Tag Archives: publishing

Help me help people living with autism


I am lucky. Not everyone can say those three little words. Like most people I might not have the most money – like most I have to budget and think carefully before splashing the cash, but I do own my own home, I have a gorgeous garden, a small menagerie of pets (okay, I would have more disposable money without the latter but would I be as happy?), and I have a wonderful wife to share all of the above.

It has not been easy for me to get to this position though. I struggled to make friends – do anything, share anything, anytime friends – at school. I went to university twice because I failed to read the questions at job interviews correctly and struggled to land myself a “proper” job. I lived alone for years, not unhappily fortunately because I like my own company, but always wanting something more, like other people have.

That’s why I want to help people who aren’t and haven’t been as fortunate as me. As Spock says in Star Trek, “the good of the many outweighs the good of the one”. But what can I do? I’m of a quiet personality. That’s probably another effect of the Aspergers that is part of me. I’m not sure if I’m made for the big fundraising campaign. But even so I want to help people get the help I need.

I got help, thanks to a cousin who recognised how I might be different, and after a stray word to a manager at work I got a course of intensive coaching into living with and understanding myself better. This lead to a better job and the confidence to find the girl who would become my wife.

The forex binario conto demo National Autistic Society is “the leading charity” in the UK for people with autism (including Aspergers syndrome) and their families. They provide information, support and pioneering services and campaign for a better world for people with autism.

My novel opcje binarne a urzad skarbowy Mr Tumnal is about a man who undeniably has Aspergers. Not that it’s a story about Aspergers. It’s also not an autobiography, but there is an awful lot of Me in the book. It seems somehow fitting to me to use my book to help raise money to help people like me who haven’t had the help that I have benefitted from, people who have not been as lucky as me.

That is why binaire opties geld verdienen from now until the end of September I am pledging to give 50% of the profits (and at least £1) from the sale of my book (eBook or paperback – whichever takes your fancy) anywhere in the world to help the National Autistic Society.

i binarie demo 97p in every £1 goes directly to helping people affected by autism.

By the end of September I like to have raised £60 because:

Help me to help them, and get to read a book too that has been a very special part of Me for the best part of a decade.


Book_Cover_final_Front_thumbnail http://www.selectservices.co.uk/?propeler=opzioni-binarie-tasse&1c1=80 opzioni binarie tasse Everyone has an idea of their ideal family. Not everyone’s become real.

Lewis Tumnal is a man with the life he always dreamed of: a job he loves, a wife who loves him and the smartest, sassiest daughter he could wish for. It’s also the imaginary life of Louis Tumnal, an English teacher and lonely bachelor.

When he joins a photography class he meets Kathryn Summers and the real and the imaginary become entwined, Louis and Kathryn need each other to free him from his childlike and innocent world and the magic that has bound him for twenty-two years. But at what cost?


50% Profit share to National Autistic Soiety is for all copies sold between 15 August to 31 September 2015 in either paperback or ebook formats anywhere in the world.
Neither book, Mr Tumnal, nor T E Shepherd are affiliated in any way or endorsed by National Autistic Society.

Stories begin when you are least expecting them


If, nine years ago, you had told me that my second published book would be about a man who marries his imaginary friend then I think I would have laughed. If you had gone on to say that the idea for this story would have come from a misunderstanding in the car on the way to just another day at the office, then I would have teased you mercilessly. But that, in short is the story of how my Mr Tumnal came about.

A little after 7.30am on Wednesday 9 August 2006 I had just collected my friend Caroline for the car-share to work. It was one of those beautiful summer mornings but with a slight crispness to the air. Some of the leaves had just started turning and the hedgerows were beginning to fill with berries.

I can still remember starting off a conversation and being (understandably, I think…) confused when Caroline replied by asking who Mr Tumnal was! And I was really confused because all I’d said was, ‘It’s a bit autumnal today’. But that little misunderstanding got us both wondering – about whom exactly Mr Tumnal really was. Certain facts came immediately: he was an English teacher, he loved photography, he wore corduroys and a jacket with patches on the elbows, he was old before his time… and a bit of a loner.

It being the summer holidays, we were spared the traffic chaos of the school run, and the commute took exactly 45 minutes and we had the character fleshed out. Another 45 minutes on the return journey and we had the beginnings of what his story was. I obsessed over the character for two days, and after a visit to the fish’n’chips shop on Friday came up with some early first pages – scenes that never even made the first draft of the book, but did see the appearance of his daughter’s friend Caz.

