The Writing Buddies met at the Mercure Dolphin Hotel as usual. This venue is proving to be a success as the group are well looked after when we visit. The meeting was chaired by Jimmy, in Penny's absence.
Tessa started by telling the group about her book Somerset Scenes. It is an enchanting book of paintings from the county of Somerset and all of the Writing Buddies looking at the copy Tessa had brought with her. She also told us all about the methods of colour printing used in the book.
Mo is giving an evening talk from 8 pm at the Woolhouse on September 25 on her book A Blues for Shindig.
Ray has sold over three hundred copies of his book From War to an Iron Fighter and the Writing Buddies agreed that this was very good for a first book, particularly as the average total sales for a book is just 500 copies. Ray now fits kitchens nationwide and he decided to write to his many customers to tell them about his book. He wrote 800 letters in all and posted them all off but the Post Office lost the whole batch. He has, of course, taken this up with them and they have accepted responsibility. But they told Ray he now needs to fill out a separate form for each of the letters he posted in order to have anything done about it. Ray sensibly turned to the daily Echo about this and they have taken up the case. He feels that this alone will give publicity for his book.
Janet has entered another poetry competition.
JPF told the group about the forthcoming poetry contest in Titchfield with a Shakespeare theme. Entry for this is free and the deadline is 8th September. The contest takes place at a gala evening on 29 September at the Barn, Titchfield.
Lisa told us she is working with her friend Sophie and helping her with her memoirs. She has also met the actress Susana Hamilton and now wants to get back into writing for films.
Jim Brown told the group he is enjoying life as an ebook writer because he gets royalties from this without the hassle of public appearances. Jim told us all about It’s A Hard Knock: Childhood Reminiscences of Southampton, Brockenhurst and Lyndhurst By Shiela Hansford Nee Souch that is published by the Bitterne Local History Society. He also showed us the information on his latest book Southampton’s Lucky Jim. He describes this as a look at policing in Southampton in the 1950s with nothing held back, or as Jim put it 'Warts and all'.
Jimmy then told the group of his plans to visit his family. While there, he plans to work with is son to publish, under his own publishing name of Aloejimmy Publishing (AJP) the first two titles, Davie Collins and the Sundance Gang Vol 1 and Jayden the Naughty Goldfish Vol 1. He will also take advantage of the opportunity to cross over into Yorkshire and visit the oldest sweepshop in England, in Pately Bridge. The photos and information he gets there will complete his next project for the History Press, a look at the 1940s, which is due out in May 2014.
There was then a lively discussion around the table, centring on assistance with computing problems during the self-publishing process and Royalty payments from ebooks. Blogs, a regular discussion point, also featured, as it is felt important to have an internet presence. A blog is free and easy to set up and use.
The next meeting of Writing Buddies will take place at the Mercure Dolphin Hotel on Friday 4th October. All writers are welcome, published and unpublished, in all genres.
Blog notes by James Marsh.