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  • Emma Morgan

    Emma Morgan 12:44 pm on July 28, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: MA, NME, screenwriting, script, sitcom   

    CAPTION READS: ‘FOUR MONTHS LATER…’ 

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/writersroom/posts/Laugh-Track-Script-SiftAs twit-predicted back in March, my submission to the BBC Writersroom competition didn’t win. Or indeed make it through the first round; “We’re afraid to say that your script hasn’t progressed to the next stage of Laugh Track” said the email that came on 10 April. And as much as I’d expected that response, it was still disappointing.

    But I now had something I hadn’t had a couple of months earlier: a finished half-hour sitcom script. So, I did two things – firstly I had a consultancy session with a tutor from a comedy-writing course I’d taken a few years earlier, which helped to flesh out characters and motivations and streamline plot elements (and, ahem, highlight that I was heavy on exposition and a little too light on laughs…) for a potential second-draft. Secondly, I applied for and got a place on a proper screenwriting MA – having submitted the first 10 pages of the sitcom script. I start, part-time, in September.

    I was very lucky when it came to writing professionally – I sent a spec live review to the NME at a time when they (improbably) didn’t have a Manchester-based writer, and from that start I’ve managed to be a full-time freelancer for almost two decades. But there’s a massive difference between a 200-word review and a 30-page script; no-one’s going to let a eager newbie knock out an episode of Doctors and, with a gentle nudge and some minor rewrites, air it.

    Obviously, every so often someone seemingly flukes their way into screenwriting from nowhere, armed only with talent and moxy – Diablo Cody, say, or that imploding idiot from the amazing documentary Overnight. But I suspect most overnight-success writers actually have tens of unsold or unfinished scripts, and just know that a wide-eyed ingénue act is a better, more saleable origin story than admitting being someone who toiled ’til it all paid off.

    Well I admit it, in advance. So don’t expect to see my name on any credits for a good few years yet, if ever. I’ve got homework to do.

     
  • Emma Morgan

    Emma Morgan 12:23 pm on March 19, 2012 Permalink | Reply  

     
  • Emma Morgan

    Emma Morgan 11:51 am on March 9, 2012 Permalink | Reply  

     
  • Emma Morgan

    Emma Morgan 9:16 am on January 12, 2012 Permalink | Reply  

    You have no remaining excuses to not download my FREE book 

    I am valiantly fighting New Year’s Flu, like the brave little soldier I am, so this is just a brief update to say that Unfamous is finally available for Kobo ereaders, via both the Kobo site itself and WH Smiths in the UK. I think this means Unfamous is now ‘stocked’ in every major ebook outlet, so I can only imagine Jackie Collins is bricking it.

     
  • Emma Morgan

    Emma Morgan 10:41 am on December 16, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

     
  • Emma Morgan

    Emma Morgan 10:20 am on December 13, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Kindle Owners' Lending Library, Price Check app, ,   

    All your ebooks are belong to Amazon? 

    Amazon sent out an email to all Kindle Direct publishers last week, offering money for (US-only) rentals if you make an ebook exclusive to the Kindle store:

    “When you make any of your titles exclusive to the Kindle Store for at least 90 days, those with US rights will automatically be included in the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library and can earn a share of a monthly fund. The monthly fund for December 2011 is $500,000 and will total at least $6 million in 2012. [...] For example, if total borrows of all participating KDP titles are 100,000 in December and your book was borrowed 1,500 times, you will earn $7,500.”

    Now for someone like me, who, as aforementioned, has yet to make a penny in profits from having had their book on sale in the Kindle stores for over six months, this is hardly worthwhile. I can’t see myself making anything from rentals – let alone $7,500 from 1,500 out of 10,000 rentals – and again, as I’ve already written about, I’m at stage where I’d rather have my book, Unfamous, read than make money from it.

    I can’t quite see who this would benefit (and neither can the founder of Smashwords). Surely the only authors who’d make good money from a scheme like this are bestsellers, who’d hardly want to limit their outlets to Amazon alone. Also, this seems to be another instance of the icky anti-competitiveness Amazon exhibited with its Price Check app, that gives you 5% off purchases when you scan prices in local stores (US only) then buy the items from Amazon instead.

