Join me on for new posts

24/10/2012 at 11:07 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

I’ve recently noticed that this old blog is still receiving a fair amount of traffic.

My new blog is located a and this is site is no longer updated.

This is probably due to the fact that search engines were still locating the content that is still held here and I hope by requesting they no longer index the site that this will decrease.

I have also just removed the subscribe button as that was misleading – I want you to subscribe over at the new site so please do!

The new blog contains all the information that is here and lots of new posts.

I’ve recently been blogging about digital first publishers and just sent a new post live about an Australian digital-first-and-only product.

At some stage I will probably delete this blog so I hope you will type into your browser!


– New Home for Digireado!

27/08/2012 at 3:16 pm | Posted in | 2 Comments

Thank you to all the people who subscribe to this blog. And extra thanks to those who leave comments or press the Like button!

In what is a long overdue move I have finally used the url I purchased years ago! The blog is now live at

For those who subscribed through WordPress you will need to resubscribe using your email address. I do hope you will follow Digireado over to the new home.

For subscribers that signed up using their email address I can move you over to the new site myself. I hope you will continue to follow the blog and if at any stage you decide not to then it is easy to unsubscribe. If you prefer I didn’t move you over then please drop me an email at: anna at digireado dot com.

I value each and every subscriber to the blog and especially love to hear comments and feedback. I’m even happy with comments that disagree with my posts as a healthy debate is constructive.

On the new blog I’ll be posting some news this week about a top secret project I’ve been working on that is finally coming to fruition! Make sure you don’t miss out and subscribe now!

Hope to see you at!

Anna Maguire

PS: I always love to feature guest blog posts so contact me if you would like to write a feature!

– Part 5: How to Publish Your Ebook (Promotion through social media)

20/08/2012 at 9:29 am | Posted in Authors, Ebooks, Self Publishing, Social Media, Training, Writers | 3 Comments
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Please note: This blog has now moved to This post and newer content will be found there.

Guest Post by Natalie Costa Bir

Natalie Costa Bir is Web Content Editor, University of Sydney; former Manager, Voyager Online Marketing at HarperCollins. She also co-presented the course Excellent Ebooks for the APA.

In early August I gave a talk to participants in the ASA’s ‘How to publish your ebook’ course on promoting their ebook through social media. They had already had the chance to hear from Joel Naoum, Publisher, Momentum Books on the state of the market, Anna Maguire on preparing and producing an ebook, Jim Demetriou, Sales & Marketing Director at Allen & Unwin on selling an ebook (price and placement) and  Airlie Lawson on metadata and digital rights management. Below is a summary of what I talked about.

What is social media?

I started off with a quick definition of what I meant by social media: applications that let us create and share content on the web, such as Twitter, Facebook, blogs and general author websites.

  • – 140 characters of content posted frequently
  • – one to two sentences posted once or twice a day at most
  • or or your website – as much as you like, once or more a week

The use of social media is a change in the way we communicate and it has both opened up communication gateways while and flooded them, forcing us to find ways to cope with large quantities of information. The question isn’t how to put your content out there, it’s how to get people to read it, engage with it, and follow it to where you want them to go.

Essentials for using social media

There isn’t a magical formula to using social media successfully and anyone who tries to sell you such an idea is taking you for a ride. What is essential is for you to be genuine. If you aren’t really interested in what you are saying, then it will show. You also need to be comfortable – use social media that you enjoy using. That doesn’t come straight away, but give yourself time and get used to the language of social media, eg. tweeting, re-tweeting, status updates, and so on.

There’s no need to go ‘all in’ and start accounts on Twitter, Google Plus, Facebook, create a new blog and start a website. Start slowly.

Get a website

I recommended to the class that if nothing else, they all have a basic static website. This means that anyone searching for information about you will have a place to go, and a basic website is very forgiving if you don’t have time to make frequent updates. It also means that if and when you create a presence on Twitter or Facebook, you have a place to link back to. You can create a website for free on WordPress offers a range of templates that you can customise with your own pictures so your site looks unique. Your website will end up with a web address like If you want a web address like you will have to make a small payment (which can be done through WordPress, or whichever website host you choose).

WordPress websites can be run as blogs, meaning you can create entries and talk about anything you like. You can also just keep it as a basic website, with a few different pages. To browse their blogs, just go to their homepage, and you’ll see they’ve served up the most interesting recent blog posts.

