Showing Tag: "book" (Show all posts)

Do you read during the day - Bryony Doran

Posted by Yvonne Barlow on Monday, August 14, 2017,


A guest blog from Hookline Books author, Bryony Doran - www.bryonydoran.com

I give the impression of being a very busy person all of the time so to admit to reading during the day is a bit difficult for me. I am self-employed, wear many hats and work from home all day and every day or so it would appear except I have a little blissful window in the late afternoon just as my energy levels are taking a dip, miraculously my cat, Nell, appears and demands my attention. I make a cup of tea and go a...


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Read on!

Posted by Yvonne Barlow on Monday, May 15, 2017,
I'm a 'sinful' reader - I ignore housework and other chores and spend Sundays lying on the sofa reading a book. I shared my sin in a recent newsletter, adding that friends often thought I was wasting my time on books: "Think of all the other useful things you could do?" I've been told this by friends who might spend Sundays watching television.
The response to my confession shows I am far from alone in dissolute reading:
"I'm a culprit too. Reading in the day gives me pleasure, allows me to ref...
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Who is the most important person in the publishing business?

Posted by Yvonne Barlow on Tuesday, February 28, 2017,

There’s a question many industries ask their interns: “Who’s the most important person in the office?” Many utter what sounds obvious, “The president.” Only to be met with a head shake. “The CEO!” Wrong again. They finally blurt out, “You!” But the questioner often gives a prim all-knowing smile before announcing, “The most important person is the patient/the client/the stakeholder.”

In publishing, the correct answer would be “the reader.”

However readers are us...


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Desert Island books

Posted by Yvonne Barlow on Monday, April 4, 2016,
Friends often ask me about the books I enjoy, and I recommend Hookline titles, of course - something for everyone right there.
However, when I really think about my favourite books, the ones I would take to a desert island, non-fiction titles come up on top. I'm not sure why, maybe my journalist heart still beats, the thrill of the true life story. And my favourite book is Wayward Women; A Guide to Women Travellers, edited by Jane Robinson. It includes brief biographies of women in history who...
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The window on a novel

Posted by Yvonne Barlow on Monday, January 4, 2016,
Covers are the windows to a book. A bad cover can cost a publisher readers. But who decides what makes a good cover?
Authors often have a cover in mind when writing a book. When considering the cover, editors look at demographics and who are the likely readers of a manuscript. Designers, well, they want to make a mark, and good designers like to make a profound mark.
In reality, it is readers who decide a good cover - if it turns them away, it's a bad cover.
So, we've decided our original cover ...
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Ebooks - from the price to a latte and muffin to the cost of a bag of chips

Posted by Yvonne Barlow on Thursday, October 15, 2015,
We've done something quite radical, scary almost!
We've reduced the price of all our older ebook fiction to 99p. You might ask why, and the answer is simple - the costs involved in producing an ebook are all up front, before publication. Once production costs have been earned, then why not share in the proceeds?
Our ebooks are usually priced from £2.99-£3.99 - the cost of a latte and a muffin in the standard High Street coffee shop. We keep the costs down because we want readers to try our fi...

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Four novels in one year - who would have thought it?

Posted by Yvonne Barlow on Tuesday, August 18, 2015,
It was all a step in the dark. For six years we trundled along running the Hookline Novel Competition with terrific participation from book groups, but all the time knowing we had to change.
And change we did! 
The Facebook page - Hookline's Discover New Author's Page was set up in February and already we have signed up two authors. 
Terms by Ben Lyle will be out on 1 September:

Twelve-year-old James hates life at his hippy boarding school where lessons are optional, homework forbidden and school...


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Who are the most important people in publishing?

Posted by Yvonne Barlow on Monday, July 6, 2015,
Most students of publishing would answer say, 'the publisher.'
Ask an author, especially one desperately seeking publication, and they would say, 'the editor.'
Ask the editor, enlightened ones would suggest, 'the author,'; others might point to the sales team and cite 'the marketing director' who pushes sales so that books make a profit.
Everyone of these roles is important - a good author creates a successful story; a good editor is needed to represent the reader and catch sticky plot details, ...
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A better prize than money

Posted by Yvonne Barlow on Thursday, July 2, 2015,
It sounded like a good idea at the time. A promotion offering the chance to win your name in a future novel if you signed up to our newsletter. Well, it worked - the name Chris Rose will appear in a Hookline novel, probably in 2016. Both Terms and The Secret Mother are too far along in the editorial process to have name changes, but...watch this space!
Of course, we are aware that this is not exactly fair to our current newsletter subscribers, so another competition is lined up so that current...
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It's not about the garden

