Showing posts with label bahrain. Show all posts
Showing posts with label bahrain. Show all posts

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Dear Amazon, I do not live in Narnia

http://philipbjorge.com/dummy_wp_blog/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/dearamazon-620x531.jpg


First of all, before I begin with this week's post, I'd like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas! I didn't get my gifts so I'm going to assume that Santa wrote me in his naughty list this year...

This is the story of when I tried to purchase a short story I found the other day while going through my Twitter feed and I just felt compelled to read the rest of it (the author had provided a free sample on his website) but unfortunately, the short was only available on Amazon at the time.

You know, Amazon? The website that houses the works of almost every writer on the planet? The one which I used to publish my debut novel and a bunch of short stories as well? Well, apparently I live in Narnia, as I couldn't for the life of me purchase a copy (it was only made available through Kindle).

I wasn't all too happy to be honest, and after doing a ton of research, I figured out the reason why Amazon doesn't allow me to purchase Kindle books on the same platform I use to publish my Kindle books, and no you are not imagining... I do have a little bit of attitude, but what would you do were you in my place? Give Amazon a call? Yep you got that right!

I kept my Snapchat(@infrangilis) updated as the story was happening, and living in a small country, getting a call from Amazon is as exciting to some as the um... just imagine something very interesting alright? Thanks.

I stayed on the phone with Amazon for about two to three hours that day, while they checked their records and tried to help me (I feel I must add that they were extremely professional and just awesome), but my beef isn't with the employees, my beef is with the service itself.

Yes, they did inform me that the sole reason why I feel like am living in Narnia right now is simply due to them not having digital distribution rights in my country, but they did assure me that they are constantly expanding their reach and the middle east is definitely an area that they will not miss, but the thing is... I informed them via email and through conversation that I could expedite things over here.

We have an awesome ministry that takes care of the youth and all initiatives and I am almost positive that if I approach them with this, they'll do everything in their power to help bring the magic of Kindle books to our lovely country. Their response? Not much.

You might be thinking that I'm being a bit tough on Amazon even though they provide authors a lot of assistance and services, but seriously... It's a matter of principle, a person can publish their work through Kindle, but his local audience is basically being cut off by default. That's not okay, and I'm not that crazy about that to be honest.

So what's the point of this blog? Nothing, this is simply me steaming off my frustrations while hoping that it makes for a good story. I do not expect this to change anytime in the near future, but I felt like I needed to share this story.

Until next time,
Write on.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Support for Indie Authors



So this was long overdue... Indie authors have a lot on their plate, they have to basically learn to do it all themselves whether it's marketing, designing, layout formatting on top of the actual writing itself. That is why you often hear that writing a book is the easiest part. Now, the question why I opted to write this now is very simple: it usually takes me days in order to find a good editor who understands that indie authors do not 'shit' gold. Not all of us are Tywin Lannisters eh?

Now, the thing is I understand how important it is to get your work edited, but do you really have to charge emerging authors ridiculous sums of money? Professional editing is ranged between 600$ and an go to a staggering 2000$+ to get a novel edited, something that realistically new writers cannot cough up as they do not have publishers behind them.

Is it worth it? Absolutely, never underestimate the work that these editors do, I mean seriously, all the power to them right? But since not everyone can afford the luxury of spending thousands of dollars on their manuscripts I thought I would share some of my favorite editors with you (keep in mind, I highly recommend these editors and they don't charge a fortune):

1- Beta Reading & Editing:

The people at 'SimplyBetaReading' offer great packages that you can rely on to improve your craft. They offer a range of services like Beta Reading, as well as some editing packages. Their prices vary depending on your style of writing but rest assured; it definitely won't break the bank!

Website:
http://simplybetareading.com/services.html

2- Manuscript Critique

Victoria Griffyn offers to critique your manuscript for a very low price compared to her expereince as an experienced editor and is in my opinion a bargain. She also has a YouTube channel and offers subscribers a 10% discount.

Website:
http://www.victoriagriffin.net/editing-services.html

YouTube channel:
https://www.youtube.com/user/ladyace0007

3- Professional E-book Formatting

I was actually surprised to find this service as well, you get best selling authors and editors to edit your work of up to 100K words for a simple fee of 60$ only. If you do a little research only, you'll begin to appreciate just how much a bargain this really is.

Website:
http://www.fictionworks.com/ebook-formatting

That's it for now, let me know if there is something specific that you want me to cover as well and I'll do it. It was really important for me to write this in the hopes that someone will benefit from these great services.

Also, for my countrymen and any writer residing in Bahrain, get in touch with me if you need any of these services! We have a community to support each other locally, and I would love to have you be part of it (we do this thing where every weekend someone sends something they wrote and everyone provides feedback).

