Tuesday, 29 September 2009

If I Never displayed in Borders...

Featured in Exclusively Independent's last cycle, was the brilliant If I Never by Gary William Murning.

As well as displayed in independent bookshops and libraries for EI, it's great to see Teesside Borders supporting their local author!

If your title has been featured in Exclusively Independent, currently in any high street or independent promotions, do let us know and we'll post it up on the site for you.


Monday, 28 September 2009

Paddy Kelly's Blog

When Lauren Parsons of Legend Press asked me to write this blog, she very kindly gave me carte blanc on what to write about. Being a writer means I have an ego secondary only to that of an actor with political ambitions, and so thoughts of my first outlines were centred around how great I am and how stupendous my latest project, Operation Underworld, is.

Sure the novel is incredibly well written, boldly encompassing a timelessly complicated topic in a digestible yet entertaining format, despite the fact that it is the first novel ever written on the subject, and is only the first in a series of four, but that's not what I want to talk about.

In 17 years of professional writing in five countries, this is the first time I've dealt with an Indie Publisher.

For my sins, in a previous life I have been condemned to live in Dublin. Nice people, relatively good choice of cuisine, and all the latest films. But the literary scene?

The reality of life for a writer here is that a one armed blind man in a dark room trying to shove a pound of hot, melted butter up a wild cat's rear end would have a better chance of success then anyone trying to get published here. So when Underworld was picked up by the London Indie Legend Press, I was pleasantly surprised.

Then to discover their joint project, Exclusively Independent, and that British libraries have enough respect for writers that we actually get royalties when ever some one checks our books out of the library, cynicism, along with my cantankorosity, began to wane. However slightly.

My dealings in the last six months with Legend Press, have been personal, direct and straight forward. Unlike several other international big labels I've dealt with there is definitely a feeling of human contact, personal attention and a sense that things will get done.

In light of the current Google controversy, who like a planetary Borg Hoover travel the earth's literary universe sucking up anything in their path in the sole interest of quantification, the ramparts of Indie Publishers appear to be the last bastion of humanity in the ever-diminishing world of literature.

I write this completely without a secondary agenda, (such as they might pick up the second book in my series) and say that I am pleasantly surprised.

Thank you for listening, this has been one man's opinion. Now if you'll excuse me, I've got a bastard from publisher in N.Y. who owes me a royalty cheque from a year ago. Time to call my cousin Guido from Brooklyn.


Friday, 25 September 2009

Robin Price's Blog

Currently featured in Exclusively Independent is Godfrey's Ghost by Nicolas Ridley. Written by Arnold Ridley's son, the biographical novel is engaging and moving. Don't just take it from me, here is Mogzilla's own Robin Price talking about the novel.

We've just heard the news that Godfrey's Ghost has been selected as an Exclusively Independent pick for Oct 09.

I'm absolutely delighted that the very first title on our new Mogzilla Life imprint should get recognised in this way. We started the Mogzilla Life imprint alongside our children's list to tell interesting real life stories that might otherwise have been overlooked. Godfrey's Ghost is a biography of Arnold Ridley, (best known as Private Godfrey in Dad's Army but also the author of the classic play The Ghost Train and much more!)

Having won a July 09 EI pick for Boudicat - the fourth book in the Spartapuss series, we already appreciate what an impact that being picked for an EI can have. It's been fantastic in terms of raising the profile of our titles with libraries and independent bookshops.

Finally, author Nic Ridley (son of Arnold Ridely) has uploaded lots of brilliant pictures and stuff that didn't make it into the book - so please check it out at http://www.mogzilla.co.uk/godfreysghost

Robin Price, Mogzilla


Thursday, 24 September 2009

Mention in The Bookseller...

The final selection was announced in The Bookseller yesterday, which was great to see!

September's selection of Exclusively Independent titles has been finalised, with fiction, non-fiction and travel guides appearing in the line up.

Three titles from Honno Press appear alongside ones from Osprey, Mogzilla, Sourcebooks, Oxygen, Tony Potter, and scheme-organisers Legend Press.

To read the full article, visit http://www.thebookseller.com/news/97848-page.html

It's always nice to read the project being covered, and highlighting the selection to Bookseller readers.


Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Corinne Souza's blog

Previously featured in Exclusively Independent was Jasmine's Tortoise by Corinne Souza, published by Picnic Publishing. A fantastic read, the title was featured for it's dynamism, creativity and thrilling read.

"Lauren Parsons’ manners are too good: she asked me to blog on JASMINE’S TORTOISE knowing I was in a complete twitch about whether or not the book would be selected in the Exclusively Independent ballot. I guess it was her way of offering a sort of consolation prize if it wasn’t. In the event, it was. The relief was indescribable. To date, all Picnic Publishing titles submitted have been selected. It would have been mortifying to deliver the only dud to break the 100% success record.

Having accepted, and looking for blogging inspiration - otherwise known as plagiarism - I checked out the EI website: up popped a panel of national flags for people to click on if they need the site translated. As a result, what was meant to take two seconds took far longer as I tested my flag knowledge. I came unstuck on the Korean one. Needless to say, I also forgot what the flags were for and was just about to zap off a letter to complain that the Union flag was not flying when I remembered: translation, you idiot – the site is already in English . . .

‘Translation’ is how I see fiction: a vehicle to translate different lives and neighbourhoods into street history. For this reason, in JASMINE’S TORTOISE which is a spook thriller, I have stripped out the usual genre world of technology, military hardware and operative, placing a civilian cosmopolitan community at the heart of the story. It is about the espionage once ‘enjoyed’ by consenting adults of the major Cold War states and the impact this had on those who did not consent: children, families, neighbours. Traditionally, in fiction and non-fiction, the innocents caught up in espionage have always been an add-on whereas in my book they are central. The novel is part spook thriller, part who-dunnit. It covers forty years and has a myriad of characters. One reader commented: ‘Once I got beyond the pain barrier, I was absolutely hooked.’ I hope you are too.

My thanks to Lauren Parsons of Legend Press, as well as the Arts Council, for the Exclusively Independent Initiative and this opportunity to talk about my novel.

With best wishes, Corinne

See http://www.picnic-publishing.co.uk/ to find out what other fantastic books, Picnic offer.


Tuesday, 22 September 2009

New Titles and Submission Call Open!

So we are now into the next cycle of Exclusively Independent, and the panel have selected the new titles!

Once I was a Cardboard box, now I'm a book about Polar Bears! by Anton Poitier (Potter Books)
Operation Underworld by Paddy Kelly (Legend Press)
Hector's Talent for Miracles by Kitty Harri (Honno Press)
In Her Element edited by Jane MacNamee (Honno Press)
Bran Hambric The Farfield Curse by Kaleb Nation (Sourcebooks Inc)
Brushes and Bayonets by Lucinda Gosling (Osprey Publishing)
City-lit Paris (Oxygen Books)
Godfrey's Ghost: From Father to Son by Nicolas Ridley (Mogzilla)
A Woman's Work is Never Done by Elizabeth Andrews (Honno Press)

We hope you like the new selection, we try to keep it as varied and diverse as possible. Do let us know what you think!

The submission call for new titles has now opened. To submit, simply email me the AI and ms of up to three titles. The call closes October 5th.


Monday, 14 September 2009

Bookshop blog - Scarthin Books

Scarthin Books

We have many different independent bookshops taking part in Exclusively Independent, and Scarthin Bookshop in Derbyshire, have been kind enough to let us feature the store here for you. So here is some information about the bookshop, along with many photos in the album…enjoy!

Owned by David Mitchell, Scarthin Books was founded in 1974 and hasn’t changed ownership since. The bookshop boasts a wide collection of 41,000 different titles including 9,000 childrens books and approximately 50,000 second-hand books. Scarthin Books also began publishing in December 1981 stocking 15,000 copies of about 50 titles in print.

“We may have the desired volume on the shelf as a new book, or orderable overnight from a wholesaler, over week direct from a publisher, or an American wholesaler. A copy may be on the shelf second-hand, or available by means of a book-search. On occasion we suggest the customer write it for us to publish. Dave, the proprietor, buys thousands of second-hand and antiquarian books, preferably by appointment. In addition, our main strength is as a wonderful place to browse; a comfortable labyrinth with many chairs and a rarely matched range of stock amidst which to spend happy hours. “Don’t bring Jane, you’ll never get her out of here.” Children often run up the road ahead of their parents to dash up the stairs and into the children’s book room. We are developing our website to offer an equally unexpected range of experiences, as well as to promote the shop and (even) to sell books. The café, managed by Jools, is curious and homely. Homemade soups, pies, pizzas, cakes, fresh coffee, etc.

