Bridge House, CaféLit, Chapeltown
Saturday was hectic but very enjoyable. First of all Debz
and I conducted a short story work shop that launched the 2019 Waterloo
Festival Short Story Competition. The theme this time is “Transforming Being”.
Stories and monologues must be no more than 1,000 words and the deadline is 28
Full details are already on
the festival site. And will soon be also on the Bridge House site. Find them here.
We really must thank Dianne
for putting us in touch with the Waterloo Festival. We had a super
venue in the St Anthony’s Church Centre, a very easy walk form Southwark tube
station and also close to some very good bars and restaurants. Several members
of the group had lunch before the event and Debz, her dad and I had dinner
The folk at St Anthony’s looked after us well. It was just
There was the usual mingling and exchange of ideas. Ten
writers read for us and we were very well entertained. We had a prize draw for
another fun copy of Magical Christmas. The
photo here shows Allison picking the winning ticket; she did not take part in
the drawer as she has already reviewed the book for us.
And I the afternoon we announced the theme for the next
Bridge House anthology; nativity. This may be because one of our delegates in
the morning was on maternity leave. Is that how we got the idea? It may well be
that the theme will, as ever, be skewed and the title of the book may be
Full details on the
Bridge House site.
News about my writing
My own writing is
carrying on much as I mentioned last month.
I'm now on the third edit of Peace Child 4. I’m
continuing to work on my book about the dark side of children's literature –
which is making me read a lot and also reread several works I’ve read before. Schellberg 5 is still on hold for the
moment. I’m please to say that Peace
Child 4 is settling down now.
More comments on Amazon
Our good friends again. We actually have very little
influence over what they do and they are in the end a retailer, a business who
can do what they like. It is frustrating
when they say that a book is going to take
several weeks to deliver but we know that they only have to raise an order with
Lightning Source / Ingrams and the book can be with them within 48 hours. I believe they tend to put their orders in on
a Thursday so it’s good if your friends and family order on a Tuesday. That gives the order time to go through their
Note, it is only Amazaon.co.uk that does this. .com, ,au,
.fre etc promises two to four days. Even The Book Depository, actually owned by
Amazon offers a better delivery time. Other online retailers are also more
optimistic. However, these sites often then take a little longer to deliver.
Amazon UK is over-cautious.
I decided with one title to set up a “trigger”. I ordered a
copy on 19 November. It promises delivery between 12 December and 12
January. The suddenly it was 8 December,
then 6 December, then1 December and finally on 28 November they said it would
arrive the next day. It arrived at 9. 00 p.m. that evening.
The next day it said there was only one book in stock but it
shows a four day delivery on that. Have we now sold a lot? Did they order two
when I put my order in? However, yesterday, there were two books in stock and
it was promising next day delivery.
I can’t keep looking at every book we publish all the time
but if you see a title showing a silly delivery time, do write to Amazon from
the book’s page. Point out that they should be ordering from Lightning Source
who will deliver quickly so what they’re saying doesn’t make sense.
We’re now selling directly from our site again but we can’t
match Amazon discounts or cheap delivery. Also, it is more work for us so we’re
not really advertising it a lot. But you
are in the know and so you can offer this as alternative for your family, fans
And of course, there is our new catalogue …. See below.
If we get more than 50 reviews on Amazon, they’re more
likely to stock more of our books. So, keep those reviews coming.
Catalogue of our books
I have for some time been quite impressed with how Endeavour
markets book and have wanted to emulate that but without making tooo much extra
work for myself. I frequently buy books
from them, actually. Thank you to the Scribblers group who’ve joined in the
debate and helped me to clarify my thoughts. Now they have crystallised and
this is what will happen:
Every Friday I will “publish” a particular “demographic”
of Books e.g. “Our Little Square Flash
Fiction Books” or “The Works: John Smith”
There will always be some sort of offer e.g. buy all for … .
the price here will be cost plus 10%. As
always buy five books and postage is waived.
Even if you have a page the books on that page that we
publish will be on some sort of offer. You may like to suggest your own offer.
I’ll advertise via
Twitter and Facebook but I really want to build up an email list.
I have quite a bit to get set up here, so this may well not
start until January. But watch this
space and look out for me on Twitter and Facebook.
Catalogue of books for children
I’ve added several titles to this over the last. It is
You can find it here.
Do take a look if you’re into children’s
Useful links for writers
My list of links for writers is also growing steadily. Find it
Just a reminder: this
is a Facebook group for all people who write about the 1940s. Fiction
and non-fiction, for young and old. Topics might then be: the Holocaust, World War
II, Civilian Experience (all sides) and the battle front. We can exchange ideas
about research and marketing. We may promote books and stories, - the last day
of every month and on launch / release day.
