This year my trip to the Singapore Writer’s Festival basically put the ‘kybosh’ on my NaNoWriMo efforts. I managed some words but nowhere near the 50,000 target. When I returned pneumonia and the need to keep working meant my priorities were elsewhere.
The novel will have to stay on the back burner as I have just won the commission to design a new online writing course for a US client. As well, ‘The Rorschach Odyssey’ is in production and this, the sixth edition of the Rorschach School of Writers takes a lot of my time and attention just as the other five volumes have.
I am sure NaNoWriMo was still a great success as always. I know my academic colleague and friend Carol-Anne Croker did achieve her goal and is so close to her PhD she can feel it! Well done Carol, you deserve the bloody thing for persistence alone!
Hilda Hopkins can now be read in Hindi, one of the most ancient and widely spoken languages in the world. Well, in India anyway where a billion people speak it as well as their own local dialects and languages. This translation project has bee a challenge, leveraging the linguistic talents of Montreal, Canada based Indian writer, Poornima Rao and the team here at StreetWise HQ. Hindi is not Poornima’s first language but we are sure she has done a sterling job translating the novella by acclaimed UK writer, Vivienne Fagan.
Hilda is now available in Spanish as well as English and Hindi and very soon will be published in German! This is all part of StreetWise’s marketing plan to push our titles in front of readers around the world, not just those who read in English. The world might be getting smaller thanks to the Internet but there are still many discerning minds out there that prefer other languages to read their fiction in.
This has been a big month so far. We have published the 8th Hilda Hopkins novella, ‘Hilda Hopkins, Mother Wouldn’t Like It’. We have also published the first Spanish language edition of one of our titles, ‘Hilda Hopkins, El Asesinato que Ella Tejio’, or ‘Murder She Knit’. That is now being converted into a dual-language reader to help Spanish readers learn English and English readers learn Spanish.
As a small, independent imprint (read that as a one man band), time is the enemy. So much to do and so little time. I plan to outsource as much as possible but the budget is tight. Still, that makes it a challenge to get these projects happening and one does become very adept at making do while hitting the standard required. Above all else, it sure beats working for a living!
The first StreetWise Publications Spanish Edition is out! ‘Hilda Hopkins,El Asesinato que Ella Tejió , or ‘Murder She Knit’ is now available in Spanish. Maria Nalus from Bogota, Columbia did a superb job with the translation and will be coming on board as our representative in South America. Maria is a marketing professional and will be a full partner in the project, bringing StreetWise Publications to the hundreds of millions of Spanish speaking readers around the world.
It is still early days with this project with a long way to go but I am confident it is a good move to make. Already I can see sales on Amazon.es doing very well and when we produce the dual language readers the many retirees looking to escape to Latin America will see them as interesting and fun reading while learning the local lingo! Sad to say the other translation title, ‘Making a Living in the Philippines’ is only 15% complete due to a miscommunication between the translator that won the job on Elance and myself.
I do have Hindi, German and Tagalog translations in the offing , so stay tuned!
So far I haven’t had time enough to convert to mobi and epub for eBooks but the 8th Hilda Hopkins adventure, ‘Hilda Hopkins, Mother Wouldn’t Like It’ is now in print. Following the success of the serialization of ‘Murder She Knit’ in Britain’s leading Machine Knitting Monthly magazine and the appearance of the author Vivienne Fagan at the London Knit and Knatter Meeting, interest in the series of novellas telling the adventures of Britains notorious machine knitting serial killer has gone ballistic.
StreetWise Publications is proud to announce we are going multi-lingual! Even as you read this the first title, ‘Making A Living In The Philippines’ is being translated into Spanish and German editions. I am excited to be able to service these huge markets. I think there may be more buyers for the German edition than the Spanish but I am looking at what sells the most copies in English rather than what may sell the most copies in one of the other languages. I would like to see my novels translated, especially into German, so my relatives can read them.