Posted by Yvonne Barlow on Wednesday, June 24, 2015,
Why did you choose your house?
Perhaps it was schools, family or transport links that helped make the decision. For me, it was the book shop! I live around the corner from a very good book shop - and that's not an accident!
The joy of a good book shop within walking distance can never be overlooked - estate agents should include this in their home specifications. - like good schools or west-facing garden.
I love my local book shop. Over that last five years, the staff have learned my taste in fi...
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More than a little patronising

Posted by Yvonne Barlow on Thursday, May 21, 2015,
Leading women unite to launch #ThisBookClub
The Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction have asked six 'inspirational women' to reveal the novels they most want to share - and their suggestions are supposed to 'inspire book lovers across the nation to get together to talk about books.' The celebrities we've to be inspired by: Janet Ellis and her singer daughter; Emily Blunt and her sister; Mary Portas and her wife.
Hmm! Who has been inspiring book groups until now? Who are the readers who have been o...
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The Joy of Listening

Posted by Yvonne Barlow on Tuesday, May 5, 2015,
As much as I love to read, I also love to listen to a good story. In the car, I choose to drive during Radio 4's Book of the Week or Book at Bedtime. But this isn't always convenient - hence, the joy of iPlayer and listening when to the story when it is convenient.
But sitting listening to a story isn't an easy thing to do - what do you do with your hands? (I don't iron!) This is where hand crafts come in and, for me, that means knitting my very own Andy Murray. He's small, doesn't require muc...
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The audience are not stuffed cabbages

Posted by Yvonne Barlow on Monday, April 27, 2015,


Great fun at the Chipping Norton Literary Festival this weekend - everyone from Baroness Trumpington - who took the conversation where she wanted it to go - to Sheila Hancock, who remains a strong, political and a terrifically entertaining speaker.

We sponsored two events: Jesse Armstrong, a script writer from The Peep Show, The Thick of It and The Four Lions, talked about his new novel; and Richard Madeley and Judy Finnigan talked about their book group, their novels and their lives. 

However,...


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What I learned at the London Book Fair - eat, drink, breathe and...

Posted by Yvonne Barlow on Wednesday, April 22, 2015,
1. Eat - this may sound elementary but it's easy to rush past the long lines at cafes thinking you don't have time. Running on empty means you're not thinking properly. Keep snacks in your handbag - savoury and sweet.
2. Drink - and I don't just mean beer and wine. It's a dry old environment at Olympia and running from floor to floor can feel like a mini-marathon. Carry a water bottle - with water in it!
3. Breathe - it gives you time to think about what people are proposing. In fact, don't ans...
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All the fun of the book fair

Posted by Yvonne Barlow on Thursday, April 9, 2015,
The London Book Fair begins next week - a trade fair devoted to books. It's a joy to be there, and my wee head spins at all the book covers, spread surely over several acres. But before you think it's all fun - browsing blurbs, talking about authors and seeing what's new - let me tell you that there is serious work to be done. For the London Book Fair is less about day to day sales between publishers and book shops (although I wish some of it were), the event is more about meeting foreign pub...
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All the fun of the book fair

Posted by Yvonne Barlow on Tuesday, March 31, 2015,
I once took four authors across the country to a literary festival. We drove from different directions, all geared up to talk about novel writing, editing, where the ideas came from, what was next - to say we were pumped was no exaggeration. So you can imagine how we all felt to see seven people in the audience. 'It's a Wednesday,' said one of the organisers, as though that would make it alright. Needless to say, we gave it our best until one of the audience walked out because I wouldn't acce...
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If everyone is writing, who's reading?