Of course, with my
Schellberg Cycle I'm constantly in that world.
This is a personal recommendation. Initially I intend to use
my Dream Team a lot myself but gradually I would add in people that friends and
friends of friends have recommended.
You sign up to a mailing list and every time a request comes
in we mail it out to you or the enquirer contacts you directly via my web site.
The conversation then carries on between you and the person making the request.
You may also have a page set up on my blog and you may update that once a
Interested? You may sign up for more than one category.
Beta readers sign up here.
Illustrators sign up here.
DO REMEMBER THAT
AT ANY TIME YOU’RE APPROACHED AND YOU’RE BUSY IT’S PERFECTLY FINE TO SAY NO.
News from all of our writers
keep sending news like this and remember to supply a link to where reader can
buy the book.
Goodwin’s Becoming Someone is
published in paperback and e-book
formats on 23rd November,
2018, by Inspired Quill. Generally, her books are most easily accessed through
online retailers, through my publisher’s website or at author events:
Read an fascinating article by one of our Bridge House
Crackers is out. We sold out at the event last Saturday. And it has a ranking
on Amazon. Find it here. You can
see excerpts from the stories here
We’re still getting
plenty of interest in our single-author collections. These are now only for
authors we’ve published before and they may include stories we’ve already
published, ones they’ve had published elsewhere and new ones. The description for
this is now on the web site. http://www.bridgehousepublishing.co.uk/index.php/single-author-collections
You may recycle stories we’ve already included in another anthology, and
you may reedit these if you wish. You may also add in new stories. We’re aiming
at a total word count of between 30,000 and 70,000 words.
Your work will go through three stages of editing, and will
be proof-read twice in-house. We design the book and the cover. We hook it up
to all the distributing channels and we complete first-level marketing. We are
risking all of this on you as well as the set-up costs and the copies to the
British Library and legal deposit agency.
You’ll probably not get rich quick: anthologies by new
authors do not sell in big numbers initially. Each month we post to a dropbox
information about books’ performance. A link is sent with the monthly
newsletter. See below for how to access this newsletter.
One of my own stories
will appear in the Christmas run. This rather reminds me of how I came to set
up Bridge House in the first place. As an alternative to all of those letters
that people sent out at Christmas, I started including short stories with the
Christmas cards. I then had the idea that it might be nice to put them together
into a book and make a kind of Advent Calendar. But that would take me
twenty-four years to complete. So, I
invited others in. Now Bridge House produces an annual anthology that contains
twenty-four stories. Debz and I no longer contribute as writers.
Story Goes Missing that will appear on CaféLit on 24 December
may seem like a story for children at first and children will understand it at
face value. Adults will probably
understand it in another way. Isn’t that after all how all good fairy / folk
A few more
Christmas stories are still needed.
Stories are now
all being posted at 4.00 p.m. Afternoon Teatime, Kaffee and Kuchen time and
it's also when the kids are home from school. Just the right time for a cuppa
and a good story.
In November we had stories from: James Bates, Janet Bunce, Lynn
Clement, Penny Dale, Jo Dearden, Margaret Drummond, Susan E Eames, Joseph
Isaacs, Gill James, Dawn Knox, Mark Kodama, Roger Noons, Martin Parker, Sylvia
Patsalides, Paula R C Readman, Michal Reibenbach, Hannah Retallick, Bruce Rowe, Allison
Symes, Nanette Tames, Alex Womack and Robin
Highest performing posts were:
by Hannah Retallick 278
Dawn Knox 172
by Lynn Clement 128
by Janet Bunce 104
by Michal Reibenbach 94
Facebook no longer allows me to schedule posts. If when I go
to my editor’s dashboard I see that a story has fewer than 20 hits, I put it on
my own Twitter feed and the Facebook page.
Our stories are generally spread in the following ways:
- 36 people have signed up to have the stories
fed from the blog site
- I tweet about the site from time to time
- some members visit daily or when they have
- authors make efforts – blog,
website, FB, email signature, word of mouth
- casual readers come across the site
- one story being read leads to another
Maybe you could all share your ideas of how to make us more
visible and tell us what you do?
You can read all of the stories here.
Here's a reminder of how we select stories: I open my inbox
and I'll often see four or five submissions. I'll select the best of the bunch
and schedule it for in a few days' time. I'll let you know. I may reject one or
two but ones that are basically sound I'll keep forever or until they’re
published. Consequently if one you've
submitted to us has not been rejected, and you find a home for it elsewhere,
let us know the name of the story and the date you submitted and we'll remove
it from the archive. Try to include the drink each time. Do put CaféLit in the
subject line so we can identify your submission. Remember to include your bio
(50-100 words including links for longer stories, just links for 100 words or
less) each time. I haven't got time to look up an old one and in any case your
bio is probably changing all the time.
