Thursday 26 August 2021

Our editing process

 Correcting, Proof, Paper, Correction

For our imprints Bridge House, Chapeltown and The RedTelephone, we use a particular editing process.

Edit 1

An editor will read the script very much as a reader would. However, with their editing hat on they will be looking for plot holes, character inconsistencies, lack of cause and effect and also for any persistent grammatical, spelling or formatting mistakes you make.

At this point the text will not be heavily annotated. Where there are annotations, the editor will use the Comments function on Track Changes. You may be supplied with notes at the end of chapters / stories and you will also be given an overall report.

You are then invited to revisit your text. How much needs to be done will vary from writer to writer. If we’re publishing a volume of short stories, many of which have been published before, there will be little to do. Often for a whole novel this will be the biggest edit and will take the most of amount of time of all the edits.


Edit 2

There will be many more annotation this time and the editor will use the Comments function of Track Changes. You are asked to respond to the comment but leave the comment visible on the text. Always these are just suggestions. The writer is also invited to comment on the comments  

This will include flagging up repetitions, clichés, award language, missing section breaks, instances of telling where showing would do better etc. If at this stage the editor notices the odd punctuation, grammatical or spelling mistake, they will just correct it.


Edit 3

Here we use full Track Changes. This is where the editor just changes what isn’t working. This will include correcting typos, awkward language, punctuation and  spelling mistakes and may even include alterations that the writer has not managed to make. This is sent back to the author to check. We recommend reading it without  the changes showing and only switch them on if something doesn’t seem right. In which case, reject that change. At the end of the read through, the author accepts all the changes. There may be a little toing and froing until both parties are happy. Often though, there is just one exchange.


Technical proof read

This is done by the design team and is computer assisted. This checks for extra double spaces, consistent spelling of words that have optional spellings, consistency of speech marks etc. .  


Proof 1

The text is now made into a camera-ready PDF for the author to check. The most common issue that comes up here is the correctness of section breaks. Your wysiwyg text may say something different from what the coding that is within the text tells us. The author is invited to list any change that are needed or put sticky notes on to the PDF. If there are issues with what you suggest we contact you. If we have an issue with anything you suggest, we get back to you.  


Proof 2

After the author’s changes have been made we pass the text on to a proof-reader. We have been using a different editor from the one that did the original edit but we are revising this as some texts with strong voices or quirkier styles- and many of our texts are like this – use a slightly different type of language. If we have an issue with anything the proof reader suggests, we get back to you and to them. .  



Then the book goes to print.     

Monday 23 August 2021

Publisher talks at the Last Chance Salon



The Last Chance Salon - see in our online bookshop


This book is  a little different from many of our others. These are all short stories but they interconnect. We also often publish themed anthologies. It's; fun to write in this way, with everyone concentrating on a central theme.       

Would you like a workshop for your writing group? We can also give some insight into how we work as publishers. 

Use the contact form to get in touch.     


Saturday 14 August 2021

The Independent Publishers Guild Conference


Computer, Technology, Communication, Video Conference


We are members of the IPG.  It represents an overhead cost that we have to meet every year and we  don’t get to as many meetings as we would like to. However, their site is full of interesting and useful information and this year they offered an online conference. I was able to attend some of their sessions.

The working of a virtual conference

It did replicate a real life conference. There were lectures and seminars, discussions with breakout rooms and opportunities for networking. Also there were “goody” bags which took the form of promotional codes. We thereby managed to get some money off some of our printing.


There were also key note speeches.


All of the networking links are still on the site but you have to be a member of the guild to access them.


I attended a discussion of how trade has been affected by the pandemic and Brexit. At the time of the conference (11-12 May 2021) it was about 40% down on normal.  Much of this was to do with the changed rules not being understood by couriers and exporters. We sell mainly to the home and American market. We sell a few books in Europe – a few of our writers are based in EU countries but we still sell more of these books in the UK and the US.


Fortunately Ingram’s and Amazon look after all of the technicalities for us.

We have, however, had to raise the cost of our books in the EU – the exchange rate has rendered printing costs higher in Europe.


On the whole, though, we have noticed little difference in our sales patterns.  


This is the go-to platform for sales from your own web-site. The presentation was very interesting and it all looks very professional. However, I decided against using it for our online book shop.  

·         The monthly cost would be an overhead we would struggle to cover

·         Out book shop is meant to offer a variety of ways for customers to purchase books.


Audio books

I watched a presentation by a company that produces audio books. To date we’ve used one of Amazon’s own narrators, and used a couple of narrators we’ve sourced ourselves whom we’re paying on a royalty basis. With this company, we would pay a one off fee then all of the profit from the books would go to the authors and to our company. This seems fair all round. We are now negotiating for two of our picture books to be made into audio books.

