Friday, 31 July 2015

Working On The Front Cover

I have been working on the front cover design. This is likely to be pretty close to the final layout. I'd love any feedback and ideas for improvements. I shall be using this on the proof / review copies that will soon be printed.

I have got most things in place as far as the book printing goes now. The paperback version will be sold through Amazon for £10, and also on the new website I shall be running.  This is where I will try and direct people to buy the paperback and hardback editions as selling myself gibes me the best margins of profit for the charity.

Monday, 27 July 2015

New Video Trailer

Over the weekend I made a new video trailer for Lives & Times. As well as previewing some of the photos and people that will feature in the book, I also put in some information about bowel cancer. There will be a section in the book talking more in depth about this terrible cancer which still is taking too many people.

Sunday, 26 July 2015

Lorraine Kelly Comes On Board

Last Friday brought a nice surprise with Lorraine Kelly coming on board the book. I had sent a request some weeks earlier, so I had thought it was not going to happen such had been the gap.  Her a PA came back with a yes which was brilliant. Obviously with Lorraine being one of the biggest stars on daytime TV this is a great scoop for the book. 

Lorraine is away for the summer so the photo won't be done until into September. It looks I will be going up to the TV studio to do the photo which is quite exciting. So this does mean that I will almost certainly have to delay publication as it would now make getting it all ready for October 1st a bit tight, and there is no real rush. I am thinking it will now most probably be published on November 1st. So as far as the count down of days goes it's a case of Stop The Clock! However the build up to publication will continue with more videos, the printed mugs and anything else I can think of. 

Friday, 24 July 2015

Fancy A Cuppa?

69 days until publication. Proof reading of Lives & Times continues and a shipment of the first book, Beating Bowel Cancer, is on its way to me from the US. The new website will go live soon with the web address now revealed in the photo above. 

So the latest idea is printed Lives & Times mugs to be sold alongside the books. The design will be similar to this initial layout. Things have progressed quickly as one of my customers who prints mugs has come on board giving me a great deal on a fairly small run and no set up fees. I have sent them modified heads today in a high resolution so they should print really well. I have tried to get the faces of as many people in the book included as possible. Once they are ready I shall be touting for sales, and what better way to enjoy a cuppa than out of something that is raising funds for Beating Bowel Cancer. As ever every single penny I make will go to the charity. I'd be really grateful for support with this. It looks like I will be selling them for £8 including P&P.

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

A Dedicated Website - 71 Days to Publication

With 71 days to go until publication, I have decided to take the plunge and set up a dedicated website for the book. I have searched around and gone for a pretty basic package, but hopefully in the next few weeks I will have it up and running. The main purpose of the website will be to sell physical copies of the book . By selling copies myself I can cut out the high percentage that Amazon takes and therefore make more money for Beating Bowel Cancer.

I haven't quite decided what I will do about postage costs, but I will price it to compete with Amazon. I will also be able to offer other products through the shop on the site. So the first book will be made available to buy too. I have ordered some copies from the United States which will allow me to sell them under the Amazon list price and make a better margin.

It also opens up some other potential possibilities such as selling other merchandise to raise extra funds. I will look into t-shirts, mugs and promotional items. If anyone has any good ideas or something they think is worth selling, please contact me and let me know.

There is of course a financial outlay associated with doing an e-commerce website, but I think in the scheme of things it will be worth it. I won't be passing on the cost through book sales or try to recuperate from the proceeds raised. Obviously I will be asking for your support in using the website and spreading the word. There will be more news to follow on this soon.

Monday, 20 July 2015

73 Days To Launch - ISBN & Who To Use To Print-on-Demand

Today marks 73 days to go until the October 1st publication of the book. The above image is an idea I am playing around with for the back cover at the moment. It's been quite an eventful day in the terms of planning the book. 

When I published the Beating Bowel Cancer Book back in 2012 I used Create Space for the print-on-demand service sold through Amazon. The margin wasn't great but it was a good service. Today I was doing some preliminary costings and to my horror the new book, more than three times the size of the first book, would need to be over £15 to make just £1 for the charity in a similar paperback size. Simply not viable. Fortunately the other website I have been looking at called LightningSource is much cheaper. I should be able to charge £10 for the paperback edition and make over £2 for the charity, and they also offer a hardback service, so I am thinking that version will be nearer £20 to get the charity about £4. I will continue my investigations and once I have everything finalised I shall reveal where and how to buy the book. One other thing I will probably offer this time is for people to buy from me direct. If I bulk buy myself I will get additional discounts, and even allowing for the postage, I think I will make more money per copy that way. It will all become a lot clearer soon...

For the new book I am also buying my own ISBN numbers. For the first book on Create Space I used their free service, which was fine, but it somewhat restricted me to using them. With my own numbers I can sell each edition through whichever outlets I choose. 

It's something that once I get right will serve me well, but it is one of the reasons why the book will be out in October to allow for any problems to be sorted rather than panic!

For those of you that haven't watched the first video trailer for the new, here it is...

Friday, 17 July 2015

Video Trailer

The marketing build up begins with just over 2 months to go before the October 1st publication date. I have made a short video trailer which gives a small flavour of the photographs. Please have a look and share with this as many people as you can. I want to create a buzz in the lead up to publication, and if anyone is able to help me with this I would be very grateful. Sharing facebook posts and tweets on Twitter is great, and if anyone has a bit more time to help with some more intense marketing that would be brilliant.

The video features a selection of the people in the book including Sir Steve Redgrave, Matthew Wright, Graham Fellows, Status Quo, Stomp, Tim Wheeler, Alan Davies, Carrie Grant, Charlie Nicholas, Clare Grogan, Rachael Chadwick, Gail Porter, Nadine Dorries, Horace Panter, From The Jam, Eddie MacDonald, Nigel Twist, Ben Richards, Mike Peters, Jules Peters and Katherine Grainger CBE

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Proof Reading

This afternoon I have printed off the majority of the book to begin proof reading. I am sure I will find some errors, although thanks to my fabulous friend and editor Joanna, these should not be as many as  there might have been. Over the last 18 months a few paragraphs might also need updating, but this is now a very exciting time as I put together the final pieces, and begin the publishing process.

I plan to get the book out in both paperback and hardback editions as well as an ebook. Once I have a clearer idea of a release date much more will follow, and I shall be asking for lots of help with the marketing and publishing. 

Thursday, 9 July 2015

The Ashes in Cardiff

Just when I thought I had finished taking photographs for the book I had a very successful day meeting ex-cricketers at the first day of The Ashes in Cardiff. David Lloyd had responded to a tweet the night before so I met him at the media centre. I was also interviewed by Steve Harmison for television before the start of play asking my opinions of the series ahead so I said I would do that if he posed for a photo for the book. At the very end of the day I chased after legendary West Indies fast bowler Michael Holding and got him too. It was a great day's play, I met up with my friends over from Australia and got three photos for the book. Perfect!

Sunday, 5 July 2015

Olympic Gold Medalist Katherine Grainger

Getting rowing gold medalist Katherine Grainger, from London 2012, on board the book was a great addition as it nears completion. We met up at Henley Royal Regatta, and even this in the end, although planned, almost didn't happen. The chapter will go into all the detail of how the photo came about, and our first contact around the time Katherine decided to row at the next Olympics in Brazil in 2016. On a personal level Katherine has been incredibly supportive about the book, and has always asked how Mum is doing in her messages. Although we only had a few minutes today, she was absolutely lovely and great fun.

So after pretty 18 months the photography is done. There is still quite a bit of work to do on the book, so rather than rush it out I am thinking the beginning of October is the most likely publication date.