We're always open
to submissions. Find out to submit here. Remember,
this gives you some exposure, you can add in a short CV each time, and there's
always the chance that your work might be accepted for the annual anthology.
We have some
seasonal opportunities coming up now:
So, get writing.
On offer for
CaféLit authors is a page on our web site. See examples here.
This month I’ve
added Charles Joseph Albert. Read about him here.
The list is growing.
Click on the names to find out more about the authors and to access their work.
If you're a CaféLit author and would like a web page, use the ones there to get
ideas. You need to send me between 250 and 350 words about yourself, an
attractive image, a list of up to six publications, up to six awards and up to
six links. I then also link the page to your stories on CaféLit. Send to gill
at cafelit dot co dot uk.
I’m happy to
update the pages each January.
We’re very excited to have produced out first hardback
highly-illustrated book Magical
It is a delight. See it here.
And of course, I hope you’ll give us a review.
authors continue to be very proactive in promoting their work. They have
managed to get their books into shops and libraries. They are also buying lots
of author copies and are getting on to blogs – mine included, of course.
We’re still interested in producing flash collections but
only by authors we’ve already published on CaféLit or in a Bridge House
anthology or who already have a collection out with Chapeltown.
suggestions and review them if you can.
further support the project in the following ways.
Do you have any
I'm continuing my
tour of creative cafés where I collect stories for an anthology. In some cases,
writers may offer them and in others customers may tell me their story and I'll
write it for them. Do you know of a café that might be interested in this? Let
me know if you do.
Remember you can
now buy merchandise for the Creative Café project. The profit on anything you
buy here goes to the Creative Café Project. Check this out here.
looking for new cafés. If you visit one
of the cafés in the project
and would like to write a review of between 250 and 350 words – nice, too, to
have a couple of pictures – send it to me here.
Do the same if you find a new café.
The Red Telephone
I have some books now lined up to read. I'm particularly
interested in near-futures speculative YA fiction. Again, I’m only accepting proposals
form people we already know.
Facebook Group for the Imprints
Scribblers Sans Frontières - Here you can:
Discuss all technical issues re our books
Exchange marketing ideas
Advertise and report on your events
Promote any of your titles or successes
Share good practice and ideas
Get help with writing problems
Anything else appropriate
Please come and join us if you're
eligible. Or you can ask me to sign you up.
I’m proactively promoting my school visits associated with The House on Schellberg Street
project. I’ve now developed a whole workshop for this. It starts off with a
board game, includes some role play and creative writing and ends with a
It is now possible to purchase the kit to work on on your
own. Find details here.
Costs for my workshops = travel expenses plus £400 for a
full day and £200 for a half day. This includes all materials and some
freebies. Two schools near to each other might consider splitting the day and
halving the travel expenses and fees. This is open to negotiation in any
I also offer a free half day visit, though you pay my travel
expenses, if you allow me to promote my books.
I’m continuously adding materials for schools to the site
that are different from the ones I use for the workshops. I’ve recently added
in resources and books to do with the topic. See them here
Query for a school visit here.
I’m also happy to tailor a visit for your agreed donation.
This can be for either a Schellberg Cycle
visit or a creative writing workshop. Any monies raised this way will go
specifically to a project I have for a non-fiction book about a journey that
will follow the footsteps of Clara
I’m hoping to do the whole journey by train, including departing via
my nearest Metrolink station. It’s important to feel the rails beneath my
I offer as well standard author visits which include
readings from my books, Q & A sessions and creative writing exercises.
Please remember, with these as well, I’m open to negotiation
if you can’t afford the full price.
Free listing for our writers
If you are one of
our writers and would like to offer school visits, please contact me. I'm
offering a free listing on the imprint pages.
State: age groups
you are prepared to work with, a definition of your work, distances you are
prepared to travel. Appropriate links. Please provide an image.
Scribblers Celebration Event
YOU DON'T NEED TO
BE AVAILBALE ON 23 DECEMBER TO JOIN IN.
This is for all
those people who cannot attend the event on 1 December; perhaps you live too
far away or you have something else on. You can attend outside of those times
but it will be live then.
This gives you
some idea about how this all works.
In addition, I ask
that everybody who attends offers a secret Santa. This could be a physical gift
that you send to one other attendee. One of your books, a notebook with your book
cover or coffee mug. Or you could offer
a one-off service such as a critique of a short story. Or you may offer a file that I'll put into a
dropbox and you could expect multiple downloads. This could be a mobi or PDF of
one of your books, an audio file, an excerpt, or a tip sheet.
