Celebrations and Literary Endeavours

This Week I’m…

Enjoying the sunshine. For one day only, the Celsius hit more than 18 degrees. It was glorious. More of this, please.

Supporting independent publishers, a la Comely Bank Publishing. Lucy’s Lloyd’s Russian Doll is out now, as is The Blogger Who Came in From The Cold. Available direct from the publishers here.

Peeing to help medical research. I spotted a poster recently, recruiting volunteers for research into the effects of the low-carb diet. I like to feel I can be useful so I stuck my hand up and said ‘yes please’, secretly hoping they might do tests and say, ‘Well, you ARE a special snowflake aren’t you? Never seen anyone with so much this, that or the other.’

Part of the initial sign-up involves 24 hours of pee collection. Oof, really? I said to myself. Not sure those flasks will hold everything…

Attending literary events, a la Booked 2018, West Dunbartonshire’s annual festival in celebration of books and writing. The Diary of a Bookseller by Shaun Bythell is described as ‘a wry and hilarious account of life in Scotland’s biggest second-hand bookshop and the band of eccentrics and book-obsessives who work there’.

Celebrating my wedding anniversary—five years ago and the original raison d’être for this blog. (Flaw in the plan was that a run-up-to-the-wedding blog has a shelf life.) Flowers, chocolates and maybe a wee trip out this weekend beckons…

Debut Novel Giveaway at Edinburgh Festival

weekend limited copiesROLAND Tye’s debut novel, Weekender, will officially be published by Comely Bank Publishing on 19 September. Advanced copies are currently available from selected bookshops.

Weekender follows various characters over a weekend set in Edinburgh’s recent past, the story moving from one character to the next as their paths cross. Over three days it explores a city of contrasts: sex, drugs, violence, love, family, betrayal, redemption and despair.

Roland, who was born in Edinburgh in 1979, originally thought of the idea back in 2000 and the journey to publication has been as compelling as the novel itself.

Roland said: “I never imagined it would take this long to get Weekender finished and published.

“They say writing a novel can be a long journey but I seem to have taken it to a new level! A huge thanks goes to the amazing people at Comely Bank Publishing who turned my dream into a wonderful reality.”

THE CAMPAIGN

As it’s festival time and Edinburgh is chock full of artistic and literary talent, Roland is embarking on a promotional campaign over a weekend (obviously!) that will see limited edition copies pop-up around the city between 19th and 21st August.

The aim is get Weekender travelling around the world, with finders asked to read their copy and then leave it where someone else will pick it up.

People will be able to log and track the journey on social media using the hash tags, #discoverweekender #ifoundweekender, and also @weekendernovel, and @comelybankpub

Comely Bank Publishing was set up by author, Gordon Lawrie, in 2012 to give Scottish writers additional options for self-publishing and for writers to share their experiences and expertise. It’s a publishing co-operative that creates opportunities for Scottish authors to publish works of interest using 21st century publishing options, including eBooks and print-on-demand.

Gordon said: “I set up Comely Bank Publishing because I genuinely believe that too many authors are failing to have their works published.

“The future of literature can only be saved if bright new talent is nurtured as it used to be.

“Here at Comely Bank Publishing, we want to share our experiences so that others who want to self-publish can benefit from what we have learned along the way.”

Other Comely Bank Publishing Titles include Four Old Geezers and a Valkyrie by Gordon Lawrie, The Man from Outremer by Dave Burke, Katie and the Deelans by Emma Baird, and Our Best Attention by Jane Tulloch.

 

 

https://www.facebook.com/events/1282229931795190/

http://www.comelybankpublishing.com/writers-diaries/discover-secret-copies-of-weekender-at-this-years-edinburgh-festival

For more information and to obtain high-resolution pictures, please emailrolandtye@comelybankpublishing.com or phone 07979 121150

 

 

Comely Bank Publishing is based at:

Comely Bank Publishing, 87/6 Comely Bank Avenue, Edinburgh EH4 1EU

Email: info@comelybankpublishing.com

Telephone: (+44) 0131 332 3470

Website: www.comelybankpublishing.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/comelybankpub

Twitter @comelybankpub

#SuperThursday

brilliant booksYes, #SuperThursday – it’s a thing… Apparently, today the market will be flooded with new books.

No doubt many of those books will have the might of the publishing industry behind them. They will have glossy covers and a big marketing budget so you will see the book or the author everywhere for a few weeks as they promote their book.

I’m self-published so I rely on kind friends and family (and they were very kind and generous indeed) and promoting myself via the medium of social media.

Anyway, as it is #SuperThursday, here is a little plug on behalf of independent artists… You can buy all of the above books via the Comely Bank Publishing website, and through Amazon, Kobo and Smashwords.

Here’s a little blurb on what each book is about:

Four Old Geezers and a Valkyrie by Gordon Lawrie is an entertaining romp set in Edinburgh. Brian, aka ‘Captain’ is a reiteed teacher who has split acrimoniously from his wife. A chance meeting with his best man encourages Captain to dig out his 40-year-old guitar and leads to a series of hilarious jam sessions in a back garden in Merchiston during which they record a couple ofptain’s own songs.

Posting these on YouTube, they prove to be surprise hits, sending the four ‘musicians’ and their lawyer into a series of encounters with a tiny manager, a boy-band and a female Polish dancer, a cigar-puffing earl and a famous rock band.

The Man from Outremer by T.D. Burke  is a swashbuckling tale of treachery and action. Set largely in Scotland at the time of the early Scottish Wars of Independence around 1300 AD, it follows Derwent, a Scottish Crusader-turned-clergyman, and his involvement first of all in the Fall of Acre in Palestine, then later as Prior of Roslin in Scotland.