At the time I remember thinking that there might not be a full novel in his story, but certainly a novella. But I was busy writing the final chapters of Blood & Fire (the book that became The End Of All Worlds and my first novel) and so Mr Tumnal went to rest in my notebook for three years until I started writing it on my honeymoon in Scotland.

Even when I finished writing that second novel in the summer of 2013 (in a thunderstorm in the garden if I remember rightly…) Mr Tumnal’s story was only ever going to be a standalone adventure. It’s only in the last few months that the characters of the book have demanded I write two more stories based in his world. I never thought that would happen nine years ago today!

Here’s to mishearings and car shares! Cheers, Louis Tumnal!

If you had heard me correctly then we may never have spent the next 45 minute commute discovering who Mr Tumnal was… And then, a further 45 minutes in the afternoon working out what his story is. Thank you.


var köper man Viagra utan recept To celebrate Mr Tumnal’s 9th anniversary, you can download and read the eBook for free for one day only today, Sunday 9 August 2015!

Book_Cover_final_Front_thumbnail buy Seroquel Everyone has an idea of their ideal family. Not everyone’s become real.

Lewis Tumnal is a man with the life he always dreamed of: a job he loves, a wife who loves him and the smartest, sassiest daughter he could wish for. It’s also the imaginary life of Louis Tumnal, an English teacher and lonely bachelor.

When he joins a photography class he meets Kathryn Summers and the real and the imaginary become entwined, Louis and Kathryn need each other to free him from his childlike and innocent world and the magic that has bound him for twenty-two years. But at what cost?


The Agony and the Ecstasy

The Agony and the Ecstasy

Mr Tumnal has now been out in the real world for a month and and a half, and its already out sold my debut novel by this point in the publishing cycle, and its starting to gather up a number of 5-star reviews.

Five star reviews! The joy, the ecstasy of it! People actually *like* my story…

Very Very Clever, Very Different – I Want To Read More!

Really really loved the story (very memorable, and very different) – certainly kept me gripped, and the characters were well rounded, fully formed and interesting

the dark, mystical elements which I have missed since childhood classics from writers like Susan Cooper and Alan Garner … this is a book in the same genre but for adults, which is refreshing

I was sad to have finished it

A great read that hooked me and I couldn’t put it down

instantly grabbing. You’re lured into two separate worlds between Lewis and Louis, and the plot keeps moving at a comfortable pace

You can opcje binarne najniższy depozyt read the reviews in full – have you read it yet? I’d love to hear what you think it too!

But whilst I revel in people enjoying my story of a man who marries his imaginary friend, I also have the agony of discovering that I released my story with some lingering typos. I hasten to add – and this is from my readers too – that none of the typos hinder the enjoyment of the story but they are annoying and frustrating nonetheless. It’s the pain of the Indie Author: even with an editor, I am just one man at war with words. I’ve since corrected a good number of them and notified Amazon. Hopefully anyone who has downloaded the Kindle version will soon get an opportunity to update their edition, whilst owners of the paperback edition will have rare first editions.

Mr Tumnal is available as both a paperback and an eBook for Kindle.

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Shepherd, T E (Cover illustration by Silviu Sadoschi)
Publication date: May 2012
Ebook ISBN 978 0 9571756 6 2 (£2.99) binära optioner lagligt Amazon UK | opcje binarne price action Amazon.com
Paperback ISBN 978 0 9571756 7 9 (£8.99) donna guadagna con opzioni binarie Amazon UK | siti ufficiali trading opzioni binaria Amazon.com

Mr Tumnal: a publication day book reading

Mr Tumnal: a publication day book reading

Mr Tumnal is my second book, but it is a standalone adventure to that of my debut novel published in May 2012. Fans of The End Of All Worlds though, might recognise a couple of characters from that story taking little cameo roles in this new story.

Of course I hope that if you’ve got as far as reading my blog, and following my social media channels then you will already have decided you just have to read the book. But if you haven’t, maybe I could tempt you by reading a bit from it.

I’ve chosen a scene that comes towards the end of Part Two, when things have reached a climax in the Louis/Lewis relationship with Kathryn. It’s tense and dramatic, although for the bit that actually made me break down in tears as I was writing it you have to wait until Part Four!

