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Category Archives: Book Launches

Five pm (GMT) on Saturday the 3rd of September  is when the launch party for Explorations: Through the Wormhole starts over on Facebook. Come and have a natter with…

Cover shows Wormhole with spacecraft approaching

Buy this anthology. RIGHT NOW!

Fourteen authors who have contributed to the anthology from Woodbridge Press, including myself. My story, When the Skies Open, is one of fourteen in this shared universe. Themes of the stories range, but When the Skies Open questions the future of an accidental interstellar colony. The fun kicks off at…

Three pm (EST) for those of you ‘across the pond’. The ebook format is the first version which will be available, but Explorations: Through the Wormhole will be available in paperback and audio versions as well, very soon. I have had the pleasure of interviewing…

Two of the other contributors, P. J Strebor and Thaddeus White over SFFWorld, and Jo Zebedee featured on House on The Borderland and SFFWorld. Of course it is…

One anthology, but is it just one universe? Well it was supposed to be just one anthology, yet a second is already in the works. So come and see. It will be a…

Blast. Off hand, I can’t think of anywhere I’d rather be.

 Gif features launch sequence from new Thunderbirds TV Show

Ok. Enough messing about, we’re all adults here, right? 

Explorations: Through the Wormhole is released today, it’s available from Amazon, and direct from the publisher, Woodbridge Press. While many anthologies share a common theme, the Explorations series share a common universe, and many of the stories touch upon the same history and may even share a common future. Join us on Facebook in the comfort of your own wifi. The authors will be dropping in throughout the launch for fun and prizes!

I’d tell you more but you know the book’s always better if you read it yourself.

 Banner shows starfield background and cover of Through The Wormhole. Image also features the list of authors included in the anthology in a silver-metallic effect font


When I’m working on my own writing I find it difficult to read within my preferred genre. For me one of the biggest advantages of SFF is, while there’s a good dose of imagination and future thought in it, the genre still has a healthy dose of day to day life. People still have relationships, crimes are still committed, mysteries still happen, so I’m able to read other stuff too.

On the search for something outside Fantasy and Science Fiction I pottered across town to catch Nick Quantrill launching his latest crime novel, The Dead Can’t Talk. It wasn’t so much as it being a local author which drew me to the novel, more that one of Hull’s most iconical buildings featured in it. The Lord Line Building not only means something to the thousands of people involved in the fishing and shipping industries, but just like the Humber Bridge, a child knows the landmark. Everyone knows they’re home when they pass Lord Line just off the A63. The people of Hull have adopted it as their own.

An Event to Remember.

Nick gave his book a proper send off into the big wide world, yes the expected gathering of chairs were there, and right comfy ones they were too. More were brought in to accommodate the crowd. York band, Bull brought the music. Helen Cadbury prompted questions relevant to the genre they both share. Much like Hull, the launch blended all the things Hull folk hold dear, friendship and fun, to create a great festival feel.

For a book.

Not too many days later. In the university library I attended a more composed launch of Daphne Glazer’s The Hendersons. A quite room, the white walls prepared for the next art display. Tea and coffee as well as finger foods awaited the guests, perfect for a composed book rich in characterisation. While I knew nothing of the Sheffield locale nor its history in which her book was set, it still transported listeners from the modern austere surrounds. Elegance and the unique mix of art and books found in Hull University’s Brymor Library merged with Daphne’s ability to inspire and enthuse. Her audience was entirely different from Nick’s, but just as engaged and curious about the novel, the author’s writing processes and inspirations. An extravagant launch and minimum expense in a city known for its grit, but I’m still waiting for the butler to offer Ferrero Roche to everyone.

Is It Worth All That Hassle?

Both launches saw book sales, of course. That’s the point of it, isn’t it? Marketing?

Or.  Is it a celebration of work, hours of effort and editing, wrangling with submission processes and book cover choices? Why shouldn’t it be a party that reflects the author’s individuality as much as the product?