Posted by Yvonne Barlow on Friday, March 27, 2015,
Small bloggers often worry about who reads them - those with many followers don't worry about this, they simply write.
But I worry about it - I give advice on starting a book group, my thoughts on e-book prices and even show you about the dress I bought for the London Book Fair, all with a vague niggle on who, if anyone, is reading my rants.
I recently went to a Bloggers and Vloggers networking event. The confident were out there discussing their Klout - a social networking rank that is based o...
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Ebooks - the coffee and muffin test

Posted by Yvonne Barlow on Wednesday, March 25, 2015,
They have the same number of words, they tell the same story, yet they are often half the price. Ebooks are so much cheaper than paper books. And they should be - you can't pass them onto friends and you can't store them on your bookshelf. 
Personally, I still read mostly paper books, but occasionally a link crosses my tablet and I get the whiff of a read that looks interesting. I read the blurb, the reviews and then I look at the price. If it comes under the cost of a coffee and a muffin, I u...
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The clothes, and the woman

Posted by Yvonne Barlow on Friday, March 20, 2015,
The London Book Fair is coming up and there is a huge amount to do - creating brochures, researching businesses, making appointments, etc. But there is another very critical issue - what to wear?
And while that might sound trite to some, to me the wrong outfit is like wearing a sack cloth to Buckingham Palace - not that I've ever been to her ladyship's abode. But I have made mistakes in dress code before and felt looks of disdain where even waiters with free champagne have avoided me. The righ...
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Starting a book group

Posted by Yvonne Barlow on Wednesday, March 18, 2015,
People often tell me they would love to belong to a book group, but they either don't have one in their community or, if they do, it is full.
'Start your own,' is my reply.
It sounds like a huge task, but it really isn't.
Firstly, put the word out - through word-of-mouth, a local newsletter, posting in a library or cafe, twitter, whatever. Provide an email address where people can contact you.
Choose a public spot for your first meeting - a cafe, pub, library. Check with the venue that you can ha...
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Tilt your head at those book shelves

Posted by Yvonne Barlow on Thursday, March 12, 2015,
Remember the old days when browsing a bookshop meant tilting your head at shelves? We saw only the spines, each with a title, shade of colour and the author's name.
Choosing a novel from spines means some dismay as the book you pull out may have little appeal, and so you are forced to put it back and move your eyes further along the shelf. And then joy when you find the novel that you are taking home.
Today, that kind of bookshelf browsing feels like hard work compared to sweeping your eyes ac...
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Every day should be World Reading Day

Posted by Yvonne Barlow on Monday, March 9, 2015,
I have a confession - I don't like World Book Day! It feels contrived and a little self-important. We who love books know who we are, we don't need to shout it out to the world. I appreciate that it gives books sunlight, drags them out from beneath all those cinema reviews and You Tube shares, but does anyone not switched on by books ever have a Eureka moment on World Book Day and realise what they have missed? Most of Friday's media attention focused on the plight of parents desperate to put...
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Taking our book groups online

Posted by Yvonne Barlow on Wednesday, March 4, 2015,
Change is never easy. We know that alterations to the Hookline process has not been popular among our book groups, but converting manuscripts to paperbacks and mailing them out was expensive. In addition, the ten-month judging process was too long.
We have kept some book groups on board but we have lost many.
In an effort to keep individual book group readers, especially those who own e-readers, we've set up online book groups on Facebook and Goodreads. 
I will post synopsis of manuscripts, and...
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Hookline's times - they are a'changing

Posted by Yvonne Barlow on Thursday, October 9, 2014,

Publishing is evolving. When Hookline began, we were on the front line of changes. Lately we have felt as though we are standing still. We love the Hookline process of letting readers find manuscripts worthy of publication. However, it is time to speed up the process – over the years, we have lost out as good writers were snapped up by other publishing houses during our lengthy ten-month, two-stage selection process.

The first thing is to assure you all that book groups will remain an inte...


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Urgently seeking book groups who read specific genre

Posted by Yvonne Barlow on Monday, September 22, 2014,
I love Hookline. I love watching feedback from the book groups who read our manuscripts and I get excited watching the vote tallies that finally reveal a winner. However, I have long felt some sadness for writers who submit work that comes from less popular genre - sci-fi, fantasy and the dark arts tend not to find favour among book group readers.
But I know there are book groups who read these sectors of fiction - and specialise in only reading others such as crime, historical fiction, etc.
As...
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Novel descriptions

Posted by Yvonne Barlow on Monday, December 2, 2013,
The back cover description of a novel can be more difficult to write than a novel itself (sorry, overstatement, but it got your attention).
This descriptive text should intrigue the reader so much that they take the book to the sales till - or at least open to the first page so they can gain a sense of your writing.
The best novel descriptions are short and give us a sense of the main character, the setting and the conflict the character faces - no more! Tell too much, and we may feel we know t...
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Book groups and new writers