That's it for now,

Until next time,
Write on.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Writing My First Story Ever

http://dingley.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/th.jpg

Every writer has an incredible story about the first thing he wrote. It might be embarressing or just plain awesome from the start, but my journey writing stories actually started when I was 9 years old. actually wrote the story in Arabic and it revolved around a person called "Leo" who travels to Mars and makes contact with Aliens. He then proceeds to mobilize Earth's army and try to conquer the damn thing. 

I didn't actually finish it, nor do I know where it is currently but nonetheless, that was my first experience writing a story. I still hope to write the story again with better names than "Leo" who I believe was a reference to 'Leo' from 'Charmed' but maybe its better to leave it at the past.

It wasn't that embaressing really, except for the part that people made fun of me and called me crazy, but yeah other than that, it was just an amazing feeling to write something and bring a world to life through your vivid imagination. 

Aside from that, my first ever (English written) story was called "A Duck's Sacrifice". It started as a very innocent story about a Duck living with her family, and then they get attacked by a pack of wolves and eventually some... bad stuff happen. I'm not gonna spoil it, and tell you what, I'll be posting the story next week for your enjoyment/horror. 

I wrote "A Duck's Sacrifice" back in 2012 and from there, I began to work on Dragon Tooth as well (yeah, been actually 4 years since I began writing the damn thing). Dragon Tooth took me this long because I re-wrote it a couple of times as well.

So yeah, that's my story, what's yours? 

Write on,
InfranGilis

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Writers In Bahrain - What Its Like to be a Bahraini Writer

http://lamcdn.net/hopesandfears.com/post_image-image/nt1PF7rlUsxEHxLBMtiPNw-fullscreen.gif


Writers in Bahrain are among the top fairy creatures, you hear myths that they exist, but they are all secluded in particular areas that no one knows of. 

It's kinda ironic because I do know of a number of extremely talented writers, but they are just shelving themselves in a bubble that they are in the wrong country. Well, the thing is, if your friend is a writer, just try this: walk to them and tell them I know another writer. Their reaction would almost be "but it can't be! I thought I was the only one!".

I admit, there is a tremendous pressure on everyone here to lay off writing and pursue a "normal" and boring career and that is one of the top reasons why established writers don't actually pursue it. They fall pray to the terror that is responsibility soon enough and just give up. 

See writing takes practice, and if you don't do it daily, you kinda lose track of those skills. Most also feel the torture of "you want to be what? A writer? Okay sweety, but what do you want to be when you grow up?". Writing is not taken seriously here... So I really think that it is very difficult to swim against the current, because being a writer in a country that is dominated by oil wealth is kind of being an investigator that is looking for unicorns. It can happen, but it is very unlikely. 

Lots of things can hinder our dreams and stop our talents from growing. But the most important thing here is to give ourselves the permission saying it's okay to fail and it's okay to be a loser in something while winning in another thing. 

My message to every writer in Bahrain, I hope that something or somewhere is built that links all writers together and a community starts that provides a successful platform for self-publishing authors and writers. Hell, it could be an annual event where the likes of Stephen King are invited to knock some god damn sense into our parents that being a writer is actually pretty damn cool.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Things That Influenced My Writing

http://www.personalbrandingblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/shutterstock_143305756.jpg

There has been a number of people who have actually influenced my writing tremendously. None of which were my tutors at school. Growing up under all the pressure and stress that is put on anyone during the 90s was very difficult. We were witnessing the jump to total dependence on technology (whether this is good or bad is a story for another day). 

However, I have never really depended on school or any form of traditional ways to learn English. From a young age, I was really interested in that language, all the TV I was watching had me compelled and wanting to 'speak' like they do. It did have its charm, I won't deny it. 

But starting from then, I got involved with a lot of different forums that specialized in different things, the trick? All were English. People always mocked my grammar and spelling and to which I would always respond by insulting theirs (internet rage, go figure) until some day, I decided to just try to read beyond the (learn t0 sp3ll ... OMG !) and started to notice patterns. 

From there on, I constantly kept on improving. Noticing that "i" when referring to yourself should always be capitalized was the first thing I learned by the way.

Anyways, from there on, my level of English had always surpassed my school's standards. The exams were a joke to me personally, and I remember the myth that no one could get a full mark in writing. Well, I challenged that and got the mark. The teacher told me "this was incredible, I have never read something this good in a long time" which was a great compliment to satisfy my own ego (and boy I was arrogant).   

I remember when I was a kid, I would listen to English songs and try to say the words, as well as pick up English books and make silly sounds pretending that I was reading. Most of the times, people would come to me and say "do you even know what you're saying? Well, if you don't why do you say it!". People made fun and ridiculed when they could, but had I listened to them, I would still speak the "door oben, ziz wan not good" kinda thing that they speak and call it the English language.