Tuesday 21 May 2024

Seen Through a Glass of Red

 



How we came to publish this one

This is one of our “ fast track” books. All of the stories in this we have pre-published either on CafeLit or in one of our annual or themed anthologies.

 

The title

So, that’s what life looks like when you see it under the influence of red wine? Is red wine part of the Mediterranean diet?    

 

Some notes about the process

The way this version of fast-track works: the writer puts together the stories in the order they wish them to be published. We do acknowledge where they were first published. We do no more editing at this stage. However we offer a camera ready proof to the author and after we’ve applied their alterations we give it a final proof-read.

 

The cover

The cover illustration concept was supplied by the writer. We used and manipulated stock images to get this one.

 

Some notes about style

The stories veer a little towards the literary. They all also have a firm story structure.      

 

Who we think the reader is

As so many of the stories here come from CafeLit, this book is ideally suitable for  reading whilst you sip your favourite brew when you’re on a break. They are at once thought-provoking, relaxing and entertaining.

 

 

What else

Author Liz is also one of our editors. That’s often makes the editing and design processes easier.  

 

Review copies

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


Find your copy here     

 


Friday 10 May 2024

Amazon KDP or Lightning Source for your paperback?

 



Amazon KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) and Lightning Source are two prominent platforms used by authors to print paperbacks, each offering unique features and benefits

 

Amazon KDP

Advantages

Disadvantages

It makes distribution in other countries that have Amazon stores easier. Stock control is better and no customs to worry about. 

You can’t get books into book shops without paying a much higher fee. 

It’s cheaper- no set up fees, no annual fees.

Less choice in formats than with Lightning source.

Amazon gets these titles out quicker than it does Lightning Source’s.

Other retailers can’t buy the books.  

 

Once we take the book out of print we can’t still offer author copies. 

 

 

Lightning Source

Advantages

Disadvantages

It’s easier to get book into book shops. The ISBN tells the retailer how to order it. 

You can incur import charges and high transport charges.         

More choice of formats and better quality.

We have to pay set up costs, fees for alterations and an annual distribution fee. 

Once we take the book out of print we can still offer author copies. 

 

 

There are a few things to consider here:

Even though Amazon KDP can distribute to a country where there is an Amazon, we have to open an account with that country. This isn’t always straightforward.

We can in fact work directly with bookshops though it is more work for us.  

We pay an annual fee per book of £8.50 for distribution via Lightning Source. Yet retailers sometimes can’t source the books. Ingram’s shrugs its shoulders. I have managed to penetrate this and it comes down to a middle man not understanding how print-on –demand really works. I’ve had some success with The Hive and Waterstones. Amazon is rather Kafkaesque.

We may now start involving authors in deciding which method to use. Some will be uncertain. And if they are happy to take our advice we’re happy to give it.

The crucial point may be about what happens after the book goes out of print. Note though, we have to take a book out of distribution once the term is finished and if the book isn’t covering its distribution fee.  We can leave it in short run which means we can still obtain author copies and even sell to bookshops. But at that point the book wouldn’t be visible to the public except in our own online bookshop.  

Fast Track

 


Fast track 1

Gather together all of your pre-edited-by-us stories. They may have appeared on CafeLit, in one of our annual anthologies or one of our special books. You gather the edited version into one word document.  You are looking at between 30,000 and 70,000 words, the sweet spot being 46,000. You may like to include an introduction and you should also include a bio, 250 – 500 words, and links to up to three of your other publications  See Seen Through a Glass of Red by Liz Cox and Old Man Jasperson and other stories by Jim Bates. All of the editing is completed on this so we only need to design the books, proof read twice and market. In both cases we actually published a couple of months ahead of schedule.  Use https://duotrope.com/duosuma/submit/form.aspx?id=O5TCxfX-6CXux-a0E6ElR-g7gG4x4c7

Fast track 2

If you have used one of our editors and they agree that the book is good to go we can leave out one or more of the editorial processes.  See our list here: http://www.gilljameswriter.com/p/my-dream-team.html   Use   https://apublishersperspective.blogspot.com/2023/03/submissions.html but mention in your cover letter that you have used one of our editors and outline which sort of edit(s) they’ve completed.                                                                                                                                

Fast track 3

Do you have a collection of stories to which you have the rights back? Put them together in one Word document, acknowledging where each was first published. Again, you are looking at between 30,000 and 70,000 words, the sweet spot being 46,000. You will have just the two proof reads. Also include an introduction if you would like one, and supply a bio, a blurb and link to up to three of your previous publications. Submit as usual via: https://apublishersperspective.blogspot.com/2023/03/submissions.html

Fast track 4

This will have to stay in the queue, I’m afraid BUT if we approve of it we can miss out the editorial stages. This is where we can bring your out of print book back to life. We may even take it on if we think it needs editorial input. Submit in the normal way. https://apublishersperspective.blogspot.com/2023/03/submissions.html 

Crowd Funded project

If you are willing to work with us on crowd-funding your project, please indicate that in your submission. We will run a crowd-funding project for two months and use whatever funds we raise to, in this order,:

·         Shorten your publishing schedule

·         Give you a more dynamic launch

·         Get you on to higher royalties faster

Thursday 25 April 2024

Playing Together

 



How we came to publish this one

We have already published Linda Flynn multiple times; we are familiar with her  work and we also know that she works well with us during the editorial process. This  is hardly surprising; she also edits for us.

