- Books, Literature, and Writing
Summer Books - The Best Books this Summer
Book Recommendations for the Summer Season
The summer is a time when many people are looking forward to their vacation and a little bit of time to relax and chill out. And what better way is there to relax and chill out than settling down with a good book to read?
But now you may have a problem, with so many new books entering the arena, especially with the take off of independent publishers using Amazon to self publish, what books do you go for?
There are of course always the Top Ten Best Selling Books in the UK. Of which incidentally the Millennium Trilogy is still featuring very heavily. Not the first one 'The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo' , it's the second and third that are still doing rather well. 'The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets Nest' and 'The Girl Who Played with Fire' are at the time of writing in the UK top ten listing, not bad for an author that actually died before even the first of his trilogy books was actually published.
If you really need to, and you're not prepared to take a risk, then you can of course find the here and choose from a whole host of different best selling books in different genres. Amazon Best Sellers List
But what about a few new authors, some of the unknown out there that haven't quite got to the level where they are having a film made about their book or having it turned into a Broadway production. Funnily enough there are actually some really good authors that hardly get their head above the parapet, but are very very competent writers. I am going to start the ball rolling with a few I know of and I am inviting others to do the same. Get your unknowns KNOWN right here by adding them to the Amazon voting Plexo.
Why not give your favourite 'UNKNOWNS' a thumbs up and see if they can be helped to a position where they might even be featured on those best seller lists above.
Image Courtesy of PhotoXpress
Margaret Thatcher's Authorized Autobiography. - The Iron Lady Is Dead, Long Live the Iron Lady
You will never hear those words spoken by a miner, Margaret Thatcher was the Nemesis of the trade union movement and none more so than the national union of miners. I can't say I was a complete fan either as you can read in my article about Maggie the Iron Lady, but my emotions never reached the level of those that could be described as hate. In fact in a way I had a begrudging respect for her, I have no doubt that the policies she pushed through had a detrimental effect on the industry I was in, but I think everyone knew something had to be done. The country was, without fear of contradiction, going to the dogs and a strong leader was required. So whether you agreed with her policies or not, she was definitely a strong leader.
Love her loathe her, she led from the front and it wasn't for personal gain. She was a strong leader and loved her country, but did she get it right?
Unknown or Relatively UnKnown Authors - That Write Great Books
So here it is your chance to share your favourite Unknown or Relatively Unknown author. The objective is to get them a much needed leg up on their way to best seller status with one or more of the big book distributors.
Fiction, non-fiction, reference or funny, doesn't matter what it is as long as you are prepared to endorse it you can add it and vote for it. Only one book per author please, just make it your favourite author and his or her best book.
Writing a Best Seller
Is it content or promotion?
There are so many aspiring and accomplished authors out there that firmly believe once they have written their book that it will sell itself. Unfortunately this is rarely the case, there will always be an exception to the rule but more typically if an author does not take steps to promote their books they will probably not sell enough books to keep a relatively robust mouse fed. The reason is clear for any that care to look and it is down to competition and marketing.
The most gifted authors in the world will not sell their books unless they either arrange for marketing to be done on their behalf or are prepared to promote, promote and promote again. There will be those that tell you that if you get the content of a book right it will sell itself. But nothing sells itself, or at least not initially. Great content will eventually build its own momentum once enough people have found it and are prepared to share that discovery. But if no-one finds it, reads it and tells other people about it, then there is a good chance a great book will languish at the bottom of the rankings pile for ever and a day.
Another problem of course is that an author can, when newly published, be consumed with an overwhelming enthusiasm to tell everyone they meet how wonderful their new book is. They tell people what it costs, where they can buy it, how long it took them to write, how many pages there are, what sort of paper it was printed on or which digital format is was constructed in. When people try to tell them what they have been doing, they don't hear a word. No they are new authors and the world needs to know.
The above I am afraid isn't marketing or promoting, it is training people to run for the hills as soon as they see the silhouette of the guilty authors, be that actually or virtually. Marketing a book, over the Internet at least, requires a level of subtlety, a method of putting out social signals that say I am here, I am interested in you and when you are ready I may have something of my own to share that you might have an interest in. All you need to do is ask.
