Posts Tagged ‘Hidden People Limited’

Launching of “Brussegem, a snug hell”

Wednesday, November 17th, 2010

This is my new novel. I’m launching. After delays and editorial and design fine-tunings. At this point, I’m indulging in low level yippee and push. Here’s the basic description of its contents:

Brussegem is both a place and a person. But mainly it is a painter. A fully dedicated and fairly isolated American painter living in Europe whose creed is art, and only art.

Until Veronica Weise, the wife of another, seeks his attention, companionship, something artistic, and, if possible, something wild.

But then there’s her baby. And that cat.

The struggle between art and domesticity begins, between an artist who does not want to fall in love, and a woman who does.

For the next few weeks I’ll be doing this:
— On Sunday evenings/Monday mornings, I’ll release an audio clip of the book, for you iPod people (so you can listen to it on your way to work, or start off your week Right!).
— On Wednesday, publishing news/video/info, like today’s post.
— On Friday, the first chapters of the book in pdf files so you can taste it, and, if you like it, buy it.

I’ll start “selling” then, i.e. let you know how to get it in different formats.

I don’t know if this is the ultimate soft selling or non-selling, but it’s my way of getting the word out without raising my voice.

Oh, really, at bottom, my novel is a love story, or rather, a story about love. (I can write my books, but can’t blurb them to simplification death.)

Thanks for reading. More on Friday. — Vincent

Next novel coming up—”Brussegem, a snug hell”

Sunday, August 8th, 2010

My next novel, Brussegem, a snug hell, has spent a long while in the pre-production stage, but (insert moderately shouted hallelujah here) it will be appearing shortly. And it is also a short book.

The delay, if you really want to hear about it, was mainly, as a new-guy, small publishing, media company on the international block, some errors in the production of the very first book (How to Find Yourself) surfaced fairly darn quickly, both in presentation layout and distribution (the second book “Self-Portrait of Someone Else” suffered no production embarrassments). I wanted to ensure everything that followed was professionally accomplished before releasing it. In short, some teething problems, followed by a determination to get it right.

In the meanwhile, I come to my blurb writing, the tiny, catchy synopsis necessary when announcing a book, and with this I have my usual tussle in describing something I have written without sounding like an extended sales letter, or generic book-promo-plot-based-yelping.

But I can tease (says to do so right here in my How To Promote Like a Panting Idiot handbook). Here’s a partial fragment of the cover of the new novel:

And right here is the blurb I’ve been working on to tingle a potential reader’s reading desires:

Brussegem is both a place and a person. But mainly it is a painter. A fully dedicated and fairly isolated American painter living in Europe whose creed is art, and only art.

Until Veronica Weise, the wife of another, seeks his attention, companionship, something artistic, and, if possible, something wild.
But then there’s her baby. And that cat.
The struggle between art and domesticity begins, between an artist who does not want to fall in love, and a woman who does.

Mostly, in this incessant world of promotion and pay-attention-to-me-right-now-I-said-right-now, I plan mainly to post excerpts (both words & audio) of the novel and let people get interested that way. Less hussle and muscle.

Part of my revised plans are to have the novel come out simultaneously as a print book, ebook and audio book. Sometime next month is the actual launch…however, I shall see what reality has in store for me between this moment and that moment.

Thanks for reading this, and for your interest.

1/5 – Rejection Letter—Grafton Books

Friday, July 23rd, 2010

Writers are always rejected, or their manuscripts are. This comes under the heading of, Things As They Are. The rejection does not stop, and oddly apologies rarely follow.

Way back when my first novel, “Self-Portrait of Someone Else”, was published by Viking-Penguin, New York, my literary agent at that time, Peter Lampack Literary Agency, set out to sell this self-same manuscript to a number of publishers based in the United Kingdom. It was the next step in my conquering the world.

As the refusals full of praise and regret came in, copies of the letters were kindly forwarded to me. To give equal measures of hope and despair, as these letters contained some of the best reviews/comments this novel ever received.

Now, with the novel re-issued under my own imprint, hidden people limited, I thought, in the interests of writerly retro-masochism and in a spirit of fun, I could construct some short videos around five of the rejection letters.

This first one I’m releasing was from Grafton Books. This editor thought I had a heck of future ahead of me. Well, twenty years later, my future came and went and I gave it a friendly wave at it as it passed by. Today my publishing future is pinging about on a different level of hustle and gumption.

If you want to read the actual letter, I put it into a pdf file and it is right here: Grafton Book Rejection Letter

Here’s THE VIDEO LINK! Enjoy. Leave comments on this site just below, or on the YouTube channel.

Thanks for reading.

Oh, and if you never saw my original launch video for this book, CLICK HERE TO VIEW, or the video where I read some real newspaper reviews this novel received, including from the New York Sunday Review of Books, CLICK HERE to view.

Thanks for reading and seeing and coming ’round. VE

P.S. Oh, if, in case, who knows, if you’re not the proud owner of your very own copy, CLICK HERE TO HAVE A CLOSER LOOK, read excerpts, hear audio excerpts, and links to Amazon where the book is available as print and via Kindle….