Posted by Yvonne Barlow on Friday, October 25, 2013,
What brings readers and writers together?
Last night I met with a book group who have judged Hookline submissions for three years. We had a keen discussion, but one of my questions was: Does reading the work of new writers make you consider writing a novel yourself?
The group were flabbergasted at the idea, and "no way" was the definitive response. Many in the group said that reading the work of new writers made them appreciate the elements that go into a good novel - stretching the scale of th...
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Booksellers - we want to work with you

Posted by Yvonne Barlow on Tuesday, September 24, 2013,
I often receive calls from customers saying their local bookseller can't or won't order our books. I am always happy to supply direct however I dislike having to explain to a potential customer why they should experience any difficulty with a bookseller. Our books are printed by one of the largest printers in the country. We pay a huge percentage to a distributor to carry our books from printer to book shop. Why should a customer encounter any difficulty?
It all gets down to accounting.
There a...
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Calling booksellers, join us in reading the Hookline five

Posted by Yvonne Barlow on Monday, September 9, 2013,
Who is best at choosing a good read?
Obviously we think readers are - especially book groups who meet regularly to discuss the parts of a novel that moved them or simply left them stalled.
We've been asking book groups to choose what we put to print for five years now and we've been more than pleased with their ability to spot a good plot. So we're calling on those within the publishing industry to join our book groups in reading the five finalists in the Hookline Novel Competition. Specificall...
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Looking for something new to read - ask your bookseller!

Posted by Yvonne Barlow on Tuesday, September 3, 2013,
How do we find the books that we read?
Traditionally, we find new titles through the literary review pages of weekend newspapers. Getting a mention on these pages is almost a guarantee of best seller status. I read the literary review pages, however I'm always disappointed to see the same titles reviewed in all the newspapers - which makes me wonder about the new titles they are missing. 
Studies show we trust recommendations from friends more than reading any review. I know there are particula...
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Hookline - bringing together new writers and good readers

Posted by Yvonne Barlow on Tuesday, January 29, 2013,
Many years ago, a new writer sent their manuscript to a publisher, and they would hear a 'yes', 'no' or 'maybe'.
Today, new writers send their manuscripts to publishers, and they are likely receive a postcard telling them to get an agent. Many agents now act like editors, helping their writers through rewrites. In turn, publishers turn to agents they trust - and agents stick to writers who have earned their royalties, or are writing in a fashion that is likely to earn good royalties (hence the...
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How to find or start a book group

Posted by Yvonne Barlow on Tuesday, January 8, 2013,

There may already be a book group in your area. Ask at your local library or check with The Reading Agency, a charity that aims to promote reading:  http://www.readinggroups.org/find/location/

Or try: http://wwwbookgroupinfo.co.uk

If a group doesn't exist in your area, or the existing group is full, you may have to start a reading group from scratch.

First, ask among your friends, co-workers and neighbours. You are likely to be surprised at how many people like to discuss books.

If you ar...


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Publishing - who is it all for?

Posted by Yvonne Barlow on Thursday, January 3, 2013,
Much is written about how it's the turn of the author, and publishers must take a back seat.
An article in Forbes magazine states: Publishers need to evolve their business models to reflect a new reality and one that is closely aligned to the authors
Self-publishing, author cooperatives, and pay-for-publication imprints are all receiving a massive amount of coverage right now. 
For a small publishing company such as ours, this discussion can make us wonder why we get out of bed. Yes, anyone ca...
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Print on demand ideal for many African countries

Posted by Yvonne Barlow on Wednesday, November 28, 2012,
Ebooks for Africa! Tablets for Africa!
We hear a lot about digital technology being transported to Africa, and it's a wonderful ideal. The problem is that much of the telephone fibre in Africa is just that - made for telephone usage and unable to support the passage of bulky data (think of the old days of internet dial up).
So while ebook technology may not yet be appropriate, there is another digital mechanism that is ideal - the Espresso Book Machine! This physical printer operates like a ven...
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Is it normal for writers to pay toward print costs? ABSOLUTELY NOT!

Posted by Yvonne Barlow on Monday, November 26, 2012,
Do all publishers charge writers to publish their work?
According to some, it is a legitimate part of doing business in today's world, and I've just had a rather heated debate with a publisher who feels that not charging is impossible. 
Hmmm! I have been known for my Polly Anna tendencies, but a work should be accepted because a publisher feels that their investment in editing, typesetting, design, printing and royalty costs will be returned by enough readers purchasing the title. We all make m...

