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Showing posts from November, 2014

A Pope, a Queen, a King, a Princess and Melinda Gates Meet at ICN2

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Another one of my articles on Impakter magazine (I attended this Conference last week):


ICN2: Where a Pope, a Queen, a King, a Princess and Melinda Gates Come Together on 24 November, 2014 at 09:30
ICN2 is not a new disease, it’s the bizarre acronym for the Second International Conference on Nutrition, held in Rome,  19-21 November 2014, at FAO Headquarters.  Anyone familiar with the United Nations “alphabet soup” won’t be surprised. And in spite of this unpromising name, it drew over 2,200 participants, many from civil society, and delegations from over 170 countries, most of them headed by Ministers of Health – again, no surprise as the Conference was organized jointly by FAO and the World Health Organization.

It also drew the Pope, Queen Letizia of Spain, King Letsie III of Lesotho, Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein from the United Arab Emirates and Melinda Gates.

In the photo: Queen Letizia of Spain - ©FAO/Alessandra Benedetti

Pope Francis made a memorable addr…

Why a Best Selling Author Turns to Crowdfunding

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I interviewed indie author Marsha Roberts for Impakter to find out why she is turning to crowdfunding for her book, "Confessions of an Instinctively Mutinous Baby Boomer", a highly acclaimed inspirational memoir that has sold very well so far, many thousands of copies. Here's the article:


Marsha Roberts, a “Mutinous Baby Boomer”, Turns to Crowdfunding
on 17 November, 2014 at 07:00
Memoirs are all the rage lately, as one Norwegian writer famously proved by reporting minutely on his daily life including his breakfast (no need to refer to him by name here), and Marsha Roberts’ Confessions of an Instinctively Mutinous Baby Boomer recounting major events in her life, has turned out to be one of the most popular self-published books with the Boomer generation. And it’s also a big deal with other generations, including younger people, basically with  all those curious about life and its challenges. It has been acclaimed by customers on Amazon that showered…

Elizabeth Jennings, Romantic Suspense Author and Founder of the Women's Fiction Festival - Interview

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Another article of mine on Impakter magazine, an interview of best-selling author Elizabeth Jennings who also founded the Women's Fiction Festival in Matera eleven years ago. I attended this year's Festival and had a chance to interview her - she is married to an Italian and lives in Matera (see photo below, she is presiding one of the discussion panels, surrounded by writers, from left, self-pubbed American authors Debra Holland, Tina Folsom and Bella André).
Creator of a Unique Writers’Conference in Italy on 10 November, 2014 at 08:56
Elizabeth Jennings has many namesakes. If you search for her on Google, you’ll find a deceased English poet, an African-American activist and more, but there is only one Elizabeth Jennings, the bestselling romantic suspense writer who lives in Italy and created the most successful writers’ conference on the European continent, the Women’s Fiction Festival held every year in Matera, Italy, since 2004.

How come such a diffi…

Free Book Promotions Are Not What They Used to Be - Lessons Learned and Tips for Success

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A lot of people won't go free with their books, they think it's degrading. They've worked hard, sometimes for years (I know I have) and it just breaks you inside to give away the result of your sweat and tears for nothing.

Plus we all know that anything not paid for is not taken into consideration. It hurts to give your baby away and it's not even appreciated. A double whammy!

So why do it at all? Three reasons:

1. On Amazon, it helps to populate  that screen "Other Customers Also Bought" with books similar to yours - and therefore, your own book is also on someone else's book page and gets additional exposure. And for indies, Amazon matters, it's the place where they sell most of their books.

2. If successful - but you need to have 10,000 downloads and over - it helps to draw attention to your book and earns you bragging points that you can use with an eventual publisher or a literary agent if you happen to be looking for one.

3. There may be possible …

The Indie Author Power Pack Aims to Hit the NYT Best Selling List

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Overfishing, Climate Change and Hunger

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Another article of mine published under my real name (Claude Forthomme) on Impakter magazine:


Overfishing, Climate Change and Hunger on 3 November, 2014 at 11:55 Overfishing, climate change and hunger, a is what you call a “triple whammy”on the planet.

You may wonder what they have in common, but at the United Nations, no one doubts that the three are dramatically inter-linked.  The point was forcefully made in a recent report from a “high level panel of experts on food security and nutrition” presented this month to the Committee on World Food Security, a 5-day event held in Rome, focused on hunger and poverty issues.


This is an important event – the first meeting was 41 years ago – and while it started as a slow, closed shop set up by FAO and reserved to government officials, it is now open to a slew of major actors on the humanitarian scene, from big United Nations agencies that sponsor the event, all three UN agencies located in Italy (FAO, the World Food …

Speculative Writing: the Next Big Trend in Publishing?

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Over the week-end something big happened to our culture. The Book of Strange New Thingsby Michel Faber was reviewed by Marcel Theroux for the New York Times (see here).

So what, you may ask?

First, the reviewer, Marcel Theroux is someone worth listening to. He is a successful broadcaster and author in his own right. The son of American traveler and writer Paul Theroux, he works in television (for example, in 2004, he presented on Channel 4 The End of the World as We Know It, part of the War on Terra television series about climate change). His fifth novel, Strange Bodies, won the the 2014 John W. Campbell Memorial Award. Not unsurprisingly, this is a speculative novel that explores identity and what it means to be truly human.

Two, this is not Michel Faber's first book, but his eighth - he has written in many genres, and  his brilliant debut novel, Under the Skin, that also happens to be sci-fi like this latest one, was shortlisted for the Whitbread when it came out (in 2000). Und…