Thursday, 25 June 2009

Virtually Famous? The Hairy Plug Monster is still wrapped in swaddling clothes

As I described in a previous blog, the process of getting a book in print is rather like a pregnancy, 9 months of waiting and telling people until finally its born. Ironically the first month after the birth is very much the same. The Hairy Plug Monster is there on the shelves but hasn't really developed - friends and family have all been to visit,

"Ah" they say "well done", "good show" and then that's about it, not that I expected much more - but like a proud dad, you want everything all at once.

Considering that there is a global recession on, I am surprised that the queries I have sent out to get The Hairy Plug Monster printed elsewhere have remained unanswered. I do however have an old acquaintance in Macedonia who is in the printing business, and promised to get a quote over to me. The friend in question Dimitiri also speaks about 6 different languages and offered to do the translation in his native tongue, I have also had offers from Germany, Russia and Spain and a possible Punjabi contact as well, which has made me think of the viability of converting the book into an E-book and having no publishing cost at all, whilst being able to offer it in as many languages as possible.

Волосистой плагина чудовище apparently in Russian, whilst Die haarige Monster Plug would be preferred by our German friends.

وقد شعر لسد الوحش in Arabic but I am just going to have to take their word for it
毛狀插件怪物 would be a Chinese variant... sorry I am getting carried away now

Friday, 19 June 2009

The Pound in the Ground

Can you remember, when you were really young and even the smallest amount of money meant "treasure"? I took my daughters into town this week and each one was given a pound to spend by my wife (as a bribe...I expect) in return for their good behaviour.

My youngest daughter Maya-Rose and co star of The Hairy Plug Monster, managed to talk almost non stop about all the things she was going to buy with the pound, as if it was "all the money in the world", and when she finally did spend the pound on a fairly long ride on the static Merry-go-Round, I sat down to watch her and composed this little ditty - all about a child's joy, when they find treasure.

Lying there in the sand was a shiny new pound
It was small, thick and heavy and glowed from the ground
He bent down to look at the thing that he found
Had somebody dropped it?
Had somebody lost it ?
There was no one to ask
There was no one around

So slowly he picked up the treasure he found
It was cold, hard and heavy and but perfectly round
He wiped off the sand that was stuck to the crown
On the head of the Queen
Who lives in a palace
Looking quite proud
On the shiny new pound

What could he do with the treasure he found
And could he be the, richest boy in the town?
He thought of the things he could buy with the pound
A massive big house
Or maybe a mouse
Or a shiny new car
with big wheels going round

Thursday, 18 June 2009

sssh dont tell anyone, but we are getting some cheaper books printed at the end of June

There is a buzz in the air at the moment, we had an offer this week from a leading north west entrepreneur to invest in Hairy Plug Monster, to assist with the printing and distribution of the book on a wide scale basis, as well taking care of the merchandising.

"WOW!,How cool is that?"

Whether or not we take them up on the offer remains to be seen, but having the book in print for only a 10 days and receiving an offer already bodes well for the future.

We have ordered 220 copies of The Hairy Plug Monster from the original printer, which should be here at the end of June price 7.49 + 1.00 P&P for the U.K.

As soon as the extra copies arrive here, we will place a "BUY IN THE UK" button on website, I will let you all know when they arrive.

Sunday, 14 June 2009

Watch the birdie

If I am not careful, the whole of this blog is going to just be about me telling you how good The Hairy Plug Monster is, whereas it would be better if you could tell me your thoughts on the book or better still send me a picture of you reading the book and we will feature it on the website

As a side project I am going to embark on trying to get as many famous people as possible to consent to being photographed reading the Hairy Plug Monster, and am going to set myself a target of 10 by the end of the year initially and take it from there.

Maybe you know somebody in the public eye?

Friday, 12 June 2009

I'm in the mood for chancing

We had a stroke of luck today - one of my former clients when I was a garden designer also happens to be a presenter on the UK t.v. show Loose Women. (which I must confess I haven't seen) - Anyway to make a short story long, before I wanted to be a writer I have always wanted to be a "pop star", so whilst working at their house, I used to constantly talk about my life as a musician to her husband, who was also a very good guitarist.

Me being very shallow saw it as another opportunity, but needless to say they didn't seem that impressed and to tell you the truth I cant blame them. I did email them later to say that I have got a record contract and that I had also written The Hairy Plug Monster and could I borrow their publisher.

However today, I got an email out of the blue asking whether I could stand in as a temporary keyboard player for one of the projects that the guitarist is working on, which I naturally agreed to.

What a result, I get to go and play music, as a favour for him and at the same time get a chance to show the book. As luck would have it their young daughter had her four friends round and being part of the target market I asked if I could give the book a test drive.

So there I found myself, sat in the back room, reading to a group of young children in the home of a celebrity whose face seems to be on the front cover of every magazine. The best thing was, the kids really loved The Hairy Plug Monster.... and I get to do a gig.

They did ask for a copy, but as I didn't have any to give, I said I would get a signed copy to them in exchange for a review, which to me seems a very good trade.......I have seven days to learn how to play 8 new I will let you know how the gig goes.

