For self-publishing authors looking for professional advice and assistance bringing their book to life in Devon.
Local professionally published books need local quality authors. Is that you?
OK, full disclosure up front. Blue Poppy Publishing is not a conventional publisher with a big budget to sign up new authors or splurge money on promotion.
If you are seeking that kind of deal and are willing to handle rejection then I wish you every success. But if, like me, you can’t face the prospect of sending your M/S off to endless agents, and reading endless rejection letters, or you have already done that and got demoralised then you may be interested. In fact, these days many formerly traditionally published authors are moving to self-publishing. Maybe you’ve previously had the help of a big organisation to do the things you aren’t so good at but you want more control, we are probably just what you need.
Preferably from Devon
Most of our authors are from Devon. K.Y. Eden did move to New Zealand after publishing two books with us, but apart from her, our only out of Devon author is Joni Dee. (He’s from London)
It’s not that we don’t like authors from other parts of the country, but we’re still only a small company and we don’t want to have to travel hundreds of miles to attend book launches, have meetings, or exchange boxes of books. With a small advertising budget we get better results from focusing our efforts on local media, and it’s easier to get books into independent bookshops if the authors are local.
We will consider taking on authors based in the rest of the South-West, London, Suffolk (long story) or other areas but we would want to discuss whether it was the best choice for the author, and for us, before we went forward.
What can BPP offer
Experience. I have so far written and published a dozen of my own books in three series and a further half dozen or so from other authors. As I rewrite this in December 2018 I am conscious of the need to update it again soon, but I might forget.
Crowdfunding help. I raised nearly £2,000 via crowdfunding to publish “Children of the Wise Oak” and had to organise every stage of the process without help (barring what I could find out online or from friends). Since then I have succesfully funded the sequel, “Women of the Wise Oak” and other books including Sheila Golding’s “Teeny Tiny Witch”.
Skills & contacts. Learning from my mistakes along the way, I discovered two cost-effective printing firms, a number of good graphic designers, talented illustrators, and meticulous editors. The formatting I learned to do myself and, with all due modesty, after a lot of screaming ineffectually at the computer, I’m pretty good at it by now.
Distribution. I purchased the ISBNs and did all the form filling to make sure we have full distribution through Nielsen. We also send the statutory six copies to the legal deposit libraries. So when we say, “Available in all good bookshops.” we mean it.
An Umbrella. All our authors have a vested interest in promoting the brand and their fellow authors. We also try to make sure that each book carries cross promotion in the back matter where appropriate.
The Blue Poppy Publishing logo. Having a name and a logo adds an air of professionalism, and we never deliberately allow a poor quality product to hit the market.
What’s the deal?
Who has control? Artistic control is yours. If you hate the cover design, or the font we recommend, it goes. You retain your copyright, so if you decide to pull your book at any time then that’s fine. You will have a large say in what professional services we use. If you already have an editor, or cover designer, or even printer then use them. The only thing we must insist on is that we have the final approval before the Blue Poppy logo goes on your book.
What about money? BPP is brand new, with just a handful of titles so far. There is no money. If you publish with us, we will either crowdfund it, or you will pay the actual costs. e.g. printing, designers, editing, formatting, promotional materials. Anything that costs money; editing, printing, formatting, illustrations, then it has to be paid for. Our collective knowledge is free.
What’s in it for you? Well, not only do you own the copyright, but you also own the stock, although we can store it for you and handle distribution. Unlike other publishers, if you say you want copies you get them. No charge, and no questions asked, after all you paid for them. When you sell them you keep 100% of the sale price. If we sell them you still get 40% of the retail price even if we sell them wholesale and pay for postage.
So what are we looking for?
- Family friendly fiction. Genres like Fantasy, Cosy crime, Science fiction, Historical fiction, Young adult, Children’s etc. are welcome. We especially like any story that is set in Devon because that’s what sells well here in Devon, but it is not essential. We’re not after horror or steamy romance. We can put you in touch with others who will publish erotica or slashers, but that’s not out cup of tea.
- Non-fiction. Especially if there is a North Devon or Devon interest. There’s nothing easier to get into local shops than books about the local area. History for example; whether it’s about major events or personal family memoirs; whether you go back to pre-history or have recollections from the latter half of the 20th century; if it’s set in Devon we would be interested.