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Hookline Winner 2013

Posted by Yvonne Barlow on Monday, November 5, 2012,
Congratulations go to Victoria Owens, of Bath Spa University, with her novel Caelica's Bridge. Set in 18th century Wales, the novel follows a young woman who finds the courage to stand up to her father and her fractured community.
Hookline book groups said:
"The characters were strongly developed as the novel progressed."
"It had a good sense of period."
"This was definitely our favourite."
I look forward to working with Victoria, and we aim to have her novel published by April.
Congratulations to ...
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Hookline 2012 - no clear winner, so far

Posted by Yvonne Barlow on Thursday, October 25, 2012,
Book groups are sending in their results as we move toward the conclusion of the Hookline Novel Competition.
Usually, we see a particular novel rise above the others, and I can easily bet on who might win. Interestingly, so far, there seems to be no clear favourite. So all bets are off.
For those unfamiliar with the Hookline Novel Competition: We take submissions only from students and graduates of MA writing courses and ask book groups to judge their work - in short, we bring together serious ...
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Do ebook consumers dip into books the way music fans select tracks from albums?

Posted by Yvonne Barlow on Tuesday, October 16, 2012,
I remember a time before itunes and CDs when music came on vinyl albums. Oftentimes you weren't keen on all the musical tracks, but you listened anyway and oftentimes those unpopular tunes grew on you. I'm not the only person who sat in a bedroom listening to every single track on an album while reading the cover from top to bottom - including the copyright details - while the eighth, ninth or tenth song grew more appealing.
Today when we download digital music files, we pick only the album tr...
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So cloudy with words, I can't see!

Posted by Yvonne Barlow on Thursday, October 4, 2012,
Does anyone feel followed by a cloud of words?
I don't mean in the books we read, I'm more concerned with social media. 
I love Facebook for the contact with old friends and new, and I have found some amazing pointers to events and ideas on Twitter. But sometimes, it feels these forums have simply too many words.

I understand the democratic nature of social networking and even champion the lack of gatekeeper, but sometimes...
Ask yourself, who wants to know about your mood today? Do the public ne...
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Vampires not allowed - at least in prison book groups

Posted by Yvonne Barlow on Wednesday, September 19, 2012,
It will come as no surprise to read that Fifty Shades is massively popular in women's prisons. The surprise may be that it is also popular among the men's prison population. "Their wives tell them to read it," said one reading group volunteer at the Prison Reading Groups conference at Roehampton University last week.
No matter whether it is requested, not all libraries will keep it in stock. Books with sexual content are sometimes banned. This is easy to understand in prisons holding sex offen...
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Tea, biscuits and books - in prison!

Posted by Yvonne Barlow on Tuesday, September 18, 2012,
Tea and biscuits have a deep association with book groups, but this connection is significant for book groups that meet in prisons.
Almost every volunteer and librarian who spoke at the Prison Reading Group conference at Roehampton University last week, talked of tea and biscuits and how integral they are to meetings. It was just one of the details that fascinated me, that put prison reading groups on a par with any other reading group in any community.
The conference was held, primarily, to sh...
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All the news that's fit to print

Posted by Yvonne Barlow on Monday, September 3, 2012,
Publishing tends to keep readers and writers far apart - writers write; readers read and the publishers take care of the bit in the middle.
But there is a huge overlap as almost all writers read, and increasing numbers of readers write. The two groups no longer sit at opposite ends of the publishing table.
Hookline Books already brings readers and writers together - we take submissions from new writers, and rely on book group readers to decide the manuscripts that go to print. 
We would now like...

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Book Covers Are As Subjective As The Pages They Bind

Posted by Yvonne Barlow on Friday, August 17, 2012,
When it comes to book covers everyone has an opinion. Some look at the design, professionals look at the techniques involved, readers look for clues to the story.
Personally, the simpler the better has huge appeal. I dislike peering through swashes of colour for a subtle hint of appeal. 
Which is why the cover of Hookline's A Young Woman's Guide to Carrying On is one of my favourites. And, at book fairs, I have seen women pick it out from among all the other books on our shelves. It's simplicit...
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E-books - the evolution continues

Posted by Yvonne Barlow on Tuesday, July 10, 2012,
Another month and more updates on the evolution of E-books.
Faber Factory have organised a conference to brief members on new aspects of E-publishing.
Many of us are keen to know how the Waterstones-Kindle alliance will play out. Will Waterstones continue to sell ePub books alongside Kindle books? (For the uninitiated, Kindle uses a different e-book formatting programme from the rest of the industry - hence Kindle can only read Kindle books). If Kindle books are sold onto Kindle devices in shop...
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Ebooks and VAT

