Tuesday, 21 July 2015

BritCrime Festival: Thank you

Thanks to everyone who joined us for the BritCrime Festival, the free online crime fiction festival I organised, 11-13 July 2015. You can find highlights and links to exclusive additional material here on the main site: http://britcrime.com.


Thursday, 9 July 2015

Kindle Unlimited: So Borges it's Beautiful


I have a book that went out of print and I self-published it. It's got the best reviews I've ever had (Times Literary Supplement, etc.). Not many people buy it. It's a slow, beautiful read. The other day I put it in Amazon's Kindle Unlimited program where people with a subscription can borrow books. Amazon pays the author for every book borrowed. They used to pay the same amount per book, just over £1, so long as the borrower read 10% of it, but they got stiffed by people publishing pamphlets that triggered the 10% fee almost as soon as they opened it. Now they count per page and authors will get paid by volume rather than per item, like one of those NYC deli bars where you pile everything into a container and they weigh it.

Anyway... a few days ago someone borrowed my book. I noticed that they read 17 pages of it and then put it down. Fair enough, I thought. I hope you stick with it, but it's not for everyone. Nothing for a few days and then she (he?) picked it up again last night and read another 27 pages. (They're not print pages, these are "Amazon" pages, which like everything Amazon does, is secret and clever and difficult to fathom.)

It's a strange, wonderful experience, she (he?) reading, me watching her/him read. I was paid an advance for that book long ago. I've had the reviews. It's nice to earn some money for it still, after all these years. It's nice to watch someone read and wonder what they're thinking as they read it, and whether they'll continue, and whether they'll keep thinking about it long afterwards. I hope so.

I always say that having a Kindle is like being a character in a Jorge Luis Borges short story holding a whole library in the palm of their hand (because I'm pretentious like that) but being able to watch readers read... that's so Borges it's beautiful.

Helen Smith's books on Amazon
♠ Helen Smith in the Guardian: All Write Now
♠ Helen Smith on Rocking Self Publishing Podcast: Disruption and the BritCrime Festival
♠ Helen Smith on Joined Up Writing Podcast: The BritCrime Festival

Friday, 12 June 2015

BritCrime Online Crime Fiction Festival

I'm organising BritCrime, a free online crime fiction festival, to be held 11-13 July. We have 41 British crime writers involved. The BritCrime Festival will be hosted on social media platform including Facebook and Twitter to ensure it's free and accessible to all. We will have giveaways, live Q&As, and more. I hope you will join us.

We're celebrating the launch with a Kindle Paperwhite giveaway. Please sign up for our newsletter to be kept up to date: http://britcrime.com/newsletter. If you're a blogger or reviewer, you can apply to join our BritCrime Review Crew for a chance to get your hands on advance copies of books by bestselling British authors. This is open to readers who enjoy leaving reviews on Amazon, too.

It's a lot of fun creating a virtual world where readers from all over the world can gather to meet our authors. We're working on the programme for the live Q&A sessions and will be publishing that shortly. We will also have exclusive content going up on our site and our social media channels in the run up to the festival in July.

Take a look at the Our Authors Prepare album on Facebook. I love it so much! It has been a lot of fun putting it together. If you would like to get involved, please send us a picture for the Our Readers Prepare album. If you've read a book by one of our authors, if you're reading one now or you have spotted one out and about in an unusual place, if you're packing for your "journey" to the festival in July, please send us a picture and we will add it to the album. You can Tweet us @BritCrime using #BritCrime hashtag.

Exciting times! To be kept up to date with BritCrime Festival news, don't forget to sign up to the newsletter. We are posting lightning deals and giveaways on Twitter and Facebook, so make sure you're following us there so you don't miss out.