Monday, 30 July 2012

Book Design, typesetting and e book services - Ben Ottridge

If you're looking for someone to provide book services from full typeset insides and readying covers for print, to advice on eBooks and how to get ahead in an increasingly digital world, Ben Ottridge comes highly recommended. He has worked on typesetting many of my books and producing my e books for my publisher.

He has spent the last four years working with an award-winning independent publisher in the UK, providing digital and design services, and has experience and the know-how to provide an excellent end product.

His services include:


From business to crime fiction, from small gift books to guidebooks, from travel literature to dictionaries. In addition he has also created a number of catalogues, as well as DVD inlays and many other print items.

Cover Design

From print ready PDF s and full cover designs from scratch.


Having spent the last four years working predominantly with eBooks, Ben has a full and thorough understanding of all the current eBook formats and how best to convert and distribute them.

He won an award for his digital work with my previous company (IPG E-Publishing Award 2009), so any questions or advice on eBooks he can help as pointing you in the right direction for conversion and distribution services.

There are details of all his services on Ben Ottridge Website and a Portfolio of his previous work.

Friday, 27 July 2012

Costa launches new award for unpublished short story

Costa has launched a new award for a single, previously unpublished short story, with the winner to receive £3,500.

The Costa Short Story Award will run in association with the Costa Book Awards but will be judged independently of the main five-category system, with a separate judging panel to select a shortlist of six entries, unveiled in November. The six shortlisted stories will then be open to an online public vote, with the winner to be announced at the Costa Book Awards ceremony on 29th January 2013. Two runners-up will each receive £750.

The judges for the inaugural year of the award are Richard Beard, director of the National Academy of Writing; Woman & Home books editor and novelist, Fanny Blake; writer Victoria Hislop; actor, writer and musician Gary Kemp, and William Morris Endeavor agent Simon Trewin. All entries will be judged without the identity of the author being available to the judges.

Entries must be no more than 4,000 words, and written in English by an author aged 18 or over. The author's primary residence over the past three years must have been the UK or Ireland.

Entry opens on Monday 16th July and closes at 4 p.m. on 7th September, via
Costa UK marketing director Kevin Hydes said: “What’s really exciting about our new short story award is that it’s open to absolutely everyone. For the first time, we’re able to extend the reach of the book awards in ways we never have before.

"You don’t need a publisher or an agent to enter this competition, just an idea and writing talent and we’re encouraging anyone who has ever considered writing creatively, and those who write already, professionally or otherwise, to enter.”

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Curtis Brown and Foyles team up for author 'Discovery Day'

Aspiring authors are being given the chance to pitch their novels to a panel of agents at a new day event from Curtis Brown and Foyles this September.

The literary agency is teaming up with the Charing Cross Road bookshop to offer writers the opportunity to have their first page read by an agent and receive free feedback.

Hopeful novelists can sign up for one-to-one sessions with a panel of agents at a "Discovery Day" on 22nd September, where there will also be a general writers’ surgery, followed by a discussion on book publishing between Curtis Brown’s joint c.e.o. Jonny Geller, Michael Joseph publisher Sam Humphreys and author Hari Kunzru.
The news comes as Curtis Brown Creative, the agency’s creative writing school, announced a first deal for one of their graduates. Agent Karolina Sutton sold debut novel, Barbarians by Tim Glencross to Mark Richards at Fourth Estate after a "hotly-contested" auction.

The 32-year-old lawyer’s book, which will be published in 2014, tells the story of a well-connected family negotiating the end of the New Labour years.

Monday, 23 July 2012

Author Solutions bought by Pearson and

Pearson has acquired self-publishing company Author Solutions Inc for $116m (£74m) in cash, with Penguin c.e.o. John Makinson saying "self-publishing has moved into the mainstream of our industry".

Formed in 2007, ASI generated approximately $100m of revenues in 2011, according to a Pearson statement, growing at an average annual rate of 12% over the past three years, with its revenues stemming primarily from services to authors. The company has worked with 150,000 authors to publish, market and distribute 190,000 books, with approximately 1,600 staff located mainly in Bloomington, Indiana and Cebu City, the Philippines.

In a statement, Penguin said the acquisition gives it "a leading position in this fast-growing segment of the publishing industry and brings significant opportunity for the two companies to collaborate".

The statement said ASI's strengths lie in "online marketing, consumer analytics, professional services and user-generated content", with Penguin contributing "design, editorial and sales skills, and its strong international presence", as ASI looks to expand outside the US.

Read more Pearson buys Author Solutions, will integrate with Penguin.

Friday, 20 July 2012

Self published authors to get help selling translation rights

The Alliance of Independent Authors has enlisted the help of agency A M Heath to represent writers looking for their work to be translated.

Rights director Jennifer Custer is to represent writers who have books suitable for international markets.

Orna Ross, the founder of the AIA, said, "It is almost impossible for an indie author to handle their own translation rights but now all our members' books will be read and assessed for international rights potential."

