Publishing in the Middle East: A turning point?

Crowds have been swarming like bees to a hive at the Arab world’s oldest book fair in Cairo this month. With access to just about every single book under the sun in one place, the Cairo International Book Fair has earned its well-deserved reputation for being a one-stop bookshop for readers and publishing houses alike.

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This year’s event, however, has also highlighted a growing concern for Egyptian publishing houses: how to bridge the cross over between printed books to ebooks workable. It’s hardly a new debate, with several mobile apps created in the past 10 years that support Arabic-language reading.

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Resources for Horror Writers: How to Spook ’em Right

You know that abandoned house at the end of your block? You know the one. It sits in shadows even on the brightest of days. Birds don’t even land in the yard, have you noticed? I’d tell you the key to a kickass horror novel is hidden in its depths, but that would be cruel and it might get you killed.

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There are a lot of resources for horror writers that aren’t located in the bowels of a haunted house, you’ll be happy to know. Let me lay out a few. And if you want to go hunting for the key later, well, that’s not my problem.

Just beware the thing that lives under the stairs, okay?

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How to Capture a Young Reader’s Mind: 5 Essential Tips

As recently as ten years ago, children’s literature was in the doldrums, seen as a poor investment by publishers. When the Harry Potter books burst onto the scene, authors in the field saw their opportunities with young readers expand.

In fact, when the final Harry Potter installment was published in 2007, it was the fastest selling book ever recorded. The BBC reported that an estimated 15 million were sold in 24 hours. Since then, there’s been real interest in writing specifically for children.

5 essential writing tips for young readers

With greater opportunities opening up for children’s authors, it’s a perfect opportunity to take the step into writing specifically for children. Below are five essential steps you should consider when starting out in the children’s literature field.

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Understanding Ghost Writing

In an ego-driven and cut-throat field, authoring work means getting your name out in the public space as much as possible. This can make or break your writing career, especially when getting more work means establishing a name for yourself. With ghost-writing, however, your ability to establish that name is curtailed, as you’re writing a work that will eventually be credited to someone else.

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What is a ghostwriter?

A ghostwriter is a writer hired to write a text for someone else. In the majority of cases, the work is non-fiction (and what you’ll read is, for example, an autobiography); however, in other instances, this can also be a fiction manuscript.

It’s an approach most frequently taken by politicians, celebrities , or high-flying executives, who either don’t have the time, or don’t have the skill, to write books on their own. The text will then be credited to that high-profile name rather than to the ghostwriter themselves, who may end up with just a footnote citation for their work at best.

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Children’s and YA Authors: Don’t miss these 13 Resources

For first-time authors, it can be a daunting task creating the initial plan for your book, let alone actually writing it. This is especially the case for authors of children’s and young adults’ books. Thankfully, courtesy of the internet, there’s a lot of hugely helpful information available that will help your ideas blossom into a book.

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Access to online resources have also flowered into a beautiful garden of support and inspiration. Featuring articles by and interviews with best-selling authors, all unwrap the mystery of writing books. They also have top tips and advice for getting started, developing plot and characters, as well as the business side of the publishing industry.

With digital books also an option, in addition to print books, there’s a huge potential now available for interactive ebooks for children. Authors are no longer restricted to just paper printed editions. They now have the option of tablets and computers to give their books an extra accessibility previously not found.

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SPOTLIGHT: Digital Innovators’ Summit 2017

Digital media moves at an incredible pace. New platforms and business models are emerging all the time. Sometimes it is hard keeping up with the speed of all the changes.

That’s why Digital Innovators’ Summit (DIS), held in Berlin on 19-21 March, is a must for anyone in the media industry. It is the place to hear about the future of media and technology directly from the innovators who are driving change.

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So to bring you closer to the spotlight, and explain more about the event and its merits, we interviewed Cobus Heyl, the Chief Content Officer and Marketing Manager at FIPP, one of the main organizers of DIS. You should also check out our list of top publishing events in 2017. Continue Reading

25 Workshops & Retreats for Writers in 2017

If it’s proving hard to chip away at the good old writer’s block, then you’ll be glad to know there’s something you can do about it. And not just any old solution either.

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Writer’s retreats and workshops are the perfect way to unblock your creative juices, get them flowing again, and getting your pen (or keyboard!) loose again. With leading authors and agents in attendance, you’ll get to ask the right questions and hear the answers you need for your latest literary work.

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Adding Google Fonts to your EPUB

Google Fonts is probably the most popular free font library available today, giving you a selection of more than 800 font families to choose from. Although most ebook readers force the option of changing the font type, to provide user comfort and convenience, some readers don’t. As the author, you may want to use your own selected fonts as headings in the ebook, or even for the whole body of text.

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Theoretically, fonts can be embedded inside your EPUB, or accessed remotely from Google’s servers. In the real world, every reader has its own policies and rules, prohibiting certain stuff. The EPUB standard however, permits loading fonts online and applying them in the chapter. The EPUB specification leaves little room for ambiguity on this topic. Continue Reading

Ebook DRM & Security: What is it and How it Works

Copyright and intellectual property protection has become a hot topic as our lives are lived ever increasingly online. The internet is a godsend for authors to get their work published and read, but it could also be a nightmare. Digital Rights Management (DRM) provides a form of digital content protection, set out by booksellers, in addition to traditional copyright laws to keep your intellectual rights intact.

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22 Publishing Events Not to Miss in 2017

Publishing has opened up to more people since the rise of digital media. Having said that, traditional publishing is still going strong, with sales of hard books remaining healthy. So whether you’re self-publishing or following traditional means, this detailed infographic is a must read for you!

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Below is a list of the best and most important publishing events this coming year. They won’t just give you key insights into the latest industry trends. You’ll also find:

⦁ The best networking opportunities with fellow writers, publishers and industry leaders.

⦁ The best advice from literary stars.

⦁ Pitching to agents.

⦁ Live readings, exhibits, contests, cultural events.

⦁ Even a bit of cheeky self-promotion for your work, without the expense of a booth!

It’s time to take your pick of festivals celebrating literature, conferences, meetings and major literary prizes in 2017.

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