Friday, 29 December 2017
The House on Schellberg Street was first published by Crooked Cat in 2014. It has now gone out of print and has been taken over by Chapeltown. Chapeltown will also publish the other books in the next few years.
This is the first novel in a cycle of stories set in mainly the 1940s and having strong links to the Holocaust and ordinary lives in Nazi Germany. There is plenty of information, too, about other decades in the 20th and even the 19th century in the stories, and about life in England and at the front in both world wars.
Gill James used a sabbatical from the University of Salford in 2011 to conduct much of the research needed for this project. It was a very fruitful sabbatical: it has led to at least five novels, several academic papers and a whole project which includes workshops in schools.
There is a whole web site devoted to the project. Take a look here.
This new edition has a new cover, though it is in the style of the other one. The glossary has been extended. The blurb more explicitly invites engagement with those interested in the 1940s, World War II and the Holocaust. The whole text has also been lightly reedited. Crooked Cat had done a very good job but even in three years language and fashions in writing change. We made just a few little tweaks.
Get your copy of the second edition here:
Tuesday, 18 April 2017
Friday, 6 January 2017
Cyber launches can be great for inviting to you to your book launch a lot of people who are not geographically near to you ,who are pressed for time or who don’t like travelling.
Use Evenbrite or Facebook Events to create the invite. Use your own time zone but make sure that is clear to everyone. You can make the event all day long or just restrict it to a couple of hours. If the later, a good time is 6.30 p.m. to 8.30 p.m. Invite all of your friends and put it on your Facebook timeline and on Twitter at least once a day, at different times of the day. If you use Eventbrite you’ll need to create a Facebook page for the event as well. This page will remain active after the event. If you use a Facebook event, you might still like to create a page as well for post-party discussions and the party anyway is a great opportunity to invite people to like your page.
Prepare in advance
Get as much ready as you can in advance. Save all of your links into a file and all of your files into a folder. You can actually start posting ahead of the event. Whet your guests appetite.
Make up about half a dozen questions to do with the book. They shouldn’t be only found in the book – you may want to offer the book as a prize. They can be to do with the background of the book or easily look-up-able in the Look Inside bit on Amazon.
Here is an example for Salford Stories:
Pub quiz questions:
1. Look at the cover of the book. Where is this photo taken from?
2. Can you name a story that is to do with water?
3. Can you name a pub mentioned in the book? Hint: you don’t need to have read it yet.
4. Salford always was a very forward-looking city. It was the first to provide three public amenities. What were they?
5. Easy one now. Famous painter from Salford. Hint: look at the pictures in the "Dirty Old Town" video. And Salford's theatre?
6. Here's a tricky one: why is the Ship Canal called the Manchester Ship Canal when most of it's in Salford? There are many acceptable answers.
Notice how number 6 is a tie-breaker?
Notice also how there is also a subtle call to action here. The link on the title of the book takes them straight to the Amazon page.
If you’re working on an anthology, encourage each contributor to offer one prize and one question. Suggestions for prizes: another of the writer’s books, stationery, an object to do with the theme of the story, a service.
Assign each guest a number as they come into the “room”. About twenty minutes before the end use a random number generator to pick a number. Again, if working with an anthology, you should be able to get a lot of prizes.
- Find music that goes with your book.
- Find excerpts of films that are similar
- Post a few extracts of your text. Imagine doing one five minute reading every hour.
- Give some back ground to the book – just as you would if you were chatting live at a party.
Food and drink
This sounds a little crazy, I know. But yes, post up pictures of the food and drink you would like to offer at this party. It helps to set the mood and you never know if you put up a picture of something your viewer fancies and they go and find that or something similar, they might be more inclined to stay longer and buy a copy of the book. Take care as always about copyright. Free pictures are available from Pixa Bay
Call to action
Make it easy for your visitors to buy the book. Avoid “Buy Now” buttons though you can have one of those on your Facebook page. Perhaps have a pinned notice at the top of your Facebook event or page linking to Amazon and every time you mention the book create another hyperlink.