Posted by Yvonne Barlow on Thursday, July 5, 2012,
Tax on books is a terrible thing - especially when it's a full 20 percent.
No matter what you think of progressive and regressive taxes, £1 tax on a £5 book is excessive.
Fortunately, we don't pay tax on paper books, but it is a different matter when it comes to Ebooks. Apparently they are treated as computer games - hmm!
Ebooks are not cheap to produce. Editing and typesetting must still take place and then they have to be 'converted' to ePub. I'm not exactly sure what this process involves -...
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The return story of print-on-demand

Posted by Yvonne Barlow on Monday, July 2, 2012,
Print-on-demand publishing is a growing segment of today's book market.
For the uninitiated, print-on-demand means that books are printed as they are ordered rather than having a fixed print run of ten, twenty or thirty thousand books. For publishers, not having to commit money and warehousing space to thousands of books means we can take chances on new authors.  
In the early days, print-on-demand technology wasn't great - the text wasn't even and the bindings often fell apart. This is no long...
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National Reading Group Day

Posted by Yvonne Barlow on Monday, June 25, 2012,
Book groups are to be celebrated. As these dedicated readers meet each month and discuss their monthly read, they have become the backbone of the fiction industry. 
I will repeat my previous claim that Alexander McCall Smith and his Number One Ladies Detective Agency, Louis de Bernieres and Captain Corelli's Mandolin, Rebecca Wells and her YaYa Sisterhood would not be successful without word of mouth praise from book groups.
Here at Hookline, we have huge faith in reading groups. All the books ...
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An Underground Party

Posted by Yvonne Barlow on Monday, June 18, 2012,
Hookline Books do not publish many novels - one or two a year. So a party to celebrate one of our books is a big event. 
Underground by Gayle O'Brien topped the approval ratings from our book groups last year - and we trust our book groups so much we let them guide us in choosing what goes to print. Underground is our fourth winner and, as a lover of a good story, I am proud to put it to print.
Underground follows two young American women - one contemporary and another from the 19th century - a...
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An appeal to independent book shops - let's work together

Posted by Yvonne Barlow on Tuesday, June 12, 2012,
Dear Independent Booksellers,
We know you face problems as you try to compete with Amazon, supermarket discounts and the rise of Ebooks.
On the publishing side, small independents also struggle - raising the profile of new works is not easy when our weekend newspapers all review the same high-profile books. Many of us have no money for sales reps never mind publicists and their campaigns.
Like other small publishers, we have some highly praised reads - books that may not be reviewed in our newsp...
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Seven Days to Tell You - the readers' reviews

Posted by Yvonne Barlow on Thursday, May 31, 2012,
Seven Days to Tell You came in the top three at the finals of The People's Book Awards - a huge privilege. Ruby and I had a fun evening - great to meet the other authors and publishers up for the award.
While Seven Days to Tell You didn't win, we did top the number of positive reviews on The People's Book Prize website.
If you have any doubt about the novel's merit, read below:

Excellent new writing; engaging characters and exciting plot. I devoured Seven Days to Tell You in one sitting... This ...


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Long Live the People

Posted by Yvonne Barlow on Tuesday, May 29, 2012,
The People's Book Prize award ceremony is Wednesday night. Our very own Seven Days to Tell You by Ruby Soames is a contender in the fiction section.
The prize was established to give readers a say in the industry - much like Hookline Books. Rather than have publishing giants choose the best sellers by putting large budgets behind well-known writers, the organisers wanted to give readers the chance to promote a good book - from the bottom up!
We congratulate all the writers who have made the fin...
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The People's Book Prize

Posted by Yvonne Barlow on Monday, May 21, 2012,

This is the final leg of voting in the finals of The People’s Book Prize.

We are delighted that Seven Days to Tell You by Ruby Soames is a finalist in the fiction category.

It is tough for a small publishing company like ours to rise – we may have great stories, terrific writers and a wonderful niche in allowing reading groups to choose what goes to print. But what we don’t have are the finances for a publicity campaign.

So this competition is an excellent opportunity for Hookline...


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Is it a review or is it a blurb?