They also need to get to grips with the mighty Google and its cohorts, understand how Google finds a book and then deciphers what has been written in the book so that they can say to an enquirer, with confidence, 'this might be what you are looking for'. They also need to know what the enquirers are actually looking for. The breeding rituals of a Mongoose may be something as an author you are fascinated by and are able to write about in great detail, but the chances of that becoming a best seller are likely to be fairly remote. No disrespect to the Mongoose by the way and if that is what someone wants to write about and are passionate about, then more power to their arm. Just don't build up false expectations about how many will sell.
Actually if you do keyword research for the mongoose term you will find the best recommended alternative is tasmanian devil breeding, and around 390 people per month in the whole world search on that subject. My point made I think.
I think I probably need to end this little rant now, it is supposed to be about finding a good book to read after all. So this is my final flurry, honestly. If as an author you want to be a publisher of your own books, you need to look beyond just writing it, as difficult as that can sometimes be, and into the world of book promotion and marketing which, of course, needs to be done properly and professionally. Even the basics need thinking about, if you just stop and think there will be things you intuitively know you need to do, even if you are somewhat resistant to do it. Like having an author profile on line somewhere for example.
Oh and the answer to the question above about 'content and promotion' is that it's both. But in the meantime, this facility is here and available to be used. One small piece in a big puzzle, but it's a start.
Apologies to anyone just looking for a book to read, but there are plenty of those as well and if really good authors can market their books well, then readers will have even more choice.
This book is aimed at me - as a much younger man. I'll share with you what I now know.
How to Write a Book or Novel - And Get it Published
A little inside help from someone who has been there and done it sometimes help.
Written by a book editor, copywriter and published author that I happen to know is selling a few books.
The Self Publishing Debate - Has the standard of summer books dropped?
Has the introduction of self publishing through major retailers such as Amazon resulted in a massive drop in standards for published books?
The Zanzibar Affair - A Contemporary Romance Novel Out of Africa
High society living, African safaris, murder mystery and intrigue all wrapped up in a contemporary romance. What more could you ask for.
Well written by an excellent author with a second book finished and a third on the way. So if you love it, you won't be waiting long for the next one.
The Hunger Games
Who would you choose, one of your young has to go and fight to the death, there are no options. It's kill or be killed.
The Hunger Games - Summer Books with a Bite - The next hot trilogy with the first film already in the can.
The 12 districts that surround the capital of Panem have been punished for an earlier uprising. The punishment is to send one of their young every year to fight to the death on live TV. The only option is kill or be killed
My daughter took this book on holiday read it, and then read it again. I'm just saying!!
Make a book into a film and it won't harm your rating.
The Voice of the Tiger - Forbidden Love & Animism Amongst Indigenous Peoples
An examination of animism and indigenous people through the medium of fiction. The setting however was at a time when there was real conflict and real event s that affected many people who were far from home and sought solace in the arms of the women they found and fell in love with.
Markham's next novel is a Soldier's Story of military adventure in Hong Kong and he Oceanic regions of Australia. Find out more via this link.
Tuscan Cats get into Mischief - Dancing, Talking Cats from Tuscany
The Tuscan cats go on a summer holiday in the Italian countryside, what better topic it there than this for recommended summer reading, especially for children and cat lovers alike.
Actually the second in a series detailing the games cats play given a chance. Delightful stories written for children but which all cat lovers will without doubt enjoy given the chance. Certainly worth a look whether you are a cat lover or not. I am more of a dog lover personally but I did enjoy these tales of cat antics, Laura Graham, the author is an avid cat lover and having read her books I can say she is also a keen observer of cat behaviours.
More on Books and eBooks
- Dream of visiting Zanzibar | Southern Africa Travel Blog
Southern Africa Travel highly recommend you read the latest novel, A Zanzibar Affair, by globetrotter Samantha Ford set on the beautiful island of Zanzibar.
- A Romantic Story of Women In Love - Lonely Mirrors
A story of women in love, of mothers and daughters, their relationships and how an affair from the second world war has impacted all their lives. Romantic fiction.
- Alien Abduction - A Science Fiction Story
Abducted by aliens to the interior of the moon, a small group of tsunami survivors have to prove that the human race are worth their place in universal life.
