Popular science books on Nature Network

There are a couple of stimulating writing/publishing debates going on over at Nature Network’s public forum.  One was started by Brian Clegg, who in a post entitled "Macmillan’s experiment" , asks:

"I’d be interested to see what other science writers think of Macmillan’s experiment of paying no advance at all for their Macmillan Science books, but a larger royalty. I know Sara’s [Abdulla’s — Editor and Publisher of Macmillan Science] arguments for doing this, but I personally think it tends to favour people with day jobs, who don’t mind not having the advance, over professional writers who often can’t afford to take the time commitment required for a book without an advance."

There follows a fascinatingly robust and informative (with money figures) three-way between Dr Clegg, Sara Abdulla and the inimitable Dr Henry Gee. Even if you aren’t a science person, the same principles are followed by the Macmillan New Writing imprint, so the points made in this debate apply to that publishing scheme also.

The other thread that I like was started by Sara, entitled "Using the web to promote your popular science book" . She asks: "What cool online things have you tried to broaden the reach of your title? What impact did they have?" Henry and Brian are among the responders, but so are others, including Dave Reay, climate scientist and author, James Long of New Tammany College and Jenny Rohn of Lablit, the science-in-fiction website. Again, informative, educative and entertaining.

Win Kate Pepper’s newest thriller

www.thrillerwriters.org – Contest: Win Free Copy of Kate Pepper’s Newest Thriller.

Kate Pepper posts on the Thrillerwriters blog (link above): "Win a personally signed pre-publication free copy of Kate Pepper’s newest thriller HERE SHE LIES, the terrifying story of identical twin sisters Annie and Julie as they are pitted against each other in a race to discover who is the real identity theft…and killer. HERE SHE LIES will be available in bookstores on May 1st. But on April 7th I will randomly select 20 winners who will get to read my new novel weeks before everyone else." To read more about how to enter, and about this and other books by Kate Pepper, visit her website.

If you like competitions and crime novels, it is always worth checking out Eurocrime to see what tempting prizes are being dangled before eager readers’ eyes at the moment.

Ghosts from the past in crime novels

A couple of books I’ve read recently are S is for Silence by Sue Grafton (booksale) and Driftnet by Lin Anderson (recommended via a blog but unfortunately cannot remember which). Both novels feature ghosts from the past.  Although they are both a reasonably pleasant way to while away the train journey, I can’t recommend that you drop everything and rush out to the bookshop in order to read them. My review follows on the continuation sheet.

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