Would you like to
make a short video of you reading?
Current reading recommendation
Once again I’ve read some great books this month. This one,
though, might seem an odd choice but I did find it engaging.
Winnie M Li was
herself assaulted it took her nine years of recovery and hard work for the
novel to become a reality. This is not
the story of the assault upon Li but at least we know that she writes with
likes to take herself off on lone hikes and it is whilst on one of these on the
outskirts of Belfast that she is raped by fifteen-year-old Johnny. Perhaps it
is risky for a young woman to set off alone like that and in an early scene she
is propositioned by middle-aged man. Indeed Johnny’s defence argues about that
risk. Yet we probably all think that a woman ought to be safe on her own.
Li gives us both
Vivian’s and Johnny’s points of view up to and including the trial and beyond.
The trial scene is particularly gripping.
Li does not spare
us the horrors of the rape itself, nor of the discomfort of the police
examinations and of the trial.
throughout is tight. Both characters are exquisitely drawn. Find it here.
I'm running an occasional series of interviews on my blog.
If you would like to be on my blog just answer the questions
below and send them with appropriate images to gill dot james at btinternet dot
Please feel free to pick and choose which of these to
What do you write? Why this in particular?
What got you started on writing in the first place?
Do you have a particular routine?
Do you have a dedicated working space?
When did you decide you could call yourself a writer?
Do you do that in fact?
How supportive are your friends and family? Do they
understand what you're doing?
What are you most proud of in your writing?
How do you get on with editing and research?
Do you have any goals for the future?
writers have inspired you?
Please write as much or as little as you like for each
section and supply as many pictures as you like. Also let me know your latest
publication and supply me with a link if it's not on Amazon.
I 'm also happy to offer you a post whenever you have a new
book come out, even if I'm not your publisher. In this case answer the
- Tell me about your book.
- Tell us about your
research for this book.
- What inspired you to write
- What's next?
- How can we get a copy of
- Do you have any events
Again write as much or as little as you please. Alter and
add to the questions if you wish. Provide as many pictures as you wish.
Send to: gill dot james at btinternet dot com
I’m giving away the Kindle version of my young adult paranormal
romance, Spooking . Access it and
lots of other freebies here.
Note, that normally my books and the books supplied by the imprints I
manage sell for anything form £0.99 to £10.99, with most on Kindle being about
£2.99 and the average price for paperback being £7.00. We have to allow our
writers to make a living. But we’re offering these free samples so that you can
try before you buy.
Naturally we welcome reviews.
Some notes about my newsletters and
They do overlap a little but here is a summary of what they
Bridge House Authors
For all those published by Bridge House or
interested in being published by us. General news about the imprint. News for
writers. Link to book performance. Sign up here.
For all those published by CaféLit. General
news about the imprint. News for writers. Link to book performance. News about
the Creative Café Project. Sign up here.
For all those published by Chapeltown or
interested in being published by us.
General news about the imprint. News for writers. Link to book
performance. Sign up here.
News about our books and our authors. Sign up here.
The Creative Café Project
about the project and CaféLit – for the consumer rather than for the
Sign up here.
News about my writing, general news about what the
imprints are doing, news about other writers I know, news about the Creative
Project, a recommended read, a
giveaway each month. Find it here.
Opportunities List Remember I
keep a full list of vetted opportunities on my writing blog. See them here. New
ones are added several times a day. Roughly once a month I go through it and
take out all of the out of date ones. At that point I send it out to a list. If
you would like to be on that list, sign up here.
Pushing Boundaries, Flying Higher
News about conferences and
workshops to do with the young adult novel. (infrequent postings) Sign up here
Red Telephone Authors
For all those published by The Red
Telephone or interested in being published by us.
General news about the imprint. News for
writers. Link to book performance. Sign up here.
Schellberg Cycle Workshop News
Offers and news of events to do
with Schellberg Cycle workshops. Sign up here.
Offers and news of school visits. Sign up here.
Red Telephone Books
News about our books and our authors. Sign
A Publisher’s Perspective
Here I blog as a publisher. Access
The Creative Café Project
Listings and reviews of creative
cafés. See them her
Find these here
Gill James Writer
All about writing and about my books. View
Gill’s Recommended Reads
Find information here
about books that
have taken me out of my editor’s head.
Gill’s Sample Fiction
Read some of my fiction here.
The House on Schellberg Street
All about my Schellberg project.
Read it here.
All about teaching creative writing.
Some creative writing exercises. Access this here.
Happy reading and