A look at different sites

I logged into Twitter and Facebook and showed the class how to use them. I pointed out that I would recommend using Twitter over Facebook if you had to choose one. I find that we’re much more open to meeting new people on Twitter. It’s not a place you load with personal information, unlike Facebook, and therefore there’s nothing to be lost by following new people on there. It’s very easy to start conversations with people, following conversations and join them (eg. by following a hashtag such as #bookerprize12).

I showed the class how to create a new Facebook author page – I wouldn’t recommend creating such a page until you have content to put on it though, so wait until the week of publication or even after it. For the most part, I wouldn’t recommend creating a page for your actual book because if you do this, you then have to create your audience anew every time you publish a new title. It’s better to promote your books through one spot: your Facebook author page.

Creating a Facebook author page:

  1. Go to
  2. Click on ‘Artist, band or public figure’ (bottom left)
  3. Go through the dropdown menu and select writer, then follow the rest of the instructions to customise the page.

A great example of a well-customised author page on Facebook is Kim Falconer’s:

When should you start?

The time to start is now, before you publish your work. Don’t be a door knocker, I said to the class. No one likes it when someone knocks on the door and tries to sell you something out the blue. You need to build relationships with people slowly, getting to know them and letting them get to know you. It’s a two-way street. If they know you, they are more likely to read an excerpt of your work, and then consider purchasing it.

How often do you need to update on social media?

You can post very frequently to Twitter, because the quantity of information on it moves rapidly. Keep in mind that this also makes it harder to resurrect conversations though. On Facebook you shouldn’t post status updates more than once or twice a day, unless you are participating in an event – and even then, think before you post. On your own blog or website you can post as frequently as you like, but don’t forget to leave time for your writing work!

What should I write about?
Write about things that interest you and that you think would interest other people.

Some of the class thought Twitter was quite boring and people were only updating about what they eat for breakfast. If that’s the case, you’re following the wrong people. Look around for people that interest you (most writers will have a link to their Twitter account from their websites, for example). Twitter will also recommend people for you to follow, based on how they relate to you or people you follow.

Think about what you would find interesting to read about and write accordingly. You can also write about your writing process, your journey to publication, ask questions about things you want to know more about … be thoughtful about it at the beginning and the rest will come naturally.

You can hone your craft by using social media, writing succinctly and engagingly is hard – so use it as a challenge. Don’t let your spelling and grammar slip.

A few other things

If you run a website or blog, check your site statistics and find out what is driving people to your site. Make sure you tag your posts with good (and relevant) terms that will help your readers find your site in search engines.

Set up author pages for yourself on social reading sites like Goodreads, LibraryThing and Shelfari – and make use of Amazon’s author tools as well, updating your author page there and ensuring all profiles link back to your website.

Having a social media presence doesn’t necessarily lead directly to book sales, but it can lead to situations that do … get talking to festival and convention promoters and you might end up a guest at their events and getting a great chance to promote your work there.

These are the top five things I suggested the class take away from the session:

  1. Start using social media now and build connections by having two-way conversations and putting the ‘social’ in social media. Share ideas, gossip, chat.
  2. Be genuine. It will show and it will affect your online relationships accordingly.
  3. Take the time to get to know the medium. If you’re not comfortable with it after a few months, it’s okay not to continue.
  4. Use social media to hone your writing skills – make your blogging, facebooking and tweeting concise, elegant and enticing in small spaces. Do punctuate and capitalise.
  5. You are a writer. Social media can be distracting. Manage your time to ensure you spend most of your time writing.

Thank you Natalie for your guest post on Digireado! 

Convener of the workshops: Linda Funnell has over 30 years publishing experience. Linda worked for ten years as HarperCollins Publisher, Fiction and Literary Non-fiction. She is a book editor and publishing consultant and co-editor with Jean Bedford of  The Newtown Review of Books

Information on the course can be viewed on The Australian Society of Authors site.

You may also like to read:

Part 1 of How to Publish Your Ebook –  The growing market for eBooks and recent developments.

Part 2 of How to Publish Your Ebook – Preparing and Producing an Ebook.

Part 3 of How to Publish Your Ebook – Sales and Distribution

Part 4 of How to Publish Your Ebook – Metadata and DRM

Launch of Kobo Writing Life Self-Publishing Platform.

What Makes a Great Ebook?

– Part 4: How to Publish Your Ebook (Metadata and DRM)

31/07/2012 at 4:30 pm | Posted in Ebooks, Self Publishing, Training, Writers | 3 Comments
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Please note: This blog has now moved to This post and newer content will be found there. 

