17 Jan 2022
Another rollercoaster day, not that I am complaining. We got in touch with an organisation who may be able to provide some funding, and another group we are a member of, invited us to give a talk, but most importantly, today we received a lovely donation which couldn’t have come at a better moment. There are some wonderful people around, thank you very much! Now I have to reward you by publishing some really special books this year. I’m determined to be #SavedByOneBook.
16 Jan 2022
We ran a very successful pop-up bookstall this morning during coffee after mass in St Aldhelm’s Malmesbury. Thank you to all the lovely parishioners who bought books and to Catherine for suggesting it and all her help! Part of the #SavedByOneBook campaign.
15 Jan 2022
Some market days are good, others disappointing. If I could predict market sales, I would be very rich, but you can’t. Yet, today not once, but twice, a lovely lady came along to encourage me to hang on in there and bringing a gift. I continue to be moved and astonished by the generosity of people.
I also looked at quite a few manuscripts today. It’s one of the perks of being a publisher to have to read as part of your job and to discover new literary gems. There are some lovely new reads on the horizon and I hope to make some new announcements soon.
14 Jan 2022
It was a slow day at the Shambles Market. Good people of Stroud please come and support a small niche publisher. Our books are wonderful reads, and I can vouch for them, because I’ve read them all, decided they needed to be published, so put up the money and made them available. Look at this picture of me and one happy author at the end of this post.
I will be at the Shambles Market tomorrow, but I also will run our stall on Sunday in the St Aldhelm’s club room in Malmesbury on Sunday morning. Tell all your friends.
We had another good bit of news from a lovely friend who used to work at the Dutch Embassy in London. Apparently there is a fund to help Dutch people resident in the UK in need. Well, if that’s the case we definitely qualify so we live in hope.
13 Jan 2022
I had a productive day working on our ACE bid. It made me think about new ideas of promoting our books.
I’m looking forward to be on the Shambles Market in Stroud again, tomorrow and on Saturday. I’m also trying to arrange for our pop-up stall to make an appearance in Malmesbury, the town who has supported us so wholeheartedly, and I will keep you informed.
In the meantime, you really support us and our wonderful authors by buying books from our website. Support #SaveByOneBook.
12 Jan 2022
More books arrived from our printers today. Much needed as I had sold out of a few of our titles because of the many orders that came in after the two page spread was published in the Daily Mail on 27 December.
I had a good meeting about our application for an Arts Council England grant. It’s clear I have my work cut out for the next couple of weeks but let’s hope our bid will be successful.
As far a new titles are concerned, we have some very lovely prospects on the horizon, and I hope to report more details soon.
The best way to support us is to buy one of our books from our website. Thank you very much!
11 Jan 2022
I’ve been busy preparing for a meeting with the consultant who is going to help me put in a bit for an Arts Council England grant. This is something new for me and I must admit I find the rather woolly language of the instructions I’ve been sent a bit of a challenge.
But, for my authors, I will do anything and a great thank you to the Tindal Street Fiction Group who paid for the consultant and I’m certainly going to make the most of it. We have a zoom meeting tomorrow.
This morning when were taking our beloved dog Harry for a walk we were stopped in the street by several people who had seen us on TV and in the newspapers and wished us good luck. One even asked us if she could take a selfie with us and of course we agreed.
It’s a first, I’ve been invited for selfies at literary events but never by a stranger walking down the street. Life continues to amaze you as well as being a great challenge. I will continue and in the meantime you can support us by buying a book.
10 Jan 2022
Today, we had a lovely session in front of our temporary home with the people from BBC Points West. It was aired as the last feel good item on their 6.30 news bulletin this evening. You can watch it, we’re on at 22:50.
We’re vey pleased with the result, and a big thank you to all the people who helped us in as well as outside of Malmesbury.
We’re are working hard to repay your faith in us by publishing more excellent literature this year and exploring news ways to promote our authors and books.
You can always help us by buying a book from our website and support #SavedByOneBook.
9 Jan 2022
Sunday, but for a struggling yet determined to keep going small press it was also a working day. More work on royalties reports is in progress, and we’ve also been busy reading new manuscripts that have come in. It looks as if there are a couple of promising candidates and I will keep you posted.
Tomorrow at 11.30, some people from BBC Points West will come along to interview us. Arnold and I are looking forward to tell them our remarkable story.
Orders are also coming in on our website, and that’s great, thank you very much, because orders from our website are the most profitable, and hence they are one of the best contributions to save us by supporting #SavedByOneBook.
Here is a picture of two more orders that will go out tomorrow to the USA and Singapore.
8 Jan 2022
Another day on the market which is still a bit slow this early in January but I take my laptop so that I can also keep the office work going. Just as well because I get quite inundated with manuscripts at this time of the year.
Today there was a bit of a surprise, I received a printed manuscript in the post. We do say in our submission guidelines that we only accept submissions by email but this author added a handwritten note to his letter telling me not everyone is online even today & how much I might be missing out.