 

The title

It is such an apt title; the book shows lots of examples of how children can play together rather than being glued to a screen 24/7.

.   

Some notes about the process

This text was submitted as an author and illustration collaboration. So the book was in effect designed as well. Certainly we proof read the text and then some more time was spent in design making sure the pictures and text work well, that the pictures bleed where they need to and that pages work correctly.

The cover

The cover illustration was of course provided by the illustrator. It is the same as one of the illustrations inside but perhaps because it is bigger and printed on glossy card it is lighter and brighter.  

Some notes about style

As ever with picture books the illustrations tell far more of the story. The text is minimal in any case. Pictures are sometimes several to a page. Sometimes a picture takes up a whole page. There are a few examples of pictures bleeding across two pages but there are no complete double page spreads.      

Who we think the reader is

This book is good for the preschool child who will “read” the text with the aid of a caring adult. Certainly the pictures offer opportunities for conversations be shared between child and adult. The author and illustrator have taken the book into schools where it has been well received and in some circumstances it may be suitable for Key Stage 1. .  

What else

A percentage of the royalties goes to Medical Detection Dogs. This charity trains dogs to detect the odour from disease in the fight against cancer, Parkinsons disease and bacterial infections, as well as training Medical Alert Assistance Dogs.    

 

Review copies

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

Find your copy here  

 



Saturday 20 April 2024

Lancashire Writers of Today 2023

 


How we came to publish this one

The LAA took the decision to publish its competition entries in an annual anthology.  2022 was successful so we followed the same pattern again.     


The title

The committee thought of a few and then we voted on it. The replaces the former The Record.   

Some notes about the process

Once the stories were formatted in a Word document, we did a quick proof read. Then we prepared the camera ready PDF which we passed to the authors to proof read.  Once any alterations were made according to the authors’ suggestions, we produced a second camera ready PDF which one of our editors proof-read.  

The cover

This was from our photographic competition. One of the instructions was to have a focal point on the right with plenty of space on the left for the blurb. We said that it would be fine to have the focal point on the left and we could flip the picture round. If you look carefully at the cover you will see that the picture is flipped; you can’t get that view of the Blackpool Tower. No one has commented yet!. Just a few days before the book was due out I attended a book event of one of our members. His cover had almost the same view of the Blackpool Tower. Ah well. There is no copyright on subjects for book covers.     

Some notes about style

This quote form Nick Oldam’s Foreword probably says enough: “And this year’s anthology is a stunning reflection of those talents, in which you will find a plethora of work which by its very nature showcases both the aims of the LAA and the individual creativity of writers who are members of an association which gives voice and opportunity to so many.”

Who we think the reader is

No doubt the friends, family, fans and followers of the authors in the collection will be interested in this and all those other people who care about Lancashire and what it  can produce.  

What else

For the 2024 collection we are going to include author bios.

Review copies

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

 Find your copy 

Cover image competition 2024

Find out more about the LAA 

  

 


Monday 8 April 2024

Old Man Jasperson by Jim Bates

 



How we came to publish this one

Jim submits to us often and is a frequently published by us. This is one of our ‘fast track’ books; all of the stories in the collection have bene pre-edited, either by us or by another publisher.

The title

This is the title of one of the stories in the collection. This is a common way of finding a title for a collection of short stories. Often it will be the same as the title of the first story as is the case here. Sometimes it might be a story from elsewhere in the book, perhaps the strongest story or the most representative one.    

Some notes about the process

As the stories were pre-edited we only needed to do a proof read. Well, actually four. The author does one and an editor does another after the author has completed theirs. We also run a couple of technical edits before the author and editor check.  

The cover

Jim’s brother supplied the art work for the cover. It is rather an effective impression of Old Man Jasperson.

Some notes about style

There is quite a mixture of stories here though all of them are told in Jim’s distinctive voice.   

Who we think the reader is

Jim has many fans and followers. Those readers who like a literary voice may also be tempted by these.

What else

This is one of the first of our ‘fast track’ books. We’ve used Amazon KDP for the paperback. We nearly always do this for fast track though there are a few exceptions. In addition, it’s easier to sell overseas via Amazon KDP so it’s a good option here.  

