Tag Archives: book

My Watchmaker’s Time by Joe Clarke

Watchmakers Time A5 CoverHR

Joe Clarke’s first novel, Mirrors Don’t Tell Lies, was almost 6 years in the making having undergone a series of rewrites in the process. His latest publication, My Watchmaker’s Time, followed along in a similar vein although taking a year or so less to complete. This week I had a quick chat with Joe about his new novel from Selfpublishbooks.ie.

“Once finished I had no real ambition to publish either works but subsequently gave in to family promptings,” Joe said, “I felt, at the time, that something as beautiful as the written word, especially in book form, was a fitting legacy and I am very proud of what I have achieved thus far.”

Following on and prior to his early retirement Joe also dabbled with poetry, writing scores of poems along the way.
“I love the simplicity of telling complexed stories in just a few rhyming verses,” Joe admits, “Occasionally I target the humour of topically funny stories via my email inbox or headline banners and make them real. I believe that poetry is as complicated or as simple as the writer cares to make it. I have written poems about life, death, love and hate with more than a sprinkling of adventure thrown in. When I eventually reach the milestone of having written 250 poems I will then seriously consider publishing them in their entirety. Prose versus Poetry is such a tight call for me simply because both play such a huge part in my life. I’d say the one starting with the letter ‘P’ wins hands down.”

 

What was it in this second novel that kept him engaged? “I really enjoyed writing My Watchmaker’s Time as it gave me the opportunity to think outside the box, steering away from the conventional,” he maintains, “The novel is made up of a series of short stories spanning centuries. It revolves around the life of Bryan Barnett, a pretty regular type of guy, who must seek his redemption through a series of tasks set up by a Higher Power. My favourite chapter tells the tale of Abe and Lucy, a pair of young ambitious hopefuls, during the great ‘Californian Gold Rush’ of 1849. Their original naivety in searching for gold saw them swiftly change direction when they accidentally struck rich. Setting up a series of hardware stores throughout the States brought more wealth than they at first had imagined. It’s a gripping story of rags to riches that more than just pulls at the heart strings. Really one to enjoy!”

 

How does My Watchmaker’s Time compare to Mirrors Don’t Tell Lies? Joe pauses on this. “To stand back and compare both books is very difficult to do, given their diversity. Aesthetically, both compare equally well although I will always have a special fondness for my first book, which is understandable, I suppose. I would like to once again thank Selfpublishbooks.ie for making my words come to life in the form of an exquisite book. Special thanks go to Shelley O’Reilly for the fantastic work done in producing such a stunning cover. Huge thanks also to my wife Terry for her support throughout. Without all of your help it would be but just a dream.”

 

So what’s next for Joe? “I am currently working on my third novel, The Case of the Missing Letter, a detective story with many twists and turns. It’s shaping very good at the moment but is still someway from completion. When inspiration isn’t there, you know, it just isn’t there and right now I am in that place, time for golf? I have no doubt that a few weeks away from the computer and on the golf course will do the trick, yet again. Funny old game this writing!”
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Book Promotion Strategies — That Actually Work

What’s the best book promotion strategy you’ve ever seen?

Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian took to Reddit to seek promotion advice for his new book, Without Their Permission: How the 21st Century Will Be Made, Not Managed.

He asked the network of loyal readers: “What are some of the smartest things you’ve seen people do to promote a book? … I’d like to make the most out of all this time I have to do some awesome stuff for the fine folks who’d pre-order/buy a copy.”

We’ve collected ten reader responses below to help you plan your own book promotion.

 

Book Promotion Strategies That Actually Worked

1. oguerrieri wrote: “Definitely offer free e-book with purchase of hard copy! Something I wish every book did.”

2. JoanofLorraine wrote: “My favorite example is the writer who opened a storefront in Brooklyn that sold only copies of his own book.”

3. josephflaherty wrote: “The little things Field Notes does, like putting in a themed patch or button goes a long way to making their books feel more like cultural artifacts than indie Moleskines.”

4. HAGOODMANAUTHOR wrote: “Advertising on Reddit has increased my Kindle sales exponentially”

5. josephflaherty added: “Put it in a crazy package: Seth Godin put copies of his books in Milk/Cereal boxes which made them really stand out and feel more like limited edition products than books.”

6. Davytron wrote: “when i worked at a book store, these ladies gave every employee a copy of their cook book. A bunch of us used the recipes and ended up telling customers and family about them. It was very nice but also a clever way to get us to promote their book.”