Last week at the How to Publish Your Ebook the all-important subjects of Metadata and DRM were covered. In week 1, Joel Naoum, Publisher, Momentum Books, Pan Macmillan’s digital-only imprint, presented Part 1 The growing market for eBooks and recent developments. In Part 2 participants heard about Preparing and Producing an Ebook. Last week in Part 3 Jim Demetriou, Sales & Marketing Director at Allen & Unwin covered How Can I Sell my Ebook?

Part 4:  How can people find my eBook? Metadata and DRM.

In this session Airlie Lawson explained how to ensure your ebook is listed in the right places and make sure people can find it. She also explained Digital Rights Management (DRM) and the arguments for and against it. Airlie  has more than 15 years experience in rights management, including translation, film, television and digital. Metadata:

– Part 3: How to Publish Your Ebook (Sales and Distribution)

24/07/2012 at 9:30 am | Posted in Training, Writers | 2 Comments
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Please note: This blog has now moved to This post and fresh content will be found there. 

We have now reached the half-way point for the workshops  How to Publish Your Ebook. They are made available by The Australian Society of Authors and convened by Linda Funnell. Every week a different aspect of publishing ebooks is covered. Over six weeks participants attend two hourly workshops on the background and current landscape of ebooks in Australia and internationally; preparing and producing an ebook; sales channels; metadata and promotion.

In week 1, Joel Naoum, Publisher, Momentum Books, Pan Macmillan’s digital-only imprint, presented Part 1: The growing market for eBooks and recent developments. You can read about his presentation and view slides.

Last week I spent two hours presenting Part 2: Preparing and Producing an Ebook. You can read about the session here and also read about Kobo Writing Life as it launched after the presentation.

Part 3: How Can I Sell my Ebook?

Jim Demetriou, Sales & Marketing Director, Allen & Unwin, has more than 20 years experience in the book industry and up-to- the-minute experience of dealing with etailers.

Jim outlined the 4 Ps of marketing: 1. Product. 2. Packaging. 3. Placement 4. Price.

In the case of ebooks the product is the book; the packaging is the format. Placement is where you sell it and price is how much you sell it for. His seminar focussed on price and placement.

Continue Reading – Part 3: How to Publish Your Ebook (Sales and Distribution)…

– Launch of Kobo Writing Life Self-Publishing Platform

17/07/2012 at 7:20 am | Posted in Authors, Digital Publishing, Ebooks, Kobo, Self Publishing | 44 Comments

Please note: This blog has now moved to This post and fresh content will be found there. 

Regular readers of this blog will be aware I’m a bit of a Kobo fan. They launched early into the Australian market (May 2010) and were my primary ebook store for this reason.

I had high hopes about the launch of their self-publishing platform – Writing Life. I’ve always been impressed at the depth of knowledge Kobo had about their readers. I  feel that Kobo get the publishing industry. I believe they are demonstrating the same care and knowledge when dealing with small publishers or authors starting their indie publishing journey.

There are now many options available to authors who want to self publish and I’ve been comparing them all recently. In one way or another they all seem to have pros and cons. So how does Kobo Writing Life stack up against some alternatives like Smashwords or BookBaby?

Cut to the chase?

My favourite thing about Kobo Writing Life is that authors are able to download their ePUB file after conversion. I believe strongly that authors and independent publishers should retain ownership of their files and materials. If you pay (and with everyone you will pay one way or another) for a service like conversion then you should own the files. This file can then be used for other retailers, book reviews or to share with friends and family.

Some options give you free conversion and take a cut of the sales. Others may charge for conversions and pass along sales. Continue Reading – Launch of Kobo Writing Life Self-Publishing Platform…

– Part 2: How to Publish Your Ebook (Preparing and Producing)

16/07/2012 at 1:57 pm | Posted in Training, Writers | 2 Comments
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Please note: This blog has now moved to This post and fresh content will be found there. 

The training workshops  How to Publish Your Ebook are a series of two-hour workshops  made available by The Australian Society of Authors. Convened by Linda Funnell they cover the background and current landscape of ebooks in Australia and internationally; preparing and producing an ebook option; sales channels; metadata and promotion. Running weekly, participants also receive comprehensive handouts and references.

Last week Joel Naoum, Publisher, Momentum Books, Pan Macmillan’s digital-only imprint, presented Part 1: The growing market for eBooks and recent developments. You can read about his presentation and view slides. This week it was my job to set out the options for preparing and producing an ebook

Part 2: Preparing and Producing an Ebook

I had just under two hours to cover everything that I thought was important. This time is not long enough to give attendees the step-by-step process, but it is a perfect amount of time to communicate the key points to consider when preparing your file and choosing a conversion partner.