Review copies

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

Find your copy here 


Thursday 4 April 2024

Author Kit


 

We tend not to write this into contracts as we keep tweaking the methodology but if you are planning a series of events – for example, perhaps you’re arranging a series of school visits -   and book signings, we can work with an author’s kit for you. This means we can let you have a set of books upfront and you pay us after you have sold them.

We normally suggest supplying twenty and we top them up for you between visits. This could bring you into the 50+ bracket that means you buy the books at 65% of RRP.  

It’s important to remember that we use print-on-demand and so you should allow at least ten days for this initial order and between orders; two whole weeks may be better.   

You pay us the 65% / 75% of RRP once you have it.

If you don’t manage to sell all of the books and you can’t afford the 65% / 75% of RRP, no worries.  We just allow it against royalties until it has cleared. And only on that book; you still get your royalties on the other titles you have with us.

We can also work directly with a bookshop or other retail outlet at 65% of RRP. This is on a sale or return basis but we ask that you pick up the returns. Otherwise the shop may just bin them! I’m afraid we can’t afford that.   

It may be that even if you supply the books yourself, the retailer likes them to go through their till. You might invoice them for the books then pay us or we can invoice them directly. Unfortunately this often means we have to chase.  

You can also get people to order directly from us at:  https://www.thebridgetowncafebooksshop.co.uk/

Again we need a ten day lead. 

All worth considering?

Tuesday 2 April 2024

Tales from the Upper Room

 

How we came to publish this one

Our own Debz Hobbs-Wyatt put this one together. It is a compilation of work from a creative-writing group that she runs near her home.  

The title

The “upper room” come for the place where they meet: in the upper room of St Nicholas’ Church on Canvey Island.     

Some notes about the process

Three editors, three members of the Canvey Writers St Nicholas Group worked on editing this. Contributions are also by its members and much of the editing no doubt also went on informally as part of the normal activity of the group.  

The cover

The cover’s intriguing staircase invites you into the book; what awaits in the upper room? Which stories and poems will delight you in the book?

Some notes about style

There is quite a mixture of pieces here – stories, poems, flash fiction. Each piece is different and each piece has the unique voice of its author.  

Who we think the reader is

Certainly these stories are for readers who like to be intrigued. No doubt friends, family, fans and followers of the Canvey Writers will enjoy these offerings as will many of our fan base of readers.   

What else

The profit share on the book supports a charity: Havens Hospices:
www.havenshospices.org.uk who help adults and children in Essex. Their message is simple, but one we should all heed. It’s about ‘making every day count.’

Review copies

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

Find you copy here 

Monday 25 March 2024

The Best of CaféLit 12

 



How we came to publish this one

We publish a “Best of” CafeLit book every year. For this book I chose all of the stories. I tried to keep a balance across the months. I also tried to keep a balance of long and short, darker and lighter stories and of new authors and old favourites. The aim was to publish about 3000 words for each month. It took quite a while to choose but I got there in the end.    

The title

The title is generic.

Some notes about the process

Every CaféLit story is given a short copy edit before it goes on to the site. I then put all of the stories into a camera ready PDF and asked the writers to check their own stories. We made alterations according to the feed-back form writers and also gave it a technical proof read. A second PDF was produced and this was also proof read by an in-house editor.   

The cover

The cover is the same each year. However, a new colour is carefully selected each time. Our designer has a set of suitable colours he’s working through. There are about five left. I wonder what will happen then?     

Some notes about style

There are surely as many different styles as there are different authors in the book. Isn’t that part of the beauty of such a collection as this.

Who we think the reader is

Certainly these stories are for readers who like to be intrigued. The stories are very mixed so there should be something there for everyone. And a typical reader should be consuming the story at the same time as they consume their favourite beverage.         

What else

We are using Amazon KDP for this book. It makes distribution to other countries a lot easier. It’s also slightly cheaper to produce unit copies. It is a little harder to get these books into book shops but possibly they’re not the sort of book that would go into bookshop. It would be lovely to see more cafes using them.

Review copies

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

 Find in our bookshop 

 

Monday 11 March 2024

Let’s Get Writing

 



How we came to publish this one

This is my title. I’m not doing so many workshops now as everything else is keeping me busy. I’m also a member of U3A and U3A have group facilitators rather than group leaders. This is a set of materials that would make such a group facilitator’s life easier. I’m passing on what I know.      

The title

It had a much more pragmatic title before. Now, ‘Let’s Get Writing’ is a call to action.    

Some notes about the process

This text went through the normal three stages of editing and three proofs reads.  

The cover

As we do for many of our covers, we used a free and copyright-free image from Pixabay. The group in this picture and the venue they were in reminded me of some of my U3A groups.

