Monday, 4 January 2021

Matters of Life and Death by Philip Stuckey

                                                   

 

How we came to publish this one

Philip approached us with a story for one of our annual anthologies. Although we didn’t actually publish that one, we very much liked his style and suggested he might like to put a collection together.  

The title

As often happens, the title only became apparent as we worked on the collection.

Some notes about the process

The collection went through the three usual stages of editing – structural edit, copy edit, proof read. We took our time and we think the book now sparkles.   

 

The cover

Our designer came up with the cover after working with Philip on a concept. We are currently revising how we work with authors on covers.   

 

Some notes about style

There is a lyrical quality to many of the stories in this collection. That may be something to do with Philip being a song writer.

Who we think the reader is

These are certainly stories for those people who like a bit of mystery and fantasy. They are winter’s tales, just right for what I call the story time of year – Halloween through to the beginning of Lent.

 

Finances

This book as not yet covered all of its costs but it has almost covered the money already laid out. The editor, proof-reader and designer have not yet taken a fee or wage for their work on the book. It has almost covered its actual costs.        

What else

We have published a record number of books this year. We are pleased to have this within our collection.

 

Review copies

It’s always great if you can buy the book and give us a review. Just click on the image t be taken to Amazon. If you would like to review and you are strapped for cash, just get in touch for a free PDF or mobi-file.       

 

Saturday, 19 December 2020

A Most Amazing Zoo – Audio book

 

How we came to publish this one

This store just naturally lends itself to be read out loud. Rob Townsend the narrator is actually an acquaintance of the author Linda Flynn. He so liked the book that he made us a recording of it 

The title

A Most Amazing Zoo it certainly is and also a most amazing recording. Rob gets the voice just right.   

Some notes about the process

We used ACX that produce the audio file in order for it to be sold via Audible and ACX. They generally take about a month to check recording for quality control. This time, because of the pandemic, they took six weeks and then we had to make some alterations. It is all very technical and I wouldn’t be able to do this on my own.  Thank goodness for other people who have the know-how. 

Who we think the reader is

The book is a picture book but not for pre-schoolers. So, having the pictures and the recording will help new readers with the text.    

Finances

There was no financial outlay for this but our designer and Rob have worked for no fee. Rob will be paid a royalty, as will our writer an illustrator and some goes to the charity the book supports. The designer will be paid our usual £30.00 fee out of the money that is assigned to the company.        

What else

We also have a version of this with the voiceover and the pages displayed at the same time. We have pay walled this with the same arrangement about royalties and fees as for the audio book.

This has been entered for the Queen’s Knickers award.

 

Review copies

Get in touch if you would like a free review copy.

Tuesday, 1 December 2020

Wilma’s Magic Hat

 How we came to publish this one

Philippa Rae has been in contact with us for some years now. We’ve been pleased to work with her on this title. We haven’t published all that many illustrated children’s books and we have learnt a lot though publishing this one.  

The title

Entirely the concept of the writer and how apt.

The illustrations

My own daughter, Ashleigh James did those. We think she’s got the style right. She’s very flexible anyway and I always happy to change pictures if the author or editor request this.     

Some notes about style

This is a simple text with quite a bit of repetition but one or two challenging words to keep the young reader on their toes.    

Who we think the reader is

This is an illustrated book rather than a picture book so the child may be reading it alone. It sits in that fuzzy area that even fuzzy for this age; it’s a trade book but has to take into account some educational issues. Note that the pictures here illustrate rather than expand the story. They help the child to grasp the meaning of the story.   

Finances

We had some luck with this book. Our print on demand company was offering free set up costs the moth we had this printed. Also, bizarrely, the proof copy cost less than it does for a normal average-sized paperback, despite the use of full colour. I guess that is because it has only 42 pages.  

What else

We are entering it for several awards.   

Wednesday, 18 November 2020

Transforming Communities

How we came to publish this one

This is the third of our Waterloo Festival Writing Competition books. This contains the stories by the winners of the 2020 competition. In December, we’re publishing a paperback of all three e-books.   

The title

The title is the theme of the 2020 Waterloo Festival. Every story we have in the collection gives a different interpretation of the title. All are valid.  

The cover

As ever, our clever designer has come up with the goods. We often find a concept by putting the title of the book or something to do with the title into the search field on Pixabay or Unsplash . Then we look for an image that will work as a standalone front cover or will wrap around to cover the spine. We tend to prefer the latter. However,  for e-books we only need to worry about the front. We also need to make sure there is enough room for the title and author on the front and the blurb on the back. We avoid too much blue: getting it to print the same as you see it on even a correctly tuned screen is very difficult. But again, not so crucial for an e-book. .             

Some notes about style

There are a variety of styles here but each piece has a strong voice. Voice is one of our criteria for accepting stories. We looked for:

  • An interesting interpretation of the theme
  • A well-structured story
  • A convincing ending - and that can include a very subtle or even an open ending
  • A strong voice  

Who we think the reader is

Naturally readers will include friends, family, fans and flowers of all of the writers involved and of course of all who are associated with the Waterloo Festival. Other readers will be those who like a more literary text, a more thought-provoking read.  Perhaps we may even say those people who like the sort of work we publish.  

Finances

The book continues to sell steadily though has not yet covered all of its set-up costs.  We could do with a few more sales, however. If you’d like a copy, click on the image and you’ll be taken straight to Amazon. The book was edited and designed in-house so there has been very little outlay but so far the editor and designer of the project has earned very little from this title and we would like to pay them retrospectively.    

What else

Most of the writers supplied a video about their book or an article. You can find these here.   You can also see some of them on my blog:  

Friday, 30 October 2020

Would you like to write a children's picture book for us? Free talk offered.

 Wilma’s efforts often end in disaster. Her spells come out all wrong. The other witches laugh at her.  She has to watch them performing fantastic tricks. However, one spell that goes wrong has surprising consequences and Wilma gains a valuable ally.Philippa Rae's delightful children's story is enriched by a series of colourful illustrations by artist Ashleigh James.This is our latest illustrated book. 

If you and / or your writing group would like to met us via Zoom for a one hour tutorial / seminar on the sort of work we're interested in and how you should submit, please contact us.

Tuesday, 27 October 2020

Drawn by the Sea by Jeanne Davies

                                                                             

How we came to publish this one

Jeanne has had several stories published by Bridge House in our annual anthologies and she has also appeared in CafeLit. She has been included in our Waterloo books. Many of the stories in this volume have appeared in our anthologies.  

The title

The title comes partly from Jeanne’s love of the sea. She has recently moved to live near the sea and she enjoys walking with her dog in this environment.         

The cover

We worked with Jeanne on lots of wonderful beach scenes. Some ideas came from her own photographs.     

Some notes about style

Jeanne writes in plain English. Her dialogue is carefully crafted to sound like the people who are talking. She makes good use of the senses to give us a real sense of time and place.      

Who we think the reader is

Many of the stories have a feel-good factor. Yet there is sadness as well in some of them. They also challenge the readers.

Finances

The book continues to sell steadily though has not yet covered all of its set-up costs.  We could do with a few more sales, however. If you’d like a copy, click on the image and you’ll be taken straight to Amazon.  

What else

Jeanne is always supportive of what we do. She has attended many of our celebration  events. She is active on social media and often likes or shares our posts..