We in the Anglo-centric world need to realise there is a huge non-English speaking world out there that needs to read what we write! The Internet allows me to source qualified translators and negotiate a price per title I can afford, and then publish the book and get it into the hands of those who read other languages than mine. I plan to create a short story anthology and publish that in several languages simultaneously, a world wide launch. Watch this space, us indie-publishers are starting to make our mark. I bet Random House is trembling in it’s boots!
Hilda Hopkins, The Day Of The Mobots is out on Lulu and if they had an embed code that didn’t require Adobe Flash 8.00 which I have downloaded and installed umpteen times and still it all refuses to work, you could see it here. Lulu changed their set up recently and all my client’s addresses that I ship books to have been wiped. Do the geeks that rewrite the code actually think of anything other than making the code better? Like the impact their actions have on the people who use the programs? Methinks not, we are all too wrapped up in our own worlds to think of others’.
Anyway, Hilda is back and this time saving the world from some evil scientists and their creations. Soon to be released as an eBook via Smashwords and Kindle, so stay tuned!
On Wednesday 28 March they announced the Longlist for the 2012 Miles-Franklin Award and ‘Twenty Seven Seventy’ wasn’t among the chosen few. The list has just 13 out of the 61 entries. Of course there can be only one winner, or sometimes two. Next year! I will enter again and it will be a better novel. This entry was a rushed, NaNoWriMo effort and in need of some serious editing (since done). You can’t enter the top literary competition in the country and expect to win with a rough, unfinished novel. All grist for the mill of experience.
Hilda Hopkins strikes again! As well as now being made available in paperback on Amazon.com in a three novella compendium (Murder She Knit, Bed & Burial and Domi-Knit-Rix) thanks to Create Space. This coincides with the fabulous coverage author Vivienne Fagan has received from Machine Knitting Monthly magazine, the biggest in the UK and probably the world on this topic. The Editor at MKM has been superb and so easy to work with. I guess it helps that Vivienne’s books have such a distinct ‘platform’ and that ties in totally with MKM but still the support given has been very encouraging for both author and publisher. The first book, ‘Murder She Knit’ is now free to download at Smashwords.com and will be serialized in MKM in coming months. We also plan to offer a complete collection of the novellas as a prize for a competition held by MKM. The coverage of which we speak is a mention on the cover and a huge spread inside the magazine which is on sale in the UK now and will be online in April as it is in the April edition. Buy a copy!
Next we will publish the second three volume compendium under the title ‘Hilda Hopkins, For Queen And Country’, containing that novel as well as M.I.Knits and Saints & Sinners. There is a seventh novella in production as we speak but even I haven’t gotten around to reading the draft!
‘Twenty Seven Seventy’ has been entered in the 2012 Prime Minister’s Literary Award. This prestigious award carries a first prize of $80,000. Of late, many in the literary world in Australia have commented how the major prizes are being passed around by a cabal of writers who seem to be taking all the major prizes and dominating the scene. Be that as it may, the only way to shift such a cabal, should it exist, is to write better novels and enter them in the competitions and challenge the grip of this clique.
A quick look at the winners of the Miles-Franklin, Prime Minister’s and various state Premier’s literary prizes in recent years will toss up many of the same names over and over. It is not unusual for Book A to win all the major prizes. Is this the fault of the author or the prize judges? Does this scream conspiracy or merely underline that if it was good enough to win Prize X then it should be no surprise it also won Prizes Y and Z.
We either sit and sulk or we get writing and then enter these competitions. As they say with the Lotto, you have to be in it to win it! Speaking of exclamation marks, I just got rid of nearly all the 467 I had in ‘The Cool Side Of The Pillow’. A 65,000 word novel with one exclamation mark every 139 words. I also fixed a few other ‘niggles’ and re-released it via Lulu and Create Space (Amazon) in paperback. It had to be done. I had been meaning to do justice to my first novel with a major revision and edit for years and finally got it done. The new edition is the novel I always wanted it to be.
I am editing and re-releasing all of of my titles now I have a better grasp of how to publish a decent book. Once they are all done I will get copies printed and then commence a sales tour of libraries and book shops, organise sales, signings and other promotional events. Should be fun!