Some notes about style

I’ve aimed to write all of this in as plain English as possible and have allowed for several ways for each session to be run.  

Who we think the reader is

These are definitely for the inexperienced writer and group leader. The suggestions are meant to be fun but also effective.  

What else

Note, if you click through and buy, you are invited to name your price. I actually enjoy this way of selling

Review copies

It’s always great if you can buy the book and give us a review. Just click on the link to be taken to our own online shop. If you would like to review and you are strapped for cash, just get in touch for a free PDF. 

      Find in our online bookshop 



Thursday 7 March 2024

Working Together


 

What about getting together with other writers who live locally and supporting each other? This can range from meeting for a coffee, forming a critique group, sharing book events or even forming a type of cooperative.  Can working together like this help you to increase sales? Can it lead to you sharing readers?

Anything you do in this way need not be limited to working with Bridge House authors. But there is the thought that we already have a network here with over 600 people receiving the monthly newsletter.

I can’t give you other people’s addresses and unless you’ve actually bought books from us I don’t even know where you are based. Even where I do know addresses it would be against GDPR rules for me to give them out. I can ask people let me know that they’re interested in this and sort you into areas. And it might be nice if we could have some volunteers to act as area organisers. I can certainly put you in contact with such people. The easiest way of all would be if you joined the Scribblers Group and you could find your tribe there. I have to invite you to the group.  Let me know if you would like to be invited.

Here are some further ideas of how you might work together. These are based on things I’ve done myself that I know have succeeded or are actions that other writer have taken that I also know have been successful.

 

Book events

Organise a joint book event with readings, Q & A and give your audience the opportunity to buy books. If six or so share this you are sharing each other’s friends, family, fans and followers.

    

Joint stalls at book fairs

Share the cost of the stall and the manning of it.

 

Mobile shop

Keep a stocked up quantity of books that you take it in turns taking to market places such as school fetes, shop until you drop events, craft fairs etc. You all get to know each other’s work. It takes some organising but it can be very helpful: again, you’re sharing a readership.

 

Shared promotional material

Produce a leaflet with you all in it. You might like to give yourselves a name – like the Bloomsbury Group,  though you can’t use that one as someone has used it already. Each of you takes that leaflet to any individual events you attend.  Again, you’re sharing a readership.

 

There are some things you can do where you don’t need to be geographically near.

 

Have an other writers’ news section in your newsletters

You could form a group of writers similar to you. You pass on your news to each other each month and include it in each other’s newsletter.

 

Book bundles  

Can you create some book bundles with writers similar to you?

 

Again a good starting point for this sort of work might be the Scribblers Group. Also look for writers who have similar work to yours in the Bridgetown Café Bookshop

How Bridge house can help

We at Bridge House often create bundles of similar books in our bookshop or in the promotional email we send out each Friday. It’s a good idea to keep an eye on both of those. It may also help you to find your tribe.

Remember too to share any news about publications, competition wins or events for us to publish in the monthly newsletter 

Royalties 2023

 


I can now confirm that everyone who has crossed the £10.00 threshold has been informed. If you’ve not heard from us you probably have a good idea of what you’ve earned because of the monthly statements that have been issued. However, if you want a copy of your exact earnings, please get in touch. Remember, if you haven’t crossed the £10.00 threshold, your earnings will be held over and added to next year and in any case you may wish to donate them to our charity: Medical Search Dogs, though there is still the option for MSF for Covid 19 and Aftermath. If you want your royalties to go to those charities please let me know by 23.59 BST 31 March 2024. As ever you can use any amount of accrued royalty, no matter how small, to offset against book purchases either right now or in the future. Just ask before you order.       

Remember also if you have had an advance, that has to be earned out before you receive royalty payments. Also, any returns from events or unsold author kit must be covered, though we do make every effort to sell that on your behalf.             

A reminder of what some of our collections have earned:          

CafeLit stories each earned £1.37

The Best of CafeLit 12 stories each earned 80p.

Gifted stories each earned £1.18    

Crackers continues to sell well, particularly the e-book in India. Amazon keeps getting behind it. Those writers who only have one story with us and that is in Crackers should cross that threshold in 2024. For those who are in other publications, Crackers contributes a lot each year.

This brings me on to my next point. How to earn well and regularly with us. Well its’s a few points really and it works best if you do at least two of these things.  

·         Submit regularly to CafeLit – even if you’re rejected a few times.  Remember our “decline” notice encourages you to resubmit your piece and send us new work. And note that the e–zine is actually our top earner.    

·         Consider writing a CafeLit serial – see the work of Jim Bates, Mason Bushell, Janet Howson and Dawn Knox. For more details about how this works look at the Short Cut below. 

·         Submit to our anthologies – and don’t give up doing so if you’re rejected one year.

Submit a single author collection to us