Slightly better news since first draft of this post. The disheartening message was that we’d paid to book the Council House all day for 16th July 2022 over two years ago but Birmingham City Council unilaterally cancelled our contract in favour of some unrevealed use of the building on that date. The City Council’s apparent willingness to abandon contractual commitments when it suits them was pretty upsetting. Quite apart from all the wasted work Lee Benson, Dawn Torrens, Martin Tracey and Andrew Sparke have put into the event BCC’s actions stood to frustrate around 80 authors booked to attend, two charities we were fund-raising for (Cure Leukaemia and Dementia UK), potential sponsors, evening venues and entertainment providers and service supply companies, not to mention all the people who’ve bought tickets online from eventbrite.
Anyway the better news is that negotiations have opened up the prospect of a replacement event in the Council House Banqueting Suite on a Saturday to be fixed in June or July 2023. so watch this space or the Author City event Facebook page for updates.
We’re very proud of the city with whom we have a long association and with New Street Authors we’ve tried hard to raise its profile. There’s even an anthology of Birmingham short stories in preparation to be published contemporaneously with the event. Whether it contains critical comment on the council which let us all down with such a bump – we’ll see if they do come through with a new acceptable deal in time.
Constantly amazed that having completed the hard graft of writing a book, many authors don’t research indie publishing and end up paying large sums to predatory companies whose main income comes from authors rather than readers. So my response to a Facebook request for information on using Author House (or any other such company) is reproduced below:
First rule is don’t use predatory publishers whose business is making money out of authors rather than readers. Explore and understand indie publishing online with KDP. If you then feel learning publishing skills is too much find a publishing co-operative like us which doesn’t charge you, understanding that marketing your book will be a shared responsibility.
This approach should mean as a writer you don’t shell out money unnecessarily, you have a realistic view of likely sales, and you get a good quality book out reasonably edited and with a good cover, and available at a sensible price people might be prepared to pay (paperback £5-£8 eBook £1-£3). Job done and nobody feeling scammed.
So, author warning! Talk to New Street Authors or the Alliance of Independent Authors or someone like us (firstname.lastname@example.org). Whatever you do avoid like the plague all the companies listed below which only exist to make money out of authors: AuthorHouse, Gatekeeper Press, Novum, United p.c., Austin McCauley, Tate, XLibris, America Star Books, Author Solutions, Archway Publishing, Westbow, Balboa Press, Delle Arte Press, Abbott Press, Lulu, Choir Press and many many more you’ll find listed under Self Publishing on every search engine going.
APS Books is co-hosting the UK’s biggest and best author signing event ever alongside the opening of the Commonwealth Games. The date is Saturday 16th July 2022 from 9am to 5pm in the amazing Banqueting Suite at Birmingham Council House (Victoria Square behind the Floozie In The Jacuzzi) followed by an evening’s fun and games for attending authors including Authors Afloat, an alcohol-fuelled narrowboat tour of a city with ‘More canals than Venice’.
We are now sold out but have set up a reserve list (for half tables at £45 each) because inevitably some pre-booked authors will drop out before the event – email email@example.com
Image by Jon Jones from ‘The Floozie In The Jacuzzi’ (APS Books 2019)
Another huge step forward for APS Books – our first ever hardback – a lovely job by Inky Finger Printers – silver embossing on grey cloth-bound hardcover. Really pleased with look of it and the content – a complete compendium of Andrew Sparke’s Verse. Only available direct from us at £15. See the UK Book Buy page.