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The Lazarus Experiment: An Anniversary Special

The Lazarus Experiment: An Anniversary Special

It was over a year ago in January 2011 that I began serializing my short story The Lazarus Experiment on a weekly basis. Four parts, each around 1,000 words long was my contribution to the #fridayflash and #tuesdayserial community on Twitter. The response was positive with some readers intrigued to ask where exactly the line between fact and fiction was in the story (its stranger than you may think see my article on the research that went in to the story). It gave a great shot of adrenaline to this websites traffic and when I came to complete the serial at the start of February I was enthused to submit it to a few electronic publishers as a collected 5,000 word short story.

A couple of publishers were interested and I’ve been very happy with the support (including in polishing it up in a pre-release edit) and advice that my chosen seattle based publisher Books To Go Now have given me. You can get The Lazarus Experiment from a wide range of websites including the Kindle platform, Nook shop, and even UK stalwart WHSmith. You can download it from the Android marketplace, where its been most popular with people on the go looking for a quick read, or you could even borrow it in American library. The pricing has even been revised to a figure I’m comfortable with (77p in the UK, about the price of a chocolate bar).

Now, a year on from starting that journey with Books to Go Now they have continued to support it by offering it FREE this weekend only on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk. To get it all you need to do is load up your Kindle App (also Free on Phones and computers) type in Christopher Michael Bell or The Lazarus Experiment and download for your reading pleasure.

And should it really be a reading pleasure, please don’t forget to leave a little review on either or both of the Amazon websites… and tell your friends!

The Lazarus Experiment, Free this weekend on KINDLE!

Image: photostock / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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Posted by on February 25, 2012 in Publishing

 

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England’s Bookstart Stops

Boy reading a book

No book gifting anymore...

It is with immense disappointment that many of us all logged online to that stream of consciousness that is twitter to learn that the Department for Education, the body responsible for broadening the minds of our young and inspiring them to success has cut its funding to the English book gifting programmes (Bookstart, Booktime and Booked Up) by 100%. Which is a novel way of saying, they’ve scrapped the programme. Oh, and it only applies.. you guessed it.. to England.

Bookstart was established by the Booktrust in 1992 and has gifted an untold number of books to schools and parents over the last eighteen years. It was almost ritual to receive a token at school once a year and head on either to the school library to trade it in or to the local bookstore depending on its organization that year. I am not amongst the crowd crying out that this is the sign of the end days, as I believe the majority of parents can and should be investing in their own child’s future – charity stores often have cheap books and the library is both free and tends to have a collection of books they are disposing of.

However the fact that some parents are bone idle enough not to do this meant programmes such as Bookstart and its ilk were a way to encourage book reading in groups who weren’t surrounded at home by a general love of reading. Why do I think reading is important? Well because it is the reading of ideas. I believe strongly that the most important faculty of a child to nurture and encourage is their imagination. What this imagination, fueled at a young age, can turn itself towards as the child grows up is limitless. Ideas have no boundaries and a life totally of their own. For the considered cost of this programme I cannot see any justification for it being axed when our biggest performing companies are dodging billions in tax, and council services are wasting needless millions on branding. Where is the David Cameron’s fair society in that? I forgot, that was just a silly idea. And ideas have a price.

At least 1,000,000 adults who would not have normally picked up a book shall have the opportunity in 2011 on World Book Night as previously mentioned on here.

Shame about their kids.

Feel free to share your thoughts on the cancellation of the programme and the general state of book reading in the UK and abroad. If you live in America or Europe, do you have similar schemes? Have they been affected in the downturn?

Perhaps this is just not a big deal and it’s been blown out of proportion. Share your thoughts below.

 
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Posted by on December 22, 2010 in Reading Initiatives

 

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A World Book Night In

WBN SUPPORTEROn Saturday, 5th March 2011, two days after World Book Day a new event has been added to book loving calendars worldwide. This is World Book Night – the biggest celebration of adult books and reading ever attempted. A night in which 1,000,000 books will be given away by readers just like you to encourage people to pick up and start reading.

I think this is a genuinely lovely campaign as the drive to get people reading shouldn’t be focused on children alone. Just think almost 1 in every 60 people in the country will be given the opportunity of reading some of the best literature around. The books can be donated by ‘givers’ to individuals, groups, libraries etc.

As well as giving books away, the campaign is providing information on accessing local libraries and reading groups and promoting such a worthy aim is always good.

The 25 books being given away this year are;

Kate Atkinson – Case Histories (Black Swan)

Margaret Atwood – The Blind Assassin (Virago)

Alan Bennett – A Life Like Other People’s (Faber/Profile)

John Le Carré – The Spy Who Came in From the Cold (Penguin)

Lee Child – Killing Floor (Bantam)

Carol Ann Duffy – The World’s Wife (Picador)

Mark Haddon – The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (Vintage)

Seamus Heaney – Selected Poems (Faber)

Marian Keyes – Rachel’s Holiday (Penguin/Poolbeg)

Mohsin Hamid – The Reluctant Fundamentalist (Penguin)

Ben Macintyre – Agent Zigzag (Bloomsbury)

Gabriel García Márquez – Love in the Time of Cholera (Penguin)

Yann Martel – Life of Pi (Canongate)

Alexander Masters – Stuart: A Life Backwards (Fourth Estate)

Rohinton Mistry – A Fine Balance (Faber)

David Mitchell – Cloud Atlas (Sceptre)

Toni Morrison – Beloved (Vintage)

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – Half of a Yellow Sun (Fourth Estate)

David Nicholls – One Day (Hodder)

Philip Pullman – Northern Lights (Scholastic)

Erich Maria Remarque – All Quiet on the Western Front (Vintage)

C.J. Sansom – Dissolution (Pan)

Nigel Slater – Toast (Fourth Estate)

Muriel Spark – The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (Penguin)

Sarah Waters – Fingersmith (Virago)

To read the official press announcement click here.

To register as a potential ‘giver’ of books click here.

Closer to the date I intend on posting a review of my favourite choice of the available books on their list. Of the listed books to be given away, which is your favourite? Is there a book you would have liked to have seen on the list as an example of a ‘reading-turn-on’?

 
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Posted by on December 16, 2010 in Reading Initiatives

 

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