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want to move away from the celebrity auto/biography- ideas please

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Showing 676-700 of 749 posts in this discussion
Posted on 8 Feb 2011 12:34:20 GMT
Last edited by the author on 8 Feb 2011 12:35:54 GMT
Joey72 says:
I enjoyed Delivered Unto Lions which is a fictionalised account of the authors childhood in a psychiatric unit in the west country. I found the way it was written as a story made it easy to read, if somewhat tear jerking at points.

Posted on 3 Feb 2011 16:04:19 GMT
Here's the link to the one mentioned by lynneje: Mum Can You Lend Me Twenty Quid?: What Drugs Did to My Family, a mother's tragic story.
If you're into motorcycle travel as well as biography, try One Brit, One Bike, One Big Country (also on Kindle), or Pack Your Bags and Get Out! (also on Kindle).

In reply to an earlier post on 2 Feb 2011 18:51:12 GMT
lynneje says:
Wasted by Mark Johnson
Mum, can you lend me twenty quid. Not sure of the author's name though.

Both books about drug abuse.
Both a brilliant read and true!! Enjoy!

In reply to an earlier post on 2 Feb 2011 15:24:19 GMT
Hallo Louise - Many thanks for your remarks. You can rest easy - I am always polite. At 82 I am from the old days when politeness meant something. As for being pushy - well, there's a tricky puzzle. On the one hand one's publisher (I am not self published as such. My book(s) were published on the so called 'subsidy' method but I know a lot of people include subsidy published authors as self published. Personally I think it is far away from self publishing) asks authors to spread the gospel on every possible occasion that presents itself but if you do so there are some who might regard you as being 'pushy'. Mind you, as a former Sales & Marketing Director I can tell you that in selling, being pushy is part and parcel of business - you will not go far if you are not. But not the book industry I fear which is very different from any other I have known. Normal rules do not apply because it is not a normal trade. But I take your point - you can push to the point of becoming boring.
Enough people have told me that I have written a very interesting book - I am well satisfied with that. But I know that I have not written a masterpiece and nor am I capable of writing one. However it is fact that many people are interested to know what London was like in the days before the war - especially among the poor people in the East End Docklands of which my family were members, The Great Depression, how we managed to live, and how hard it was to break free from poverty. I am simply telling a story of those days, how I broke free and became a success, and, frankly speaking, since I made my fortune from lollipops, chewing gum, and sweets I have no interest in money whatsoever. My motives are not financial. I just have this desire to share my story with as many as possible because, as bad as it was, I do believe that the 1930s was the golden era of Cockney land - a part of London that has gone - vanished into the annals of history, and the like of which we shall never see again. As for defensiveness - if you mean by that those who do not easily accept criticism - I am not in that category either. You like ? Good ! You don't like ? Thats OK too ! I have only been writing a relatively short while but I have become accustomed to criticism - must confess, I don't like editors too much ! They carve one's work too much and leave behind a skeleton of what the author intended. But then - you can't love everybody can you ? I have writtena furter book which I call THE IMPOSSIBLE DREAMS - The LIfe & Times of an East End Street Urchin. I call it thus because in the dark days of the 30s no end of the situation was in sight and one dreary year followed another. So dreams were all that people had - impossible dreams that would not come true. It is with a lewading London agent right now - so wish me luck!
About Kindle, I am new at this and Amazon have said to me that I should have an author page - so I will do that. When applying for Kindle acceptance the webpage system kind of forced me to a price of $9.99 per book. But I would prefer to go lower - say $7.99 and even make a special offer for the two volumes bought together. Amazon agree with the former and have told me how to amend my selling price but are strangely reticent with the latter.
I am not sure I follow you when you suggest I "insert a product link" at the top of where I type the message. What does this mean and where do I type what message ? Anyway - very many thanks indeed for your interest - it is always useful for authors to exchange views and opinions. We can learn something every day and none of us are beyond learning - although in a few years I may well be !!

Posted on 1 Feb 2011 22:20:50 GMT
Last edited by the author on 1 Feb 2011 22:21:26 GMT
Cuban Heel says:
I don't usually read biographies but I've read 3 relatively recently and they were all excellent:

Mr. Blue: Memoirs of a Renegade - the autobiography of Ed Bunker who is, I guess, a very minor celebrity by virtue of the fact he was a celebrated author of prison novels and starred briefly in Tarantino's Reservoir Dogs. But it's more about his life of crime and becoming a cult author. Brilliant book.

