Browsing Archive: March, 2015

All the fun of the book fair

Posted by Yvonne Barlow on Tuesday, March 31, 2015,
I once took four authors across the country to a literary festival. We drove from different directions, all geared up to talk about novel writing, editing, where the ideas came from, what was next - to say we were pumped was no exaggeration. So you can imagine how we all felt to see seven people in the audience. 'It's a Wednesday,' said one of the organisers, as though that would make it alright. Needless to say, we gave it our best until one of the audience walked out because I wouldn't acce...
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If everyone is writing, who's reading?

Posted by Yvonne Barlow on Friday, March 27, 2015,
Small bloggers often worry about who reads them - those with many followers don't worry about this, they simply write.
But I worry about it - I give advice on starting a book group, my thoughts on e-book prices and even show you about the dress I bought for the London Book Fair, all with a vague niggle on who, if anyone, is reading my rants.
I recently went to a Bloggers and Vloggers networking event. The confident were out there discussing their Klout - a social networking rank that is based o...
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Ebooks - the coffee and muffin test

Posted by Yvonne Barlow on Wednesday, March 25, 2015,
They have the same number of words, they tell the same story, yet they are often half the price. Ebooks are so much cheaper than paper books. And they should be - you can't pass them onto friends and you can't store them on your bookshelf. 
Personally, I still read mostly paper books, but occasionally a link crosses my tablet and I get the whiff of a read that looks interesting. I read the blurb, the reviews and then I look at the price. If it comes under the cost of a coffee and a muffin, I u...
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The clothes, and the woman

Posted by Yvonne Barlow on Friday, March 20, 2015,
The London Book Fair is coming up and there is a huge amount to do - creating brochures, researching businesses, making appointments, etc. But there is another very critical issue - what to wear?
And while that might sound trite to some, to me the wrong outfit is like wearing a sack cloth to Buckingham Palace - not that I've ever been to her ladyship's abode. But I have made mistakes in dress code before and felt looks of disdain where even waiters with free champagne have avoided me. The righ...
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Starting a book group

Posted by Yvonne Barlow on Wednesday, March 18, 2015,
People often tell me they would love to belong to a book group, but they either don't have one in their community or, if they do, it is full.
'Start your own,' is my reply.
It sounds like a huge task, but it really isn't.
Firstly, put the word out - through word-of-mouth, a local newsletter, posting in a library or cafe, twitter, whatever. Provide an email address where people can contact you.
Choose a public spot for your first meeting - a cafe, pub, library. Check with the venue that you can ha...
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Tilt your head at those book shelves

Posted by Yvonne Barlow on Thursday, March 12, 2015,
Remember the old days when browsing a bookshop meant tilting your head at shelves? We saw only the spines, each with a title, shade of colour and the author's name.
Choosing a novel from spines means some dismay as the book you pull out may have little appeal, and so you are forced to put it back and move your eyes further along the shelf. And then joy when you find the novel that you are taking home.
Today, that kind of bookshelf browsing feels like hard work compared to sweeping your eyes ac...
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Every day should be World Reading Day

Posted by Yvonne Barlow on Monday, March 9, 2015,
I have a confession - I don't like World Book Day! It feels contrived and a little self-important. We who love books know who we are, we don't need to shout it out to the world. I appreciate that it gives books sunlight, drags them out from beneath all those cinema reviews and You Tube shares, but does anyone not switched on by books ever have a Eureka moment on World Book Day and realise what they have missed? Most of Friday's media attention focused on the plight of parents desperate to put...
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Taking our book groups online

Posted by Yvonne Barlow on Wednesday, March 4, 2015,
Change is never easy. We know that alterations to the Hookline process has not been popular among our book groups, but converting manuscripts to paperbacks and mailing them out was expensive. In addition, the ten-month judging process was too long.
We have kept some book groups on board but we have lost many.
In an effort to keep individual book group readers, especially those who own e-readers, we've set up online book groups on Facebook and Goodreads. 
I will post synopsis of manuscripts, and...
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Jaw-dropping moments in fiction

Posted by Yvonne Barlow on Monday, March 2, 2015,
I've just finished reading Bring Up the Bodies for the second time. Friends looked at me aghast - why would I reread such a lengthy book when it has just been screened on TV?
The answer is simple - it is such a great story, and Hilary Mantel writes it so well.
The scene where Henry is reported dead, knocked off his horse at a jousting tournament, and Cromwell is summoned. We are there in the confusion as Cromwell sees the faces around him anticipate their own bid for power and realises that cri...
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Yvonne Barlow Editor at Hookline Books - where book clubs and readers choose the novels that go to print.

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