Tag Archives: self-publishing

What Libraries Can Do For Authors

I wholeheartedly agree with Jorge Luis Borges: “I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library.”

Libraries are an asset to every community, and particularly to writers. The following facts apply to British libraries; services may vary elsewhere.

In terms of research, the library is invaluable. Did you know that you can order any book from any other library and have it delivered to your local branch? This includes The British Library‘s excellent stock. Most libraries also have links to local history centres; helpful library staff will be able to guide you to the right resources. 

Members can also use the Internet for free in most areas and take advantage of the many subscription services the library is signed up to. In my local area these include: Encyclopaedia Britannica; Gale Vault (an archive of newspapers from the 1700s to the present, including the full Times archive); and The John Johnson Collection at the Bodleian Library.


Image by Grant Snider

Once your beautifully researched masterpiece is completed, the library can help you with promotions. Most will happily run author events: you can do a reading, a Q&A and/or an interactive session. Local authors are particularly welcome. I’ve been to a few and they’ve always been very well attended. The staff will usually help you to sell copies at that event too (especially if you donate one to the library)! If you do give a copy to the library you will also be paid every time your book is borrowed.

The library: an invaluable research resource; a promotional venue; a way to reach more readers. Every author should use their local library to its full advantage.

What experiences have you had with your local library? Have you held an author event? I’d love to know! Tell me in the comments.

If you’ve found this useful, please do like and share.

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Filed under Writing Advice

Praise from the Magnificent Buzz Malone

Once upon a time on the Internet, I became acquainted with a brilliant author named Buzz Malone. After seeing my work on Chaunce Stanton’s The Blank Slate Boarding House for Creatives, to my delight he chose me to editSilence of Centerville Cover his novel. If you’re interested to know what working with me is like, he’s written the following.

I had personally edited the thing at least thrice, so I thought if she was really intent upon earning her pay, she might be able to find a dozen misplaced commas throughout the work (you know, if she looked really hard).

I have put about ten hours into the thing since I got it back from Eve, and I am about 5% into her corrections and recommendations. At first, I got the feeling this might be some form of masochism, having paid for the privilege of being rebuked time and again. But as I read and correct and edit and correct and edit and read, I am not feeling any of the usual artist’s angst. I’m going with it, and making the changes (all of them), and I’m thinking about things in my writing that I had never considered before (NO, not just grammar and punctuation).

Hiring this young woman to slash red ink all over my work is the singular best thing I have ever done as an author. It’s not simply making the book better (Mom already has fifty copies, so what’s the point besides one more sale when I change the cover again?), but it is making me a better writer and giving me fuller clarity as to the depth and degree of things I need to consider as I write.

 At the risk of repeating myself over and again… I will NEVER release another book that has not been edited. And more specifically, if she will have me, I will endeavour to have all future works edited by Eve.

I must say that Eve has done an amazing job of editing. Even in spite of the fact that I am already a recognized a master of the English language and grammar, Eve managed to find a few (hundred) places where my perfection could be polished somewhat. Apparently, these little thingamajigs ( : ) have uses beyond making smiley faces? Who knew?

Honestly and seriously, I can say with certainty that despite all of my independent bravado, I will NEVER release another manuscript that Eve has not already reviewed. Her services are entirely too beneficial for the work and for me as a writer, AND too affordable, not to employ her.

I must also say that I have found your services to be too affordable, and far too valuable to me as a writer, to go it on my own ever again. And I am saying that most self published authors I know could forgo a few weekends at the pub, or a few bottles of scotch or rum, and reap the benefits of your services.

I do not (for my own future benefit) desire to imply that your services are too cheap, but rather, that I remain surprised at the volume and depth of your critique, comments and edits. And I find reasonably priced, professional services such as yours, to be just as beneficial to emerging independent authors as print on demand services have been. I don’t think that I can overstate enough the value of the services you are providing to my work, and to the movement itself.

Thank you Buzz!

You can imagine how thrilled I was to read that! As soon as the new edition is available, I urge you all to read Silence of Centerville. It’s a beautifully written, moving novel. I really enjoyed working on it.


Filed under books, Editing