eBooks, Online Mags, Book Prizes and Book Giveaways…all in a day’s web surfing

Today at work was extremely productive; unfortunately for MNM my productivity had little to do with my job. I started looking for something work-related on the internet, which lead to something else, which lead to something else, and before I knew it, I’d spent the day looking up writing and publishing websites.

However, while this internet searching may be bad for MNM, it’s good for you, the readers of Notes From the Intern. I’ve posted below (and also in ‘In Search of New Writing’) all the goodies I’ve found.

Oh, this is my second post of the evening. I also posted about late night phone calls, addictions to blogging, and bad cinema

Book Prizes

The Dundee International Book Prize

I came across this lovely blog called And More Good News , which discussed the Dundee International Book Prize. I’d never heard of this award before, so I went on a little search to find out more.

According to the Book Prize website: ‘The Dundee International Book Prize has established itself as the UK’s premier prize for emerging novelist. Its £10,000 cash award together with publication by Birlinn Ltd, publishers of the Polygon imprint, make The Dundee International Book Prize highly valued by tomorrow’s great new writers seeking to break into the publishing world.’

Wow, this is really impressive, £10,000 for a first time writer and a publishing deal. You can also find chapters from authors who were short listed for the prize. Reading through the chapters, the good writting really stands out. What a great way to get new writers noticed, published, and a little cash in their pocket.

The Terry Pratchett Prize: Anywhere But Here, Anywhere But Now

Finding the Dundee International Book Prize lead me to look for other similar awards, and I found the extremely exciting Terry Pratchett Prize. According to the website, ‘Sir Terry Pratchett and Transworld Publishers are proud to launch a new award for aspiring debut novelists … Transworld will offer the winning author a publishing contract with a £20,000 advance. The award will be judged by Sir Terry Pratchett, Tony Robinson, Michael Rowley from Waterstone’s and two senior members of the editorial team at Transworld Publishers.’

So once again, for you lot that have novels just waiting to be published, send them off. Who knows. 

Does anyone know of any other prizes like these? If so, I’d be happy to post them on my site.

Online MagazineS 

Words with Jam

This free emagazine, with articles on writing as well as a number of short stories, is published monthly. If you sign-up for an email subscription, they’ll email you a link to download a PDF of the magazine. It is laidout like a print publication, so there are high quality images included and it’s really reader friendly. In fact, it would probably look pretty good on an ipad.

While I’ll list this in ‘In Search of New Writing’, what I quite like about this publication is the articles on writing. This month they discuss: publicising your book, ‘things I do when I should be writing’, and grammar; plus, they have a film review, interviews and loads of smaller articles on writing. In general, I’d highly recommend this publication. 

The Thought Fox

Did you know Faber and Faber have a blog? Well, I didn’t until today. It’s a really cool site with loads of interviews, reviews and news clips on various Faber and Faber authors. Of course, deep down, it’s a marketing tool, so it’s a little one sided, but who cares. It’s still full of interesting interviews and information, and I wish we did something like this with MNM.


The Little Big

This lovely blog about everything little in life that makes life big, has a wonderful post which gives a run down of various reading/library apps. This is for all you gadget geeks who have meshed your love of technology with your love of books, and are now carrying around entire libraries in your back pocket.

Personally, I still like a good old fashioned paper book, but I’m under no misconceptions that very soon these objects will be obsolete. Additionally, as I am working in publishing (and hope to continue to do so), it would be best to keep up on the future of the printed word. So, while I may not have an iPhone, Kindal, eReader, etc. etc., it’s good to know how the public is accessing their fiction these days.

 Good Reads 

I found this website through the above mentioned The Little Big blog. Good Reads is a social networking site for avid readers. (Or maybe not so avid. I don’t think it really matters.) The website states their function as:

  • Get great book recommendations from people you know.
  • Keep track of what you’ve read and what you’d like to read.
  • Form a book club, answer book trivia, collect your favorite quotes.

Essentially, you sign-up, list your favourite reads, check out other people’s favourite books, join groups of book lovers with similar tastes as you, store lists of books you’d like to read, and invite bibliophile-friends to join as well. It’s really kind of cool.

Closed Stacks: It’s the Money Stupid

I’ve written a lot lately about the role of libraries and publishers, and I’ve decided to take it upon my self to strengthen MNM’s ties with regional libraries, so I was chuffed to find an article articulating the problems libraries are facing regarding ebooks and publishers attitudes towards libraries on Closed Stacks. 

Closed Stacks is a ‘collaborative blog written by librarians from a range of library types’, and the article linked is a frank post that includes an open letter to publishers. I might have to print this blog out and accidentally leave it on some desks around the office. 

Continuing with the Chick Lit debate

Ages ago I made a case for reading books that one finds enjoyable and defending my love of chick lit. Today I found an article from eight years ago that claims chick lit is dying because it’s rubbish and no one wants to read it. (This is a very loose paraphrase.) Interestingly, as stated, this article is eight years old, and chick lit is still going. Also, I found today, a rebuttle to the aforementioned piece in the Independent by an author who defends chick lit. I’ve posted both articles below.

The Great Chick Lit Conspiracy by Scarlett Thomas
Chick Lit Debate by Michele Gorman

World Book Night: Big Book Giveaway

I found out about this call for action from the Barbie Ruined My Life blog. (She was one of the first blogs to go into my Blogroll to the left.) The premise of World Book Night is that on 5 March 2011 ‘one million books will be given away by an army of passionate readers to members of the public across the UK and Ireland.’

There is a list of 25 books to choose from (from a range of titles, genres and authors), and ‘members of the public are invited to apply to be one of the 20,000 givers of 48 copies … Most givers are expected to be passionate readers who will take pleasure in recommending a book they love to other readers. However, World Book Night will also encourage givers to pass the books on to others who either may be reluctant readers or who are part of communities with less access to books, bookshops and libraries. 960,000 books will be distributed by givers and a further 40,000 will be distributed by WBN to people who might not otherwise be able to participate.’

If you’re interested in being a ‘giver’ it’s not as easy as clicking a button. I’m sure they want people who are committed and will turn up on the night, ‘so People will be asked to say in up to 100 words why they want to give away a book chosen from the list and the sort of people they would like to give it to. Information about World Book Night will also be available via libraries and bookshops across the UK and Ireland. The closing date for entries is 4 January 2011.’

I’d really like to get involved in this event, so perhaps you’ll see me in Glasgow on 5 March handing out 48 copies of Rachel’s Holiday by Marian Keyes.

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