P.I.Y. – Publish It Yourself: Publicity, Marketing and Author Brand

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Following an exceptionally informative workshop with her last year, the wonderful Truda Thurai very kindly sent us a link to an excellent interview as a follow up. The equally wonderful Christina gathered a few pearls of wisdom from it to help self publishing authors along the way.

Since the dawn of the Internet, Kindle, and e-books, self-publishing has become easier than ever. There are of course many ups and downs with self-publishing. You get more control, more royalties, and you know exactly what is happening with your book. But you also have to take more responsibilities and risks, and do a lot more work yourself.

For emerging writers who are seeking self-publication, the journey to publication can feel like swimming in the middle of the ocean with no idea how to get to the shores. In this interview, Joel Friedlander from thebookdesigner.com talks to Dana Kaye about self-publishing and how authors can get more publicity for their books.

Joel is a book designer who runs a website on publishing and has been giving brilliant advice to authors on how to get their work published. Dana is writer and book critic with years of experience in the industry and recently published Your Book, Your Brand, a practical guide on building author brand in self-publishing. 

I’ve finished my book – what do I do now?

Congratulations! You have finished your book and have decided to go for self-publishing. But how?

The End

“I think that the first step is to have a content strategy to know what your message is going to be, what you’re going to say, and then making sure your online house is in order, that you have the correct social media platforms, that you have a website that is not just an author website, but one that jives with your brand.”

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Recognition for WOW, Bill Lewis and ME4 Writers at the Medway Culture and Design Awards

Medway’s creative community had a ‘Wow’ of a night earlier this month, as we moseyed on up to the Corn Exchange in Rochester for the Medway Culture and Design Awards.

MD&C Awards logo

With a key note speech made by Martin Green, Head of Ceremonies for the London Olympics, we were in exalted company: he’s the man who put together the wondrous team which produced the opening and closing ceremonies and the torch relays and re-affirmed Britain’s place on the sporting and cultural map of the world.

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Martin Green

The whole evening was underpinned by the first winner announced being our very own Creative Producer, Emma Dewhurst. WOW Magazine won the media award, in an extremely tough category which included violaFilms and Medway Eyes, not to mention coFWD, the coworking space we’re associated with.

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Emma Dewhurst and WOW designer, Paul Baker

Emma said: “Winning a Medway Culture & Design Award means the world to me.  After two years’ working on my beloved WOW magazine, it is a huge vote of encouragement to keep going – WOW is a tiny micro business and it is not easy to keep my head above water even now.  The Award is a wonderful boost, both to my confidence and as a thank you to all the amazing contributors who have so generously given of their time and talents to make WOW what it is.  It is brilliant to be able to hit the ground running in 2013!  Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, to everyone who has helped WOW survive along the way.”

More success followed, as Bill Lewis was named the winner of the Literature Award, recognition at last for a fantastic ambassador of Medway. Bill said:  “I did not expect to win especially when I saw that Billy Childish was also shortlisted for the Literature Award. I decided to just enjoy the meal and the company. I met some very nice people at our table who were shortlisted for building a School. I was so pleased as I watched many of the best creatives in Medway win their awards, all of them good people with their hearts and minds in the right place. Then as the winner of the Literature Award was described I thought, hang on, that’s not Billy, that’s me! It was nice, after 35 years to get a little official recognition.”

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Bill Lewis

Highly commended in the Literature category were our good friends, ME4 Writers. The writing collective set up four years ago by Sam Hall was praised for having achieved so much in such a short space of time.

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Barry Fentiman and Sam Hall of ME4 Writers

Sam said: “We’re delighted to be Highly Commended in the Medway Culture and Design awards! Congratulations to all the other nominees and winners – Medway’s on the boil! And big thanks to everyone who has got involved with ME4 these past few years!”

Sarah Jenkin, Medway Community Librarian who is also part of ME4, was keen to expand on the recent ‘Letters Home’ collaboration between the libraries and the group. “When Sam approached me about this event, I knew libraries had to be involved. For so many, their definitions of home and identity and culture are not acknowledged, erased from history. Other people write their stories for them, defining their identities for their children.

I wanted there to be a place for people to experience, describe and explore their ideas of home and identity in their own words and with their own language, without censorship. I want their voices to be recognised and shared with others.”

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Sarah Jenkin, with Natasha Steer of Creatabot

The next event from us at the Rochester Literature Festival will also be in collaboration with Sarah and Strood library – watch for details soon, or sign up to our newsletter here and we’ll let you know personally 🙂

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Spreading the word: Interviews, a book and a request

With the excitement of the Unfinished event now behind us, we’ve had time to catch up with other projects!

We were recently interviewed by the wonderful and talented Michelle Goode (Write SoFluid) for  Literary UK, the one stop shop for literature festivals around the country. Do bookmark it for future reference 🙂

And if you live in Rochester, you should have seen a new magazine called Rochester Bulletin, which also features us – and if you’ve seen it, you’re one step ahead of me. I’m hoping there’s a copy waiting for me in coFWD I can pick up today! It’s already resulted in a few emails from lovely people offering their assistance!

