Saturday, 26 July 2008

Technical Problems?

Not really, no. But I did a very close examination of my proof copy of the book today, and found the 'Fenriswulf' logo very slightly over the edge of the spine - something I didn't notice before. While I was at it, I decided to add a bit of a blurb to the front cover to give some idea of the content - and to dissuade passing innocent souls from thinking it was just an essay on Christian eschatology: “It is the Dawn of the Second Coming…and the Fourth Reich.”

I thought about revising the cover design further to feature a bloody swastika in 3D perspective, growing out the bottom of the 'T' in the title like a shadow. But I was unhappy about the 'first glance' implications of using such a controversial image, and didn't want to to put anybody off unnecessarily. Yes, the image has been used countless times by writers, film-makers and TV shows over the years, but I don't have their high public profile and the benefit of a full marketing department behind me.

So I pushed the updates through Lulu, and after the usual problems with the retail print price bumping itself up, I am back on track. Orders arrive quickly and I've been pretty chuffed with Lulu's services so far. Their technical support staff are helpful too. Looking forward to the updated final version getting out there.

Thursday, 24 July 2008

Sold anything yet, then?

No, not yet. But the book's only just become officially available today. It's a slow process, waiting for the details, ISBN, etc. to filter through all the channels - I'm honestly not expecting anything to shift for at least a month or two.

It's also a legal obligation for a copy of every new book published in the UK to be sent to the British Library - basically for record keeping. For some reason I thought it was also a requirement to send to the Bodlean in Oxford and Trinity College, but apparently not. As I've got 4 weeks to get that copy off, I'll leave it until I've been paid at the end of the month. That then should be the end of my financial outlay at this point, though I'm wondering if it's worthwhile investing in a few loose copies for myself to hawk around the stores. I'll do some homework in the next few weeks to find out if any bricks 'n mortar shops are even remotely interested. As I live in the middle of nowhere, I'll probably begin with my old home town and nearest city, Dundee.

Sunday, 20 July 2008

What's So Good About Self-Publishing Anyway?

Well, speaking for myself now - Chaz, that is - the main thing is that you have total control over every aspect of the work, end to end. In the past this used to be a difficult or expensive process, and I remember costing a print run for a fantasy role-playing book I was working on with a buddy 11 years ago. Our local printer quoted us a figure I forget per unit, but which would have involved us charging 50 GBP per hard-bound manual in order to see any kind of profit on sales.

These days, that's all changed, with the Internet and POD (Print on Demand) services. lulu.com was my POD service of choice, recommended by a friend of mine on Deviantart.com who recently had his book printed through them. The great thing is that if all you ever wanted was to see one copy of your work bound and produced professionally, that's all you pay - the unit price of 1 copy of your book. For myself, I hope to actually shift the odd copy or two, so picked up a block of ISBNs from lulu - which actually works out cheaper by about 20 GBP than going straight to the supplier. With the cash saved, I invested in this very domain name (fenriswulf-books.co.uk) and an email inbox attached to it. ISBNs of course are essential for distributing the book through official sales channels and online, and are available in blocks of 10 for small publishers, or in larger blocks of 100s for the big posh publishing houses with lots of clients and even more profits.

What I didn't realise was that the retail mark-up would either cut sharply into my own chosen revenue on each sale, or bump up the cover price. As I don't want to price myself out of existence, I took a big revenue cut and threw off a bunch of interior illustrations in an attempt to give the reader more content for their money. When the finalised proof arrived last week, I was very impressed with the results.

Of course, writing and publishing the thing is the easy bit. Anyone can throw words on a page and pay someone to put it all together and look beautiful. They big issue is convincing others that your thing is so good that they'll be willing to spend money to own it - and marketing and publicity is where the real work kicks in. For me, I've written and drawn for as long as I can remember, and stapled wads of paper together as a kid to create my own comic books. Nothing's really changed now, 30 years later, except the paper is better quality and the artwork doesn't look like it was done by a 5-year old - so the impulse to create and produce something has always been there. In the blood, in the genes, an urge to 'do' and create that's now reached it's apex.

And that's what's really good about it...seeing something you've spent all that time and effort on, now looking just as good as something you can buy in your local store.

Saturday, 19 July 2008

So, About These Books Then...

So far there's only book in the Fenriswulf catalogue - and that's Chaz's 'Maranatha'. But then the venture is only a few weeks old so far.

'Maranatha', Chaz's first full-length piece of commercial literature, was begun on New Year's Day 2006. The first draft was completed by April, and after failing to set the publishing houses of the UK alight with his manuscripts, he sought the advice of the editorial agency, the Writer's Workshop. They were very helpful and supportive, but after finding the rising cost of fees prohibitive, Chaz decided to try again with his revamped, remodelled text. No literary agencies wanted to know, and by 2008 it had all seemed like a big fat waste of time.

But ever resourceful, and with a history of self-published comics already behind him, it was no great hardship to apply that mentality to his full-length prose. After all, some very famous writers of the past had published their own material. The time had never seemed more right, with the 'do it yourself' ethic of the Internet now in full swing. And so with a little help from www.lulu.com, 'Maranatha' was printed, bound, ISBN'd and on its way to being a bona fide publication - under the dark, wolfish banner of Fenriswulf Books...

So Why a Big Scary Wolf as a Mascot?

The name Fenriswulf Books was chosen due to Chaz's long-term enthusiasm for Old Norse mythology, derived from the bound wolf-god who will one day break his chains and usher
in the ‘Twilight of the Gods’. The name and graphic imagery was designed to reflect the content of much of his writing and art - dark, yet powerful, and independent.

He also happens to like wolves a lot, too.

What's the Story, Then?

Fenriswulf Books was founded by writer and illustrator Chaz Wood in the summer of 2008, initially as a means of getting his first prose novel, ‘Maranatha’, released to the public. Tired of chasing after agents and pandering to the demands of mainstream publishing houses, he decided to ‘go it alone’ by himself, and with the help of the printing and distribution services of www.lulu.com.

This is the unfolding story of that adventure into the big, strange and very crowded world of writing and self-piblishing...

Underground British Metal for Discerning Listeners

Underground British Metal for Discerning Listeners
Because Chaz is a fan of these guys and their music. Help support the British metal music scene!

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We're very happy to accept guest posts. The only requirements we have for guest posts on Fenriswulf Books' blog pages are:

1) on-topic posts only: i.e., articles relevant, and of interest, specifically to writers (especially self-published or indie authors) - ideally regarding the creative processes of producing fiction, editing, character, plotting, e-publishing, observations and opinions on the publishing industry generally, experiences of Kindle/Smashwords/Apple, traditional publishing, self-promo and marketing advice for authors (but see *2* below), inspiration & 'writers' block', cartoons/comic books, illustration & design, or creativity in general;

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'Sword and the Ring' Book 1

'Sword and the Ring' Book 1
Now Available...in print, or in Kindle format

'Sword and the Ring' Part 1 Book Trailer

'Malaria 9' Book Trailer

"Maranatha" video trailer - for the new 2nd edition

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