Traditional publishing vs self publishing: some thoughts and an interview with Jeremy Thompson, MD of Troubador Publishing Ltd

The publisher I’m using for The Hairy Faerie is Matador – an imprint of Troubador Publishing Ltd.

As you probably know, this is the first time I’ve ever self-published and I wasn’t keen to do it.

However, because I read The Hairy Faerie aloud at school assemblies and writing workshops, I wanted a ‘real’ book; something children could take home and enjoy. Waiting the ‘traditional’ amount of time for publishers to get back to me meant I was missing opportunities to take the book into schools.

So, I decided to do this title myself.

I’ve taken a lot of advice from some very experienced people, already running their own indie houses and imprints. I looked into Kindle, Lightning Source and Ingram Spark. None of them offered exactly what I wanted – even though I wasn’t sure what that was, at first – and all of them had negative legal and taxation aspects that were off-putting.

In the end, a personal recommendation from someone who freelanced for Troubador Publishing
caused me to investigate. And now, here I am, reading proofs of The Hairy Faerie with publication just around the corner.

It struck me that the best person to explain some of the pros and cons of traditional and self-publishing was the Managing Director of Troubador – Jeremy Thompson – a man with vast experience in both fields.

I got in touch with a few questions and this was the result: Continue reading

An unusual announcement…

It may come as a surprise to some that the gentleman you think of as a twisted horror sickling also writes children’s fiction of an altogether fluffier nature.

It may surprise others even more to hear that my first ever submissions to editors were of illustrated nonsense verse – that was 17 years ago. My illustrator and I were rejected by every children’s publisher in the UK.

That was something I got used to as the years passed!

So, my news today is not that I have a new Horror or Dark Fantasy novel coming soon but that my six year old daughter and I are about to launch our first collaborative work – a little book called The Hairy Faerie.

Here’s the back cover blurb:

Mary Moffett is a lovely faerie in every respect – and she bakes a mean mushroom and nettle crumble.

But one day something happens, something horrible. Something…hairy! Can Mary find out where the hair came from, how it got there and why? More importantly, will she be able to get rid of it?

Join Mary Moffett and her best friend Deetle McBeetle as they search for answers and overcome dastardly magic in The Hairy Faerie.

The book is for 5-8 year olds and is the first in a series of tales recounting the surprising adventures Mary Moffett. There are strange beasts, nasty witches and a lot of laughs. Oh, and there’s quite a bit of baking, if that’s your bag.

We hope to publish the second tale, Invasion of the Pastry Snatchers later this year but the next thing I post here will be the cover – hopefully tomorrow!

See you then…

I’m supposed to be working

Ibn Battuta (minus the scooter...)

Ibn Battuta (minus the scooter…)

My daughter came home from school yesterday, talking about Ibn Battuta – arguably one of the most travelled individuals in history. Had I heard of him? Had I binglepots.

So, I looked him up. His name and the places he’d been became the inspiration for some nonsense verse, something I used to love writing.

This was the result – not sure her teachers will approve!

The World’s Greatest Traveller

There once was a Berber named Ibn Battuta
Who travelled the East on a wind-powered scooter Continue reading

Walking the Tree by Kaaron Warren

Walking The TreeThere is so much to love about this novel. The premise alone was enough to hook me:

A tribe lives in the shadow of a giant tree. After training for a series of trials and tests, a group of young women are chosen to circumnavigate the base of the tree. It’s a huge responsibility because they’ll be taking the tribal children with them and the journey back to where they set out from takes five years. Everything learned along the way will form the children’s education.

Ace idea, right? Who or what will they encounter along the way? Will they all make it home?

The story buzzes with mystery right from the outset and all the way through I was wracking my brain to try and work out the book’s secrets before I reached the end. All I can tell you is that I didn’t manage it and I was glad not to. I read the book on holiday; first book I’ve been able to read ‘properly’ for many, many months. The fantasy and wonder Warren conjures contributed to making my time away an absolute joy.

I’m a sucker for trees and the human relationship with nature, so Walking the Tree was right up my street. A lot of Fantasy, a little SF and an ocean possibility; a truly delightful book.

Cometh the Crowman, people…

It comes as no surprise to me that images of the Crowman have begun to appear around the world, scrawled hastily on walls and in alleyways in furtive acts of prophecy.

Just to get his dark form out of the mind and onto a ‘canvas’ – whether it be cracked brickwork or a warped timber fence – must be a tremendous relief. I know from long, crushing experience what a burden the Crowman is to carry.

These are the latest pictures. Continue reading