7. Thestom wrote: “Free book of equal or lesser value with the purchase of the author’s book.”

8. josephflaherty also added: “I’m sure you’ve got the book tour part dialed in, but treating them more like concerts would be fascinating … Would be fun for a tour to host a few local entrepreneurs who have succeeded without permission.”

9. Ms Adler wrote: “doing a discount on ebooks will often get you more readers that may not otherwise purchase a hard copy, and signed first editions are prized by collectors.”

10. Ginroth concluded: “Writing a good book.”

 

Reblogged in full from Jason Boog at Galleycat

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Mirrors Don’t Tell Lies

 

Mirrors Don't Tell Lies A5 Cover

Joe Clarke, golfer, traveller, fisher, has always had a healthy fascination with the written word. His first novel, Mirrors Don’t Tell Lies, has been reprinted this year by Selfpublishbooks.ie and we caught up with the author this week to chat about it.

 

Mirrors Don’t Tell Lies was my first novel,” Joe says, “It caught the bug from talking to another author friend in the States. I set about writing this book almost 5 years ago initially taking 5 months to complete. I have since rewritten it twice adding another 4 months on to this time-frame. With a love for detective movies, crime and the solving of same was always going to be the topic for my book. Pretty much with an open mind, no set agenda, I let my imagination run wild all the time developing the story and introducing characters as it went along. I have changed the original ending adding another chapter in the process.

 

“From my teenage years I had a love for writing although in those days I favoured lyric writing, hoping it would give me my big break but alas it didn’t happen. For a time I also contributed to the Drogheda United match day programme. In the subsequent years following on from my retirement I initially wrote poetry which I still very much love to do.

 

I asked Joe what his favourite part to write was. “Chapter 19,” he says, without a doubt, “when protagonist Tom Doyle who is a much accredited, well-respected retired Scotland Yard detective suddenly gives in to his softer side when he once again, after 5 years, meets up with his only daughter Susan and two grand children Elle and Toby who he knew nothing about.”

 

Sounds intriguing! Joe talked a little about what made him rewrite and reprint this book. “Since I finished the re-write of my first book my family have asked me to publish it but I always felt that the expense simply didn’t justify it. However, when I checked it out I was pleasantly surprised to discover that it wasn’t nearly as expensive as first thought. Having had no prior experience with publishing I adopted a very nervous and cautious approach. Daunting would probably describe the initial phase but with the help and assistance of Sharon, my fears were quickly allayed. As you can imagine it was a big learning curve for me but I must say that I found the whole process a pleasant experience.”

 

I asked Joe what the physical book was like: “The finished product was beyond my expectations and I am obviously most pleased with it.”

 

So what’s next for the mystery writer? “My next publication ‘My Watchmaker’s Time’ is already written and is currently being proofed. I expect to have the final file ready in three weeks and intend to then publish it through Selfpublishishbooks.ie. I then intend to write my third novel but haven’t yet decided on a plot. Watch this space!”

 

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Literary Mixtape: What’s Happening This Week

#10

What do we make of Marcel (Proust)?

#9

More children are using libraries

#8

Self-Publishing 2013 with Catherine Ryan Howard

#7

The Book Thief film adaptation

#6

Sylvia Plath: Reflections on her legacy

#5

The National Emerging Writer Programme

#4

A new look into Jane Austen

#3

On Richard III being found in a Leicester car park.

#2

How much should you budget to self-publish your book?

#1

Get a free copy of Poetry Magazine!

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Don’t judge The Bell Jar by its cover

Faber’s new cover for The Bell Jar may be garish, but if it finds a new audience for Sylvia Plath’s novel then who cares?


This post is reblogged in full from The Guardian website and is written by Sam Jordison.

It may have first come out 50 years ago, but The Bell Jar still causes controversy. The anniversary has seen all the old arguments and enmities boiling over again, but this book strikes such a nerve that even a new cover can start a row.

Writing on the LRB blog, Fatema Ahmed pours scorn on Faber’s “silly” 50th anniversary edition, calling it a woefully inappropriate attempt to rebrand the book as chick lit. She quotes the always reliable Twitter feed from Melville House asking: “How is this cover anything but a ‘fuck you’ to women everywhere?” and Andy Pressman, a graphic designer, who derided the new cover as “awesomelycomicallyhistorically inapprop” and said: “And by ‘historically’ I mean ‘incorrect on a scale of which we have few historical precedents’, not ‘That typeface didn’t exist in that era’.”

There is a strong argument against the new design. Ahmed says:

 

“The anniversary edition fits into the depressing trend for treating fiction by women as a genre, which no man could be expected to read and which women will only know is meant for them if they can see a woman on the cover.”

