Saturday, 27 March 2010

Independent Publisher Out-Performs Majors with Crime Fiction Debut Novel

News Release
Date: 27 March 2010
Independent Publisher Out-Performs Majors with
Crime Fiction Debut Novel
Caffeine Nights Publishing celebrated the launch of Nick Quantrill’s crime thriller Broken Dreams on March 16th in front of a sell out audience at the Crime & the City event at the Phillip Larkin Centre in Hull. Nick, whose book has received fantastic coverage in the Yorkshire region with TV, radio and newspaper interviews, went on to a sell-out book signing in under two hours at Waterstones in Hull. The signing taking place in a week which reported the lowest sales of the year out-performed recent ‘celebrity’ book signings and set a benchmark for an unknown author with a debut book from a small independent publisher by selling all 43 ordered copies.

Editor Note

Nick Quantrill was a winner of the HarperCollins Crime Tour Competition in 2006 for his short story ‘Punishment’ before he went on to complete Broken Dreams.

Broken Dreams is published by Caffeine Nights Publishing – rrp £7.99.
Review copies of Broken Dreams are available from the publisher on request.

Synopsis - ‘Broken Dreams by Nick Quantrill

Joe Geraghty, Private Investigator, is used to struggling from one case to the next, barely making the rent on his small office in the Old Town of Hull. Invited by a local businessman to investigate a member of his staff’s absenteeism, it’s the kind of surveillance work that Geraghty and his small team have performed countless times. When Jennifer Murdoch is found bleeding to death in her bed, Geraghty quickly finds himself trapped in the middle of a police investigation which stretches back to the days when the city had a thriving fishing industry. As the woman’s tangled private life begins to unravel, the trail leads Geraghty to local gangster-turned-respectable businessman, Frank Salford, a man with a significant stake in the city’s regeneration plans. Still haunted by the death of his wife in a house fire, it seems the people with the answers Geraghty wants are the police and Salford, both of whom want his co-operation for their own ends. With everything at stake, some would go to any length to get what they want, Geraghty included.

If you would like a review copy of Broken Dreams please email and place ARC in the title/headline of your email along with a postal address or email address if you require the eBook version. ARC’s are available to press requests for review purposes.
If you would like to interview NickQuantrill, please call 01634 837049 and ask for Darren.
Broken Dreams – ISBN 978-0-9554070-2-4, paperback, RRP £7.99
Broken Dreams - ISBN 978-0-9554070-3-1, eBook, RRP £4.95

Sunday, 21 March 2010

A Week to Remember

The launch week of any new title is an exciting time but when it is your first title especially so.  We have spent two years trailing the market with test titles, tying up distribution deals and getting to grip with digital technology.  This week we launched ‘Broken Dreams’ by Nick Quantrill and had an excellent public relations push for the title with the media.

ITV Yorkshire produced an excellent report on their nightly Calendar programme for Nick and BBC Radio Humberside carried out a ten minute interview.  The newspaper coverage for Nick was especially good with the Hull Daily Mail including two features (one in the main section – entertainment and one in the business section) plus a separate mention of the book signings. We also gained a major feature in the Yorkshire Daily Post including a podcast on its website by journalist Nick Ahad.

In-between all of this activity we secured two highly successful book signings at Waterstone in Hull and the Hessle Bookshop. We also arranged future book signings at Waterstones in other cities plus a ticketed book event at Simply Books in Pocklington, which will be a great night with radio actor Pete Haslam reading from Nick’s book and Nick answering questions from the audience.

Kicking this first week of activity of Nick was invited to Crime and the City at the University of Hull, Phillip Larkin Centre.  The event was a sell-out and Nick read from Broken Dreams and answered questions.

With a number of other events lined up and more PR to support it we hope to continue the push and keep the interest of the media and the book buying public.

