Category Archives: short stories

Getting your self-published books into libraries

A useful article on how to get self-published books into libraries.

I know from my own experience, that approaching libraries directly is a productive means of getting your work onto their shelves.

I was delighted when Liverpool Central Library, wrote to confirm that they had added 2 copies of my collection of poetry, “My Old Clock I Wind”, (, to their shelves.

As a result of me contacting Swansea University (my former place of study), they kindly accepted my donation of one copy of “My Old Clock”.

Consequently, from my own experience I can say that getting your self-published books into libraries is perfectly possible.


Writing Prompt, “Excuse me, have you got the time please?”

Licence to use image obtained – Copyright: worac 123RF Stock Photo

“Excuse me, have you got the time please?”

“No, sorry”.

In the early hours of this morning (Saturday 26 August), I became conscious of my dog wandering around my home. This is, generally a sign that he needs to go out so (with some reluctance given the ungodly hour), I threw on some clothes and took my restless friend outside. I am not at my best of an early morning. Consequently I received quite a shock when a young woman enquired about the time.

On returning home and checking the time, I discovered that it was 1:41. Idly I wondered what took a young woman out at such a late hour. Possibly she was waiting for a bus (there is a bus stop close to my home). She could, perhaps have been visiting one of the residents of the flats in which I reside, or someone in the neighbouring block. Alternatively …

In any event it occurred to me that a fellow writer out there might like to use this as a writing prompt. If so, I would be interested to read what you write.


Reading for All

Being blind and unable to read print, I find the Amazon Kindle’s text to speech facility a huge boon. For anyone who is unaware of the text to speech facility, when activated, it reads aloud books where the author/publisher has enabled speech. While the reading voice is robotic, it has improved over the years and (in my experience) once the reader becomes lost in a good book, it is easy to forget that a dalek is doing the reading!

The majority of books in the Amazon Kindle store have text to speech enabled. Of those which do not, most (perhaps all) are available as audible downloads from However, Audible titles are, on the whole more expensive than their Kindle counterparts, which means that someone who is unable to read print must (if the text to speech facility is not enabled on the Kindle version) spend more to obtain the book in audio form. Personally I believe that all titles should have text to speech enabled irrespective of whether they are available from Audible or other suppliers of audio titles, as it is wrong that a blind individual has to pay more for an accessible version of a book.

All of my books have text to speech enabled meaning that they are accessible to all. In addition my collection of poetry, “Lost in the Labyrinth of My Mind” can be purchased, in braille from the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB), while my latest poetry book, “My Old Clock I Wind” is in the process of being added to RNIB’s library.

To purchase “Lost in the Labyrinth of My Mind” in braille please go to,*_LOSTLABYRINTH, and to buy it in print or ebook formats please visit, To obtain “My Old Clock I Wind in ebook or paperback please visit,

You can find links to all of my titles on my website,


The hidden History Contained in Pages

There is much history in books, if one looks carefully enough. By this I do not mean those works concerned with history itself, nor am I refering to historical fiction. Rather I am referring to passing references, such as that contained in the 4-volume edition of John Buchan’s “The Thirty-Nine Steps”, which resides on the top shelf of the tall pine bookcase in my bedroom. The book’s title page reads
“… printed and published by the National Institute for the Blind, Great Portland Street, London W” and carries the date of 1938.

The National Institute for the Blind has, for many years, been the Royal National Institute of Blind People, and its head office is today located in Peterborough.

On turning over the title page, the reader comes across the following
“The price given for this book in the National Institute’s books catalogue represents the actual cost of production. The book is sold to libraries and institutions for the blind in the British Empire, and to blind persons resident in the United Kingdom, or in any part of the British Empire at one-third the catalogue price”.

The British Empire has, of course long ceased to be. However contained within the pages of the braille edition of “The Thirty-Nine Steps” I find a reminder of a vanished age.

I would be interested to learn of any books owned by this blog’s readers which contain interesting historical data. Please do comment below.


“How To Trust Your Human”, by Victoria Zigler – Book Spotlight

Title: How To trust Your Human
Author: Victoria Zigler
Genres: Children’s Stories – Animals / Children’s Stories – Social Issues – Death And Dying
Release date: July 3rd 2017

“Losing a sibling is hard. Losing three of them is even harder. Repairing a broken bond of trust is harder still.

After his three brothers disappeared, one after another, gone to a mysterious place known only as The Rainbow Bridge, Buddy the degu is all alone in his cage.