 

I can see where she’s coming from. That is indeed a depressing trend. And the cover does indeed look a bit like those other garish covers that supposedly only appeal to women. While I’m notching up the negatives, there’s also the simple fact that the original cover by Shirley Tucker is a thing of great beauty: a timeless classic that is to the new cover as a single-malt is to tar water.

But, here’s the thing. This latest edition has sold truckloads. The official figures aren’t out yet, but Faber have assured me it’s doing the business. There’s no evidence that this cover has ostracised a potential part of its audience, but there is already some that it has helped the book reach a new generation of readers.

Okay, this is an inexact science, and perhaps those sales should be attributed as much to the 50th anniversary publicity and renewed interest in the author as they are to that garish red cover. But the fact remains that the book is selling – and quite possibly reaching a new audience, as Faber claim is their exact intention. Hannah Griffiths, publisher of paperbacks at Faber, says they were aiming for a more “welcoming package” in the belief that “there is a reader for this novel who could enjoy its brilliance without knowing anything about the poetry, or the broader context of Plath’s work”.

Of course, as soon as anyone picks it up, breaks the spine and reads that first sentence they’ll know they’re in for something different. “It was a queer, sultry summer, the summer they electrocuted the Rosenbergs, and I didn’t know what I was doing in New York.” Hardly Sophie Kinsella, is it? I even quite like the idea of someone mistaking the book for a sexy summer beach read and falling headlong into Esther Greenwood’s cruel world.

What’s more, those actually reading the novel – rather than judging the cover – may even see something in that blood red, in the queasy glamour of the 50s model checking her makeup, in the serious face in the mirror. It certainly conjures up a time and place, a sense of nausea and introspection. The novel’s Esther Greenwood would probably mock the new design mercilessly, but that too seems appropriate. Perhaps it’s right that she is at odds with the world in which she finds herself and the way she is presented? Perhaps this new cover isn’t quite so silly after all?

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Print Irish

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In this difficult economy, governments are putting ever more emphasis on supporting local business as a means to overall recovery. But that is not the only reason the Print Irish campaign is running.

The Print Irish Objectives

  •  Secure local industry and jobs in the print and packaging sector.
  •  Inform the general public that a product has been printed in Ireland.
  • Combat the issue of print being produced non-domestically.
  • Generate awareness that Irish print is focused on service and quality.
  • Create a value system so customers in Ireland are supportive of the Irish print industry going forward.
  • Promote jobs within the industry and encourage new consumers of print, to support Irish industry.

This campaign is a brand new initiative that aims towards putting a public face on the Irish printing industry. Printing in more recent years has become to be viewed as a somewhat generic service. Little thought is given to the thousands of jobs the printing industry supports and the high quality, good value service provided by a technology driven, high skilled indigenous workforce.

Just as the Intel Inside campaign transformed Intel from yet another semi-conductor manufacturer to a criteria of selection for computer hardware, the Print Irish campaign aims to encourage the Irish marketplace to support their own fellow workers and identify print that has originated on home soil.

What does Print Irish do for the Irish publishing sector?

It unites the Irish printing industry under one common flag. It also contributes to an industry war chest, enabling the Irish print and packaging sector to market itself more effectively and pool its collective resources for the greater good. It carries the Print Irish identity on your goods in order to demonstrate your commitment to Irish goods, services and manufacturing. It clearly differentiates between domestic suppliers of print and non-domestic suppliers of print. More to the point, it enables the 19,000 employees in 700 printing companies throughout Ireland to demonstrate their commitment to those companies who buy Irish print.

How does Selfpublishbooks.ie fit in?

As an independent publisher based in Cork, Ireland, Selfpublishbooks.ie offers a simple and cost effective means for authors to make the leap from file to printed book. With high standards of production and keen attention to detail, Selfpublishbooks.ie guarantees a high-quality product that is reliable, practical and local.

Print quality, print Irish.

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“Finest Production”

Frank, Sharon, Shelley and Justin,

I just wanted to thank you all so sincerely for doing such a great job on Lonely Little God’s Acre.  At the launch before Christmas, everyone was telling me how fantastic the book looked.  Thank goodness, I also got good feedback after they had read it!

It did look great and of the few books I have done to date, it is the finest production. The hard-covers were so beautiful I was reluctant to sell them. I wanted to open the boxes occasionally and take a few out just to look at them

Many thanks for everything and all best for 2013.

I’ll definitely be recommending Lettertec and Shelley to anyone who asks.

Ed O’Riordan

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