“Our staffing is stronger than it has ever been. In the bookshop, Guy chooses the new stock and handles customer orders, Wendy soothes schools and harvests internet orders, Dave, assisted by Ivan and Les buys and prices the second hand stock. David has taken over the publishing; Phil does the book searches and suggests marketing ideas – as well as everyone taking shifts at the front desk. David and Phil now take turns on Saturdays. Pam, Nikki, Eve, Edmund, Jennie, Ruth and Tom share the rest of the desk shifts. Difficult Sunday queries tend to need referral to the specialist weekday staff. Our age range is 16 to 64, but mainly 40 to 60. The café is ruled by an enthusiastic Jools, assisted by Eve and quite a flock of sixth-form schoolgirls and even the occasional boy, coping with unpredictable lunchtime and weekend rushes.

“In December, Phil coaxed us into introducing a customer reward or loyalty scheme – for every £20 spent, customers receive a £1 Scarthin Voucher redeemable “next time” in shop or café. So far these have been issued in hundreds, received appreciatively and, as yet, cashed in only slowly. In addition we discount most individual £19.95 or over new books by 10%. So far we seem to be able to afford these gestures – are they enough?

“On the publishing front in 2008, we produced two books under our own imprint and undertook to design and distribute three scholarly works by clients met through the shop. In February, David attended the e4books conference in Bristol and has since prepared our best out-of-print titles for re-issue as POD (Print on Demand). We have found publishing to be satisfying, but stressful and unprofitable, so we are doing much less than a decade ago. The internet has replaced publishing as a way to transcend the limitations of our site."

The bookshop possesses a homely, welcome and comfortable atmosphere for readers to browse at their own pace. Scarthin Books showcase what it is to be independent – providing a wide and varied selection of titles, keeping up to date with the latest popular titles and meanwhile supply those lost or hidden literature gems.

“This bookshop is a slow-growing hardwood that has funded fast-growing families and survived financial traumas. In 35 years of Golden Ages we have changed greatly in order to stay the same. “Don’t change ANYTHING!” We are told. But behind the scenes…” David Mitchell, proprietor.

Many thanks to David for supplying us with the images and information, to check out this fantastic store, visit http://www.scarthinbooks.com/


Wednesday, 9 September 2009

New POS!

Exclusively Independent POS

We are always looking for new ways to refresh EI, keep the promotion new and exciting for readers, and match the new titles each month.

In doing so, we decided to boost EI's presence in bookshops and libraries, and have had additional promotional material printed.

Click on the album above to see the new banners, bookmars and book wraps!

With the recognisable logo printed and red and black consistent throughout, we hope the scheme becomes a more recognisable brand. One that readers can track in each bookshop and library, and look forward to seeing, every four weeks.


Friday, 4 September 2009

Submissions Call Now Closed!

The current call for EI submissions has now closed!

A big thank you to all publishers that submitted this round, we've received a great list of titles. It's our job now to collate all of the information into a submission pack and distribute this to the panel.

The panel have two weeks to look over the pack, and decide on the list of ten new titles.

The next panel meeting is 21 September. So make sure you check back here to read which titles are the latest selection of independent talent.

Have a great weekend!


Wednesday, 2 September 2009

A quick note...

As Exclusively Independent continues to grow, we take pride in offering a wide variety of indpendently published titles to bookshops and libraries.

It's exciting to read the variety of titles that get sent in, and reminded each cycle of the overwhelming talent in so many different forms.

However, due to distribution issues we have had to restrain the submission process slightly, and can no longer accept submissions from print on demand publishers.

While we understand that pod titles may still retain the unnoticed talent that we try so hard to highlight, the actual distribution of the books is what enables the project to grow, develop and expand.

If you have any questions about how to submit work, do get in touch at the address below. The current submission call is open.