The adventure of self-publishing

Autopublicacion The adventure of self publishing

The recent Planeta Prize finalist, Marcos Chicot, established himself as a writer in desktop publishing, a phenomenon that has become a major feature in the publishing world. One in every four e-books sold in Spain are self-published, and are more than 12,000 titles see the light of day through this system every year. We took advantage of Liber to talk to some authors who have chosen self-publishing about their experiences, why they chose that route, and the advantages and disadvantages involved.

Blanca Miosi
She is the self-published author who has sold most e-books on Amazon and whose credits include novels like Waldek, The Boy who Defied the Nazis and El Legado. Miosi decided to self-publish in order to republish some of her works without copyright restrictions. After finding out about the system, she decided to publish her new books through Amazon, taking care of all the details in the process: “I’ve never given my books to my friends to read and correct; I’ve always preferred the opinion of professionals, experts in the use of language”. She says she has never had any trouble publishing her books through publishers and she continues to do so even today, but she maintains that self-publishing is a very practical option. “I can change the prices, covers, do campaigns, promote my books … It has opened up a world that keeps me busy for twelve hours a day, what with writing, reading, research for my next book and promoting. And most importantly: it has earned me money”.

Enrique Laso
The author of El rumor de los muertos and Desde el infierno chose self-publishing as an alternative because he found it difficult to reach agreements with publishers. “They always wanted to change a lot of things in my books and that was something I wasn’t happy about. They wanted radical changes. Self-publishing was a great opportunity”. Today, it has become a way of life. The positive side of desktop publishing is the freedom that comes with it, and for the first time, the author earns the most, because with traditional publishing writers earned at most 12% of a book’s turnover. And what are the disadvantages? The author has to take responsibility for everything that a publisher would do: layout, editing, design, proofreading, marketing… and of course, the novel will not be on sale in a bookshop.

Belén Gaudes and Pablo Macías
Crowdfunding is what enabled the publication of Érase dos veces, the collection by Belén Gaudes and Pablo Macías which are alternative versions of children’s tales free of violence and sexism. “We got our funding through crowdfunding campaigns. Nearly 500 sponsors made it possible for us to publish first three books, and so on until the nine we have now completed. Seeinig that a lot of other people are giving you financial support to make your project happen is really exciting,” says Gaudes, who points out that they chose desktop publishing because their books are part of a personal project and they wanted to keep control of the entire process. And although the crowdfunding campaign is really a presales campaign, alternative distributors have been very helpful in their books reaching bookstores and readers as a result.

Jorge Magano
Jorge Magano soon realised that if he was going to succeed in self-publishing, he would have to be professional. “At first I made every mistake possible – poor layout, a bad cover and a bad promotional strategy, but I soon realised that I had to improve and as I started getting back the rights to novels that the publishers no longer printed, I self-published them with better finishes, and you could see that in the results,” says Magano, the author of Turned to stone and The Golden Isis, an e-book that soon ranked among the Amazon Spain bestsellers. For him, the process “is still a team project” and he believes that “the most interesting thing is that even when the novel has been published, I keep getting e-mails from readers pointing out errors and I can correct it even when the book is on sale”.


Women and polices

Police Women1  Women and policesThe Conference Centre of Fira de Barcelona, by its very nature, has hosted all kinds of meetings and congresses: doctors, economists, physicists, businesspeople, trade unionists, vegetarians, rowers and Nobel prize-winners among them.

But to date it had never hosted such a singular collective as women police officers. Almost 500 agents from some seventy countries around the world got together at the 54th International Association of Women Police Conference to talk about their ‘challenges’ which, when you look at them, are very much the same as those of every woman: equality and security.

To be specific, they include the prevention of violence against women, human trafficking and the protection of victims in war zones. This is what these policewomen wanted to talk about at their meeting in Barcelona. This, and equality in recruitment and in professional development.

The latter is an issue that goes beyond the strictly corporate sphere. The presence of women in the police force, as in so many other activities, does not correspond with their true weight in society. An example of this is Barcelona’s Urban Guard, where women were admitted for the first time in 1979 with the constitution of the first democratic city council, yet 37 years later they account for just 11% of the officers in the force; or the National Police Force which has 6,000 women officers, around 12% of the total. Though low, these percentages are actually higher than those of some other European police forces. The Mossos d’Esquadra is above the European average, with 21% of women police officers, around the same as Portugal or Germany, but still well below the percentage of the Dutch and Swedish police forces, which have around 30%.