- My Book Reviews
New books by new authors are reviewed here. Just because it's a new author doesn't mean it's not good. You can also submit your reviews here if you want to, as long as it is a review and not a blatant advert.
A Brand New Book for a Brand New Summer - The Secret Assassins
When your brother dies in what appears to be a tragic domestic accident, but you know he would not have been doing what he was supposed to have been doing when he died! You would smell a rat wouldn't you?
Frank Armstrong did and before he knew it, he was up to his neck in political murders and corrupt policemen. But he knew he had to do what he could to bring his brother's murderers to justice. No matter what sort of justice that was; vigilante or otherwise.
A scary attempt to start a nuclear world war 3 by very determined terrorists. But they made the mistake of murdering Frank Armstrong's brother.
Book Reviews, Writing Tips and Reading Lists
- Popular Children's Books by David Walliams
Billionaire Boy is one of the books written by David Walliams back in 2011 but is shortly to be made available with a CD which has David and his partner in comedy Matt Lucus narrating, rather hilariously, the characters from this highly popular child
- A Military Story of Adventure in the Far East
This is a military adventure story set in the Far East. Harry Weston sincerely thought that he had been released from military service for good. He was repatriated in New Zealand where he met a beautiful Kiwi girl and was happy with his lot in life.
- Alien Abduction - A Book Review
'The Mobius Twist' is a science fiction story that has been written by an author who lives on Waiheke Island close to Auckland; just off the coast of New Zealand. His name is Markham Turner and you will probably not be surprised to hear that the loca
- A Gripping, Action-Adventure, Spy & Espionage Thriller
A fast moving adventure set in the world of spymasters, computer hackers, military IT systems and high technology. Add to that a comic element, lots of very sexy ladies and some serious scrapes with some of the world's darkest secret service agency's
- Eagle in the Sky - Wilbur Smith
The first time I read a Wilbur Smith Book was over 30 years ago when I had become a member of a book club. This was at a time when television still got switched off overnight from midnight, signalled of course by the National Anthem. That could only
- Women at War in World War 2, Where it All Began
Lonely Mirrors is a romantic novel which is primarily set in Cairo, the capital city of Egypt. It tells the story of Jennifer Elmwood, a woman in turmoil as her personal and professional life starts to unravel. Out of the blue, she receives a letter
- A Book Review of Expat Living in Rural France
If you are an expat, have aspirations to become an expat or would simply like a little nosey into the world of expat living. Then you are highly likely to enjoy this series of short stories about the shenanigans of the local Brits abroad in a quiet t
- Animism And The Orang Asli
This is a book review of a story that takes us on a journey into the rain forests of Malaya during the Malayan Emergency . The conflict took place over a twelve year period following the end of the second world war starting around 1948 and ending aro
- Expat Living as a Writer
Perhaps all writers are misfits of a kind. Many relish standing outside the herd to commentate on what happens within it. And what could be a better way of taking a distant view of one's own culture than by moving to another country? Becket to Bogard
- Angels and Demons, Prequel to the Da Vinci Code
The thrilling prequel (actually treated as a sequel) to 2006's The Da Vinci Code sees Tom Hanks return as Robert Langdon to crack a terror plot against the Vatican with Ewan McGregor co- starring in the film released on the 14th May 2009. The Mona Li
- French History Books - The Lauragais Story From The South Of France
The Lauragais in the South of France was a centre of Catharism and it is the Albigensian crusade that features primarily in most peoples historical knowledge of the region. The Albigensian crusade, headed by Simon de Monfort, being of course the mech
- A Contemporary Romance Novel
The story The Zanzibar Affair revolves around a letter that is found in an old chest on the Zanzibar Island off the east coast of Tanzania. The letter holds the key to why the central character, Kate Hope, suddenly disappeared for no apparent reason;
- How Do You Write a Book or Novel the Review
This book is a bit of a wake up call for all current and aspiring authors, it challenges you to stop and think about what you are doing, why you are doing it and how you plan a route to success. In other words how to write a book that can be publishe
- Best Books for Christmas
Welcome to your Christmas library of best books. If you want to know what's hot this year on the bookshelves, then look no further. I am only going to share with you the top best selling books on Amazon for both adults and kids. If you want to know w