Very thoughtful, but for practical reasons, I prefer to stick with the online approach. I was endeared however by this sentence: ‘Enclosed is also a PDF file which means, of course, there is less work to do if you decide to publish my book.’
Even more so, when I found a floppy disk inside the package. Yes really, I too hadn’t seen one for ages. I had to take a picture of it together with a glass of wine to recover from it. It goes to show that authors are really very special human beings.
Keep sending in those manuscripts, I love receiving & reading them, it’s one of the key perks of being a publisher, but preferably by email.
7 Jan 2022
Today, the first market of 2022, was too quiet for my taste. Good people in Stroud, come out in force tomorrow, a small struggling but, absolutely determined to keep going, publisher needs your custom.
There was another it of news to keep us going. BBC Points West wants to do an item about us, and going to interview me and my brother Arnold on Monday. I will keep you informed of when it’s going to be aired.
Otherwise I’m very busy with putting together royalties statements and planning new promotional campaigns.
6 Jan 2022
Today our interview with Ben Prater (incidentally, his names translates to someone who is talking in Dutch, quite appropriate) was aired on BBC Radio Wiltshire this morning. It’s in two chunks of about 5 min each at 1:25:00 and 2:23:00. Listen to it here.
Also this morning, when walking Harry our dog, I was called by a lady from the BBC who was writing a article for their website about us. She wanted some photos, which was good news for us, but bad news for Harry because we had cut short our walk with him to send her a few pictures.
Harry is always moves with the flow, but I’m sure, like me, he’s looking forward to going to Stroud tomorrow. It promises a nice walk and lost of lovely smells for him, and hopefully an interesting day and quite a few sales for me.
I’m taking my laptop along because it’s there is so much catching up to do, but that’s how I like it to be. Do keep ordering our books, it keeps us alive, #SavedByOneBook
5 Jan 2022
Another action packed day and I got a lot of things done. All the sales data from the various distributors and other sources have now come in, so I’m now busy with doing the royalties.
A few good manuscripts are on the horizon and I will give your more details in due course.
We’re still looking for a more permanent place to live, we’re happy to contribute in kind towards rent, so if have a place that needs to be taken care of, please contact us.
Then, when you least expect it, a large order came in for signed copies of Schurft, the autobiographical novel by my brother. It made our day, and so I will be very busy dealing with it tomorrow. But that’s how I like it to be.
4 Jan 2022
Today started of well with a bit of good news from our distributor in South Africa: the sales figures of Karen Jennings books in December were very good and we sold out. Now I have to find the money to print more books. In South Africa I have to pay upfront to get the books printed. But it’s a nice problem to have to deal with.
We also had a lovely interview with Ben Prater who presents the BBC Radio Wiltshire breakfast show. We will be on his show later this week and I will keep you informed. By the way Ben’s surname translated in Dutch means talker or speaker, isn’t that a wonderful coincidence?
3 Jan 2022
Not quite the first working day in 2022, but nearly so, our post office was open and I posted the first order of 2022.
In the Netherlands, it wasn’t a bank holiday today, over there, if Christmas and the New Year happen over the weekend, it’s tough luck, you don’t get back you’re missed bank holiday. So therefore, this morning I was on the phone to our Dutch printers and distributors sort out a problem with dispatching a book. It’s now all sorted thanks to their excellent customer support team.
At the end of day when taking our beloved Harry out for a walk, just outside a front door we stumbled upon a calamity. There was a man in the middle of the road. He had fallen off his bike. A young lady had stopped her car and was attending him. We helped her to move him on to the pavement. Quite an achievement because he was quite big man and also quite a well know figure in Malmesbury.
A NHS doctor arrived, she lived down the road and had just arrived home. She was an obstetrician and had delivered five babies today, but stopped to give us a hand. She hadn’t even had dinner and her husband brought not only two chairs (one for the the stricken man and one for his wife) but also a bowl of pasta so she could at least have her dinner, even though it was out on the road.
Another wonderful example of the caring people in Malmesbury. An ambulance has been called but my brother is back yet, so this means they have been waiting for it for over two hours. More news when I get it.
Update: the police were called and they didn’t take long to arrive on the scene. My brother and the couple were ordered to take their leave took and the police took care of him. I hope he is OK.
2 Jan 2022
Our publishing adventure continues and 2022 may well prove to be a critical year.
Things change and stay oddly the same, who would have thought that Brexit would give a new lease of life to my father’s old paper scale.
My parents got married in 1951, when they bought my father’s desk with all the accessories which included a paper scale. It was then a essential device to figure out postage.
The desk miraculously made it into our new temporary accommodation and even more fittingly I put the paper scale to good use: to fill in the custom form’s when sending books abroad, and abroad has become much broader because it now incudes the EU.
Talking about markets, they an essential part of our marketing strategy in 2022, and we’re booked in on the Shambles Market in Stroud on all the Fridays and Saturdays in January. See you there!