To print a minimum of 5000 copies of the first book in the Peter Black series (for children aged 8 to 80) with its new artwork, and to heavily promote it as a kickstart to my publishing business Mysterious Books
I've been writing seriously for 13 years now, and apart from having a few poems and short stories published in anthologies I decided to self-publish under my new brand Mysterious Books. With a logo and website I created, and a million tons of enthusiasm, I managed to get the first three books printed and into various branches of Waterstones and other book stores (not the easiest of tasks). When I was distributing my books to Waterstones I had to deal with Gardners, who took 57.5% of the cover price of the book. Most of this went to the retailer. So this combined with no capital, the low print-runs and the cost of distribution, it was a difficult thing to make a success.
Since receiving a fan-letter from a school in Scotland and various other words of encouragement (such as "When's the next book coming out?") from some of my other readers, I feel ready to push this business and writing career to the next level, where it will become sustainable. The one single thing which would make this possible is by getting a much larger print-run done, as I still have loads of energy and enthusiasm to get out there promoting it, visiting book stores and schools, running competitions and workshops etc. The last time I was trying this I had print-runs of a few hundred at a time, so now I plan to have at least 5000 printed with the beautiful new cover:
N.B. There is one difference in the final cover, which is that the spine is dark with white letters.
If you click on this image, it will take you through to my Amazon author's page. The artist who created the front cover picture is Andrew Usher.
Here's my website for some more information about my publishing efforts so far:
Here are the three book covers I produced a few years ago, which I'm planning to update:
Here is the fan-mail I received a few months ago (with the senders' names edited a little) which gave me the encouragement to take more action on this project:
I am a School Librarian based on the outskirts of Glasgow at E... High School.
All S1 and S2 pupils visit the Library once a fortnight. We have a reading programme for both year groups. Part of the first year programme includes writing to a favourite author, and not surprisingly your name has come up.
Unfortunately I was unable to find a land address to send Paul's letter to you. However, decided to copy it to this address.
I am a pupil from E... High School and I am writing to you as part of a Library task. I am 13 and in S1.
I am a fan of your and I think your books are fascinating and exciting to read. Your books make me want to read more. My favourite one is Peter Black and the Mystery of Craven's Lake.
I think you are a top author, the best in my opinion. I'd really like to meet you and hope your success continues.
I would love it if you wrote back to me.
I quite understand that you have a very busy schedule but any response would really make Paul's day.
I organise a lot of author events. This year I've managed to take 190 pupils to the Edinburgh Book Festival. We've had John Farrell, Maggie Gibson and Chris Higgins to the school and visited Darren Shan (another school nearby). In March we hope to go to the Scottish Children's Book Awards in Dundee and also am linking with a primary school and doing some author workshops. So if you are ever down this way and want to do a visit please let me know and hopefully we can sort something out.
Hopefully you can see I've put a lot into this project already, and although I began 8 years ago I haven't been able to commit to it full time. If you see potential in what I've done so far, please back the project and finally I will be able to get every part of this project done properly and make it the success it should be.
Thank you in advance!
Simon J Halliday.
Risks and challenges
My business is still a one-man operation for now, so the main risk is if something unexpectedly happens to me. In terms of delivering the rewards you expect I don't see any more risk than this, because I already have the book ready to print at the printers. In fact by the time you read this I will probably already have 50 copies, which I've ordered for promotional purposes and to check everything is right with them. I don't foresee any problems with visits because I already drive, sometimes long distances, most days.
I was just asked that question by someone so I thought I'd post it here. The first thing is, try again soon, perhaps reload the page or try a different card. If it doesn't work then see if you can contact kickstarter about it, scroll down to the bottom of the page and you'll find the contact page link. I don't think these problems happen very often so you should be able to get it resolved quickly.
EXCLUSIVE: Receive a limited edition postcard through the post (it will be numbered as would a limited edition piece of art), signed by myself, which features the new Craven Lake artwork, the Mysterious Books logo and a picture of me. This offer is exclusive to this Kickstarter project, and I will only have a maximum of 250 printed.
PAPERBACK PLUS EBOOK: One paperback copy of the newly printed 'Peter Black and the Craven Lake Mystery', signed by the author if desired and with any requested dedication, along with a digital eBook version of the same book, sent by email in any desired format.
One paperback copy of the newly printed book 'Peter Black and the Craven Lake Mystery' (signed if desired) and also one paperback copy of my second book 'Peter Black and the Deadly Letters,' (signed if desired), delivered through the post.
Are you a writer? Not only do I write every day, I also read every day. You can send me a short story of up to 3000 words in English as a word document by e-mail or through the post. I will read your story and critique it thoroughly, with analysis of plot, characters and style. I can send your personalised critique by e-mail or by post and it will be one side of A4. If I'm sending it through the post then I'll also sign the critique. No correspondence can be entered into regarding my analysis of your work, but I assure you it will be thorough, honest and helpful.
I will advertise your book or publishing website on my own website and Mysterious Books Facebook page for one month. This offer excludes websites of a racist, sexual or violent nature. This advertising will greatly increase your own online presence, especially considering the Amazon advertising (which will mention my website) and Facebook PPC campaigns I am planning.
As I am writing every day, sometimes on my computer and sometimes on paper, I am in a position to offer you your very own personalised story. It will be a short story in English, hand-written on very high quality paper, around 2000 words long and signed by me. You can specify a particluar theme, setting or genre if you wish although I will not write scenes of a gratuitous, racist or otherwise offensive nature! If you would like yourself, someone else or something specific to appear in the story then simply ask and I will make sure I include this personalisation as well. I am offering just 10 of these completely original items, which I think will turn out to be an excellent acquisition for you. Please note once the story is finished and despatched to you, no alterations can be made. The story I send you will be the final copy.
I will visit your school (anywhere in England, Scotland or Wales) and give a talk to however many children you wish about how I came to write the books and the importance of literacy and reading. I can also create a writing workshop if desired. My visit can last up to two hours if you wish. I will also give five signed copies of the book to your library.