Titanic Thompson: The Man Who Bet on Everything - biography of an American hustler and gambler who rubbed shoulders with Al Capone and other underworld characters from the American '20s.

Ringolevio: A Life Played for Keeps (New York Review Books Classics) - autobiography of Emmet Grogan, one of the most politically active figures of the sixties counterculture. Traces his roots as a petty thief and his developing social awareness and political ideals. Again, a great read (but probably only one to check out if you're interested in the politics of the sixties).

In reply to an earlier post on 1 Feb 2011 15:30:14 GMT

Posted on 1 Feb 2011 15:16:29 GMT
Hi David - It's a tightrope you're walking I'm afraid! Finding a way to self promote without doing it too much that people hit the ignore button! I've not been on the Kindle thread for a while but if you're self published there's usually a thread on there for people to post to, the one thing I would say is make sure you're always polite, from what I've seen you have been but I know there's other self published authors who people have been put off reading due to (a) being too pushy and (b) being too defensive of their work. Not everyone will give an author a 5 star review, even Setphen King will get people who don't like his work!
Might also be worth using the "insert a product link" at the top of where you type the message, then people can just click through to your book. There was a really helpful post somewhere which showed the power of reducing the price of a book for periods of time and how it increased the persons sales so they actually made more than when the book was sold at a higher price. Might be worth digging around to see if you can find it.
One thing that has worked for others is to get someone else to recommend your book, rather than recommending it youself (that's how I bought the Patsy Whyte one)

Posted on 1 Feb 2011 14:49:47 GMT
Hallo Louise - I have recently placed my book (A BOY FROM NOWHERE in two volumes) on Kindle. I have high hopes for Kindle as mechanism to assist easy reading - especially if you read a lot. I believe it is a great invention. But the secret of success is finding a way to draw the attention of people to one's book among many thousands and I haven't worked that one out yet. My theme of a poor boy from the slums of East London defeating all obstacles to become an unlikely success is not a bad one, so I am told, and would be interesting to anyone who would like to know what pre-war London was like among the poor but if anyone has any bright ideas how to squeeze the maximum out of Kindle I for one would appreciate any info on the subject,
David Mitchell

Posted on 1 Feb 2011 14:09:10 GMT
I've read a few non-celeb biographies lately, would be tempted by Kindle ones if the authors don't plug too heavily, however, those that I've read which have been traditionally published:
Little Princes
Starting Over One Cake at a Time
No Easy Road
Little Princes is in my opinion one of the best books I've ever read, additionally, it reads more like a novel than a biography.
Starting over is good, but a girly book, no idea as to whether you're male or female but I can't see it being appreciated by a male.
Personally, I didn't enjoy No Easy Road, it's one of the few books I couldn't even get to the end of (it took me 2 weeks to get half way through and I usually read 2 books a week) but other people have highly recommended it.
Other than being non-celeb was there a theme you were hoping for?

Posted on 29 Jan 2011 18:34:15 GMT
Sam Dilly says:
Poppy Dream: The Story of an English Addict

Posted on 28 Jan 2011 21:12:50 GMT
John James says:
Just finished "Wait For Me" by Deborah Devonshire (Mitford) - a biography to recommend!

Posted on 28 Jan 2011 19:55:41 GMT
smith says:
hiy all,
does any one know where to find a olly murs book?

In reply to an earlier post on 28 Jan 2011 17:42:42 GMT
I'd recommend some well-written comedy. I've just bought One Day by David Nicholls (sadly I haven't started it yet), but I did read an earlier novel of his called The Understudy and giggled myself into stomach cramps. Remember! All fiction is biographical, but not all bography is fiction.....

Posted on 27 Jan 2011 07:28:11 GMT
D. Griffith says:
Reflections of a Survivor: a story of trauma and recovery

Posted on 24 Jan 2011 21:19:13 GMT
[Deleted by Amazon on 14 Dec 2012 12:57:40 GMT]

In reply to an earlier post on 24 Jan 2011 21:05:02 GMT
Hi - try 'Be Someone' by Darrell EllsworthBe Someone

In reply to an earlier post on 24 Jan 2011 21:05:00 GMT
Hi - try 'Be Someone' by Darrell EllsworthBe Someone

In reply to an earlier post on 24 Jan 2011 13:57:23 GMT
camelot says:
Try "A Time of Change" by Valerie Hoadley. it is an inspirational read

Posted on 20 Jan 2011 23:41:26 GMT
MalMonroe says:
P.S. Have you tried looking for books under the heading of 'Memoir' - rather than autobiography?
Plenty of non-famous people in that section!

