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UK freelance journalist, author
and writer Sean McManus

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Light and Shade

26 February 2009


purple, yellow and green light shining through a stained glass window onto the stonework of Gloucester Cathedral

Light shining through the stained glass windows at Gloucester Cathedral onto the stonework inside

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The Power of Less for writers

25 February 2009


Leo Babauta is the author of 'The Power of Less', a book that aims to help everyone cut through the noise and clutter so they can focus on what really matters. In this exclusive interview for my website, Babauta reveals how the principles of his book apply to writers.

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How socks work

24 February 2009


Poster in shop: Socks! Buy one get one free

A shop photographed in Gloucester this weekend

I don't know what bothers me more - the fact that they felt they had to explain how socks work, or the fact that this "offer" is only subject to availability.

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UoD in Commodore Free

19 February 2009


If you've read University of Death, you'll know that a Commodore 64 computer plays a starring role in the story. The latest issue of online fanzine Commodore Free has recently been published, and includes an interview with me about how the Commodore came to feature in my plot. You can download the fanzine as a PDF, text file or read it online in HTML here.

This issue also carries news of the thriving C64 music scene, pointers to some C64 demos and short documentary films, news of a new strategy game for the VIC20 and a Dragon emulator for the Amiga, and lots of tips on tape preservation.

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University of Death: Now available in ebook

11 February 2009


I've released an ebook edition of my novel 'University of Death'. It costs £5, half the price of the print edition, and is available now at Lulu. There are no shipping costs (obviously), and it is available for download immediately after payment. You can pay using paypal if you don't want to use a credit card.

This move is partly in response to an email from Sven Augustin who says he likes to read ebooks on his hacked PSP on long train journeys because it means there's less stuff to carry around. He uses the Bookr PDF reader.

University of Death on a PSP

University of Death on a PSP. Photo by Sven Augustin

Clearly, the way that people choose to consume content is changing. Nintendo recently released 100 Classic Book Collection for the Nintendo DS. It includes a library of many books you know you probably ought to read, but it's a shame there's no option to read PDFs of your own choice. Amazon's Kindle ebook reader (only available in the US) has made it to a second edition and does offer the ability to read your own PDFs, as well as providing downloadable content. Amazon warns that the PDF conversion is experimental, but it nevertheless creates greater opportunities for authors to distribute their content to Kindle readers. I blogged about some of the problems of distributing Kindle content via Amazon previously.

By providing 'University of Death' as an ebook, I hope I'll be able to give people more options for consuming the content as they wish. It also makes it possible for people to access the content more quickly, and to save money on ordering (no postage or print costs). People who wish to can print their own copies to read on paper.

Pricing ebooks is tricky, but at less than the cost of some music magazines, I think £5 represents fair value for the entertainment provided. People tend to think that there are no costs in ebook publishing, but actually the cost of content creation and promotion is the same as it is for printed books. Feel free to leave any comments on the pricing of ebook below.

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There's no biz like snowbiz

03 February 2009


Man carving nose of snow-woman with knife

The snow family plus its creators

A sculptor made a snow family on a disused petrol station forecourt in Chiswick yesterday. His mother (who was also there taking photos) said that he'd been working on it from 11am (the final photo was taken at 5.45pm). "Make my son famous!" she said. "He's an artist!" Posting these photos here is the best I can do...

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Snow on a bird feeder

02 February 2009


Snow on bird feeder in Sean's garden

Snow piled high on the bird feeder in my garden this morning

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Books by Sean McManus

Scratch Programming in Easy 

Steps

Scratch Programming in Easy Steps

Raspberry Pi For Dummies

Raspberry Pi For Dummies

Learn to program with the Scratch programming language, widely used in schools and colleges.

Set up your Pi, master Linux, learn Scratch and Python, and create your own electronics projects.

Super Skills: How to 

Code

Super Skills: How to Code

Web Design in Easy Steps

Web Design in Easy Steps

Learn how to code with this great new book, which guides you through 10 easy lessons to build up your coding skills.

Learn the layout, design and navigation techniques that make a great website. Then build your own using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

More books

©Sean McManus. www.sean.co.uk.