It is more than evident that women can bring a very specific sensibility to the problems of security and abuse in the community, and that tenacity is a virtue: the International Association of Women Police, the organiser of the conference, was founded in Los Angeles in 1915.

3D technology in the Sagrada Familia

The Sagrada Família, in the homestretch. A few weeks ago it was announced that the target of finishing work on the structure in 2026 was increasingly becoming a reality. The Sagrada Família has a key partner in finishing its project on time: 3D technology. Its use has made it easier to visualise the designs and plot plans for the temple as well as to project and check against the original plans or to build miniature vaults, saving both time and money.

At the In3dustry trade show we talk with Mark Burry, professor at the Melbourne School of Design and assistant architect on the Sagrada Família, about the advantages of 3D technology and how it is being used in the final stages of this amazing work.

Solidarity concerns us all

FamVacances2016 Solidarity concerns us allThe crisis affects everyone, but the most vulnerable most of all. In Catalonia alone there are 113,000 households with no income and 300,000 minors live below the poverty line. A risk situation that is exacerbated in the summer when school canteens are closed and the number of food donations drops.

For this reason, the Banc dels Aliments has launched its ‘Hunger Doesn’t Go on Holiday‘ campaign again, so that those in most need receive food during the summer. It is hoped the aid will reach 235,000 beneficiaries.

Basic foodstuffs such as rice, pasta, pulses, oil, milk and canned foods are needed to fill the stores of the charitable organisations that distribute food in towns throughout Catalonia.

Once again Fira de Barcelona is taking part in the campaign, giving over Hall 1 of the Montjuïc site to the collection of donations from 6 to 8 July, from 10:00 to 14:00. Last year over 400 kg of foodstuffs were collected here.

Please give … because hunger doesn’t go on holiday.

Never wash your jeans again!

Denim experts are well aware that the less you wash your jeans the better. So far, the only feasible alternative to the washing machine was to put them in the freezer overnight to kill odor-causing bacteria an option that would drastically reduce your drive to wear them first thing in the morning.

But the American company Odo Denim has found the perfect solution and showcased it at the Denim Première Vision trade show: a pair of jeans that do not stain and do not stink. Thanks to the nanotechnology and the silver ions woven into the fabric the company guarantees that you’ll never need to put them in the washing machine again also rendering a secondary although critical benefit: to save water worldwide. So you can officially say goodbye to jeans that will look old in just a couple of washing cycles!

In search of the perfect electronic track

SOnar2016 In search of the perfect electronic track

Some say the perfect electronic track does not exist, while others point to some composers who have already created The Song: that perfect mix which conveys stories, emotions and connects people. At Fira, we have taken advantage of Sónar 2016 to get in touch with some of the artists participating at this year’s event, to ask them what they think the perfect electronic track is like, and while we were at it, we asked them to reveal one to us.

Nicola Cruz: What defines a good electronic music track for me is undoubtedly its ability to convey a message. Whether or not it is a hit, and regardless of its genre, its rhythm must be unique, it must offer something different and make you think differently. What captivates me most in music is a certain mysterious quality, which can take me to an image or a landscape. The most important thing is that it must be very expressive in both its composition and the design of the sound. For me, the track OAR003-B by Oni Ayhun succeeds in both areas.

AWWZ: The perfect electronic song doesn’t exist, there’s no need to look for it. It’s the little details, the imperfections, the drum slightly off the beat, the unexpected silence, the voice cut off by the bass, which humanises it. And that’s when you get something across to the listener. I don’t believe in a perfectly delineated structure that is on the same wavelength as people, but instead in a differential factor that creates a reality. The song I’ve chosen – ‘Do You … (Cashmere Cat Remix)’ – isn’t perfect, but it’s nice.

Jackwasfaster: One of the things that appeals to me most about electronica is the concept of the loop, the hypnotic sensation you get by repeating elements. It’s not something exclusive to electronica, but the instruments used in its production are ideal for working with these sequences, building tracks by manipulating sound and not through melodic changes. For me, a track works and moves a dance floor when you get that feeling of a continuous loop and even more so, if it has a recognisable, melodic or percussive ‘hook’. I’m obsessed with the idea of a perfect loop, which can last forever and which with some slight variations and without any gimmicky effects, can maintain the listeners’ attention without them being aware of being ’trapped‘. I think the track that I have chosen by Partial Arts achieves this.