AUDIO–Don’t Call Me Fluffy: Interview with a Cat

Monday, June 28th, 2010

Just a little while ago I wrote and posted a short-short story (read HERE) about a cat complaining about human behavour towards his person.

It has been one of the more popular stories that I’ve posted. So I thought I’d start recording and posting some of my favorites and reader favorites from the “Noses in the House” stories.

And we’re starting with pissed-off Fluffy: Listen (and/or download) here: Don’t Call Me Fluffy!

It’s less than four minutes.

Enjoy and thanks for dropping by. Don’t forget to leave a comment below!

Part Three, 3.2, audio book excerpt from “Self-Portrait of Someone Else”

Monday, June 14th, 2010

Podcast image

This audio excerpt from PART THREE, CHAPTER 3 (the second of three excerpts–as this is a long chapter–the final third will appear next Monday) of my novel “Self-Portrait of Someone Else”.

If you want to listen or download, click here:
27 – PART THREE – 3.2 – Self-Portrait of Someone Else

I hope you enjoy this, and thanks for listening.

Part Three, 3.1, audio book excerpt from “Self-Portrait of Someone Else”

Monday, May 31st, 2010

Podcast image
This audio excerpt from PART THREE, CHAPTER 3 of my novel “Self-Portrait of Someone Else”, and is around 18 minutes or so in length. The second part of this chapter (3.2) will appear next week.

If you want to listen or download, click here:
27 – PART THREE – 3.1 – Self-Portrait of Someone Else

I hope you enjoy this, and thanks for listening.

Audio book excerpt – Part Three, Doctor Wilkinson & Jeff Peck, from “Self-Portrait of Someone Else”

Monday, May 17th, 2010

Podcast image

Next up, following up in last week’s Monday’s audio except–a short one, less than four minutes:

PART THREE – Doctor Wilkinson & Jeff Peck

Enjoy, and thanks for listening.

Audio Book – Part Three, 1 (second half) from “Self-Portrait of Someone Else”

Monday, May 10th, 2010

Podcast image

Continuing from last week, here’s the second part of a long chapter — the present excerpt lasts 16 minutes or so. The first part of this chapter appeared last Monday on this blog. Thanks for your interest, and hope you enjoy. Click below to listen or download this extract:


Video – The beginning of Max Dix, Zero to Six, excerpt from the staged play

Wednesday, May 5th, 2010

Another short segment from my play, “Max Dix, Zero to Six”. It can only give a taste of the feel for the production. It is the very beginning of the play….


Some stills from this excerpt:

All actors of Max Dix on stage at beginning

Pregnancy problems

parents adore their newly born infant

Max Dix proclaims he is alive & happy to be

Parents try to bribe their child with nonsense

Child get penis circumsized

Child gets baptized a Catholic

Reflections on the International London Book Fair, 2010

Tuesday, April 27th, 2010

I attended the International London Book Fair last week (and due to the Icelandic ash cloud, it was slightly less international than usual). Here’s some of what I did, saw, and got in my brain.

As an author who has launched a currently small independent publishing concern but with ten plus in-house years of experience in international publishing (and a lifetime of writing), and in attending the fair (which I had done a number of times previously) my interest this time around was in the electronic side of things. I am a PoD publisher, with eBooks and audio not only part of the package, but I believe eventually the bulk of the package.

I attended a number of seminars. The first seminar I wanted to hit was titled “Children’s Bookfutures: Children’s Literature & Digital Imagination”. As this was one of the first seminars on the first day, I was given crap directions by someone at the info desk who pointed my in the wrong direction with far too many stairs. I was three minutes late, and met a guy blocking the door: “There is no more room”.

I was not late to the next seminar (see below, title and panel names).
Winner losers in dig jungle slide names
They spoke of the importance of METADATA (this came up a lot), and that one should put an ebook in every possible channel, and APPS (again, many mentions) were the ruling prize while perhaps the 300 pages book had been a 20th century concept as the perfect sized book for commercial publishing but was meeting its death. Novellas may very well be the new ebook rule.

My next seminar, the opening slide of the speakers for this ILBF seminar. Guess what?
Vook no show slide of names

Vook no show seats
No one showed up — not a one. All ash damaged. And the rather sparse audience was only informed at the moment the show was supposed to roll, rather than informing us as we arrived. We sat there stupidly we hope in our hearts.

I had actually arranged to have a meeting with Brad Inman, the CEO of Vook, who was still in California. Vooks, for you all, is: “You can read your book, watch videos that enhance the story and connect with authors and your friends through social media all on one screen, without switching between platforms.”

Because I use words, images and performance for many of my stories, initially I was hugely interested in the “enhanced” multimedia e-books. Wowie-zowie, I can combine all of what I do. However, the more I researched it, the more I thought, One, I don’t really see a reader demand and yearning for it, and Two, an enhanced ebook already exists, and even available through mobile devices; it’s called a Web Site. So I have a big Hold On with this perhaps wishful development.

