Tag Archives: printing

Indie Publishing (again)

So the manuscript is done, copy-edited, proof-read and corrected for the 100th time and, for me, the hard graft now starts – the work of getting it out there and (maybe) read by some.

I will still be publishing through createspace/Kindle in November giving me a paperback and e-book and an easy route onto Amazon, but this time I decided to do a short print run with a local printer as well. I have a number of reasons for this. Firstly, I am not comfortable with ‘selling my soul’ to Amazon and am keen to put money into the local economy. Secondly, though the author price from createspace is reasonable, postage and packaging bulk orders puts the unit cost up and the discount is pretty much lost. Thirdly, I want advance copies to send out for review and also for a number of events I have lined up.

I have been working, therefore, with local printer, Mike, at McRay Press (https://www.facebook.com/McRayPress). And I’ve enjoyed the experience.

I’ve always been fascinated by what I call real printing. I was editor of the university newspaper and we had an old fashioned press which we would crank into action in the early hours of the morning to get our rag out to the ‘masses’ the following day. And I remember my first placement on a newspaper, The Morning News in Plymouth. I walked into the printing area which was below the newsroom and was awed by the huge machines and drums. Unfortunately for my love of printing presses, this was the 1980s and everyone was moving over to digital. During my placement the printers went on strike as they saw their skilled work being downgraded and foresaw how, in the future, it would be taken over by computers and the journalists/editors themselves.

Mike is, of course, all digital. But there’s something of those hot-leading, off-set days about Art of Survival Coverhim and his office. Maybe it is the smell of paper and ink. He has also designed for me a rather fab cover.

Once the copies come through, I will be sending them out for review, to national and local press and to those kind people of the blogging sphere who wrote about The Art of the Imperfect (http://goo.gl/z7HFgz). I have decided to do a Goodreads giveaway and a Kindle promotion on this, my first novel, in the hope it may create some kind of buzz around the launch of my second.

I also have various events set up: 24th October, Book Corner in Saltburn (11am-1pm), signing and short talk on crime writing (http://www.bookcornershop.co.uk/);  17th November, Lifeboat Ladies luncheon talk on crime writing; 21st November, WH Smith, Scarborough, 11am-3pm, book signing; Filey library, talk on crime writing, date TBC.

And finally, comes the work of formatting The Art of Survival for its Amazon launch (21st November). Createspace now takes word docs, so that should be fairly straightforward, and it also has a function which offers to format for Kindle. I will give this a go, even though the forums say it’s not very good. My novel uses italics a lot and this tends to disappear when saving from word into html, so I may have to do what I did last time, slowly and painfully format for Kindle myself.

As I say, this is the part I find hardest about being an indie publisher. It is wonderful, therefore, that my lovely ‘first’ readers have come back with feedback on the third in my crime series, The Art of Breathing. This means that, in between all the above, I can get back to what I really love: writing!


Doing something different

Deciding to explore and nourish my creativity in a different way, I attended a print and book making workshop at Crescent Arts (http://www.crescentarts.co.uk) this weekend.

Led by Jade Montserrat, the two days were leisurely, relaxed and inspiring. We created plates using all sorts of ephemera and carborundum to add text, with some very pleasing effects. Being completely inexperienced, I had no idea how what I had done would come out in print, so the ‘reveal’ when I lifted my plate from the paper after it had gone through the press was exciting.

poetry plate oct13 001Plate made from ephemera & text written free hand in mirror writing. And (right) resulting print.

poetry print oct13 001




I had imagined being able to print up my poems in this way, but, of course, this method is not suited to that. I do, however, think that I might be able use it to create decorative pages to interleaf with poems.

In any case, I believe it is always refreshing to try a different creative activity, which will certainly spark something new in my chosen form.