Hybrid conferences

We are gradually easing out of the pandemic now and life is returning to something that looks a little like normal. However some of these online events have been excellent and often offered an opportunity for joining something one would not normally be able to attend. Is our intention to carry this on to some extent? I do hope so.           


Sunday 8 August 2021

It is absolutely great to be featured in three anthologies and also some poetry books and a film so far this year. Devon Stream radio have been sharing my work and the Courage Copse Creatives are producing a film about the wonderful ash trees with my poetry and other authors.

Here is a photo and all are available to purchase now through Gill's bookshop.

Wednesday 4 August 2021

The Macaroon Chronicles by Dawn Knox

How we came to publish this one

Dawn is a regular contributor to CaféLit and was the first contributor to have a story serialised. This was The Basilwade Chronicles. She is now working on a third of what she calls the Chronicles’ Chronicles serials - the Crispin Chronicles.


The title

Dawn and I came up with the title for The Basilwade Chronicles and the word Chronicles has stuck.   


Some notes about the process

The editing process here is slightly different from the one we use in our other anthologies. Every CaféLit story is given a light copy edit before it is published in the  e-zine. For serials like this we then put together a camera ready proof for the writer to check. We do an in-house technical proof and after the author has returned their proofs we get another proof read by an editor who has not seen the text before.  


The cover

The cover image was created by Neill C. Woods. He also created the cover for The Basilwade Chronicles. Dawn commissioned him herself as she thought his style was just right for these books. Dawn and Neill entered both covers into a competition. Alas, they did not win. Never mind. The problem with competitions is that only a few people can win. Many people have admired both covers.              


Some notes about style

These stories are very quirky. Very importantly in CaféLit serials each episode must stand alone and there should be an overarching story as well. This happens beautifully here.     


Who we think the reader is

These stories are for people who like to laugh. Most of the reviews of both books have their readers admitting that they have laughed out loud. This is probably what we all need now.   


What else

Dawn is a prolific writer and in several genres. She’s worth following, believe me.


Review copies

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

Grab your copy here.



Tuesday 3 August 2021

Soft launches and hard launches


 Us Navy, Future Littoral Combat Ship

I’ve mentioned this to one or two people already. I’ll go into a little more detail here.

The soft launch

The soft launch is what we do immediately the book is available. From our point of view this means:

  • informing Nielsen’s (Bridge House only; the distributors do this for us with the other imprints)
  • informing the author
  • letting our fans and followers know (via social media e.g. Facebook groups and pages, and email lists)
  • putting the book in our online bookshop
  • sending it out to our list of reviewers

You might:

·         put the book on your web site

·         let your fans and followers know (via social media and your email lists)  

·         send it out to your list of reviewers

The hard launch

The hard launch should come about three weeks later. This has allowed the book to filter into all of the databases so people like our friends Amazon are able to obtain the book and have it showing on their sites. The might be one big physical event followed by a few other book signings in bookshops or other quirkier venues. You might consider a blog tour. You would again invite your fans and followers but you might go wider; get local press involved, invite people you don’t know yet. You might do an online event alongside this.

We are willing for the hard launch:

·         to come to the event if it’s within a twenty mile radius of where we live  - and we’ll do whatever task you assign us – serve the cake, wash up, set the chairs out, make a speech, be master of ceremonies etc.

·         let you have some books upfront.  You can pay for these later at author discount, or have them set against  royalties 

·         organise a free online event  for you –

Please ask us to do this – we won’t ask you.  We don’t want to pressure you.


We’ve considered again doing pre-orders and dismissed it again. This can have the effect of creating a buzz around the day the book comes out (soft launch time) but in fact this barely tweaks the Amazon algorithm; the bots have realised this presents a false picture. We’d rather just get on with the marketing once the book is out. Just a note: generally the e-book is out a few days before the physical book. We don’t inform the author that the book is ready until we have the proof copy of the physical book.

Link to our book shop

There are more details about the bookshop below. It’s probably a good idea to send your fans and followers a link to that. They then have a choice about how to buy. Note, Amazon currently does odd thigs to the RRP and delivery. The Hive (UK) offers free delivery and gets out of stock books out more quickly than Amazon gets in stock books out on free delivery.  Plus The Hive supports local bookshops. Barnes and Noble US offers quick delivery and never mentions whether books are in stock or not. Actually our books should never be in stock; they are print on demand.

Amazon of course is where customers have to go for the e-book. And further down the line it’s worth looking there because occasionally they sell our paperbacks at very low prices. Spot that and send your fans there or buy up some copies yourself. It’s fine; we still get the wholesale price and you therefore get a normal royalty.  

We can get books out quite quickly but have to charge shipping unless customers but five or more boos.  The bookshop is fully searchable and browsable so customers should easily be able to find other books that you’ve written or are in, or other books similar to yours.      

Military_Material from Pixabay