Review of small press and independent books.
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I am working quite hard trying to promote my books and other writing. I started writing many years ago, but only in the last two years have I tried to polish up what I did those years ago. Two novels are now published, Mission and A Fool's Knot. I have a website at philipspires.co.uk, if anyone is interested in having a look.
Both novels are set in Kenya. I call them African novels rather than novels set in Africa. You have to read them to appreciate the distinction. I am very proud of both books. Things never turn out as planned, but both books say what I wanted them to say, though perhaps not as elegantly or succinctly as I would have liked. But then that's me, I suppose...
I have just finished a set of short stories based on travel. I have published three on the internet - Strangers, Protesters and Initiates. To find them, enter my name and the story title into a search engine. I would appreciate feedback.
I have also been doing a lot of reading and have posted around a hundred reviews in the last year and a bit. I have only reviewed books read in that time. I'll be posting them on this site as well.
I hope this is not too self-promoting!
Good website (I note that you are asking for other writers to publicise their books - watch out, you may get slammed!). African novels have always fascinated me, especially Monsarrat; I look forward to reading yours.
With regard to promotion, I am sure we could all help each other here - posting poss feedback on Amazon, maybe a "master" website, linked to the major bookseller sites (or am I wandering off again?)
Personally, I have no desire to link to Amazon and their ilk. I seek contact with indie booksellers. I like to give them the 30% they deserve, rather than letting big distribution companies rule the roost and be the only ones to profit. - But this site isn't just about marketing and self-promotion. I like to hear what authors have to say about their books - please keep on tellin' us! But what I'd really love to see here is heaps and heaps of postings about bookshops, presses and books that deserve more attention than they are getting all the time people let themselves be told Amazon is in charge of book world.
Oh, I have no love for Amazon, and buy all my books from local Indies. I do use the Amazon site, however, when searching for a book, or checking out a particular author, and there is no doubt that a high Amazon rating will influence a publisher for future work, likewise good feedback from a variety of readers who clearly are not your mum. Exposeure on major book selling sites need not mean the internet nasties, there is the Independent bookshop site, and quite a few shops have their own nowadays.
I have just joined Booksy and the first member's message I read is from someone who writes about Africa. My first two were set there - the first in Rhodesia in the thirties and the second all over from South East to Angola from 1814 to the 1970s.
Presumably you lived in Kenya at some point - I lived in Malawi in the 50s and 60s.
I'll have a look at yours via Amazon (I too use them, but am appalled by their behaviour re print on demand (which I'm sure you'll have heard about).
Michael J Hunt (Matabele Gold, The African Journals of Petros Amm and Two Days in Tehran)