Trill Squad: The perfect electronic song must have a pop identity. A structure and impeccable production is not enough—it must go back to the roots of pop music, a paradigm that is still valid, and incorporate the sensitivity and technology of our era into it. A group that has understood this formula to perfection is PC Music; ‘Hi’ by Hannah Diamond would be my candidate for the perfect electronic song.

TALKTOME: Bearing in mind that perfection does not exist and wanting to achieve it is one of the greatest problems you have when you are producing, for me a great track is one that combines originality and excitement. We should also remember that mistakes can be beautiful; they are how we evolve, by training our ear to hear new things. The important thing is that it surprises you and makes you feel something. I can think of many tracks, but I’ll stick with ‘Str8 outta Mumbai by Jai Paul. I remember I read somewhere that the first time you listen to Jai Paul it seems like you’ve broken your speakers, but that’s what it sounds like, and that makes it more magical.

The Global Exhibitions Day

Copy of Fira Barcelona The Peoples Industry EN The Global Exhibitions Day

Of the 365 days on the calendar, almost all of them have something to celebrate. On most occasions this is to commemorate an important date such as World Water Day, World Cancer Day and hundreds and hundreds of other good reasons… but there has never been a day dedicated to exhibitions. Until today, 8 June. The fact is that some 31,000 exhibitions are held worldwide.

This international recognition is more than merited. This is corroborated by the figures that the exhibition industry produces worldwide every year: over 260 million visitors, 4.4 million exhibitors occupying 124 million square metres of exhibition space, equivalent to 30,000 football pitches, together generating an economic impact of 100,000 million euros and providing jobs for 680,000 people, according to sector sources. A mere bagatelle!

Their contribution to the economy and the community in which they are held is unarguable. However, there is still a big gap in people’s knowledge of the sector and what goes on behind these events. To raise awareness about the importance of trade exhibitions and their contribution to the region’s wealth, the main industry organisations, headed up by the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry (UFI) and with the support, in Spain, of the Spanish Trade Fair Association (AFE), have united to declare 8 June the Global Exhibitions Day.

This initiative naturally enjoys the support of Fira de Barcelona, the longest-standing trade fair organisation in Spain and a benchmark in Europe, which generates an annual economic impact of over 2,600 million euros and 40,000 jobs, not to mention its considerable social value, according to a survey conducted recently by the business school ESADE.

There is no doubt that the dynamic role played by Fira de Barcelona, and most other trade fair organisations around the world, in boosting their regions has been and will continue to be one of the finest marketing tools ever created, helping to close business agreements, share knowledge, present the latest trends and take steps towards internationalisation… an event where manufacturers, buyers and consumers all converge in a single place. Despite the fact that we are fully immersed in the digital age, personal contact is irreplaceable.

Happy Global Exhibitions Day!






Joaquín reyes at Fira

Ahmadinejad, Madonna, Manu Chao, Tita Cervera, Mark Zuckerberg, Steven Seagal or Tachenko… These are some of the names of the characters who Joaquín Reyes has become in recent year to dissect their personality and achievements from his particular point of view. It was about time for the comedian to set his gaze upon on himself and during his collaboration with Bizbarcelona he did so after Firablog made the kind request.

To the rythm of capoeira-football

Fira de Barcelona has hosted no end of events, but never before has it been the venue for a spectacular capoeira football display. And starring Neymar no less! But it was. The latest PokerStars video was shot at the Gran Via centre: a roughly two-minute spot involving some 40 people behind the camera, in which the FC Barcelona star shows all his skill with the ball while dancing capoeira—the Brazilian martial art that incorporates elements of music and dance—along with a group of young freestyle experts who execute a complex choreography of acrobatics and shots at goal with millimetric precision. Crack shots!

Neymar is the latest on a list of stars who have shot ads at Fira that includes Messi, Xavi, Piqué, “Kun” Agüero, Thiago Silva and Rooney. To be continued.

Portrait of a fashion show

Bridal L Portrait of a fashion show

Years before technology invaded everything, the essence of the catwalk, the marketing and advertising, was immortalised by hand. With art, talent and technique the creator’s personal vision was portrayed, his illustrations endowed with personality. This is what artist Joel Miñano Granero has done; leaving aside the flashes and using only charcoal, he has captured the soul of the Barcelona Bridal Fashion Week fashion shows.

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