It's Sean!

UK freelance journalist, author
and writer Sean McManus

Printed from www.sean.co.uk. © Sean McManus.
You are here: Home > Blog Home > Sean McManus's Writing blog: October 2015

Sean's Tech and Writing Blog

It's publication day for my novel: Earworm

26 October 2015


Earworm, my novel about the music industry, is out today in print and on Kindle. The book was previously published under the title University of Death and received some great magazine reviews, but has never been available on Amazon until now.

photo of the book Earworm by Sean McManus

Earworm - out now in print and on Kindle!

The book is a techno-thriller that explores how fans relate to their favourite bands, how businesses can use technology to manipulate consumers, and what would happen if the music business disappeared overnight. The cast of characters includes the band University of Death, fighting to survive as a heritage act in an industry that's falling apart; and Goblin, a band formed by Simon and Fred who are desperately trying to claw their way in to the music business for the first time. They all become embroiled in a conspiracy that could make or break the music industry.

There were a couple of reasons for wanting to get it on Amazon. Firstly, I decided the book deserved every chance to find its readers, and Amazon is where most people buy books, for themselves or as gifts. It's frictionless because almost everyone has an account there. Secondly, putting it on Kindle enables me to make it available much more cheaply than I can in print. The book originally predates the Kindle, but novels clearly need a presence on Kindle if they are to reach many readers today. Amazon estimates the book provides 7 hours and 23 minutes of entertainment, and it took two years to create, and has had fantastic press reviews, so it's a snip at £2 or $3. If you're not sure, please read the first few chapters on the Amazon Kindle page to see if it's for you, and if you can't buy it now, consider adding it to your Amazon wishlist.

Earworm is enrolled in Amazon Matchbook so if you buy the print edition you can get the Kindle edition for free (check Amazon for details, only available in the US).

The book has been remastered (in music biz speak) for this edition, with minor updates and edits, a cleaner design and a new title (with thanks to Andy Lawn for suggesting it).

You can buy the book through the links in my shop here, and find out more about the book here. If you're outside the UK or US, the book should be available if you search in your local Amazon store.

If you know someone else who might be interested, please let them know, or consider sharing the book's page on your social networks. It's really hard to promote novels, so all help is appreciated.

Bookmark and Share
Permanent link for this post.

0 comments

Over 700 photos now in my travel gallery

21 October 2015


This week sees the end of a project that has taken a couple of years: the captioning, tagging and publication of my travel photos. My travel photography gallery now has over 700 photos spread across 29 folders, each representing a different geography. The project officially began in April 2014, but I was working on it for some time before that, so it's been a big undertaking, although that is in part because I've been writing books and recording music at the same time and the gallery has only had my focus for short bursts between bigger projects. I've been uploading galleries every few months, with a blog post here every now and again to announce the latest additions.

The gallery was completed with the addition of Dubrovnik, Singapore, Antwerp (a surprise late entry - I only went there in August), and Wales. I also added some new photos in the London and England galleries. Below you can see some of the new additions.

Google mapI've also updated my Travel Photography Map, which lets you navigate to the galleries using a Google Map with photo pins dropped on it; and the Random Photo feature in my sidebar, which is included on most of the pages of this site. I have a few ideas for other 'discovery' features I can add to provide new ways of finding and enjoying the photos, but don't know yet whether or when I'll implement them.

I trimmed back some of the features on the photo pages, but each photo still has a map showing its location and a sliding puzzle game you can play for a mental workout. I warn you, though: some of the puzzles are tough!

One of the reasons I put these photos online is to see if it creates interesting opportunities for them, so let me know if you're interested in talking about how you'd like to make use of them, or if you're looking for similar photos or photos from the same locations. I have many thousands of photos that I haven't published online.

Photo of the Torchwood Tower, Cardiff Bay in Wales

Photo of a carved dragon in Singapore

Photo of Dubrovnik

Photo of a ship in Antwerp

Browse the full travel photography gallery here. My Rock and Pop photos are also still online here.

Bookmark and Share
Permanent link for this post.

0 comments

Super Skills: How to Code is out now!


I've just got a first look at my new book, Super Skills: How to Code, which is out now. The book aims to teach young readers some of the fundamental concepts of programming, using Scratch to demonstrate them, and introduces basic HTML and CSS for building web pages. It features colourful illustrations and has a spiral binding that means it stays flat on the desk when you're copying the code or using it as a reference. It has a cover that wraps around the spiral binding to protect it. Following the book, you can build a number of games and demos, and your first web page.

photo of Super Skills: How to Code book

It's published by QED Publishing, with different editions in the UK and the US, and a separate edition available with library binding. You can find links for ordering the book in my shop here.

