Mapping The Future of Publishing – A View From Berlin

leap-into-freedomEvery morning in Berlin, I run through the former no man’s land between Brunnenstrasse and Gartenstrasse that once separated East and West. It’s a patch of ground that witnessed bloodshed and anguish as post-war ideologies clashed and parted. As I run past Peter Leibing’s iconic ‘leap into freedom’ photograph, my mind is busy with how to drive The Pigeonhole’s claim for a stake in this emerging digital publishing landscape.

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No One Likes a Road Closure

Kate London discusses the background to her crime thriller Post Mortem.

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‘You have the intelligence of a gnat!’

The woman was driving a large Mercedes and was incandescent at my preventing her from driving down her own street. I was in the first weeks of my service as a uniformed police officer standing at a road closure put in place as part of the safety measures for a premier-league football match in central London. Just before she had arrived at the junction, the sergeant in charge of the closure had warned me not to let anyone down the road.

‘In the event of an emergency, this is the main route for ambulances,’ he’d told me firmly, before going to check the other closures. ‘I don’t want to see any civilian vehicles going down it. No exceptions.’

‘But other officers let me drive down!’ the woman protested.

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How I Write, by Kate London

Kate London_writing desk

Writing has always been a place rather than an activity, as if writing is somewhere I go, my very own Rapunzel’s tower. As a child I used to sit under the table writing stories. In fact, as an adult I tried to stop writing and concentrate on more grown up things but it never worked. In spite of my best intentions I would always find myself writing.

Still, sometimes it’s hard to begin. I am a great admirer of other writers and I can sometimes feel silenced by their greatness. I also have this fear that it won’t come, that I won’t be able to get to that place where things start happening.

The answer to this, I’ve found, is to sit down and do it. It’s a discipline and, like exercising, it might be difficult to start but it’s great as soon as I’ve begun. If I’m really nervous starting I set the timer on my phone for an hour telling myself that I’ll just do that hour and if it doesn’t work I’m allowed to give up. Invariably that gets me going and then I’m immersed in it. I’m notorious for not hearing things that my family say to me when I’m at my desk.

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How To Self-Publish – The Ultimate Pigeonhole Guide

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The first literary agent J K Rowling sent Harry Potter to rejected it with a slip of paper that said, 'My list is full. The folder you sent wouldn't fit in the envelope.' Photo: The Telegraph

At The Pigeonhole, we know that among you readers are some writers, and that among you writers, some are either already playing the self-publishing game or giving it some serious thought.

So, because we want this blog to be as useful as it is thoughtful, here we present the ultimate guide to self-publishing. 

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How I Write, by A.K. Benedict

a-k-benedict-candleI write in various places – cafes, bars, libraries – but my favourite place to work is my study. It is filled with mannequins, clowns, a ventriloquist’s dummy, my Doctor Who collection, Ray Bradbury quotes, a coffin full of indie perfume oils, various Pop! Bobbleheads, Lego, toppling manuscripts and shelves and shelves of books. I read in an old red armchair with my dog on my lap, candles lit and incense burning – much like a lazy, pyjama-clad wizard.

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Founder of The Pigeonhole on the serialized future of books

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There’s nothing better than getting lost in a good book, right? Not anymore. We live in a world of distraction, one in which information comes in a digestible digital format – to our computers, our tablets, our phones, and soon, our watches. The traditional publishing model has been forced to adapt, shifting its focus from the physical and so creating space for a crop of new reading platforms like Oyster, Scribd and Glose. Some believe that this has made publishers redundant – cutting out the middleman and offering a sense of autonomy through the e-book model. Yet what we are left with is an unfiltered sea of potential masterpieces. The online shop front is a murky, disorientating place.

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Quiz Time: Which District of Berlin Are You?