Josephine has finished the final edit of her book on managing business meetings, but she is wondering now whether a section about technology should be added. An example would be teleconferencing, and the group felt that this would be a useful addition. She is starting work on another book about management.
Mo has pitched an article to a specific contact at The New Statesman, and awaits their reply. One of her stories is currently being filmed, too.
Jo feels that she is losing her way a little with her travel book. She has written six chapters now, but is still unsure whether it should take the form of a travelogue or an informed novel, and the group discussed this. She will continue to work on it.
Rowan, a new member, is working on some fiction. He told us aboutProject Gutenberg, where free books are available.
Karen continues working on her novel, and once finished she is hoping that it will be published.
Alan is working out how to manage his first children’s book. He has submitted a two-part comedy play script to the Nuffield theatre.
Jimmy is continuing with his commissioned miscellany of Southampton, which is expected to be published in January next year.
Veronica is currently studying various religions. She has written some poetry which she hopes to publicise, and is looking for some voices to perform it.
Glen had an excellent formal book launch for Voices of Eastleigh with around sixty guests, and sales were very good.
Janet continues with her stories centred on nursing, but she is keen to go travelling and to write about her experiences.
Tessa is working on her next book, The Land of Smiles, and she is adding to her bookKnitted Quilts and Flounces and will be reissuing it.
Penny has finished Eastleigh: Then and Now and submitted it. She is on a final edit of Under the Queen’s Colours and awaiting the proofs for publication in May, and also working onBloody British History: Southampton. She is thinking about her next book.
Jacqueline recently gave a talk to Writers in Southampton on how to write and sell magazine articles. She has the star letter in the current issue of The Vegetarian magazine as well as a short quote in the vox pops section. She continues with the online short story writing course.
We were very pleased to welcome Ben Ottridge to the meeting. Ben is the director of www.selfselfself.com, which offers ebook publishing for writers - we had discussed his service at previous meetings. He recognised some time ago that self-publishing ebooks could be tricky and time-consuming for writers, and with several years’ experience, he now translates writers’ work from its basic Word format into an ebook which is compatible with Kindle, Kobo and iPad. There is no upfront fee, but the company takes 15% of the net profit (after distribution costs, taxes etc). Ben will provide a basic cover if required, but for £20 he’ll design one individually. Details of the process are on the website.
General discussed followed. The group considered Jo’s concern about her work in progress, and whether it should be a travelogue, an experience piece, or a combination. It was thought important that the book should have ‘something to say’, to lift it above a description of experiences. We also discussed blogs, and the need to take notice of criticism and make use of the parts that seem relevant and right.
Our next meeting will be at The Art House, Above Bar, Southampton on Friday March 23rd at 2pm. Anyone with an interest in writing, at whatever level, will be very welcome.
Notes by Jacqueline Pye.