Alcohol often flows at these events, but both authors were keeping a clear head – for the readings at least. Slurring your paragraphs doesn’t sound all that professional after all! Neither launch appeared to take the authors outside their comfort zones. I believe it added to the atmosphere, which in turn made their events successful. The authors enjoyed the experience on the whole.

Going Beyond The Fear.

Through the fear of no one turning up or the nightmare of standing in front of lots of people book launches are often a side thought or organised because of expectation. It might require a little bit of money too. Generally speaking book launches involve people staring at a writer, posing questions the author might not want to answer, as well as the author reading from the book in question. For those reasons many authors preferring a quiet life dislike promotion and the public process. Something I do understand.

Seeing readers gathered to support you as an author however can be a huge encouragement. Online book launches offer a shield from some of face to face engagement, but for me I’m more likely to remember a commitment to attend in person.

Being Different Isn’t A Bad Thing.

If anything, the last few weeks have shown me that a book launch is no different than a story. An author’s talent and creativity can be found in the pages just as much as it can in a launch.

Like a story, a book launch can be anything you want it to be. By being different in your approach a book can stand out from the crowd and last in a reader’s memory.

It’s not a wedding, there’s no need go beyond your budget. A little bit of planning can win you a fan or convert an undecided reader. It will give you a celebration you deserve as opposed to many sleepless nights.


Fight-Like-A-Girl CoverWhen I heard about this anthology I so wanted it to be all that it could be.

I’m glad to say that it lived up to my hopes, and after reading the ARC I was fortunate enough to interview the women involved.  This was a huge thing for me, I  respect the writers not just for their written work, but in their other achievements outside of writing.

While I am sure some would have approached the interview differently, I felt it important to reflect just how different each authoress approached the questions and so split the interview into two parts.

Fight Like A Girl Part One

Fight Like A Girl Part Two

For a while now I’ve been interviewing authors. Some of these have come about because of the York Pub Meets, (thank you Alex) others at the Sheffield SFF Social (thank you Steven and pals). These British Fantasy Society and British Science Fiction Association events and others have allowed me to get to know the authors behind the words in a book and boost the signal. It grew from there.

Yesterday someone asked me if I was part of the marketing department of Tickety Boo Press.

No I am not. Let’s make this clear. I have no affiliation with Tickety Boo Press. I cannot help you be published by them, I can’t help you get on the right side of their acquisition editors. I do know a few of the publishing house’s authors, some of them in person and others through forums. Like many others writing reviews and interviews, I was approached by either the author or the press.

However, I have a bit of advice to help any author,be they indie, small press, and yes even those who have the Holy Grail of publishers in their corner.

Authors – If you don’t ask, YOU DON’T GET. With that in mind if you want to raise the profile of your book, here are a few places which may help:

Twitter and Facebook. I regularly see calls for book bloggers and reviewers here.

Good Reads. Giveaways are a great way to increase your readership and collect reviews.

NETGALLEY: Go here, but be prepared to pay :

SFFWORLD Review/Interview request form:

Fantasy Faction They don’t have a direct submission page, but you might want to check out their forums. Perhaps a hint can be found on the about us section of the site?

SFF Signal Fill out a form:

Don’t be afraid to put your book out there, but do be willing to part with your book for nothing. That is to say a lot of reviewers, bloggers and vloggers do this thing for free, they don’t earn anything from it, so don’t expect them to buy your book and do you a favour by shouting about it.

Limit the number of books you send out into the world in exchange for publicity. Put a value on the coverage it will bring. Also be aware that you can have too much of a good thing. If your name and book cover is on every site for a month, there are some readers who will actively avoid it; there’s praise and then there’s hype.  Others will be sick of hearing about it… you know a bit like that Christmas Number One from 1993?

Book cover for When the Heavens Fall

When the Heavens Fall

While I have been working on Story-Craft and other writing things, I had the fortune to win a copy of When the Heavens Fall which lead to writing an interview with the author. Marc Turner is a lovely chap (<- understated Yorkshire twee) and I recommend reading his book, not to mention ordering the next in the series, Dragon Hunters.

You can read the whole interview over on