Literary Agents

I claim to be a self-published author after publishing my short-story on Smashwords and Amazon. It was an interesting and time consuming process where I much enjoyed making all the decisions myself. With that said, I have never decided to be a self-publisher. I’ve kept my eyes on traditional and indie publishers as well.

Due to my self-publishing adventure, the encounters with literary agents and publishers have so far been very few. In Sweden, literary agents are still unusual. They are not the inevitable gate-keepers they are in the UK, and I suspect in other parts of the world. Often they act to sell already published work for international rights.

One of the reasons I have not put a lot of effort in to finding a literary agent is that I’m doubting that I am commercial enough to be of interest. Some of the encounters with literary agents has confirmed this, such as being told that it is an advantage if you already have 10,000 followers of twitter (!).

However, one should keep an open mind and I have submitted the beginning of a story to a literary agent, surprised and delighted that my writing was of interest. Part of me is aglow with the positive feedback but the other part is sensibly reminding me that this is only a first step. After a mini celebration dance it’s back to plain old writing again.

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Almost Christmas

Capture

Like most people, at the moment, I’m caught up in Christmas shopping and parties. I’m grateful every year that I don’t have that many people on my list to buy gifts for and we have always, in my family, written Christmas gift lists. It makes shopping so much easier.

Christmas can really be a crazy, hectic time but one thing I really like about the Christmas season is cosying up in the sofa with a book and something warm to drink. It’s a luxury under normal circumstances but, especially in between visiting family and friends, to have some me-time to read.

Where am I going with this? Well, to promote myself. I will be participating in Smashwords end of the year sale. My ebook Let me tell you a story while you sleep will be half price between December 25th and January 1st. Perhaps it’s the perfect Christmas treat for yourself? Short-stories do not require as big a commitment as a novel. The sale is at Smashwords only, not the other retailers.

My next publishing venture will be released in the beginning of next year. From our own perspective will be a paperback anthology where I share space with a few other amazing writers from Global Fusion Music and Arts. I will keep you updated when a fixed release date has been set.

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/726968

 

Friends’ Books

I usually write reviews for the books I read, or I call them reviews but really they are just my thoughts. I’ve just finished reading a book but I can’t review it really…because it’s not published yet. One of the joys of being in writers’ groups are that you get to read your friends’ not yet published work.

I really love this part of my reading/writing world. We have an exceptionally high quality of writing within Greenwich Writers. Mostly, we read extracts of each other’s work, and critique and correct grammar as we go along. Sometimes I find this annoying because I’d like to spend more time going through the text before we actually meet up. You want some really meaty, thoughtful comments to contribute with.

Occasionally, someone wants help to look at the completed, full script. It has its own challenges, to try to read and critique along side your normal full-time job and of course writing on your own stories. But I offer to do this as often as I can, as it’s a delight to get to follow a complete story and try to imagine how the story can be even stronger. I like seeing people grow as well. I have read several different extract before from the same writer but with this story it seems everything has fallen into place.

Writing can be a very solitary job but writers’ groups are one place when you get to connect with like-minded, and get to delight in the variety of story-telling and the craft of it all.

The Celestine Prophecy

I was recommended by my kinesiologist to read the Celestine Prophecy written by James Redfield. I suppose I have been on some kind of spiritual journey since moving to London and therefore these kind of experiences keep poping up in my life.

The Celestine Prophecy is a bit of an odd one. Actually, it should be right up my alley, but we’ll come to that in a moment. One reason why it’s weird is because it’s a fictional book written with a clear intention of being perceived as a biography, at least as far as the subject matter goes.

A man, a bit stuck with his life and on a quest for a deeper understanding of life, ends up on a highly adventurous journey in Peru, where he looks for and learns the 9 insights from an ancient manuscript. The book is built to illustrate how these insights work on a practical and individual level as well as explain what the 9 insights are.

This book was very engaging to read and I found most of these insights both believable and thought-provoking but the book also irritated me. Every time I put the book down I found it very hard to pick it up again. One of the reasons it irritated me was that the main character picks up these insights so effortlessly. He came across one, read about it or was told about it, and almost instantly he understood and could apply it. Anyone who’s been on a journey of discovery knows it rarely works like that in real life. You struggle, you take one step forward and seem to backtrack two, you struggle to understand.

Still, if these kind of spiritual themes and journeys interest you, I would recommend that you read The Celestine Prophecy. There are certainly things to learn from these insights, and like any good spiritual book, it will aid you in looking at your own life in a constructively, critical way.

 

Celestine prophecy

Let Me Tell You A Story – Amazon update

 

As promised a little while ago, yes it took longer than anticipated, my ebook Let me tell you a story while you sleep is now available on Amazon/Kindle.

I must confess that I still find Amazon troublesome to use and prefer Smashwords but aiming to please you, my dear readers, and giving you as many options as possible…

This will be a short update as I’m snowed under at work with lighting project that would be much more exciting if I had more undivided time to give each project. Anyone else who doesn’t like quick-fix solutions but prefer to do things “properly” the first time around? I confess to be a quality, not quantity, kind of person.

 

 

Short-story Update

I have caved in! When I first started looking at self-publishing my short-story “Let Me Tell You A Story While You Sleep” I opted out of Amazon. I found it too complicated and all the tax rules a bit daunting. So, when I did finally publish, with a lot more knowledge behind me, and perhaps it wasn’t that much easier, I choose Smashwords.

I like the idea that Smashwords is a distributor, which has enabled me to have my ebook available at Barnes & Noble and Apple iBooks as well. However, I have had quite a few friends complaining that Smashwords is difficult because you have to register on their site first. Personally, I thought in my ignorance that that’s how most online shops work, but I stand corrected if this is not so.

So…Amazon…yesterday I started going through the process of uploading “Let Me Tell You A Story While You Sleep” there as well. The need for sleep, prevented me from completing the upload but if all goes as planned by the end of this weekend, you dear readers, will have the option of buying my book…on Amazon.

 

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/726968

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/let-me-tell-you-a-story-while-you-sleep-liv-johannesson/1126484602?ean=2940154392140

 

Svera Jang

A friend let me borrow the book Svera Jang written by Seema Gill. It seemed very promissing, written by a woman originally from India who later lived in Denmark, various countries in Africa and eventually in England. It also promised to be very personal.

I love reading. It’s one of my favourite things to do and a good excuse while commuting or waiting, to hold your book as a barrier against people around you. But I also know that when I start being reluctant to read, I don’t really like the book I’m lugging around with me. Svera Jang is unfortunately one of those books. It’s one where I wonder why I even decided to continue reading with so many books on my wish-list. I suddenly prefer my mp3 to keep me company on the tube rather than my book.

I really wanted to like this book. It’s well written and in a very unusual style, with poetry to complement the story. Gill must have lived an extraordinary life but the book only gives a glimps of it and as I near the end of the book, I’m still wondering what her life story is and I feel a little bit let down that I have grasped so few of the facts.

A writer as good as Gill, should be appreciated and I hope that I’m simply not her reader.