    I love Amazon, I do a lot of my non-food shopping there, and I’m grateful for having been able to upload my book to the Kindle store for free (if not make it available for free), but I don’t see that helping them become the sole supplier/retailer of ebooks or anything else benefits anyone but Amazon. So don’t put your all your ebooks in one shopping basket.

     
  • Emma Morgan

    Emma Morgan 10:20 am on December 9, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , NaNoWriMo   

    50,000 words… and counting 

    I’d be nine days late for NaNoWriMo, and I didn’t write at all for the first three weeks of November anyway, but I have just reached the (to me) momentous milestone of 50,000 words on Draft Zero of Book Two. When I started writing writing back in October, with a timeline of key scenes and events by my side, I found I was rattling along far too quickly, and worried that – assuming I made it all the way through the story, which at times felt highly unlikely – I would come up woefully short at around 30,000 words, if that. Now, I’m not quite finished, but not far off, and 50,000 words is only just a novel (not that length is such an issue with ebooks, really…) but it means I have a more solid framework to clad and decorate and insulate, when I come to re-read and redraft it – maybe in the New Year if I’m all done by Christmas, as I hope will be the case. Most of my characters only have placeholder names, none of them or the locations have really been described, and I’m fairly sure the guilty party is currently the one and only person a reader would ever suspect, so I have PLENTY left to do, but, at this fairly arbitrary wordcount, I feel well-equipped to do it. [Blowing of own trumpet ends.]

     
  • Emma Morgan

    Emma Morgan 10:38 am on December 1, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Amazon.es, Amazon.it, Italy, , Spain,   

    You can buy me in Italy! (And Spain.) 

    My book, that is. Unfamous. I might have mentioned it? Anyway, it’s come to my attention there are now Italian and Spanish Kindle stores, both selling Unfamous for .99€. (Is there a symbol for Euro cents? Is it just ‘c’? Answers on a ‘postcard’, please.) Also, since writing yesterday’s post, it occurred to me that, having sold 20 copies of Unfamous for between 69p and 86p in the UK Kindle store, I might be due royalties, as Amazon only pays out when you accrue £10 or more – alas, no. While Unfamous might have generated between £13.80 and £17.20, my 30% royalties would amount to a piddling £4.14/£5.16. In short, I’d need to shift the same again to make any money, and those 20 sales have taken seven months and used up lots of goodwill, so I won’t order the speedboat just yet.

     
  • Emma Morgan

    Emma Morgan 4:56 pm on November 30, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , KDP, , , , ,   

    Smashwords beats Kindle, for free reads 

    When you self-publish an ebook to Amazon’s Kindle store, using Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP), you’re given two pricing options. You can opt for 35% royalties on every copy sold, and price from as low as $1 (75p/.86€), or choose 70% royalties with prices starting at $2.99 (£1.94/2.60€). The one thing you can’t do is make your book available for free. However, if you just want your book to be read, and after a few months are still looking at scant sales* across all four Kindle stores (US, UK, Germany and France), you might want to give it away so at least it gets read, and those unpaid months you spent working on it are acknowledged in some small way. To this end, I Googled for work-arounds and stumbled across Smashwords. Like KDP, Smashwords allows you to self-publish for free. Unlike KDP, Smashwords acts as a conduit to all major ebook outlets (except, at present, Amazon), so one correctly formatted upload can result in your title being available in five online ebook stores [as listed on the right, minus Kobo/Smiths which isn't live just yet - see previous post] in addition to Smashwords itself, which makes the book available in all the formats you could want. And, best of all, it allows you to give your book away, even giving you the ISBN number needed to be eligible for shipping to external stores. What their business model is, I don’t know, but it’s a brilliant, brilliant resource for any writer who would like their work read, rather than their bank balance black.

    *Total downloads of Unfamous to date: Amazon 21, Smashwords 701

     
  • Emma Morgan

    Emma Morgan 10:43 am on November 29, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , ,   

    Kobo a gogo! 

    Checked my Smashwords account this morning and it seems that Unfamous has now been shipped to Kobo, and should hopefully show up in the stores (US/UK) in a fortnight or so. Which is exciting (for me) because a) Smiths are really pushing the Kobos and b) this should mean that Unfamous is available for free for every conceivable ebook reader. So, no excuses!

    (I’ll write more about how amazing Smashwords is anon, but right now I’m rather peckish…)

     
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