Posted by Yvonne Barlow on Monday, May 14, 2012,
Positive comments from famous writers or newspaper book reviewers are craved by every new novelist. It is a widely held belief that if Celebrity Writer A or Newspaper Writer B liked it then the book will sell well. But will it?
Anthony Horowitz has written a super piece in the Guardian on 'Who's Helping Who In the Cover Blurb Game'. 
http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/booksblog/2012/may/11/cover-blurb-book-recommendation 
He asks whether readers pay any attention to what is clearly a back scratchin...
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National Reading Group Day

Posted by Yvonne Barlow on Wednesday, May 2, 2012,
National Reading Group Day is on June 30, and I think Hookline Books should do something to celebrate. After all, it is reading groups who choose the novels we put to print - we couldn't exist without reading groups.
But what do we do to celebrate this day?
Free books, deep discounts are all great ideas, especially for consumers.
But I'd like to do something to celebrate these communities of readers who meet regularly in homes, libraries, cafes and bars to discuss their monthly read.
How can we p...
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The Power of Book Groups

Posted by Yvonne Barlow on Monday, April 23, 2012,
No one expects prisoners to read novels, let alone discuss them. 
But the Prison Reading Groups have released a list of recent choices among prison book groups.
Women prisoners choose fairly predictable titles by authors such as Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love), Anita Shreve (Testimony), and Sarah Waters (Affinity).
But male prisoners selection of titles is a bit more surprising: Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte, Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier, and Lucky Man by Michael J. Fox.
Okay, Michael J. ...
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All the fun of the book fair

Posted by Yvonne Barlow on Wednesday, April 11, 2012,
Five days to the start of the London Book Fair and it is the usual gamut of things going right and those turning wrong. 
I'm not going to bore you with details of printers, brochures, logos and egos, because today I am taking big breaths - in and out!
It's always the same at this time - the 'never again, I'm getting out of this business' shoots through me, and I think of taking up work in a war zone. But the truth is it usually all turns out well in the end - and it is that sense of things 'tur...
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Hookline Books - the Maverick

Posted by Yvonne Barlow on Monday, April 2, 2012,
The London Book Fair approaches and there is much to do. However, immersed in it all, I can't help but look back at Hookline's first appearance at the London Book Fair four years ago. The China Bird by Bryony Doran was our first winner - we had no other publication - so our entire stand was stacked only with Bryony's book. 
We looked pretty foolish among the more seasoned publishers with their shelves of new titles and a healthy backlist. Many of them asked why we only had one title and, when ...

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Underground - our latest Hookline Winner - by Gayle O'Brien

Posted by Yvonne Barlow on Tuesday, March 27, 2012,

On the run from a killer, Annie and her mother flee to a remote farmhouse in New England. When Annie finds an unsent letter from a debutante in the Civil War, she is drawn to the story of a Southern girl immersed in a love that cannot see light in the American South. Determined to find out what happened to her, Annie risks bringing the killer to her farmhouse door.Underground chronicles two remarkable journeys – one across modern-day America and another through a country on the brink of its...


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Book groups, air your views

Posted by Yvonne Barlow on Thursday, March 22, 2012,
Book groups rarely get a mention at literary festivals. Instead it is the great and good among authors who are feted and discussed.
But a small forum at next month's Chipping Norton Literary Festival aims to change that. Book Groups - Not All Tea and Biscuits will discuss why book groups are popular and will ask book group members to talk about how they find the books they read, how serious does it have to be and even, critically, how do you deal with a difficult or dominating member?
The event...
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Reading Groups - Not Just Tea and Biscuits

Posted by Yvonne Barlow on Monday, March 12, 2012,

Mention reading groups to most people, and they expect middle age, middle class and middle brow.
How wrong!
Reading groups are a growing force in publishing, and some big name titles owe their success to word-of-mouth recommendation through book groups. For instance:
Number One Ladies Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith
Captain Corelli's Mandolin
by Louis de Bernières
Devine Sisters of the YaYa Sisterhood
by Rebecca Wells
The Kite Runner
by Khaled Hosseini.

These novels were original...