Custer said: "There's no question that we're on the brink of major changes in our industry. As the self-publishing revolution has hit the industry and is gaining momentum, I think there is a real opportunity to engage with authors who have gone the non-traditional route."

A M Heath to represent independent authors:

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Best selling crime authors booked for CSI Portsmouth 2012

Five internationally acclaimed best selling crime authors are booked to appear at this year’s CSI Portsmouth in November as part of Portsmouth BookFest.

Taking part in the third CSI Portsmouth event are top crime authors Stephen Booth, Ann Cleeves, Roger Ellory, Matt Hilton and Pauline Rowson who will join experts from Hampshire Police and Portsmouth University to discuss crime fiction and fact in a lively panel debate at John Pounds Community Centre, Portsmouth on Saturday 3 November.

Stephen Booth is an award winning UK crime writer, the creator of DC Ben Cooper and DS Diane Fry, who have appeared in twelve novels set in the Peak District.  He has been twice winner of a Barry Award for Best British Crime Novel. The Cooper & Fry series is published all around the world, and has been translated into fifteen languages. The latest Cooper & Fry novel, Dead and Buried, was published in June 2012.

Ann Cleeves is the author of the Vera series of crime novels which have been adapted into the popular ITV series starring Brenda Blethyn and David Leon. Raven Black, the first volume of her Shetland Quartet has been adapted for radio in Germany and in the UK and an adaptation of Red Bones is currently in preparation for television. Her books have been translated into twenty languages.

Roger Ellory’s fifth fifth novel, A Quiet Belief In Angels won the Livre De Poche Award, Strand Magazine Novel 2010, Mystery Booksellers USA Award, and the Nouvel Observateur Prize. A Quiet Vendetta won the Quebec Laureat and the Villeneuve Readers’ Prize.  A Simple Act of Violence won the UK Crime Novel of the Year.  Nominated for a further seven awards, his books have been translated into twenty-four languages.

Matt Hilton, secured a record-breaking five book deal for his Joe Hunter series. Since then he has had a five book deal in the USA, a further four book deal in the UK, as well as being translated into several languages.  A high ranking Martial Artist he worked in the private security industry for eighteen years, followed by four as a police officer with Cumbria Constabulary. His latest Joe Hunter thriller, No Going Back, has just been published.

Pauline Rowson is the award winning author of the marine mystery crime novels featuring DI Andy Horton set in the Solent area, Portsmouth and the Isle of Wight. Her crime novels have been highly acclaimed both in the UK and the USA and have been translated into several languages with translation rights in the DI Horton series having recently been sold to China where her novels will be published in 2012 and 2013.

They will join crime experts from Hampshire Constabulary including Crime Scene Manager Co-ordinator Carolyn Lovell, DC Terry Fitzjohn of Hampshire Police Arson Task Force and Andy Earl of Hampshire Fire and Rescue Services, Dr Bran Nicol of Portsmouth University and other police and forensic experts.

There will be a chance for delegates to see how the fingerprinting bureau works and have their fingerprints taken, as well as talk to the crime authors to find out how they come up with their intricate plots and research their novels.

A mobile bookshop, provided by the Hayling Island Bookshop will be selling signed copies of the authors’ books.

Portsmouth BookFest is a festival of popular literature organised by The Hayling Island Bookshop and Portsmouth City Council and runs from October 22 2012 to 3 November. Its aim is to promote reading for pleasure and enthusiasm for literature in the city of Portsmouth. There will be opportunities to hear and meet popular authors at events across the city and in schools with ticket offers to attract new members to city libraries and stimulate book ownership.

CSI Portsmouth 2012 is being held on Saturday 3 November at John Pounds Community Centre. Tickets go on sale on 24 September from the Box Office at 023 9268 8037 and cost £10 for the day with £3.00 redeemable against the purchase of a book bought at the event, and £1.00 discount for Portsmouth City Library members.
For more details on CSI Portsmouth 2012 visit or

Sponsors include:

Click for Dummies Website

Monday, 16 July 2012

Read for RNIB Day

Can you donate a signed novel to help raise funds for the Royal National Institute of Blind People for Read for RNIB Day?

The Royal National Institute of Blind People has created Read for RNIB Day in October to support the almost two million adults and children who are blind or partially sighted. They are raising funds to help provide reading services and support to people with sight loss across the UK.

As part of their fundraising activity, they are asking authors to donate a book which they plan to sell in their pop-up or on-line bookshop to help raise much needed funds. It costs around £2,500 to provide a lifeline to someone with sight loss by recording an RNIB Talking Book; this investment opens up a world of reading and helps to end the isolation of sight loss.

If you would like to donate a signed copy of one of your novels please send to the address below. 

Read for RNIB Day 2012.

Stacey Kerr
Senior Public Relations Officer
RNIB (Royal National Institute of Blind People)
105 Judd St, London WC1H 9NE

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Frederick Forsyth has been awarded the Crime Writers Association's Diamond Dagger award at the CWA's annual awards ceremony,

Frederick Forsyth has been awarded the Crime Writers Association's Diamond Dagger award at the CWA's annual awards ceremony on 5 July, which also saw the longlists for the Gold Dagger and Ian Fleming Steel Dagger revealed.