Against Derwent stands his nemesis, an English spymaster who is desperate to conceal a dark secret from the Crusader days. In time, they will confront each other in battle at Roslin.

Katie and the Deelans by Emma Baird is the story of Katie Harper and her friends, ordinary teenagers who go to the worst school in the country. Life, however, takes a turn for the extraordinary when Katie and her friends take up magic lessons.

Taught by the fabulous Miss D’Azzler and the enigmatic Jazz, Katie and her friends find out that they are deelans – humans who can change into cats and who have magical powers. Katie and her friends enjoy the first few months of being deelans by practising their magical skills and trying to improve the school and life for those living in the sink housing estates nearby.

Our Best Attention by Jane Tulloch will be published in January 2016. Set in Murrays, a fictional Edinburgh department store in the 1970s, OBA tells the story of the store’s attempts to adjust itself to modern times through its various staff members and customers.

 

 

 

How to Self-Publish…

If it looks like a book...

If it looks like a book…

OK, OK – this one is a bit of a misnomer in a blatant attempt to try and get more search engine hits. I am, in reality, a brazen, attention-seeking hussy who will stop at nothing in my quest to make the world sit up and notice.

(I should have called this post how to self-publicise, rather than publish really.)

Anyway, I am jolly excited today because publication of my own book is indeed imminent. It would be foolish to name a date, but the moment of holding a hard copy of Katie and the Deelans in my hands creeps ever closer. Excitement reigns in the highheelsandpinkglitter household.

Yup, the gent on the left demonstrates the ease of getting published first time.

Yup, the gent on the left demonstrates the ease of getting published first time.

There’s a saying about press & PR (it being dead an’ all) that companies or brands are no longer content trying to get published, they are publishers in themselves and the same can apply to writers. Why bother with the faff that is agent-hunting [cue: different submission versions required for each, plus the wait for replies, plus the generic rejection emails] when you can cut to the chase AND not have to hand over a fair whack of your sales?

Thanks to mywritingblog.com for this image.

Thanks to mywritingblog.com for this image.

Really, the title of this post is – why self-publish? There’s an excellent guide here as to the pros and cons of self-publishing versus traditional publishing. Naturally, as it suits my purposes (and my efforts with traditional publishing have so far yielded a big fat zilch) I’ve chosen to focus on the drawbacks of traditional publishing (and thanks to Kevin Martin-Smith for this info):

Traditional Publishing Drawbacks

It’s slow: It takes somewhere between 9-18 months for a book to be released once it is submitted to a publisher, an infinity in the digital world.

It’s unfair: Publishers take the lion’s share of royalties, usually 85-92%. That means most authors earn about a buck per book, or less. Publishers hog roughly 70% of electronic royalties, for a product that has almost no production or distribution costs.

It’s outdated: They are not social-media savvy; they may have powerful inroads to traditional media, like TV and print magazines, but those things are increasingly irrelevant to book sales.

It’s ineffective: They do not give most authors a very big marketing push, or sometimes any marketing push at all.

It’s short-lived: Most authors’ books will be in bookstores for a few weeks and then get pulled from the shelves when they don’t sell very well, leaving it entirely up to Amazon sales. This begs the question: why not just use Amazon?

It’s not cost-effective: The vast majority of authors don’t make any real bankable money on their books.

Thanks to Kevin Martin-Smith for the above info.

My own route to self-publishing goes like this… Write a book. Phew – that’s the difficult bit over and done with, hmm? Ah no. Re-write book once. Re-write book twice (this time stripping out a lot of excess stuff, even though it made me want to cry).

Use social media. I found a publisher through LinkedIn, specifically the small and perfectly formed Comely Bank Publishing, a publishing firm aimed at creating opportunities for Scottish-based authors.

CBP’s modus operandi is:

Comely Bank Publishing aims to create opportunities for local Edinburgh-area authors to publish works of interest using twenty-first century publishing options, including ebooks and print on demand.

We genuinely believe that too many authors are failing to have their works published because publishers and publishing agents have become too cautious, grasping at poorer-quality work simply because it carries the name of an established author or a bankable name such as a sports star, and that the future of literature can only be saved if bright new talent is nurtured as it used to be.

[There are specific resources on this site designed to help new authors think about some of the issues surrounding publishing.]

Thirdly, find a professional proof-reader. I looked through elance. I work on elance so seeing it from the other side was interesting and enlightening (and I also picked up some tips for how to structure my proposals from now on).

And next? Well, next is apply the changes from the proof-reader, make a cover design decision and then… PUBLISH. And flippin’ self-promote like mad.

 

Additional image thanks to wikipedia. Mywritingblog.com available here.

 

 

Keep Calm and Carry On…

Don't sweat the small stuff...

Don’t sweat the small stuff…

I publish Friday Flash fiction stories on a weekly basis – it’s great discipline and often a brain break from writing about bathrooms, display cabinets and more. Anyway, today’s effort is more of a bit of reflection. And 90% true. I’ll leave it up to you to decide which of the two scenarios described actually happened…

 

Weesht! A good Scots word is weesht. It means – be quiet, stop whining, calm down or all three.

The things I have to weesht about today are: jumping three miles into the air with rage when I realised hubbie had left tissues in the pair of jeans I have just washed; and screaming like a banshee at the poor call centre employee who just had the misfortune to ring me.

First world problems don’t you reckon? Perspective is a wonderful thing and I prescribe a little perusal of world news as the antidote.

 

 

If you too would like to join the 100-word Friday Flash Fiction challenge, please feel free to visit Friday Flash Fiction set up by publisher Gordon Lawrie and the Friday Flash Fiction wordpress blog.