To create success you have to work hard and be proactive and fight against discrimination, short-sightedness and ignorance.  You have to be stubborn, refuse to take no for an answer and learn to roll with the punches and there are quite a few punches and low blows.  But if you have a quality product, talented authors willing to work hard and a plan to get your product to the media and the public then you are in a better position than most.  It is very early days for Caffeine Nights Publishing and nothing is certain but we want to make a difference.  We want to change the way the industry works and thinks.  It’s a long road and we are at the very beginning, but it is exciting…

Sunday, 7 March 2010

Waste on Demand- Why POD is the Green Alternative the Industry doesn’t want?

There is an alternate reality where in a sane world business revolves around demand being created, supplied and fulfilled.  This world does not rely on an artificial or should I say superficial business model which is based solely on waste, heavy on resources and harmful with its impact on the environment.  Yet this world, crazily, is ignored by the majority of people owning and operating the industry.  In fact the industry works against a business model which is not built on a vanity turnover, excessive and unsustainable waste and greed.  I am of course talking about the crazy world of publishing.  The more sustainable model of ‘Print on Demand’ (POD) can address many issues of waste, environmental impact and democratise the industry, so why is it not a natural choice.  It is clear that many forces in the industry conspire against it becoming the chosen model for the industry moving forward and those factors run deep within the whole industry from distribution through to bookstores. 

For instance when our titles are set up we state that we allow returns just like any other publisher, yet part of the distribution chain which allows our books to be ordered just like any other publisher makes a decision which we cannot control not to allow these returns to happen – even though we have given permission for this to happen.  Believe me, we would rather books were not returned but we are realists and if a book is returned after sale for whatever reason we would rather have that book come back so it can be redistributed or checked for whatever reason. This is how the system works with mainstream publishers and it means that booksellers reduce their risk when overstocking. Overstocking is a part of the publishing business model which Caffeine Nights Publishing is against as it is not sustainable and carried out solely to enhance publisher and book store turnover.

A pattern starts to emerge where it is clear that some parts of the industry are against POD for a number of reasons.  Many of them are spurious and most are designed to protect a system which clearly is coming to an end.  Some bookstores won’t order a POD title because a distributor won’t accept the return or will only sell it as a ‘firm’ sale even though the publisher has expressly stressed that it is willing to accept returns.  The bookshop will then make a decision not to stock a title which it can’t return.  The bookstore may even turn down requests to have author signings because of this in the mistaken belief that it is the publisher’s decision.  POD means that book store managers could actually order a very limited number of a single title and have it in stock or respond to demand and order it when requested. Surely an ideal situation if distributors would play ball.

There is also a myth perpetuated by many elements in the industry that POD is inferior quality, in fact that all elements of publishers using POD is inferior, from design right through to content.  This is a number one myth perpetuated by an industry which refuses to accept POD and new smaller publishers.  Yes, it is true we don’t have the resources the major publishers have, but the fact is and what frightens many of them, is that you don’t actually need the deep pockets to produce a quality product people want to read and enjoy. The music industry has fought long and hard against change but gradually accepted it and seen that it can be healthy ad exceptionally creative.  Publishing is still very class driven and pretentious, so I guess the reactions to protect a business model which has been around since the year dot is not wholly unsurprising.

Book shops all over the world can order out titles in whatever quantities they wish to but we would rather that ordering was based on demand and fulfilled this way.  We don’t believe in printing a million copies of our titles unless we can actually sell a million titles.  Sales are far more important than having our titles sitting on shelves for months on end unsold, but for a large part of the publishing industry they don’t care as long as they hog space in stores and provide turnover for both parties.  These publishers don’t care if books are returned in their thousands or tens of thousands;there is always the remainder stores and supermarkets to flog off excess quantities at massively reduced prices and if that doesn’t work there is always the shredder and landfill.  Because let’s face it in the quantities in which they are produced each copy probably costs a matter of pence.

Does this mean POD publishers have no ambition?  No, we want to have million sellers not million returners, but we also want to be given an even and fair playing field in which to operate. If a publisher says he will accept returns then why cannot the distributor accept that fact and allow the books an even chance.