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