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Its going to take a very long time to become an overnight success

So now we have a book, The Hairy Plug Monster - if you didn't know, and I suppose the hard part starts now. Its all rather like at the birth if a child, I mean you conceive the idea, then about 9 months later your book is born, delivered into the world by a publishing house and that's it. They hand you the book all wrapped up in its swaddling clothes and send you both out into the big wide world.

We are now in a position to start marketing the book, but are hampered slightly by the fact that Authorhouse have put quite a hefty shipping charge on the book - which in my view seems slightly myopic on their part. How many more sales would they make if they lowered their charges to the public for shipping? Its a pity as well ,that never once did they advise of the additional cost's - Initially I was really vexed about the whole affair and pulled the add off Facebook, however the book itself is 42 pages in full colour and I suppose it's weight must be taken into consideration.

However, in order to give "my fans" lol - better value for money, we are looking at alternative printers for the book, but as HPM Media Ltd are a publishing house in their own right we shouldn't need a company like Authorhouse to do most of the work for us - and subsequently take most of the profit.

So now the search is on to find a printer who can not only produce a high quality product, but one who can do it consistantly time after time, for all of the books. In light of this I discovered a new website called Bobex UK where you can pitch your needs on the web and prospective clients will try and bid for your custom.

Its been an emotional week, and at the end of it all The Hairy Plug Monster
is now available on Amazon, Author House, Barnes and Noble and will soon be available on Waterstones -

Saturday, 6 June 2009

Congratulations its a book

Its slightly later than I had planned to tell you, but the book The Hairy Plug Monster is available to buy from Author House, I checked with website but the link hasn't appeared as yet.

As soon as I knew that the publishers had released the book, I have spent all day telling everybody.

The girl who sold me a lottery ticket,
The girl who sold me Danish Pastry
All my friends on Facebook -( I expect I will soon find out how close we really are by the sales figures.)

Random people in my contacts list - in fact everyone I have met, I have spoken to MEN the local media syndicate, gone to the schools library service and shown them my wares.

"Have you got kids?, you have? That's great, I have just released a book " - yada yada yada

The last eight months have been spent dreaming of this day when I can finally say - "I am a published author" now the only thing that is on my mind is " How do I let the world know that I am a published author" and why don't they know already.

I suppose this is the learning curve that everyone must take - I expect that by the time I come to publish The Hairy Plug Monster goes Shopping, Be careful Ethel, or The Marvelous Mouse I should be a dab hand at self publicity.

I cant describe the feeling that I get when I read The HPM to children and watch their eyes light up at the antics of Maya and the HPM - nor the satisfaction of watching my three year old daughter look into the bath at the draining bathwater and tell me that the noise I can hear is the sound of the HPM drinking all the bathwater.. every child I have read the story to wants to believe that there a HPM underneath their bath and I have heard of instances where they have bent down with their ear to the floor listening out - just like the book.

Job Done I would say, well at least the easy part.

Friday, 5 June 2009


I have managed to squeeze out a few opening lines for a new piece based on Maya's reluctance to look after a cut on her leg and risk infection. With my kids at least I find that trying the softly softly approach never seems to work, so instead I told her she would end up like my friend.

One -Legged Steve

" who's that ?" she asked

well I said and made up a tale about a friend who didn't look after a cut on his leg......and it fell off!!!

The look of shock on her face was priceless, and it wasn't long before a flannel bathed in Dettol was applied to the graze.

Its strange how a simple throwaway comment can evolve so quickly. Just in the same way I suppose that The Hairy Plug Monster evolved from an "off the cuff " comment to what could be one of those classic books that every child has on their book shelf.

So here is the opening gambit let me know what you think

There is an old pirate,
Called One-legged Steve
Who lives in the same part of town that I do
There’s a sad sorry tale,
Behind the strange name
And the reason that Stephen needs only one shoe!

Of course that is not all of it, but that is all I am going to post today...

Catch up with you later

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

Almost there

For the last week I have been emailing radio stations to see if I can get my book on the air, however, as yet no-one seems to be interested although it is early days. I know that the concept of the HPM and the other stories to follow will definitely appeal to both parents and children alike and eventually word will spread.

This is one of the problems with operating on a shoestring budget, it would be nice to tell the world on every commercial break that " The Hairy Plug Monster" is out on sale and is brilliant!!!! so buy it - and subsequently people do.

The reality is though, that the HPM is going to have to rely heavily on "word of mouth" and via the Internet which is going to take a long time. For anyone who has read the book, I would welcome your comments good or bad. Naturally I will publish the good ones on this blog - and keep the bad ones to ourselves ( but obviously take on board whatever is on your mind).

So that's basically it for this week, there is not really a lot to report to you, admittedly the HPM should already be out on sale, but as we have knit-picked over every detail (including a 4 week delay due to choosing the font) we are about 10 days behind schedule. The good thing is that once the book is out, it will be out forever.

Its time to start crossing fingers!!!