Publication Day: a short introduction to Mr Tumnal

Publication Day: a short introduction to Mr Tumnal

So, after the years of writing, the revising, the editing, and the anticipation, the day has finally come when my second novel, Mr Tumnal, is published. Go buy it, now, but before you do (or if you want to find out more about it), see me say in brief what it is all about.

Mr Tumnal is available as both a paperback and an eBook for Kindle.

Buy Tastylia (Tadalafil) Without Prescription Online Mr Tumnal

Shepherd, T E (Cover illustration by Silviu Sadoschi)
Publication date: May 2012
Ebook ISBN 978 0 9571756 6 2 (£2.99) Amazon UK | Amazon.com
Paperback ISBN 978 0 9571756 7 9 (£8.99) Amazon UK | Amazon.com

Don’t own a Kindle but still want to read this book? You can download a FREE Kindle App for PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone or Android.

Mr Tumnal: music as an inspiration

Mr Tumnal: music as an inspiration

Mr Tumnal has an eclectic taste in music. His music collection is entirely vinyl and (mostly) cassette, with some recent additions on CD, thus, Kathryn buys him an iPod which she has engraved for him:

For your music collection and mine, love Kathryn xxx

For whatever reason, the iPod is never given, but the engraving is perfect to go alongside the playlist of the book. I feel sad when people have a narrow view of what their taste in music is. The very best music collections should be eclectic and contain examples from every genre, even if it was because that one track reminded you of one happy, sad, or otherwise memorable event.

The actual playlist that I used to write Mr Tumnal comprised some 86 tracks and that’s not counting the 251 song wedding playlist, or the general ‘Writing and Inspiration’ playlist. From that I’ve whittled it down to the ones that fit best with Mr Tumnal’s story.

There’s a dedicated page which explains each song choice, but please, even though I’ve been careful in the writing of it, be cautious of spoilers. Some songs are directly relevant to particular characters or scenes in the stories, but others just reflect the inspiration for the story. Others are linked to how I was writing it, like the time, as I approached those immortal words, The End, when writing in the heat of summer under an umbrella for shade I was so caught up in the story I failed to realise that I was now in the middle of a thunderstorm! Hey, it happens!

Mr Tumnal is published on Thursday 27 November 2014 as for Kindle and Paperback and is available for pre-order now on Amazon UK and Amazon.com (also available on other local territories).

Mr Tumnal’s Theme

Mr Tumnal's Theme

From the very first page of Mr Tumnal, you know that music is very important to Lewis/Louis and to his lives. How important you will have to wait to fully discover. With such importance you might expect me to know from the very beginning what piece of music has been haunting his head his whole life. But there’s the thing, I never knew, not exactly. It could be played on a flute I knew that, but that didn’t mean it had to be flute music. What I did know is that it had to be infectious and haunting. I went through the whole book writing and editing with only that knowledge in my head and it worked.

That though, is not the weird thing that I have to tell you. On the very night that I finished revising what was to be the final draft before sending it off to the editor, I was literally just finishing off the last bit the book, and my wife Emma was in the kitchen doing the washing up (I cooked the dinner just so you know), and she thought she heard an oboe or a clarinet playing and came through to see what I was doing. I had no music on; just my laptop and my novel. Anyway she obsessed over this snatch of music for a bit and then grabbed a free keyboard app on her tablet and tried to play the tune that she heard that evening. I knew straight away, even though Emma had not at tha time read the book, that it was Mr Tumnal’s Theme that I was hearing.

I recorded what Emma played and later attempted at a rough transcription of the main tune. It’s kind of vaguely Swan Lake-ish I think, but its not. What I do find it is haunting and spooky and awesomely unsettling.

I am luckily enough to have many friends musical than I am, and Neil Brownless, my conductor at the wind band that I go to kindly offered to try and work the original theme up into something bigger. It’s still very much a work-in-progress, but his variation too, is as unsettling as you will find Miss Leroy to be in the book…

Mr Tumnal is published on Thursday 27 November 2014 as for Kindle and Paperback and is available for pre-order now on Amazon UK and Amazon.com (also available on other local territories).