Forsyth was selected by his peers for the award, which recognises a significant and sustained contribution to crime fiction, with Peter James, chair of the CWA, declaring: “Frederick Forsyth is a hugely deserving recipient and The Day of the Jackal remains of the greatest thrillers of our times.”

Other winners included Aly Monroe, who scooped the CWA Ellis Peters Historical Dagger for Icelight (John Murray), while Andrea Camilleri, who has previously been shortlisted three times for his Inspector Montalbano novels, published by Picador, finally won the CWA International Dagger.

The Dagger for Non-fiction was awarded to the husband and wife team Anthony Summers and Robbyn Swan for The Eleventh Day (Doubleday), about the September 11th terrorist attacks.

Steve Mosby, published by Orion, picked up the CWA Dagger in the Library award, while Sandy Gingras won the 2012 Debut Dagger for her story "Beached", and Cath Staincliffe and Margaret Murphy shared the short story gong for tales included in Best Eaten Cold (The Mystery Press).

Monday, 9 July 2012

Mumsnet hold free summer book promotion

The women's community website Mumsnet is set to send out 350 free books to its members from 10th July in a “summer giveaway” promotion.

The giveaway is launched from Mumsnet’s book club newsletter which goes out overnight. The newsletter will link to an application form that Mumsnetters must complete to access the free books.

There are seven titles to choose from, with the group giving away 50 copies of each title. The selected books are: You by Joanna Briscoe (Bloomsbury); Cavalier Queen by Fiona Mountain (Preface Publishing); The Two Week Wait by Sarah Rayner (Picador); The Child Who by Simon Lelic (Mantle); Between the Lines by Jodi Picault and Samantha Van Leer (Hodder & Stoughton); The White Lie by Andrea Gillies (Short Books Ltd); and The Antidote by Oliver Burkeman (Canongate).

The promotion will also be marketed to users of Mumsnet's Facebook and Twitter.

Friday, 6 July 2012

Carlton Publishing buys Fiell Publishing

Carlton Publishing Group arts imprint Goodman, which launched in 2009 and is headed by chairman Jonathan Goodman, has acquired design, fashion and architecture publisher Fiell Publishing.

Peter and Charlotte Fiell, who founded Fiell in 2010, approached Goodman about the move, with Goodman acquiring the company and its backlist of 16 illustrated titles. The Fiells will continue to commission and edit the list, with Goodman contributing additional editorial input and sales and marketing reach.

Goodman said: "It is a very good market. They are not cheap books, they are about £30, but they are definitive sourcebooks and reference books and we find that market to be a solid one. You can’t find thousands of curated images and information on a website, and for students and professionals in the worlds of design, marketing, advertising, as well as the general public, these books are important. They look beautiful, they have a ‘flickability’ and they contain great information."

He added he envisaged the titles under the new imprint selling through "quality book stores and online, too, with some take-up from educational institutions—and also, around the rest of the world—our reach knows no bounds." On plans for digital publishing, Goodman acknowledged illustrated publishing was waiting for the right e-reading device to open up the market, and said: "I think we are ready and willing, but there are certain constraints at the moment, but if we are given the opportunity, then we will be as quick as anybody else."

Carlton snaps up Fiell publishing:

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Changes at literary agencies WME and United Agents

Simon Trewin has been made head of the WME UK literary division, taking over the role vacated by Eugenie Furniss in March. Meanwhile agent Elizabeth Sheinkman has also joined WME's London office, working alongside Cathryn Summerhayes.

Trewin joins WME from United Agents, where he had been a founding agent and director. Sheinkman joins WME from Curtis Brown.

Trewin can be contacted on

At United Agents, Robert Kirby becomes the new head of the literary division, succeeding Trewin.

 Read  more:  Trewin made literary head at WME:

Monday, 2 July 2012

Read for RNIB Day - call for books

The RNIB are looking for authors who would be happy to provide them with a signed copy of their book for the pop-up bookshop, as part of the Read for RNIB Day on 19 October 2012.
If you are interested in donating a book to the Read for RNIB Day bookshop, please contact Helen Gunesekera at

Read for RNIB Day

Date: 19 October 2012 - or whichever date suits you best
Location: all across the UK
Register online for Read for RNIB Day
This October you can join groups of friends and colleagues across the country taking part in Read for RNIB Day, and hold a reading themed event to support their work.
There are lots of ways to take part - from a traditional Book Sale or Literary Lunch to a Mad Hatter's Sensory Tea Party or an Extreme Reading Challenge, if you're feeling really adventurous! Try the RNIB Event picker to find the best event for you.
Last year they even broke a Guinness World Record!
Watch a YouTube video with blind and partially sighted people talking about the joys (and some of the frustrations) of eBooks.

To find out more visit