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Updated: 4 days ago

This is from the heart and has a simple message; 8d Press has recently been battered from all sides with requests to go digital, to produce ebooks, to belong to the digital world in terms of production. These requests have been taken with all good humour, with thought, with research done into the value of these ideas. We love people getting involved with the Press, giving us their ideas, hearing their thoughts and we understand the digital publishing world more than most.


We're super-experienced in ebook design, formatting and marketing. We know the benefits of ebooks like the back of our hand, but in terms of 8d Press going forward as an independent press we've got to be strong, be authentic, be us, be me, be real, be true to our original pre-internet desire, to produce artisan books that are keep-sakes as well as powerful odes to the stunning array of writing talent all around us.


It's always so tempting to go with the 'market' and produce - as a business and publisher - books that the the world can read in an instant - as with ebooks - but we have a different perspective. We love the rare, the unique, the physical and the authentic, and this is our point of difference. We love independent booksellers, we love the touchy-feely nature of books, hanging out in independent bookshops and getting to know our customers who buy from us online, often in person through email correspondence/friendships.


This makes us who we are: paper book lovers. Digital leaves us feeling soulless and flat. We want to leave our 'digital exposure' to the monolith that is digital marketing and developing an online presence, getting and retaining customers and be happy with this marriage of the old and the new.


In this labour of love that is 8d Press, we have to feel 'in love' with our product every moment of every day and nothing gives me more pleasure than producing physical books; from the selection of the type of writing that gives us goosebumps, to the design and the production; it makes us/me so, so, so happy in a way that producing a digital book never can.


I must keep looking at the mission statement printed in the rear pages of LUCENT, An Ode to Nan Shepherd's The Living Mountain, and getting comfort from our/my authenticity. Be authentic in everything you do. Love Jo xx





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Updated: 4 days ago



little.black.books is 8d Press's soon-to-be-launched imprint of sophisticated erotica, written by women for women.

A WRITER'S LIFE is a surreal mosaic of fact and fiction - endlessly exhausting, endlessly exhilarating, an exercise in madness, depression, joy, shame, guilt, exuberance and so much more. In this post we're shouting out about the FACT versus the FICTION of a writer's life. Here goes:-

FANTASY ONE

I have this wonderful book in my head, an automatic bestseller, I just know it, and I’m going to be the next Stephen King or J.K Rowling.


REALITY

No one ever became a writer without actually writing words on a page (or a computer). Writing is rocky road of hell and joy that takes years and years to master and most successful writers admit that they never fully master the art. Writing is an art form that needs constant practice. Everyone thinks they can write a bestseller - that’s the truth of it, but bestsellers are an alchemy of many factors; algorithms, networking, patience, luck, timing, years of work, trends, hashtags, promotions and perhaps divine intervention and ultimately who you know in the industry (as awful as this sounds - hence the networking element).

FANTASY TWO

I can self-publish and my novel will sell millions of copies because I have researched the internet and know how to muddle through with cover designs and social media marketing. I know I can write, so the rest is easy.


REALITY

Despite what you may read online self-publishing is an exercise in madness for many. The learning of coding and/or new publishing platforms, the ever-changing rules of marketing and promotions is a 12-hour a day job and that’s before you even write a word. Of course I exaggerate for effect but not by much!!! Amazon changes its algorithms regularly to steer you towards spending lots and lots on its Amazon Advertising platform, which you practically need a degree in mathematics to understand; I kid you not.


Facebook and Apple are other mega-platforms that are constantly changing their rules to pick more money from your virtual wallet. Think on this, if you self-publish the daily equation to get moderate success is roughly 80 percent online admin and 20 per cent writing. You can allocate a day for the online admin stuff and the rest of the time you can write but you will find the online admin stuff creeps into each and every day of your writing life under the guise of writing procrastination.


FANTASY THREE

I’ll just ‘love bomb’ all UK publishers with my work and something will ‘stick’. They won’t be able to resist me.


REALITY

All publishers have genre requirements so if you’re a romance writer, 'love-bombing' all publishers will serve you a big plate of ZERO in return. You need to research who publishes romance and stick strictly to these publishers and/or agents. Despite it being a no-no generally, I would suggest you ignore this rule of only approaching one publisher or agent at a time. Who has time for this method? Approach three at a time because your time is important and any publisher/agent worth their salt will try to get back to you quickly. But before you do that check their website to see if they are accepting submissions. The Big Five publishers will have many imprints you can approach but check they are accepting submissions and follow all their requirements; these requirements are there for a reason. So, it doesn't matter how brilliant you are as a writer, if your story doesn't fit a publisher's brand or list, you'll be REJECTED. PERIOD. Never take this personally. And remember check that you can submit without a literary agent; some publishers allow this but most don't.


