Monday 30 April 2012

What Would George Bernard Shaw be Campaigning for Today?

The Society of Authors has kindly nominated me for its Management Committee. If all goes smoothly and I join the other distinguished committee members I thought it might be useful to have a clearer idea of what it is that we would all like the Society to be doing for authors in these exciting times.

What, I wonder, would George Bernard Shaw, (an early and active member of the Society), be campaigning for if he was around today? What would his views be on e-books and self-publishing, for instance? Would he be championing Amazon for making books so accessible or criticising their monopolistic and capitalistic tendencies? Would he be sympathetic towards struggling high street independents or would he see them as the architects of their own downfall?
If you have any ideas on ways in which the Society should be making itself useful to its members please email me at

Below is a short biography which the Society has published in The Author to support my nomination.

Andrew Crofts is a full-time author and ghostwriter. He has published more than 80 titles, a dozen of which have spent many weeks at the top of the Sunday Times best seller charts.
As well as using traditional publishers to reach readers, (including Arrow, Blake, Bloomsbury, Century, Ebury, AndrĂ© Deutsch, Hamish Hamilton, Harper Collins, Headline, Heinemann, Hodder, Hutchinson, Little Brown, Michael Joseph, McGraw Hill, Orion, Pan Macmillan, Penguin, Pocket Books, Sidgwick & Jackson, Sphere and Weidenfeld & Nicolson), he has also experimented with e-books, publishing “The Fabulous Dreams of Maggie de Beer”,(a prequel to his traditionally published “The Overnight Fame of Steffi McBride”), on both Kindle and Smashwords, and has guided a number of international clients successfully through the minefield of independent publishing.

Monday 23 April 2012

Are Electronic Authors’ Co-operatives the New Force in Publishing?

Marketing books has always been a grand lottery. Millions of titles are hurled out into the market in the hope that enough will catch on to support the majority, which inevitably sink due to weight of numbers and the lack of reading hours in anyone’s lifetime, breaking the hearts of their authors as they go down.

Now publication is accessible to anyone with a computer and broadband connection, but there is still no magical solution to the great marketing dilemma – how do you get your book talked about and heard about when there is so much competitive din going on all around?

One growing trend is the rise of electronic author cooperatives, where groups of writers combine forces to get one another’s, (and of course their own), work in front of potential readers.

“Do Authors Dream of Electric Books?”  ( ), for instance, is a group of twenty eight authors, all experienced in different genres. We each blog on an assigned day each month and a diligent core of this band also works tirelessly, and extraordinarily successfully, to promote the site and the books therein and to advise and support one another on the technicalities and tribulations of e-publishing. Guest bloggers fill the other days.

“Awesome Indies” ( ) is the brainchild of fantasy and magical realism author, Tahlia Newland, where she selflessly reviews and recommends other indie books and authors who she thinks will appeal to her followers. (Here I must declare another interest since Tahlia has given a glowing review to my own indie e-book “The Fabulous Dreams of Maggie de Beer”, which is the vehicle through which I have been discovering this magical world of mutually supportive authors).

At the beginning of June three authors who are involved with the hugely successful on-line writing magazine “Words with Jam”, (, Gillian E. Harmer, JJ. Marsh and Liza Perrat, are launching Triskele Books with three of their own titles.

Is this not how many of the oldest and most venerable publishing names first started out, with groups of writers huddling together for warmth in a vast and chilly ocean? Is it not a hugely encouraging and inspiring model for the future?