The format you choose depends on your content. Continue Reading – Part 2: How to Publish Your Ebook (Preparing and Producing)…

– Part 1: How to Publish Your Ebook (ASA Training)

09/07/2012 at 11:53 am | Posted in Training, Writers | Leave a comment
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Please note: This blog has now moved to This post and fresh content will be found there. 

This six week course started last week at The Australian Society of Authors with a presentation by Joel Naoum, Publisher, Momentum Books, Pan Macmillan’s digital-only imprint.

The growing market for eBooks and recent developments.

This coming Wednesday I will be presenting so I received an outline of what Joel covered from Linda Funnell. Luckily for all readers Joel has also uploaded the presentation to his blog!

Linda Funnell is convener of the Australian Society of Authors How to Publish Your Ebook series of workshops and has over 30 years publishing experience. Linda worked for ten years as HarperCollins Publisher, Fiction and Literary Non-fiction. She is a book editor and publishing consultant and co-editor with Jean Bedford of  The Newtown Review of Books.

Key points of Joel’s presentation

  • The importance of editing and the importance of cover design and keeping covers clear and striking.
  • The book description and metadata are very important.
  • Joel talked about pricing and how self-published bestsellers tend to be priced 99 cents to $2.99.
  • Amazon’s lack of local support means that their market share is lower than other countries, and the other retailers are more likely to support Australian authors.
  • Joel briefly described the different formats: EPUB, Mobi, PDF and digital audio and POD.
  • He discussed routes to publication: Direct self-publishing; Assisted self-publishing (eg Smashwords); Publishing Services/Fee for service; Digital-only publishers; Traditional publishers; Funding platforms (such as Kickstarter and Unbound).
  • Participants heard about the importance of marketing. Consider who is your target audience. While you are going through the process think about keeping a blog of the writing process. Other writers will gain through your experience. Joel also stressed the importance of having free content to give away on social media. Although there are a number of options, only use the social media you love: “Be shameless but don’t be annoying”.
  • Joel also discussed how crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter can create early buzz for the book.

I really recommend having a look at Joel’s presentation on his blog The Smell of Books as it more fully explains all of the information above and more.

Part 2: Preparing and Producing an Ebook

My workshop is this Wednesday and I’ve been busy working on a presentation to advise participants about their options when creating an ebook. What tools or providers are available for conversion? What do you need to be aware of when preparing your manuscript for conversion; what service providers can offer; how much should you expect to pay? Attendees will find out all this and more.

Continue Reading – Part 1: How to Publish Your Ebook (ASA Training)…

– Editing in Paradise Kangaroo Valley (August 2012)

03/07/2012 at 11:30 am | Posted in Authors, Writers | Leave a comment
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Want to get published? The inside story in one full day’s workshop!

Absolutely delighted that I have been asked to speak at Editing in Paradise Kangaroo Valley one-day workshop on 12th August.

Forest Walk at beautiful Kangaroo Valley Avrajita (

Top author’s agent Selwa Anthony will share her knowledge on what publishers are wanting to acquire, I will talk digital and Editors and mentors Shelley Kenigsberg and Selena Hanet-Hutchins will talk about your manuscript completion, contracts and the editing process. And more! There is also the 6 day full-program and a Lite version. So many choices! Continue Reading – Editing in Paradise Kangaroo Valley (August 2012)…

– May update: My Year of Reading Australian Women Writers

26/06/2012 at 9:45 am | Posted in Australian Women Writers, Authors, The Stella Prize | 13 Comments
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It was purely by accident that the first books I read in 2012 happened to be ALL female and Australian writers. On a whim I decided to continue along the theme and asked for recommendations on Twitter:

The response on Twitter really set in motion my intention to spend 2012 exploring our talented Australian women authors. The recommended authors were such lovely new discoveries I realised it was an interesting way to find writers and also to ensure I didn’t fall into a ‘reading rut’.

My quest: I’m hoping to spend the year expanding my knowledge of our vast array of female writers who are Australian.

Someone recently asked me “Isn’t that a bit restrictive?”  To be honest, no. Thanks to the fact I’ve received so many recommendations as soon as I finish one book I know I can choose another author to explore. With the wonder of ebooks I can purchase and download my next book from the comfort of home. It’s fun to expand my knowledge of local writers and they are a talented bunch.

The May 2012 Reading Pile.

Last month it actually was a reading pile! Unusually for me 2/3 of the books I read were printed books. There was another book bridging the two months but that will be included in the June update. Continue Reading – May update: My Year of Reading Australian Women Writers…

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