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The People's Book Prize - we're so happy to make the finals

Posted by Yvonne Barlow on Friday, March 2, 2012,
Seven Days to Tell You by Ruby Soames has reached the final twelve in The People's Book Prize. We're thrilled, and it's all thanks to the readers who put their votes behind the title.
All our novels are published after their raw manuscripts are given a thumbs up by reading groups. Fiction is subjective - what receives praise from one reader, will be ridiculed by another. But if large numbers of book groups are thrilled by a work, then we are happy to put it to print and let other readers share...
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Book group perks

Posted by Yvonne Barlow on Wednesday, February 29, 2012,
Yesterday we announced that Hookline authors were available to visit book groups in their area.
Today, we have another offer to make to book groups - 25 percent discount and free postage when you order directly with us.
Hookline Books could not exist without book groups - you choose the fiction we put to press, the least we can do is ensure a few perks.
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Book group visits

Posted by Yvonne Barlow on Tuesday, February 28, 2012,
Readers like to meet writers - especially when they've enjoyed their work. 
Writers like to meet readers - especially when their work has been appreciated.
So Hookline Books is offering readers visits from authors.
Bryony Doran, author of The China Bird, and Jilly Wosskow, author of A Young Woman's Guide to Carrying On, are both able to visit book groups in the area around South Yorkshire.
Author of The Partridge and the Pelican, Rachel Crowther, can visit groups in Cheshire.
Book groups in London...
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The People's Book Prize

Posted by Yvonne Barlow on Monday, February 27, 2012,

This is the final TWO DAYS of voting for 1st stage of The People’s Book Prize.

One of our novels, Seven Days to Tell You by Ruby Soames, has been nominated.

It is tough for a small publishing company like ours to rise – we may have great stories, terrific writers and a wonderful niche in allowing reading groups to choose what goes to print. But what we don’t have are the finances for a publicity campaign.

So this competition is an excellent opportunity for Hookline to air its wares...


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Book groups

Posted by Yvonne Barlow on Thursday, February 23, 2012,
Our 2012 manuscripts are going out to reading groups - always exciting as we pack, but daunting as we arrive at the Post Office and have to unload 30 boxes and queue for service. Those behind us fire daggers at the packages, but what can we do?
Reading groups - I hope you enjoy your work, and we look forward to hearing your results.
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Uploaded to the printer

Posted by Yvonne Barlow on Friday, February 10, 2012,
All submissions for this year's Hookline Novel Competition have been typeset and the files have been uploaded to the printer - I love those words, 'uploaded to the printer'. It doesn't mean our work is done - in the next two weeks, we should be in receipt of the paperbacks and the floor will be littered as we pack them for our book groups and drive to the post office where everyone in the queue shoots irritating looks at our 30 plus boxes. 
But 'uploaded to the printer' means that we can have ...
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Hookline Books needs you

Posted by Yvonne Barlow on Thursday, February 9, 2012,

This is the final two weeks of voting for The People’s Book Prize.

One of our novels, Seven Days to Tell You by Ruby Soames, has been nominated.

It is tough for a small publishing company like ours to rise – we may have great stories, terrific writers and a wonderful niche in allowing reading groups to choose what goes to print. But what we don’t have is the money for a publicity machine.

As a result, we rely on readers to promote our good name.

To refresh your memory Seven Days ...


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Is a week long enough to learn the truth?

Posted by Yvonne Barlow on Tuesday, February 7, 2012,

Kate and Marc have a perfect marriage – until one morning Marc goes out, and doesn’t come home. Where has he been? Is a week long enough to learn the truth?

Seven Days to Tell You by Ruby Soames has been nominated for The People's Book Prize - however it needs votes. Yours! Please follow this link to read an excerpt -
http://www.peoplesbookprize.com/section.php?id=6 
ease follow this link where you can read an excerpt -  http://www.peoplesbookprize.com/section.php?id=6 
































 ...
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Book groups and the Chipping Norton Literary Festival

Posted by Yvonne Barlow on Monday, February 6, 2012,
Mention reading groups to most people, and they expect middle age, middle class and middle brow.
How wrong!
Reading groups are a growing force in publishing, and some big name authors owe their success to word-of-mouth recommendation through book groups. For instance:
Number One Ladies Detective Agency
Captain Corelli's Mandolin
Devine Sisters of the YaYa Sisterhood
The Kite Runner
These were all small-time debut novels until discovered by reading groups.

Following the success of these books, publish...
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It's time

Posted by Yvonne Barlow on Friday, February 3, 2012,
Hookline is now four and we think it is big enough to have it's own website. To be honest, with so much work, we hadn't noticed that it had grown bigger than it's mother - Bookline & Thinker. 
So, this is it - a lot more work to do on the Hookline Books website, but we hope you will read, respond and air your views on what we do.



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About Me


Yvonne Barlow Editor at Hookline Books - where book clubs and readers choose the novels that go to print.

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