Saturday, 30 April 2011

While the Cat's away...

I know, I know .....first blog post since January, no good for the stat's and all that - all the Google rankings shot to bits, the world forgets who you are...blah blah blah.

Well I've been busy, (no honest, I have).  Busy trying to find a real income to supplement being a "superstar author".  I also took a step back to reassess my current situation with the publishing business and realised that in its present format the future looks really bleak for the small independent publisher.

First and foremost the economic climate is not favourable, and those individuals who were able to invest money in the arts as a labour of love are no longer as prevalent as they used to be.  So regardless of how good a product is, people are reluctant to finance it. 

In the case of HPM Media Ltd. we have lots of projects on the back burner waiting to be brought to market and the pile is steadily growing.  This includes the several follow ups to The Hairy Plug Monster, Be Careful Ethel, and of course Spooky Tales.

To bring all of these worthwhile productions out requires a lot of initial outlay and even then they have to be distributed and placed in a ever dwindling number of booksellers.  

The cost of distributing and marketing the books then eats into the margins and when you only have one title out there,  it almost costs a pound to make a pound (if you see what I mean)

Invitations to schools and libraries seem to have dried up as well, again most likely due to external forces - (budget cuts) although I did have a good World Book Week, with another invite from Alison Davies of Bury Central Library and one from Hillcrest Grammar.  Needless to say, I went down a storm at both. 

I consider myself a seasoned professional when it comes to performing my work in front of children,  It was heartening to know that " One Legged Steve" went down really well, with "There's something wrong with Grandad" not far behind.

In fact all the poems from Spooky Tales have proved really popular - and now there is a large number of people waiting for the audio book to come out.  Unfortunately we seem to have lost our actor Steve, who has gone off to work on other projects, but have a wealth of talent waiting in the wings to take his place.

To add an extra dimension to the tales, we have recruited Paul Alderson to do the sound design and really bring the stories to life.  It is now looking like Halloween 2011 before Spooky Tales  will be ready for release, and even though it's frustrating to be delayed - it has given me chance to research the best digital outlets and familiarise myself more with the distribution side of things.

Finally, and completely under the radar, Kul has been getting Be Careful Ethel ready for production with the first hard draft being sent of to as I write.  I will tell you more when I know a bit myself.  Once I get the book back, I can register it for an ISBN number and let the bookstores of the world know of it's existence again.  That's when the exciting stuff can begin again.