Business Blog, Children's Fiction

New books on the way (finally!)

Okay I know I’ve been super slack with getting these new editions done, which is for several reasons. One is that these editions won’t be illustrated (there are still the gorgeous, limited run Illustrator’s Editions available though – see them here), the other is that there’s a price hike which I feel bad about, and the other is just time.

Illustrator’s Edition: Limited Run Hardback

Time has felt scarce lately, though to be honest a lot of it has been spent worrying, procrastinating, and consumed in self-doubt. With a little help from friends, a lot of positive self-talk, and some time reflecting inwards I am now on the upward with this. There will be some changes in my lifestyle so I make sure I am enjoying what I do, though part of it was just adjusting to new challenges.

The other two reasons are just about money. I first published in 2015, and at the point I had only been writing and publishing for two years. That’s not a lot of time to learn how to write, edit, publish, and market! So I’ve been learning on the job, which means I’ve made a bunch of mistakes. One of them was underpricing – I had thought most of my sales would be eBooks so I could price my print books lower but it’s the exact opposite. I also hadn’t thought too much about the bookseller/wholesale discount, and I would like this to be an option while still making a profit.

So. I’m putting my business hat on and making these difficult decisions. The upside is that those of you who have the illustrated editions are extra lucky πŸ™‚ Just FYI – there are still plenty of book 3, Beyond the End of the World available. You can buy them online or from the Dorothy Butler Children’s Bookshop.

I’m still working on The Caretaker of Imagination cover art, but the other titles are done. You can also expect to see You Can’t Cure A Witch’s Curse in print – I know I’ve been promising that for like a year! So thanks for your patience.

On a positive note, I’ve played around with the covers a lot and I think that these ones reflect the tone of the stories, my voice, and that they’re fantasy/adventure that’s a little bit different. Yay πŸ™‚ They should arrive in a month!


From the bookshelf: A Creature, by Catherine Warren

Since I met Catherine Warren at the Hamilton Zinefest, I’ve been wanting to get my hands on her debut book, A Creature.

Who knew chickens could be so beautiful?

I read later that Catherine wanted to show animals as endearing and relateable (not her exact words… I can’t remember where I read this!) without personifying them, but in their natural state. This story, both the illustrations and the words, met this goal perfectly.

Catherine has brought something new and valuable to the children’s literary sceneΒ and I look forward to more!

Books & Reading

Well, that’s one way to sell books…

This is a piece written by my friend’s husband. I’ll let it speak for itself! Below is a link to her website.

A Desperate Matter

The morning of the 20th Sept 2012 in Waikouaiti was idyllic. The sky was an azure blue, the lagoon was like a mirror and my porridge was of the exact correct viscosity. In other words, serenity had surrounded me to the extent that I was almost happy! That was until my wife Jo uttered the portentous words, β€œI am going to write a book.”

I hastily summoned my array of appropriate responses from my memory bank and having discarded β€œthat’s interesting dear” (our relationship was still recovering from the last time I used that) settled on a neutral grunt. β€œYes,” she said. β€œIt will be a children’s book about Nicholas, our grandson.”

Now given that Jo had never written a book in her entire life I felt encouraged to enumerate the difficulties she faced in pursuing this goal. Needless to say, Jo ignored all my advice and embarked on her project.

Two years later, following an incredible number of draughts and the death of my serene existence, a manuscript was ready to dispatch to publishers. The first three publishers rejected the work outright, but one showed distinct interest – much to my surprise.

However, they eventually redeemed themselves by declining to publish the book. Well, that was a relief! Now serenity could return to my life and normal wifely service would resume (coffee in bed in the mornings etc.). Β You can imagine my dismay when a friend of mine offered to assist my wife to publish the book!! This would involve actual expenditure of money and plunged me into despair. Needless to say that friendship has been terminated.

Jo was offered various costs for various print runs and was seduced by how much cheaper 5000 books were than 500 and ignoring my pleas for restraint proceeded to order 5000 copies. The books duly arrived and the problem of storage arose. Desperate efforts to locate the rather large pallet with in friend’s garages or sheds came to nought and the books were deposited in our lounge over my strident objections.

Now we come to the reason for my pitiable state and my plea for your help to relieve my suffering. As you will know if you have visited our house, the TV has been artfully located to allow me to lie on the couch and watch Trackside and Sky Sport from a comfortable position.

Now of course, my view of the screen has been destroyed by a large pallet of books placed right in the middle of the lounge!!! Oh, woe is me!! Several entreaties to friends to share the storage of sufficient books to allow a view of the screen have fallen on deaf ears and I am currently having to perch on the back of the couch or stand to access my beloved Trackside.

The only solution I can conceive is to sell the bloody things!! Will you save my sanity?

In desperation from a tortured man,

Rod Carson


If you’d like to help Rod out, you can purchase Jo’s book for just $10 a copy. Just go to her websiteΒ, or flick her an email atΒ jocarsonbarr[at]gmail[dot]com.