Monday 28 June 2021

The Basilwade Chronicles Audio Book


Grab your copy here


How we came to publish this one

The Basilwade Chronicles started off as serial published on CaféLit. A couple of sections were then read on a local radio show. This gave us the idea of making it into an audio book. The talented John Guest really brought the stories to life.    


The title

Somehow the title suits the audio book even more than it did the original paperback and e-book. Wouldn’t it be great if it made it to BBC Sounds A Book at Bedtime?    


Some notes about the process

We were on a bit of a learning curve when submitting the book to Audible. Still, we’re getting there. This is now our third audio book. We encountered different problems with each of the three.     


The cover

The cover is adapted from the original book cover. A cover for an audio book needs to be square and very high resolution. Apparently people still buy CDS!  Have you spotted something odd about the bride on this cover?      


Some notes about style

This is a quirky romp. John Guest reading makes it even quirkier.


Who we think the reader is

It’s good to listen to these stories. They’ll make you chuckle. Perhaps something to listen to while you do the housework? Or work in the garden? Or go on a long journey? Take care with the latter. You may find them distracting.     



This product is in the black – just.  No upfront costs were accrued.  


What else

We’re really pleased with our CaféLit serials and we’re looking at making more audio books. For this and one other book we’ve used a volunteer voice artist who is working for royalties alone. As we’ve provided the voice artist we gain the whole royalty provided by ACX. For another book ACX provided the voice artist so we only get half of the royalty. We’re now looking at using a company to provide the voice, so that the royalty will be split between the writer and our publishing company only.      


Review copies

It’s always great if you can buy the audio book, or download it if you have a plan, and give us a review. Just click on the link to be taken to Audible / Amazon. If you would like to review and you are strapped for cash, just get in touch for a free review copy.         


Wednesday 23 June 2021

The Fortune Teller of Phillipi


Jenny Robertson’s YA novel: The Fortune Teller of Philippi

This gripping story confirms that miracles are possible for everyone     

Melissa, the daughter of a Roman army officer, enjoys a wow moment when she meets Merekl, a young cloth merchant with laughter in his voice. But as she follows the path the fortune teller predicts, she plunges ever deeper into darkness and danger. Can Merekl overcome destructive powers and unscrupulous enemies to rescue Melissa?

This dramatic story for 12-14 year olds, woven around events in the Book of Acts, is set in Roman Philippi around the middle of the first century CE. The action, based on thorough research into the world of Ancient Rome, shows how the young Christian church attracted the have-nots of the ruthless Roman world  and enriched their lives with a sense of  belonging to a diverse, joyful community.

Grab your copy here.

Jenny’s take on the YA novel proves that Christianity is for young people as well.    

Jenny Robertson is an experienced author of many widely translated books for children and adults. She authored the popular Ladybird Bible books. She has written about the Warsaw Ghetto and contributed to PRISM, the journal for Holocaust educators and students. Jenny deeply respects the Jewish origins of Christianity and regrets the anti-Semitism that arose later in the Christian story. Jenny has contributed to several Bridge House anthologies. Her most recent books are Wojtek, War Hero Bear (Birlinn, Edinburgh), From the Volga to the Clyde (Fleming Publications) and From Corsets to Communism (Scotland Street Press)

The Red Telephone is an innovative indie publisher based in Manchester. We’re always prepared to take a gamble on the unusual.

The Red Telephone 07778 866661


Thursday 17 June 2021

Publisher-friendly formatting

Different publishers ask for different things these days. However, there is a default  industry / academic way of formatting:

  • Double spaced

  • Ragged right

  • All new paragraphs should be indented but the first paragraph of each section should be “full out”

  • Font: Times new Roman 12 point (a few others are also acceptable)


Changing a word document to a camera ready file

Publishers and academics ask for the above for ease of reading and editing. Once all the editing is complete the file needs to be changed into something that’s easy for the reader in print form and on an e-reader (ePub for most platforms and mobi-file for Amazon Kindle)

So we get:  

  • Single spacing
  • Blocked text  (though books for emergent reader and some picture books are still ragged right) . Note that this causes some hyphenation – it’s balance between not having too many hyphens and not having too many big spaces.   

  • New paragraphs still have indents and the first paragraph in new sections is still full out. The indent is a little smaller.  

  • Times New Roman point 12 is still popular though sometimes a font without a serif is used for younger readers.

  • We try to avoid “widows”( the first line of a paragraph as the last line on a page)  and ”orphans” (the last line of a paragraph appearing at the top of page). Note, though, on e-books this is impossible to avoid; readers set their own font size so page breaks differ for each reader.     


First step of design

Our first step in designing a book is to turn the whole text into another Word style. We don’t ask our writers to present in that style as the one described above is common, so they are used to it and it helps with editing.

The conversion is easy and I can actually do it and watch TV at the same time.


A sticking point

Some writers use the space bar to create indents. This creates hard work for us. Others use web lay out and it’s then sometimes hard to see where they mean paragraph breaks to be. Also, in the latter case our formatting style then doesn’t always pick up what are new paragraphs and what are new sections.

So, here is what we prefer you to do.  

Use the paragraph tool in your home ribbon: 


Click on the arrow in the bottom right hand corner to expand the tool: 


Make sure your box look is like this i.e. 


Alignment is left, outline level is body text. Left and right are each o cm, spacing before and after are each o pt. Double spacing .

Important: Special is set at First Line. (note this give the default of 1.27 cm indent). During our first stage of design we alter this to give a smaller indent.

Now mark all of your text and apply this paragraph style.

Now go back and change the special to “none”. Mark the opening paragraphs of each section and apply this style to those paragraphs   


If you get his right you can save us 50% of our design time and we’re more like to produce exactly what you had intended.


A word about section breaks  

We tend to favour just using an extra line between paragraphs and “full out” for the next section. We’re not keen on rows of asterisks or similar. This is partly because  when we create a section break with a “full out” paragraph and an extra line the e-reader formatting programme puts in asterisks. So, we may end up with two lines of asterisk.

Identifying what are real section breaks often causes a headache so this is something  that you can usefully establish with your editor before your book goes into design.


Not every publisher asks for this – and some may even want something more complex.  But this is what we like.


Happy formatting!                  


Sunday 13 June 2021

Up Close

You really get up close and personal with writing during Edit 2 stage. This was my time spent today and lots of images go round and round in my head! Personally I have started performing my poetry, making YouTube videos and I have joined my local poetry group Moor Poets. This is a huge step for me as I am really enjoying the reading aloud having never done so before.