SUM UP

Before you give up, please don't. If you're a writer, it will be in your DNA and you will find a way but save your sanity and come up with a writer's lifestyle plan that will protect you. In the next blog we'll help you with this, help you get started. Check back with us soon.

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Updated: 4 days ago



This statement - known and felt by us - has been a bugbear at 8d Press for as long as we can remember; the infuriating, tear-producing, anger-instilling closed shop that is the UK and the World's literary 'industry' because make no mistake, publishing is a business large and true.


Why has it always been about fads, latest trends, famous people writing their 'memoirs', celebrities turning to novel writing 'out of the blue' and being given immediate accolades?

We've seen it all; the closed shop mentality of the big FIVE publishing houses and their many various imprints of which we are all so aware, even if we don't know it.

The publishing world is a hard cruel place; it's full of privileged, privately educated, white middle-upper class so-called 'experts' who run with the trends and cash in. Yes, they are businesses we know that, but in being what they are, the big publishing houses don't take risks on new talent (this is something we do, more about that later!).


And then there is Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) which has as many pros as it does cons, but that's another story. Despite what's advertised by Youtubers who want to sell you courses that cost hundreds of pounds, promising that if you follow their advice you will make a massive living writing self-published books, very few writers make a living from KDP; that's a fact that most writers never admit or share with anyone.


The Authors' Licensing and Collecting Society (ALCS) states in a recent report (and the Society of Authors UK) backs this up, that the average yearly income for writers is approximately £8000 and this is for those doing reasonable well with backlists, agents (or not) and a total love and immersion in writing that comes from it being a 'heart-job', a love affair with words and stories and something you simple 'must do'.


Which leads to the question, if this is the average yearly income for writers, how do writers live? Well, they have jobs, full-time jobs, part-time jobs, any sort of job just to survive, and very often these are the ones with published books behind them, an agent, support etc etc. Which also begs the question, if this is the case, how come no one ever talks about this? Pride is what I say and I know. Writing is not something I would ever recommend doing unless you have the calling; it's such a shit job that I am surprised that anything ever gets written. And this also leads to the glorious pool of unknown writer talent which is out there. Who supports them? Why would they ever want to go banging on the doors of the Big Five, let alone try and get a literary agent to help them achieve publication?


Publishing in my opinion is one of those rigid industries that is almost impossible to penetrate, no matter your talent. It's all about who you know, where you're based, whether you have any capital in terms of notoriety. You can fly your own identity politics flag and hope for traction there, but unless you're in the public eye, there is not much hope for you. Publishing is also an anachronism, buried in traditions of old. The Big Five publishing houses make attempts at rewriting the rules, based on identity politics and yearly hash-tagged trends, but the financial bottom line is always present.


And so it should be, I suppose. But then again, why? Paying staff, renting glamorous offices in central London, keeping up the image is all very well, but who suffers the most? It's always the writer who gets a tiny fraction of the dregs at the end of the long arduous road from acceptance to publication.

And this is where the 'ad' for 8d Press kicks in; not so much an ad but a shout-out that we're determined to do things differently. Number One we're a small press with mighty ideas; we're basically a one/two man band. We're a kitchen-table press or a small studio press (we don’t own a kitchen table), with decades of experience in publishing/writing/advertising/copywriting/graphics/book cover design/mentoring/counselling/cheerleading and all associated branches of service.


We've got two new opportunities out there at the moment; one is our LONELINESS opportunity, as listed on Creative Scotland. Click here to read it; and our ravishingly wonderful new imprint, Little Black Books which is a by-invitation-only opportunity. Both opportunities are paid opportunities, with mentoring and support built-in as naturally as air on the top of the mountain.

Our brand, while feminist, wants to celebrate men too, so we're branching out to reach men and their stories. We're also going to move forward with supporting completely unknown talent and we're determined to find them. We want writers who have NEVER been published before to contact us with their submissions. So many people feel intimidated by the massive monolith that is traditional publishing. Self-publishing is an exercise in madness (we know!!!).

So 8d Press is the calm Madonna in the storm; a quiet presence in an overwhelming world, where, if you are an unpublished writer and you feel or you have been told that you have a way with words, you can contact us, phone us, submit to us and we'll read you work, listen to you, offer advice or maybe even publish you in a gorgeous printed book of beauty. We have a direct phone number - a mobile phone number - and we’re always available for a chat. We believe in those secret stories written by unknown writers, we believe in the forgotten, the overlooked, the rejected, the inexperienced.

We know which side of the road we're standing on, and it's on the quiet side, next to the forest and the loch.


Come and find us there.

Jo - Founder 8d Press

hello@8dpress.co.uk

www.8dpress.co.uk


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