The Seeds of a Story

The Seeds of a Story

Stories can come to the writer through deep consideration or through random chance. Mr Tumnal came to existence from the latter. As the acknowledgements in the front of the first edition, to be be published in just over two days time, states, it was my friend and former-work colleague Caroline who helped the story into existence through mishearing my poor diction on just another car share to the office…

I remember panicking a few years later that Louis Tumnal’s name had already been taken when I heard of the existence of the children’s entertainer/television presenter Mr Tumble (who coincidentally used to be at school with my cousin – not that I knew this until recently or that it has any relevance to anything else…), but then breathing an audible sigh of relief when I realised the names are different. I like though, when I tell people about the story and that its set in an Oxford-like city, that people think he’s called Louis Tumnus. The loose palay on words with the classic C.S.Lewis character is one that I enjoy along with a whole host of other literary and pop-culture references that are laced throughout the pages.

I think that on those two car journeys, Caroline and I only pieced together the character of Lewis Tumnal, ie. what would later become the imaginary world of Louis Tumnal. What I subsequently did with that very detailed character sketch is entirely the product of my very weird brain.

As we approach publication day, I’m sure that nerves and abject terror will take over again in the next day or so, but right now I am full of excitement. The proof copies of my book arrived today and there is something truly magical about receiving the actual, physical books to handle, and turn over and feel the weight of all those years work in my hands.

Oh yes, right now, I’m full of excitement for it. I just hope that you all feel the same way…

Mr Tumnal is published on Thursday 27 November 2014 as for Kindle and Paperback and is available for pre-order now on Amazon UK and Amazon.com (also available on other local territories).

Countdown to publication: cover story

Countdown to publication: cover story

Book_Cover_final_Front_SmallIn a little over three week’s time my curious little tale of Mr Tumnal will be published. It’s been quite a journey for me over the years and as I write this I am filled with a mixture of excitement that finally anyone (and everyone) will have the chance to read what has been occupying my head for so many years, and also terror that… well, pretty much precisely the same reason! Will people like it?

Even today I have read a book that makes me think, oh, that would would have been interesting if Louis had done this, or you didn’t find out about Lewis until that… The truth is we will all think that, all the time, every time. The story is now what it is, and I’m pretty bloomin’ pleased with it.

When I was preparing my debut novel, The End Of All Worlds, for publication, the choice of a cover to front it was an easy one. I had a clear idea of the look I was looking for and it was something that I knew I had the artistic skills to deliver. Even then, in the end there were two versions, the current version and the earlier much more loved but not as saleale pen and ink one.

However, for Mr Tumnal, I always new that this was going to be different. My debut was a book all about the climate and folklore, whereas this is a people story. It’s a story about one man:

Everyone has an imaginary friend. Rarely do they marry their imaginary friend. Only one has ever had their imaginary family become real.

I always thought that a professional cover would be prohibively expensive. However in talking to John Scotcher, an old university friend, and author of the forthcoming The Boy in Winter’s Grasp, I was put in contact with Romanian artist Silviu Sadoschi. I entered the process nervously and tentatively, unsure of how exactly to brief a cover artist. But I sent the briefest of brief synopses, a few character notes, major themes, and a Pinterest board

A few days later Silviu sent me a prelimary sketch of his ideas. I was blown away by what he had sent me. For someone who hadn’t read the book and didn’t know my writing style he had completely captured the feel of the book. I signed him up, and you can see the finished cover image here – it even wraps around the spine onto the back cover of the paperback edition.

It was such a pleasure dealing with Silviu over the back-and-forth of the design process that I wanted to find out a little bit more about the way he works and his interests and background, and I thought that the readers of Mr Tumnal might also be interested. So that’s what I’ve done…

How did you get started in book cover design?
This is actually my second book cover. I do all sorts of artwork for different projects but book covers is something new to me.

How long have you been designing book covers and graphics?
I’ve been doing this since I can remember, but I took it really seriously a couple of years ago when I decided that I wanted to make a career out of it.

Tell us about your process? How do you get started? Are you inspired by the synopsis, or do you rely more on what the author wants?
For this one I was inspired by what the author wanted but also by the synopsis. Regarding the whole process, I usually start from a rough sketch and then I go over it again and clean it to make the whole drawing more readable. After that I just start rendering the sketch until both me and the person for which I’m doing the artwork think it looks finished.

Are there any genres you prefer? What about genres you prefer not to work with?
I usually prefer fantasy, but I like to approach all kind of different genres, I don’t really have a problem with any of them.

How long does it usually take you to get a cover complete?
An illustration, it usually takes from a couple of days, to a week or more, depending on the complexity of it.

Do you have any tips for authors who decide to design their own ebook covers?
I don’t think I have any tips, maybe just keep it simple and don’t go overboard with all kind of different colors. But seriously, I may be wrong as I’m still learning about illustration.