How to be a host
Try to respond to every comment. If it gets hectic, at least “like” comments. If it’s slow, try to post something new at least every ten minutes for a short launch, every twenty for minutes for a longer one. You can also post on your Facebook timeline and your Twitter feed reminding your followers of the invite.
Give a good sense of starting and ending the party just as you would in real life.
How to be a guest
You don’t need to be there the whole of the time but do pop in. If you intend to buy your friend’s book, this is probably a good time to do it. Seeing the sales go up will boost her morale. You can set your Facebook to notify you of all messages and you can get on with something else, only responding to what really interests you. You can also of course take along a contribution to the food or drink. Again use Pixa Bay.
Make this a real opportunity to network. Invite your guests to sign up for your newsletter / mailing list. Do you have one? I recommend Mailchimp. The free account goes a long way and by the time you need to pay you can probably more than afford it.
RoyaltiesWe offer a profit share royalty. For instance, if a book is sold at £8.00, and the printing and shipping costs come to £4.00, the author gets £2.00 and the company gets £2.00. There are no costs for e-books though we do not receive the full price you see online.
We have to cover certain costs before we start paying these:
Set-up = £50.00
Yearly £8.40 to have the book distributed worldwide.
One copy to British Library.
Five copies to the deposit libraries.
We have to sell roughly 150 copies to do this and we normally manage that within one week.
Note, 50% of profits from CafeLit books go to the Creative Cafe Project. The other 50% are shared among the authors.
Royalties are calculated 1 January - 31 December and paid by the following 31 March. They are paid once they are over £10.00. You're probably not going to get rich quick, but who knows? You can also opt to donate to the Creative Cafe Project.
And there are other things you can do ....
Author discountWe offer authors a 25% discount. If you buy five or more copies in one go we waive shipping charges. Royalties are still offered on these purchases. You can use your discount on any Chapeltown book, not just your own. You may sell your book on for any price between what you have paid and the RRP. You can give them away if you like. Please, though, encourage people to write reviews.
Book tour kitIf you can arrange your own book tour, we will provide you with twenty books up front. Shops can put them though their till and we'll invoice the shop. Then we'll top up your supply. Please leave at least ten days between venues. At the end of the tour, you can buy any remaining books at cost, or wait until you can sell them and buy them at normal author discount. We can if necessary allow this against royalties.
If you are or become a prolific seller, we can offer more books on this arrangement.
You get one copy of the book free.
A list of things to do once your book is out
Public Lending Right
Register your book for PLR. Even if you’ve only written a chapter, you can get some PLR. Don’t forget to register for Irish PLR at the same time.
Author’s Licensing and Collecting Agency Register here. This can be very lucrative as well for any articles you have had published.
Other web sites
Are you a member of a professional organisation such as the Society of Authors or the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. Are you attached to a university and might they consider this research?
CV and Publication list
Update this every time as you get out get new publications. It’s not a bad idea to keep your CV on Linked-in. Download a copy every time you update.
Your own web site
Not got one yet? There are arguments that say you can have one before you’re published. Certainly as soon as you’re published you should have one. Weebly, one-com, Blogger and WordPress offer cheap / free solutions. You really want one that you can author yourself, though it’s a good idea to get advice form an expert when you set up the template. And do get a proper domain name.
Set up a Facebook page
You might consider having one for you as an author and then a separate one for each book. Keep it going forever. Have a call to action button on the landing page i.e. a link to where visitors can buy the book.
Facebook reminds you if you haven’t been to your page for a while.
Consider writing a blog if you don’t already. It might be about writing or it might be about your book. You might keep a blog for posting excerpts of your work. You might keep separate blogs for separate items – I do. You can also share posts with other bloggers and go on blog tours.
Make a book trailer for each publication. This is so easy with Windows Movie Maker. Post it on You Tube, Take care not to use copyright material. Free pictures are available at Free Pics and free music at Free Music Archive.
You can get Book Buzzer to tweet your book weekly or monthly. Make sure you put up plenty of ordinary friendly tweets to stop this seeming spammy.
Register with Arthur Central. This is on Amazon and allows Amazon readers to find you
Make postcards. Book covers look so good on a post card. Vista Print is a good option.