Confused and frightened, he knows only one thing for certain: he last saw his brothers in the hands of the human caretaker.

That knowledge breaks the bond of trust forged between Buddy and his human in the years since he was a pup, and leaves him convinced that letting her get her hands on him will mean he disappears too.

Somehow, she has to convince him he’s wrong, and earn back his trust.

Based on actual events that took place in the life of one of the author’s own degus, and told from the point of view of a degu, this is the story of how patience and love taught a confused and terrified rodent how to trust again.”

Find the book on…
Barnes & Noble

Available in paperback soon!

Author bio:

Victoria Zigler is a blind poet and children’s author who was born and raised in the Black Mountains of Wales, UK, and is now living on the South-East coast of England, UK.

Victoria – or Tori, if you prefer – has been writing since she knew how, has a very vivid imagination, and spends a lot of time in fictional worlds; some created by her, others created by other authors.

When she remembers to spend some time in the real world, it’s mostly to spend time with her hubby and pets, though sometimes to indulge in other interests that capture her attention from time to time, such as doing crafts, listening to music, watching movies, playing the odd figure game or roleplaying game, and doing a little cooking and baking.

To date she has published 8 poetry books and more than 40 children’s books, with more planned for the near future. She’s also contributed a story to the sci-fi and fantasy anthology Wyrd Worlds II.

Author links:
Facebook author page

You’re Barred!

On 27 June, I wrote a post entitledIts My Blog and I’ll Swear If I Like,

In that article I expressed my dislike of swearing on blogs and stated my disinclination to share content which contains expletives.

I did, however state that there exists a place for swearing in literature where this is intrinsic to the characters/plot being portrayed.

In addition my article states that some factual content (rightly) will use expletives (for example a report of a court case will, of necessity document any expletives used by the defendant).

Given my recent post I was interested to read that the owner of the Sameul Smiths Brewery, Humphrey Smith, has banned swearing in all his UK-based establishments.

According to The Guardian several pub managers have been sacked by Smith for allowing swearing in his pubs and customers have been barred for indulging in such behaviour.

The newspaper toured several Sam Smiths establishments and found no pub goers in favour of the prohibition. Typical of the views expressed was that of Craig

“Craig, 38, a cable jointer from Oldham, thought the ban was immature. “To be honest if you banned everyone who was swearing in a pub you wouldn’t have a business,” he said. “Are they going to send you outside to swear?””

Despite my dislike of swearing, I am inclined to agree with Craig that this ban is unworkable.

People in pubs should, of course be aware of their surroundings and should, for example never knowingly swear when children are present as it sets a bad example.

I also think it reasonable for bar staff to tell customers to “tone it down” when swearing is occurring at a high volume.

To my mind a muttered expletive overheard by a member of staff who is in close proximity to the swearer, is significantly different in nature from a man (or woman) swearing at the top of his (or her) voice.

One can not, in short, police swearing out of existence in pubs or other similar establishments.

As always I would welcome the views of my readers.


Its my blog and I’ll swear if I like …

Licence to use obtained – Copyright nazlisart at 123RF

I recently read a post in which the author liberally employed the use of expletives/swear words. The article was on the subject of marketing and made a number of valid points. However the utilisation of foul language detracted from the points being made (to my mind at least) and had it not been for the employment of swear words I would have shared on Twitter.

I don’t consider myself to be a prude. There is a place in factual articles for the employment of expletives. For example a report of court proceedings will (quite properly) report that the defendant swore at a police officer and repeat the words used. I am frustrated when certain newspapers refuse to print expletives in full. Adult readers know what foul language is and are perfectly able to cope with reading it when it is necessary to their full understanding of a court case or other similar situation.

I also believe that the utilisation of swearing is justified in the context of literature. For instance a novel portraying the lives of gangsters would, in my opinion be wholly unrealistic where all the criminals in it to speak as though they where monks or nuns. In short what I am objecting to is the employment of 4 letter words for no good reason. To my mind the utilisation of such words merely to provoke a response conjures up an image of a person with a limited vocabulary (they use foul language due to their inability to find other words to express themselves). In many instances this may not be the case. None the less the liberal use of expletives gives that impression to me at least.

I am not in favour of banning things. Each blogger is entitled to write as he (or she) sees fit. It is, however a matter of regret to me that a minority of people seem to believe that it is somehow “cool” or “clever” to sprinkle their posts with bad language for the sake of doing so. I for one find it offensive. As always I would be interested in my readers views.