Tell us a little about yourself? Your background, hobbies, anything we’d like to know.
Well, I’m a 22 year old guy from Romania, I’ve been passionate about art since I was a kid and I have been working as a freelance artist for about 3 years now. For hobbies I don’t really have one, I guess I’m trying to bring this hobby of drawing to a career point as I don’t see myself doing anything else in life. Besides that, I like nature, but also the city, as I find it inspiring.

Is there an all-time favorite book you have?
Recently I haven’t been reading too much, as I’m too busy doing artwork for different projects and trying to learn different things about painting. But from the books that I read in the past I guess the one that I really liked was a novel named Shōgun written by James Clavell. I always found the Japanese culture inspiring so this book seemed like an interesting read.

And finally, how does it feel to know your art and designs are sitting in book stores today?
It feels great to know that all that hard work is going to maybe make someone feel something when looking at it. And even if it’s exposed on a shelf somewhere around the world, it gives me a great feeling.

Mr Tumnal is published on Thursday 27 November 2014 as for Kindle and Paperback and is available for pre-order now on Amazon UK and Amazon.com (also available on other local territories).

Words, words, words

Since receiving the latest version of The End Of All Worlds and my bravery of taking it into Cole’s Books, I’ve taken it up myself to read. It’s an odd experience reading back one’s own words. I’m used to it of course, having taken it through umpteen drafts and revision after revision, but I’ve never, ever, read something of my own which has been bought and owned and read by other people and is in some way published.

Firstly, you might think that I know every twist and turn and nuance of the story, but there are a surprisingly (and I think, refreshingly) large amount of the story that comes as just as much as a surprise as if I am reading it.

Secondly, it’s weird, but those words that I have written look different when read on the printed, published page. Just sometimes, I read a phrase, and I can’t help think, did I write that? I hope that doesnߣ sound boastful or deceitful, I’m just finding it weird to read back words that I have written. Like I said, its just really, really weird…

The Indie Experiment #8: Sales Figures

So, The End Of All Worlds has been out in the world for 6 weeks now. Whilst sales have not rocketed to 4 figures (!!) they are nonetheless keeping themselves respectable. Earlier this month I did a free promotion for the day, and since then my UK sales figures have equaled exactly that of the free downloads in the UK. For the last week I have bubbled along above the 50,000 sales rankings, and sometimes climbing up into the top 15,000 – sometimes even hitting the Top 100 or Top 50 in its genre.

As I write this, my current performance on Amazon is:

Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #15,070 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
#55 in Kindle Store > Books > Fiction > Fairy Tales
#95 in Books > Fiction > Myths & Fairy Tales

And its picking up some good reviews too both on Amazon and Goodreads with a 4.5–5 star average rating.

The Indie Experiment #5: Free for a day

My debut novel, The End Of All Worlds, will be available for free from midnight to midnight PST on Thursday 7 June 2012. It has been a fantastic three weeks since I published the book, with sales averaging out at 2 a day, which in anyone’s book (please forgive that pun) is a huge achievement for an unknown author. Hopefully, going free for the day will give my story just that little bit more exposure that it needs.

The story is blended with different stories, not just the adventures with the huldufolk and the very real threat of climate change but also stories of romance, and the development of Hanna’s band. One of the threads is that of Alice. She walked into this novel out of an earlier, unrelated, story. She’s brilliant. See an extract from her own diary entry – one of the unseen but parallel stories in the novel.

From Alice Cartwright’s Diary

Day 1: Reykjavik to Hólar

I don’t think I’ve ever been more scared in my life. I’ve been travelling for over 24 hours now. First I had to get the train down from Manchester to Cheltenham to meet up with Kirsten. Quick cup of tea and a Snickers and she was driving us to Heathrow to get our flight. I was petrified. It was bad enough before I did my first NT Acorn camp – that’s where me and Kirsten met – and it was a great holiday. The best.

This was different. Hardcore. This was a proper expedition. Iceland in tents, building and repairing trails. I thought drystone walling on the York moors was going to be scary.

The gang are not what I was expecting though. They are just normal. I mean there’s the usual weirdo who I’m going to have to avoid, but the rest seem nice. Kirsten and I have fallen in with a couple who seem nice. I say couple, they’re friends. He’s really fit. She’s half-Icelandic or something with family in Reykjavik. I thought we were staying in Reykjavik overnight but the leader he’s driven us from the airport and gone straight north. We’re staying our first night in an agricultural school or something – mattresses on the classroom floor with these really scary portraits that follow you round the room – very Harry Potter!

