Rosalind Adam is a Twitter friend, fellow blogger, fellow ex-teacher, writer and researcher. She has cats, a great sense of humour and is always there to support and encourage her friends. I am extremely lucky to have met her, and count her as one of my inner circle. So when she announced that she had a new children's book out on Richard the Third, the PINK SOFA, who is in the throes of updating its ''Sofas & Upholstery Through The Ages'' book, insisted she had to pay a visit to the Writing Attic.
''Thank you, Carol, for inviting me onto your squelchy pink sofa. It’s… erm… very pink, isn’t it! And I see you’ve provided a glass of mead to loosen my tongue. *Slurp* Delicious! *hic*
Thank you for your kind words about my new book. I must admit that I’ve had so many positive responses from people since The Children’s Book of Richard III was published but it wasn’t always that way. It is so frustrating that mainstream publishers don’t have the vision to support this kind of project.
When I first had the idea to write a children’s Richard III, I approached the publisher of my Children’s History of Leicester. They couldn’t commit to it. I wrote submissions to all the usual mainstream publishers. Nothing. Even our local literary agent tried but failed to get it placed.
It took the conviction of a children’s bookshop owner, Lynn Moore from The Reading Shop, Oadby, Leicester, to see that this was a highly marketable idea. She put up the money and, in effect, became my publisher. It was the beginning of an excellent business partnership. I settled down to write the book and, being an ex-primary school teacher, I sprinkled in a little science, two sides of an argument, some detective work and I even included a bit of creative writing; a post-battle interview with Leicester’s very own Witch of Daneshill.
Now all I needed was an illustrator and thanks to Twitter I soon found one. Andrea Povey, known on Twitter as @Richard1483, mentioned, during a casual Twitter chat that her daughter, Alice Povey, had recently graduated from university with a degree in illustration, specializing in children’s book illustrations. I knew then that I’d found our illustrator. Isn’t Twitter amazing!
The exciting part of self-publishing was that Alice and myself were free to develop the book in our own way. Lynn took a back seat at this stage, her contribution coming into its own with the checking and proofreading. There were so many things that we had to learn; registering for ISBN numbers, creating the correct number of spreads, liaising with printers, but by far the biggest task is selling and distributing. We made the decision not to put the book on Amazon. I know that a lot of people find Amazon quick and easy to use but Amazon do not offer a fair deal. After working so hard to produce the book why should we let Amazon take the biggest share of the money and leave us with mere pence per book? If everyone accepts Amazon’s terms then, sooner or later, they will destroy all the bookshops, certainly here in the UK, and that would be a truly sad day for us all.
The book is available from The Reading Shop at http://thereadingshop.co.uk but, if you would rather not buy online, a friendly salesperson will take your order and arrange for the book to be delivered by ringing 0116 2717077 during working hours.
Ooh! Carol! I see you’ve already got a copy. Hand it over and I’ll sign it for you. Thank you so much for having me on your very pink sofa. There is just one more thing. I hope you don’t mind me asking but have you got any more of this delicious mead? *hic*''
While mead refilling takes place, you can contact Ros via Twitter @RosalindAdam, check out her blog: http://rosalindadam.blogspot.com or befriend her via Facebook.
Lovely to see Ros getting about a bit! Great post - and the vey best of luck with the book.ReplyDelete
Thanks, Jo. I do go to adventurous places - like Hedges Towers - sometimes!Delete
Thank you so much for having me and I must say, your pink sofa is every bit as comfortable as everyone says it is :-)ReplyDelete
*YoOo HoOo Ros!!...*waves pigeon*... Hm...considered to be ...'one of my inner circle'...aka 'holding pen for the bizarre'!...;)ReplyDelete
There's something wonderful and refreshingly wholesome about yourself and The Reading Shop working together to accomplish all that you have regards getting your book published. Apart from the fact that I think the entire Richard III concept is an excellent idea...I also feel that the personal touch your publisher is providing merits applause.
Fat cat Amazon doesn't afford that kind of intimacy, continuing only to clinically devour all the homely, corner bookshops which stand before it...so good for you Ros!...may your goodly self and the bookshops live long and prosper...*does Vulcan finger gesture*...
Hi Lynn aka The Grumbling Gargoyle. *waves goblet of mead*Delete
I was not sure about the sanity of entering into this venture of indie publishing but, you're right. The relationship I now have with Lynn from The Reading Shop is amazing. Hers is truly a homely corner bookshop and I'm delighted that I 'took the plunge'.
lovely ;post, and so glad the whole book came to fruition as per your vision. Um, my glass is empty. CheersReplyDelete
Thanks, Joanne. It has been a long, drawn-out task, but well worth it. No drink? Tut! Here, have a slurp of mine :-)Delete
Thank you, Shelly :-)ReplyDelete
Rosalind, I found the process you went through most interesting - and like you, I think Twitter is marvellous, the way it connects you with people. Best of luck with the book - I sent you a link about marketing children's books, if you haven't got the tweet let me know and I'll send it again.ReplyDelete
Thanks for the link you sent, Terry, and yes it was and still is a very interesting process... the phrase 'steep learning curve' comes to mind!Delete
Oh how strange! I left a comment here on Saturday morning and it's not here! Ah well, I'll say it again! I love the word Squelchy, Ros, so I'm glad you and the PS got on so well. Your book is going to be a raging success, of that I am sure!ReplyDelete
Than you, Val. Saturday's message possibly got lost in all those squelchy pink folds! And thank you for your kind words about my book.Delete
It's so easy to get down-hearted and give up on ideas when they don't initially receive a positive response but the three of you have shown what determination and self-belief can achieve. It's a beautiful book and deserves to be a great success. Hope you're still celebrating!ReplyDelete
Thank you, Alex. And you were in at the beginning with some early crit support so thanks again!Delete
I think your book is a great idea I hope it's going to be sold in the new centre. So many publishers will be kicking themselves that they didn't get to publish it,well done you!ReplyDelete
Thank you, Anne. Yes it is already for sale in the Visitors Centre. I received a number of phone calls when the local BBC News ran an item from the foyer of the centre because my book was in full view! So exciting!!Delete
I wish every success with your new book, Anne, it's a brilliant idea. I'm so glad you visited Hedge Towers and shared your journey from concept to publication with us. Hearing of others' struggles and successes is inspirational. Any more mead, Carol?ReplyDelete
Thanks, Teagan. I do feel an extra satisfaction knowing that so many publishers turned it down and yet it has been so well received by both Leicester University scholars and local parents.Delete
Sorry, I suspect I drank the last of the mead yesterday... unless the pink sofa has a secret supply - which wouldn't surprise me in the least!
Has cats? Carol, you should know by now that the correct term is: "She is accepted by (a) cat(s)"ReplyDelete