The whole point of fiction is the individual voice of the author speaking directly to the single imagination of the reader. The reader imagines through the author’s words the world of the novel or story. Add images, videos and voices and it may be more of an invasion than an enhancement, distorting, and in a way, narrowing what the individual mind can conjure. (Novels into films are the obvious metaphor: how many times has a viewer who was a fan of a book said, after seeing the movie adaptation: “I didn’t see it like that at all.”

In short, the author’s best tool is the individual reader’s imagination, and the choosing of the right words to spark the imagination. The rest can be clutter. I remain intrigued, and see possibilities, but perhaps not for most fiction.

Anyway, I had a sudden empty part schedule so visited the floor. Not a lot of action, but I did locate my PoD publisher, Lighting Source, owned by Ingram’s. Eleven years ago, when I already researching this independent publishing idea, I had attended the fair (and to see my now ex-literary agent) and their booth at that time had been tiny, one Vice President manned minor place tucked away in a maze of tiny, ghetto booths.

Amazing what a decade and a revolution can do. Here’s the booth this year:
Ingram booth 1
Ingram booth 2
Ingram booth 3

And surrounding this booth were these guys:
Little brown booth
HarperCollins booth
Penguin booth

And these were circling Ingram’s. PoD was no longer tucked away, but, symbolically, interestingly, it was at the center, surrounded by the others, the traditional industry.

A repeated phrase, from authors to publishers themselves, when it came to the changes overtaking the industry was: “Publishers don’t know anything.” It was judged that traditional publishers have neither the skills nor staff to make the sudden changes necessary to turn around toward digitalization and the ebook.

I turned up at another, less pertinent seminar for me on graphic novels and the digital world (but since I’d been locked out of the children’s seminar, I’d try this one). Here’s the panel:
Graphic novels to digital - panel names slide 3
Graphic novels to digital - panel 1
Graphic novels to digital - panel 2

This was a lively one. I was most familiar with Ian Rankin from television culture shows (he was one of those who said, Publishers don’t no nothing, like Hollywood execs”) but not his books.

iPad and Kindle were the reoccurring companions in the e-babble, but they may very well be a short term book-focused e-readers. They have, what, 10 million sold to date? The real action, the future-perfect, are handheld mobile devices: your phone. There are 2.7 plus billion sold. Currently Nokia, Samsung, etc., are all developing combined phones-ebook readers-game/playing-waffle-makers (joke) etc. with launch dates in 6-12 months time. Literary agents may end up have auctions on rights not with Random House and HarperCollins but Nokia et al for, say, the exclusive 3-month launch of the next Stephen King kind of novel on their mobile device before distribution goes wide.

Of course, versions 1 and 2 of e-anything are only development and not definitive, so it’ll be a couple a versions on, in 2-3 years, before it shakes out…

I also spotted at this seminar a “Facebook friend” and “Twitter” follower, Nick Harkaway, who wrote this book:
The Gone-Away World by Nick Harkaway - book cover

And here’s his signature:
Nick Harkaway signiture of "The Gone-Away World"
I almost went up to him to say, Hi, we’re fellow Twitter-followers and Facebook friends and I sent you a message two weeks ago wondering whether you were going to speak this year as you did last year on Social Media, but you aren’t, and you replied you were waiting for the invite and…” and my imagined confab went nowhere, except into stilted awkwardness, so I didn’t approach. Virtual nodding acquaintance is it.

The best seminar for me was this one:
Audio publishing for books read by authors
Ebook info slide - audible
Audible is still the best for getting your/my audio out there and into the ears of happy (willing) listeners. The seminar wasn’t greatly attended, but greatly appreciated by me.

After all this, I needed a massage. They have this row of young ladies ready to give a neck and shoulder rub for 7 minutes and you “give what you want”:
Massage 2
Massage 3
And here’s the one who relaxed me tensed muscles for a bit:
Massage 1

On the last day, I visited this seminar:
The Future of ebooks - ILBF 2010
The Future of ebooks - panel shot at London Book Fair 2010

Someone said 10,000 word stories will sell great in the future in ebooks. Another said the “Sunday Digital Conference had an average age attendance of 55: no one who knew what was going on was there.” Which is why I avoided it. Again, “Traditional Publishers know nothing,” the biggest cry.

Lastly, this one:
Want to be published? The rise of self-publishing.
Of little use to me, as I knew as much and more than the panel…which happened quite a bit throughout the fair, and its various seminars. I’m up to speed on a lot, following the correct industry blog, and seem to know my business fairly thoroughly. However, I would like to link Siobham Curham who has had four books conventionally published, but has turned down a two-book deal to go it on her own. She was proof of what some at this fair called “a movement for the future”, but it was happening already, and many are in major catch-up mode. That was the main rub. Many speakers were saying, “This could be happening in the near future,” while was already happening for a while, right at the show…

And here’s some general purpose shots:
ILBF - stands 1
ILBF - stands 2
ILBF - stands 3
ILBF - stands 4

Yep. A trade fair is a trade fair is a trade fair. They all look pretty much the same

And this is why, on this site, I like to just tell my stories. I don’t have a swell talent for journalism, travel writing, the exhibition visit. Where’s the story. Only facts and pointing out. I’m pointed out here.