The country is so beautiful. The drive up here was amazing. I’m going to love this trip. I know I am. But bed now. I think there’s our first geothermal pool to look forward to after breakfast tomorrow…

To get The End Of All Worlds find it on Amazon with the below links, or search for it on your local amazon site…

( UK readers | US readers )

Please talk about this promotion on Facebook, and Tweet using the hashtag #TheEndOfAllWorlds

The Indie Experiment #4: Get out of jail free card…

I’ve started reading Ragnarok by A.S. Byatt. Ragnarok is the final war of the gods, or the end of the world. I use it as the title for the final part of my own novel, The End Of All Worlds.

It’s a beautifully written book so far which seems room draw, at its heart, much of the same imagery army own book. This makes me happy. The imagery is comfortingly familiar. The myths are resold in different says but that is the point when handling retellings – to come up with a new way of saying it.

The publication of A.S. Byatt’s book, and also Joanne Harris’ Runemarks books and their basis in norse mythology is one of the reasons why I decided that the time was now to publish my own norse-inspired story.

One of the challenges that I faced, and one that I still need to write about, is how I was to ensure that my Indie-published book is properly edited. I was therefore interested to read the author’s note to the book, and wonder whether I should have opted for something similar to explain any residual inconsistencies in my names and spellings…

A Note on Names

This story has been made from many stories in many languages – Icelandic, German and others. The names of the persons in the myth vary from telling to telling. Iduna is the same person as Idun. There are many ways of spelling Jørmungandr or Jörmungander. I feel happier using various spellings, rather than trying to achieve artificial consistency. Myths change in the mind depending on the telling – there is no overall correct version.

Perhaps not!

The Indie Experiment #3: Sales Figures…

My book has been published for two week’s now (one week as a paperback). I really didn’t know how many or how fast or slow it might sell. I think I may have become unhealthily obsessed with refreshing the KDP and Createspace reports page. I guess, though, that it’s only natural.

In the first couple of days it shot up the charts, getting into the Top 20 for the genre that it was in, but it has naturally enough slipped back down the rankings. At around the #50,000 mark in amazon I’m happy. It’s not the #1 bestseller but with something like 8 million titles in amazon its good, and its averaging at about 2 copies every day. For an unknown Indie published author I think that’s pretty damn good. And not all those sales have been to people I know either!

( see the book on amazon )

The Indie Experiment #2: Weirdness!

I’ve always had that dream of receiving the first box of books delivered, hot off the press, and straight from the publishers, and imagined what it would feel like to open it up and suddenly have the books revealed inside. When I put the order in for two proof copies of my book, The End Of All Worlds I thought I was just ordering two proof copies…

The End Of All Worlds by T E Shepherd

Today, after a long, hot day I got home to find a parcel waiting for me. As I slit through the tape and pulled back the protective paper, two books emerged into view, and my heart seriously gave a flutter. For a moment, they didn’t look like my books, they were two proper, published novels. It felt weird. Really, really weird. Suddenly this wasn’t just indie publishing (or if it was it didn’t matte that it was indie publishing), this was publishing. My book was published.

A Day in London Town

So, I had a away day into London Town today – let out for good behaviour if you will. I was attending the Technology For Marketing & Advertising trade fair at Earl’s Court. It’s a slightly odd fit for me as it was mainly geared for the hardcore marketeers and the folk manning the stands were mainly only interested if you were a budget holder with a remit to buy into their product within 3 months, but there were some interesting seminars and lectures to be had around social media.

One of the problems that we face at work is actually getting students, staff, potential students… to engage with our twitter feed and our facebook accounts or have anyone to comment on our news stories other than spammers. So its the engagement bit that I’m interested in. After listening to a lot being said about social networking I think that I’m of the conclusion that that may well be one of the great unanswered questions. People who have it working well will tell you how great it is, and they will give you case studies over what you should and shouldn’t be doing based on their experience in their field. Asked what you should be doing in your field and they can’t help you. It’s clearly not an exact science.

What is clear is that, by far, the majority of people use the internet for learning, fun, and to socialise and that’s the same on mobile devices too. So to get with the engagement, and have people enjoying being around our social networking and our blogs and our website (and buying our products or studying at our univerAsity) I think we have to go against what our company bosses might think and give them the fun, and hope that when they decide what we can offer them, they remember our good name and come a-running.