Posted on 20 Jan 2011 23:39:43 GMT
MalMonroe says:
Yes Sister, No Sister by Jennifer Craig
I had brain surgery, what's your excuse? by Suzy Becker

for starters!
Also, not strictly autobiographical but a wonderful book detailing some of the happenings during WW2 when Guernsey was occupied by Germans (from the perspective of peacetime 1946) - The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Schaffer & Annie Barrows.

Posted on 20 Jan 2011 19:56:43 GMT
Neil Parsons says:
For the real life story of an ordinary extraordinary bloke who gets swept along by history, kidnapped from South Africa and displayed in Britain and America, ending up well-loved in the bosom of an American family, see Clicko: The Wild Dancing Bushman. Just published in US and UK. Favourable reviews beginning to trickle in...I wrote it!

Posted on 20 Jan 2011 16:15:27 GMT
It's a complete fallacy to say that 'if you remember the 60s, you weren't really there'. The fact that so many people are now writing about the era proves just the opposite: a lot of us were there ~ and survived to tell a tale or two. My book Bobby's Girl although presented as a novel, is in fact based upon real life experience. One Brit, One Bike, One Big Country is a true account of one man's journey around USA on a Harley-Davidson. And Pack Your Bags and Get Out! also describes a 3,000 mile motorcycle trip, during which the author reflects upon his life up till that point. None of these authors (including myself) is a celebrity. At least not yet.

In reply to an earlier post on 20 Jan 2011 12:11:57 GMT
Hallo Sue - Of course you are - as long as you are not a 'celebrity' I think the object of the exercise here is to give 'non-celebs' a chance to air their views and suggest their own books which participants can follow up if they wish. I have been told, by a quite well know author, that if only I were a celeb I would have a best-seller on my hands. I am not so sure about that but I am certain I would be doing far better than I am. Another suggested my story could make a good film. But where does one begin as an unknown ?
Your book sounds fascinating and I am sure it will attract many - but not me Sue. You see I am an old feller in his 83rd year (another handicap - agents are not very interested in old people like me) and so - well, years ago maybe !
Good Luck ! If you are young then you have your world still open to you - get your letters, synopsis, off to about 15 literary agents (but make sure they are members of the agent's official organisation - see Writers & Artists Alamanac - which shoud be aviulable from you library and contains a wealth of good advice and information.
David Mitchell

In reply to an earlier post on 20 Jan 2011 11:21:21 GMT
Dear Newauthorexplorer -

Am I allowed to suggest my own book??? 'No Copy of the Script - the triumphs and tragedies of a casting director. Here's the blurb on the back:

In this intimate portrait, Sue Whatmough falls pregnant at eighteen and discovers the parental love she had taken for granted is dependent on good behaviour. Her happy childhood is over.
Sue's entertaining journey from the early sixties to the late eighties, highlights the emergence of a new perspective on sex and women's liberation. The upheavals of her personal life are offset by her successful career in the television industry and her sardonic exposť of the casting process is unique and revealing.
Her indomitable spirit and humorous outlook have combined to create a memoir as uplifting as it is poignant.

`I loved the whole atmosphere of the book. Sue manages to capture the era of the sixties perfectly, not just with her descriptions of life in London on the pill but the changing attitudes of young women to sex and the opposite sex. The confusion many of us felt about taking drugs or drinking or free love. She engaged me from Page one and I thoroughly enjoyed the book to the end.' LYNDA BELLINGHAM

All the best

In reply to an earlier post on 19 Jan 2011 18:12:32 GMT
Last edited by the author on 19 Jan 2011 20:27:24 GMT
John says:
A Tenby Lifeboat Family by Avis Nixon

Tenby-born author, poet and artist Avis Nixon is the sixth daughter of Tenby Lifeboatman Alfred Cottam, who was the Mechanic of the Tenby Lifeboat from 1933 to 1948. In 1938 Alfred Cottam was awarded the RNLI's Bronze Medal for his part in Tenby Lifeboat's legendary rescue of the crew of the SS Fermanagh.

Published as a Star of Pembrokeshire Series paperback by Tenby Publishers
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