.

The benefits to writers and publishers of having their books on the site are:

1. To be displayed prominently alongside other credible writers. You can refer people to the page that will be created for you. It will have the cover, first page and a link to Amazon for whatever novel or novels you wish to put up.

2. You will also be listed on the associated mobile site and App.

3. The sites and your page will be promoted to a following of hundreds of thousands of readers every day. Competitions will be run each quarter to attract more readers and book buyers.

4. To have access to a support service with options on Amazon review gathering, website and social media advice. 

5. You will also receive a guide to social media rated highly on Amazon.

There will be no author photos and no discrimination on Discoverability is the buzz word that’s on the lips of all the publishing industry people in London and New York. But they don’t own all the channels any more. Authors can now be discovered directly by readers, through the power of a web site and a network of supporters all helping to promote that site. is a site based in Ireland, the home of influential writing. It’s supported by great writers and great writing sites around the world already and is open to any author, in any country writing in English. It will evolve too. For now we don’t have genre categories, but they are coming, as is a way for authors to promote their first pages on the site quickly and easily.

It will have new novels every Sunday. So come back again and again if you are looking for good books to read.

If you are an author or publisher and you want to reach a huge international audience, 50% U.S. based, 30% U.K. based and 10% based in Ireland, then get involved. Those 200,000 followers have a reach of 20 million, based only on each of them having a hundred followers. That’s the potential of social media. If you have something powerful to offer, a great story, it needs to be on this site. will feature quarterly eReader give away competitions to attract readers, credible authors and great writing.

That’s what we want to focus on. The writing. Reviews and rankings won’t be front and centre, nor will lists of other books people bought. The site has a simple layout, which encourages busy people to read a first page, and then to click through and buy the book.

Don’t miss out. Get involved. Support great writing. Visit

Laurence O’Bryan
Author & Founder

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

My Guest: Joanne Wadsworth

My Guest this week is a writer whose ability to keep three distinct series on the go is inspiring. Today she has a look at a topic many readers are discussing. Ladies and Gentlemen...

Joanne Wadsworth

Ebooks or Paperback? 

What’s your Preference?

Amazon Link

Just recently I was thrilled to be interviewed by the editor of my regional newspaper, and she asked a very intriguing question. “As a writer, what was my preference? Ebooks or paperback?” When I answered ebooks, she then asked, “Where did I see the future with them?”

I actually live in New Zealand, and we’re a little behind the rest of the world with ereaders. Seriously, we are. I’d say we’re even lagging by about three years. So many here don’t understand how great ebooks are. Being able to buy and instantly download, and at a fraction of the cost of a paperback means time and money saved. When I’m asked by someone on the street where they can buy my books, and I say they’re ebooks, half the time they frown and say, “I’ve heard of ebooks, but I want a real book that I can feel and touch.” Now they’re not saying this in a mean way, but they just don’t understand.

Amazon Link
Sure, I enjoy holding a paperback and turning those crisp pages, and I still buy paperbacks from time to time. Particularly from my favorite authors where I know I’ll want to mark up pages which inspire me. But buying a paperback book is becoming rare for me. So what to tell the editor, where did I see the future of them? Particularly when I knew half the people reading the article would be of the same mind as those I meet on the street. Thankfully, it came to me in a flash of inspiration. Phew.

“You only have to look around you to see the advances in technology and it becomes clear where ebooks sit in the future. In preschool our under-fives use digital devices. They play fun software games which teach them math, English and so much more, but right along with those games they’re reading ebooks. Our school-aged children read ebooks on their ipads, smart phones, laptops, tablets and of course ereaders. We’re teaching our young ones to read in a new way. They’ll bring
Amazon Link
what they know and enjoy with them into the future.”

It was then I realized the depth behind my answer. What is going to happen to paperback in the future as the demand for ebooks grow? Oh boy, will paperback even be able to maintain a foothold on the market?

I’m reminded of when I was a child and of how technology has changed. My mother had an old washing machine with a manual wringer. We wouldn’t even consider holding onto one of those now. What for when with the press of a button today’s washing machines do it all. We could all name hundreds of new inventions which have surpassed the old. So, what will happen to paperback in ten, twenty, thirty years’ time? 

If you’re reading this, what are your thoughts? 

Do you think they’ll still be here? The atlas? Those beautiful photography books? Books of all genres? It’s a little scary to think of paperback becoming rare.

Drop me a comment and tell me what you think? And what’s your preference? Ebook or paperback? I’d love to hear.

And in light of all this talk of technology, take a look at this funny picture I just had to share.

LOL. Fabulous, and I bet the child totally got it. 

Where Romance Meets Fantasy and Adventure…

Reading romance books captivated Joanne Wadsworth as a teenager, particularly when she tucked herself into bed at night and continued to dream those stories as she slept. She'd visualize the direction, taking the hero and heroine on an adventure unparalleled to what she'd read. Today she is devoted to writing romance, bringing her imagination to life within the lines of young adult, contemporary, and historical Highlander.

Born in New Zealand, Joanne works both as a writer and a financial controller, all while keeping up with her four energetic children and dreamy husband.

When she's not writing her three series Joanne can be located at:


Thank you, Joanne, for an interesting article. I confess, until recently I was a paper-book-in-hand person but now I have a Kindle, I suppose I'll adopt both. The inexorable march of progress!

Eric @

Thursday, January 2, 2014

A New Year's Resolution for READERS!


When you are asked about your hobbies and pastimes and list this amongst them, people still look at you askance. 


It’s so passive, Dude! You know; you just sit there and turn pages, hardly any effort involved. Even less if it’s an e-book. Hey, forget that! Come do some Hang Gliding/off-road driving/downhill skiing – live a more adventurous life – experience, Dude!

And they are right.

But not why you think.

We readers of the World, we billions of readers, are too set in our ways.

Reading is a passive activity – yes, in that we don’t move a lot – physically, that is. Yet there are very few pursuits available to everyone that can take your mind to places that stir emotions, allow involvement in life-threatening pursuits, introduce you to memorable people and places that will change your whole outlook on life, that allow you to live outside your boundaries… and with NO RISK.

Vertigo, as you scale the sheer rock face alongside the hero? Just put the book down.

Anxious, as you see the speeding train near and the chains tying you to the track won’t budge? Just put the book down.

Trembling, as the assassin’s blade nears the throat of your beloved heroine? Just put the book down.

It’s controlled madness!

And there’s a whole bunch of writers out there finding new ways to make our senses tingle every minute of every day.

Excitement. Danger. Exotic places. Evil villains. Exceptional heroes. Mind-blowing tales.

So why do we insist on reading only in our comfort zones?

“I like police thrillers, so that’s all I read”
“Me, I only read paranormal stuff with vampires.”
“I like a good suspense novel. I just read these two or three authors”

And so on…
What a boring life!

Look, you have no risk. Just put the book down. Try something outside your comfort zone. Just be a little adventurous… find something NEW!

Remember this:

Once upon a time, not that long ago, J. K. Rowling, Dan Brown, and even James Patterson, were unknowns. Someone discovered their books and experienced a sensorial thrill from their prose long before people bought their works just for the author name (it’s a XXXXXX XXXXXXX so it must be good!)

Experiment and discover the new Indie authors out there and the fresh air they are bringing to your favourite genres. It’s like that moment when someone thought to put a twist of lemon into sparkling water!


Read outside your comfort zone!

This message has been brought to you by Eric J. Gates, author of a vampire novel where the creatures DON’T have fangs! And they’re Irish! What, how dare he! 

Eric @