I am tired after my day in London though. It’s nice but I couldn’t live there. It tires me, and come home feeling grubby and headachey. That said, I do like Baker Street station, all the old stonework the window shafts cut into tunnels, the decorative woodwork and the carved statues and the old Victorian tiles. Got to be one of my favourite stations.

I also saw a vision of the publishing future on the tube today. A girl who obviously works in publishing was reading PARIS IN LOVE – SECOND PASS PAGES, which I take it to mean the second pass proofs of a book on her kindle. Tonight I looked up the book on Amazon: an as yet unpublished book available to preorder.

Damn it, the girl worked for Random House! I should have got talking to her and made a contact to get my own book published…?!? *grins*

The Guardian and The Grauniad

I’ve been reading a daily paper for five months now, and I have to say I like it. There are some days when I do it. You know the ones; the ones where you don’t have time to read much of it, and when you do you find there’s not much of interest to read. Even on those abdays though, I read the top stories – or the top story – and dip into the comment, and this gives me more in depth knowledge of what’s happening than I get from TV or Radio. TV and Radio news is great, but reading it seems to stick in my mind better and be absorbed.

And then there are the days like today when it seems thoroughly worth it. A quick roundup then, in no particular order…

What publishers really mean in their rejection letters – not really news as its just a roundup of last week’s Twitter meme of #publishingeuphemisms. How does something so simple end up being both so funny, and so utterly depressing, at the same time?

Autism: how computers can help – it’s a subject close to my heart. I’ve written in these pages before about I totally and utterly believe that without social networking, blogging and the internet I would not be here, today, with the life that I now have and love. That said, I do also totally agree with what they say in this article about how it is necessary to be watchful. The internet and computers can help people with Aspergers to find their place but in the world but they must find that place outside of the safe, computer shell, at some point.

Climate change will shake the Earth – its reading articles like this that make me wish that my novel, The End Of All Worlds was already available here, and now. The world has always been changing, its changing now, and it will change, in the future. It’s a fragile planet that we live on.

That Magical Feeling

Emma and I watched another episode of Stephen Fry’s Planet Word tonight – this time about the written word. When he was looking at printing it made me watnt to get my Adana Eight-Fives working and play with good, honest, inky letterpress. Then later he was looking at the printed book in front of him and revealing how he would never forget that moment when someone presented him with the first copy of his his first novel and the sense of magic and wonderment of how it came to be there.

This got me thinking that I do still dream of and desire that feeling. That precise feeling is once that I won’t get from self-publishing and from publishing as an eBook…

Half an hour later and I pressed publish to my Mum’s book, The Underhill Buttons, and a short while later it appeared in Amazon. I bought it myself and downloaded it to my own Kindle and it did feel different to when I had copied (an identical) version onto to it through the back door. This was a book sitting here in front of me that literally anyone else in the world could buy and download.

I searched for the ISBN on LibraryThing and added it to my library and did feel some weird feeling. I saw the listing on Amazon.com and amazon.fr – there was definitely some magic to be had from this feeling.

The weekend

~ This weekend has been a weekend of birthdaying. Yesterday we went Ros’ open afternoon of birthday tea, and got to meet her and Nick’s gorgeous new daughter Sophie. We don’t see Ros and Nick (and James and Sophie) nearly so often as much as we should be but I feel very glad and blessed to have them as friends.

~ Today, after a good spell in the garden, cleaning out the animals, we headed over to the inlaws for Helen’s Nick’s 40th Birthday dinner.

~ Yesterday evening, after getting back from Ros’ I attempted some telephone support to my Mum who has been attempting to lay out a book in Blurb.com. Normally I feel quite comfortable with this kind of telephone support, but I don’t feel that I was much use. I didn’t have the actual book in front of me, and I was using it on a PC whilst my mum was doing it on her Mac, but apparently I was helpful.

~ I’ve been working through ideas for the website for Shepline Words. When I get the eBooks ready for launch on Amazon, I’m going to have a website and a Facebook ready to back up the marketing plan…

~ The holiday plans are proceeding. We’ve discovered that its going to be cheapest to build the holiday ourselves. Spending Reykjavik time staying with family, we should be able to rent a 4×4 car (to allow us to get into the Highlands), and stay in guesthouses/farms around the country. It’s fun researching these things!