The new book from Philip Kane is available now. Unauthorised Person, is a  ‘concept album’ of poetry and images from our Artistic Director, well known in the Medway Towns and beyond. Published by Maria McCarthy’s Cultured Llama Press, who are holding the launch of  another new book, Unexplored Territory on 15 November at the Beaney, Canterbury.  No fewer than ten of the the contributors to the anthology will be reading, and the books will be available to buy for £8 a copy. Go and treat yourself!

The Restore Rochester Castle Charity is holding a one day exhibition on Saturday, December 1st, featuring the work of Peter Reeds, Jon O’Donnell and Chris Tong. And quite possibly, you! Their work will be visual but I’m looking for written work, featuring, strangely enough, Rochester Castle. This can take the form of short stories, poems, anecdotes, thoughts and feelings – anything at all you’d like to express about the castle in word form. How you present it is up to you but bear in mind that space will be limited.

The exhibition will be held at the Craig Turner Gallery in Maidstone between 10-4. For more information, contact the group via their website. For written submissions, plain texts can be sent to me at jayenolan-rochester@yahoo.co.uk  but for more colourful or textual written work, I’ll find out if this can be dropped in directly at the gallery or somewhere else convenient – I will update you on that!

In Conversation with … James Purefoy

So, after I’d finished with Jamie, I ambled casually over to James for my supposed three minutes, three questions – the answers to which you can find here, within a review of the event. However, no-one came to drag me away so I stayed where I was and asked him a few more!

One of James’ projects in post-production is BBC film Richard 11, one of four medieval big budget films by the corporation, utilising the Shakespeare brand for the arts festival coinciding with next year’s Olympics.

“I play Thomas Mowbray, the Duke of Norfolk, who, importantly, is edged aside by Bolingbroke. It’s a meditation on the divine nature of Kingship.

“It’s a whole bunch of terrific actors, including Patrick Stewart, Lindsay Duncan, David Suchet and David Morrissey, and will be shown next year as part of the BBC’s contribution to the Cultural Olympiad.”

Considering his ruggedly handsome charm, James has managed to avoid being typecast throughout his career, choosing roles in direct contrast to the one before – but there does seem to have been a  bit of a sword wielding hero-fest just lately …

“You do different things and people know you for certain types – there will be some who know me only for Injustice and others for Resident Evil. (I reminded him of Coasting – and of being Jackie’s psychotic love interest in an episode of Taggart!) But being known as Awesome Man With Sword (Ironclad, Camelot, Rome, Solomon Kane, A Knight’s Tale, George and the Dragon) well, that’s not so bad – I’ll take as many of those while I still can!”

TV, film or theatre? As with Jamie, so with James:

“Wherever the good script and good people are, that’s the medium for me. All of them are completely different disciplines but just as exciting. I was recently at The Theatre Royal with Sienna Miller and Sheridan Smith, in Terence Rattigan’s wartime drama Flare Path; being on stage is like being on a high wire – you can’t say ‘cut’ and do it again! And I’m writing and developing a big TV series drama – but it’s top secret at the moment!”

Any advice for Rochester’s community of writers and film-makers?

“Work hard, be original.”

James and Jamie’s presence on Saturday night made an unusual evening into a memorable, magical event, so a heartfelt and massive thank you to them both. If you’ve enjoyed reading these interviews, how about popping over to the Restore Rochester Castle website and showing your appreciation by way of a donation; they, and we, will love you forever!

In Conversation with … Jamie Foreman.

I was lucky enough to have an access-all-areas pass on Saturday, for Nomad Open Air Cinema’s screening of Ironclad, the film depicting the 1215 siege of Rochester Castle by King John. Taking full advantage, as you’d expect, I chatted to the stars in attendance, James Purefoy and Jamie Foreman, who made the special trip along to help with fundraising for the Restore Rochester Castle group.

Jamie Foreman, who plays mercenary convict Jedediah Coteral in the film, is looking forward to his new role in EastEnders, as the eldest, baddest, Branning brother.

“I’m really excited! It was only announced on Thursday and I’m already feeling a bit nervous. It’s a great cast and a good family of actors. As head of the Brannings, the big bad bro back from prison, he’s got his sights set firmly on the Square! He’s definitely going to cause a stir.”

There may be plenty of fighting around Albert Square, but filming the violent action and stunt sequences in Ironclad is an altogether different experience.

“Those fight scenes are much more intense, although heavily choreographed. You can hurt and be hurt, so you have to be careful and work hard to get it right – especially with that broadsword flying around, although I think James managed to miss everyone! The stunt guys moaned and groaned but they’re used to it!”

With new films in post production and being unable to resist EastEnders, Jamie does, nevertheless, have a project already lined up for the future.

“After EastEnders I’ll be putting a film into production about my father (crime underworld legend Freddie Foreman). It’ll be a movie in its own right, based on his nefarious deeds. Contrary to reports, he was very much his own man. We had a pub in Lance Street and I grew up around the Borough in South London. It’s taken two years and I’m still re-writing, but it’s attracted good people and there’s a positive response.”

As a jobbing actor for many years, Jamie has no preferred medium – any chance to ply his trade and he’s happy with a great script and storyline, be it film or TV. And for those of us aspiring for a career in film, Jamie has these wise words:

“Work hard, believe in yourself and your talent. Do your homework and follow your dream!”

Galleries of the evening can be found here and further quotes and review here.