Posts Tagged ‘Rodney Dale’

self-publishing in the Telegraph

February 24, 2010

A friend gave me a cutting from the Telegraph Weekend (Feb 13th, 2010) about self-publishing. Three websites are mentioned:, and Otherwise the article does not give a lot of hope. I will find it difficult to sell my self-published book – I am not surprised.

I tried to use the format of blurb some time ago. I could not get my book to fit into their framework. After a couple of hours I’m afraid I gave up. I have settled on a local small publisher – Rodney Dale at FernHouse in Haddenham, Cambs.

The article did alert me to copy right issues. It was much cheaper for me to have the ISBN number under the publisher’s name. I see that this gives him copyright. I will have to check on this!

Jonathan Clifford’s website ( might also be worth checking


Positive proof: You can’t write without help

February 19, 2010

Previously, I posted my first attempts at writing my blurbs for my forthcoming book: Out of a Learner’s Mouth. The publisher (Rodney Dale of Fern House in Haddenham) asked me for the final drafts of my blurbs for the front cover of the book (about the author) and for the back of the book (about the book).

I did my best, but felt very uneasy because it had not been through the hands of a copy editor. I asked the publisher to edit, please – and he did. It was clear editing was needed. This is proof that you really should get others to edit your work. Hopefully I will continue to learn from this experience.

I am even tempte4d to contemplate going on a copy-editing course. Does anyone know any good, reliable copy-editing courses I could sign up to?

Here are the finished blurbs. What do you think?

Blurb about the book for the back cover:

Picking up a stranger in a pub in Spain and buying a flat from him is an unusual way of starting a new relationship with the country and its language. However, this mature lady casts caution aside and gives the stranger her credit card to pay a deposit for her dream flat by the Mediterranean Sea. When the contract is signed and she first enters the building, she is unable to communicate with the electrician who is still fixing the wiring. She realizes she has to learn Spanish.

In a series of hilarious anecdotes she records her feelings about the language and the Spanish way of life. She struggles with new vocabulary and with interference from school French. As her exposure to the language increases, her attitude alters; she makes drastic changes to her approach when teaching English as a Foreign Language to students in the UK.  

She describes the new Spanish words she acquires and shares the trials and tribulations that all language learners have with concentration, memory, personality differences and interfering life events. 

A developing awareness of the benefits of image, humour, other language associations and her past learning and teaching experiences give insight into the nature of the process.        

The book is an essential companion for those contemplating learning Spanish, or planning a holiday in a Spanish-speaking country, and for those in the language learning, researching, teaching and teacher-training businesses. 

 and the final blurb about the author:

Teacher, writer and adventurer Dr Rosemary Westwell made her first move overseas from Tasmania when she flew across the Bass Strait to study School Music at Melbourne University. After returning for a short bout of teaching in Tasmania, she sailed to England and eventually settled in a Cambridgeshire village where she acquired successively an English husband, two daughters and a number of grandchildren.

As she neared retirement, she inherited a house in Tasmania – rather a long way to go for holidays, so she exchanged it for a flat in Spain on the Mediterranean Sea. Learning Spanish from scratch, she recorded her learning experiences as the data for her PhD research thesis. Out of a Learner’s Mouth is a frank and humorous account of her experiences.

In the UK, she reviews concerts, teaches Piano, Singing and English, and entertains local societies with talks about her life in Tasmania. She runs The Isle Singers, a ladies’ choir which gives regular concerts, and may be found carolling at Ely Station at Christmas. .

She has had a number of articles, short stories and poems published. Her book Spontaneous Survival Lessons in English is published by Zigzag Education. Future books in the pipeline include her first novel Tassie Rebel, and its sequel Teaching Language Learners, and a course for IGCSE.


What do you think?