One of my favourite projects in the book is a platform game, which readers can easily customise with their own designs. There's an extended version of the game with multiple levels below. To play it you will need a Flash-compatible device.

To get the very best out of Scratch, and work within the confines of a short (but powerful!) book, I've focused on Scratch 2.0. That means some of the examples won't work on the Raspberry Pi or on computers that still use the old version of Scratch. Since Scratch 2.0 is available online for free, I hope that this won't spoil anybody's enjoyment.

For more information on the book, including sample pages, the example code, and some further reading, check out my page for Super Skills: How to Code. I put a couple of Easter eggs on that page too.

For titles for even younger readers, check out Max Wainewright's How to Code series, for which I was the technical consultant. For those who want to dig deeper into the topics and languages introduced in this title, check out my books Scratch Programming in Easy Steps, Web Design in Easy Steps and Raspberry Pi For Dummies.

Bookmark and Share
Permanent link for this post.

2 comments

Discover the music of William Onyeabor

09 October 2015


In August, I took part in David Byrne's Meltdown festival as a member of the choir in Atomic Bomb, a celebration of William Onyeabor's music. Onyeabor is something of an enigma: little is known about him, but the string of synth-based albums he released in the 70s and 80s have been reissued recently and are finding a whole new audience.

It was a fantastic experience to sing in the encore as part of the 150 strong choir. I was in the choir stall behind the stage, and had a great view of the band and the audience, who were on their feet and loving it. Our entrance to the auditorium took longer than expected because the audience members were dancing in the aisles.

I feature in this short documentary that was filmed at the event (I'm in a light blue t-shirt):

You can also see the full concert here:

Thank you to everyone at the Meltdown Festival who made this such a great experience, especially our choir leader Laura; Holly Hunter, the leader of VoiceLab; David Byrne and the band; and the audience who brought such fantastic energy.

Bookmark and Share
Permanent link for this post.

0 comments

Dip into the blog archive

June 2005 | July 2005 | August 2005 | September 2005 | October 2005 | November 2005 | December 2005 | January 2006 | February 2006 | March 2006 | April 2006 | May 2006 | June 2006 | July 2006 | August 2006 | September 2006 | October 2006 | November 2006 | December 2006 | January 2007 | February 2007 | March 2007 | April 2007 | May 2007 | June 2007 | July 2007 | August 2007 | September 2007 | October 2007 | November 2007 | December 2007 | January 2008 | February 2008 | March 2008 | April 2008 | May 2008 | June 2008 | July 2008 | August 2008 | September 2008 | October 2008 | November 2008 | December 2008 | January 2009 | February 2009 | March 2009 | April 2009 | May 2009 | June 2009 | July 2009 | August 2009 | September 2009 | October 2009 | November 2009 | December 2009 | January 2010 | February 2010 | March 2010 | April 2010 | May 2010 | June 2010 | August 2010 | September 2010 | October 2010 | November 2010 | December 2010 | March 2011 | April 2011 | May 2011 | June 2011 | July 2011 | August 2011 | September 2011 | October 2011 | November 2011 | December 2011 | January 2012 | February 2012 | March 2012 | June 2012 | July 2012 | August 2012 | September 2012 | October 2012 | December 2012 | January 2013 | February 2013 | March 2013 | April 2013 | June 2013 | July 2013 | August 2013 | September 2013 | October 2013 | November 2013 | December 2013 | January 2014 | February 2014 | March 2014 | April 2014 | May 2014 | June 2014 | July 2014 | August 2014 | September 2014 | October 2014 | November 2014 | December 2014 | January 2015 | February 2015 | March 2015 | April 2015 | May 2015 | June 2015 | September 2015 | October 2015 | December 2015 | January 2016 | February 2016 | March 2016 | May 2016 | July 2016 | August 2016 | September 2016 | October 2016 | November 2016 | December 2016 | January 2017 | April 2017 | July 2017 | August 2017 | October 2017 | November 2017 | Top of this page | RSS

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.

Coder Academy

Coder Academy

Cool Scratch Projects in Easy Steps

Cool Scratch Projects in Easy Steps

Learn to make games and other programs in Scratch 2.0, and make a web page in HTML, with this highly interactive book for 7-10 year olds.

Discover how to make 3D games, create mazes, build a drum machine, make a game with cartoon animals and more!

More books

©Sean McManus. www.sean.co.uk.