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waiting for my man…

Here at Ignite Villas we’re truly at the cutting edge of technology. The latest in quills and inkwells, of course, and the very speediest and keenest of racing pigeons in the loft out back, ready and waiting to get word out to our authors and customers as quickly as possible.

It’s therefore entirely in keeping with our aim to embrace every modern advantage available that we’ve hit upon an incredibly modern wheeze to deliver copies of But after the gig… to Tezz Roberts and his merry team of pranksters whenever they sell out. Not for us the slow, lumbering of horse and cart northwards to the Potteries with a crate of books. Oh no.

Instead, we arrange a meeting at Wolverhampton train station, where – as the train for Stoke arrives in a cloud of steam and the smell of burning coal – we doff our hat to Mr Roberts’ representative, hand over the box of books, wish him well on his forthcoming concert tour, and return home at breakneck speed in one of the Corporation’s new-fangled omnibusses. Quite the caper!

Those of you who haven’t yet read the musings of young Roberts as he looks back at a life spent (and, indeed, mis-spent) in the clutches of punk rock can purchase one via this link here. We assure you our best pigeons will be winging their way to you, book in beak, very very soon. And on that cheery note, we bid you good morrow.

We shall now retire to peruse the daily papers and the latest horrors there within. A stiff drink or two may well be required to steady the nerves in the face of our political masters’ conniving and skulduggery. Hey ho.


blackpool rock

This weekend we’re sending our very best wishes to all our punk rock friends up at Rebellion festival in Blackpool. We’d hoped to find time to come along ourselves and have a stall selling copies of City Baby and But after the gig… but it wasn’t to be. We know Ross Lomas is there, though – so he may be able to help any of you after his book – and it’s entirely possible Tezz Roberts will drop by too. Who can say?

Seeing as we’re not in Blackpool catching up with old friends and making new ones, we’ve been consoling ourselves by packing up book orders instead. If you live on the UK mainland, in the Channel Islands, or in Brazil (yes, Brazil!) your books will be on their way as soon as the Post Office opens tomorrow.

Some time this year we’ll finally get round to buying a world map to hang on the wall at Ignite Villas so we can mark all the different towns and cities round the world where people have bought our books. Expect a photo when we do. It’s seriously impressive. Oh, and if you want your town to be on the map, you know what to do. Now, for the love of god, someone bring us back a stick of rock from Blackpool!


incredibly marvellous

The anniversaries are coming thick and fast here at Ignite Villas. Mark Zuckerberg may not be good for much, but – following on from the 1st anniversary of But after the gig… – his social media platform has reminded us that it’s now two years since we published A Marvellous Party.

And what a book it is!

Those of you who’ve read it will know how good it is. Those of you who haven’t will expect us to tell you you’re missing a trick. And who are we to let you down? It’s an absolute belter of a story, the sort of book that reminds you of the good in people despite the obstacles they face, and makes you feel this world’s a better place than our jaded cynical zeitgeist would have you imagine.

Above all, A Marvellous Party is a reflection of its author, Ian Elmslie, who was a joy to work with from the moment he first approached us with his manuscript. The process of editing the original work into the book you now see could have been a nightmare (no author wants to hear that some of the words they’ve sweated over may be superfluous to requirements) but in Ian’s case, it wasn’t. We wouldn’t tell you that you should buy his book simply because he’s a very nice man, but he IS a very nice man. And you should buy his book.

You don’t have to take our word for it, either. Boyz loved A Marvellous Party when they reviewed it. As did Attitude. And, most importantly, hundreds of our readers.

Go on, treat yourself. It’s summer.


tezz anniversary

Yesterday, Facebook reminded us that it was exactly one year since we opened the door at Ignite Villas and took delivery of But after the gig… from our reliable, friendly, wonderful printers. Only one year? That’s hard to believe, because we’ve packed so much in to the ensuing twelve months. The first print run sold out completely, for starters, and we had to re-order. Not that we’re grumbling – that’s the kind of problem every publisher likes to have.

We’ve sent copies out to readers all around the world, too. You’d expect orders to come in from the UK and the USA, given Tezz Roberts’ travels with his guitar over the years, but this book has also been enjoyed by folk across Europe and beyond. We added Ukraine, Russia, and Indonesia to the list of countries we’ve posted books to, which is quite an achievement for a small independent publisher. We love the idea that something we put together ends up as a prized possession of someone in a town or city we’ve never been to. In idle moments (not that we have many of them) we wonder what life there is like, which stories in the book strike a chord with the person who bought it, what makes them laugh, or shake their head in disbelief, and how they feel when they turn the last page and reach the end of Tezz’s story.

We’ll never know, of course, but it’s a lot of fun wondering. Happy birthday, But after the gig… Whatever will the next year bring?


like digital rabbits

How does admin do it? It’s a question we’ve been pondering over the past few days as we ploughed through all the emails and messages which had piled up while we were away thinking of anything but work. Strewth, but there were a lot of them!

Our conclusion: computers have a lot to answer for. Communication is easier than ever, and the ability to fire off messages and comments lies at our fingertips, there on the keypad, ready to be sent anywhere in the world in an instant. And emails beget emails beget emails. They breed like digital rabbits. Which is why there was an admin mountain waiting for us when we got home.

But we’ve fought the good fight. We’ve sent out books. We’ve cleared our inbox (for a day or two anyway). And now it’s time to lounge on the sofa and enjoy a beautiful summer evening. You should too. If only you had a good book to read while you do, eh? Oh, wait. There’s the Ignite shop, there at your fingertips. We can feel the emails coming already!


international

There’s a lot of downsides to our modern world, where we’re constantly at the beck and call of emails, social media accounts, and the like. But there’s one huge upside which still – all these years on – lifts the spirits here at Ignite Villas and brightens the dullest of days.

You see, one of the boons of the internet is that people anywhere in the world can find and order our publications. Direct from us, with no intermediary. They log on, make the payment, and within minutes/hour/days a book is on its way to them, wherever they are.

This never fails to make us smile. We still find it just a little bit magical that books we’ve created have made their way to addresses all over the world, and are being read and shared and enjoyed in places we may never get to ourselves.

Unless we win the lottery, of course. In which case maybe we will.


after the digital gig

It’s been a bit quiet here recently, but that’s because we updated the behind-the-scenes gubbins which make this site possible a couple of weeks ago, and we’ve been learning to find our way round it since then. Old dogs and new cyber-tricks. You can imagine how much fun that’s been… We’re very happy to announce that – after lots of tears and much gnashing of teeth – we’ve finally come more or less to terms with it, and normal service can now be resumed. Hallelujah!

While we were busy being the kid at the back of the class who’s struggling to keep up, the good news is that we still found time to create the digital edition of Tezz Roberts’ autobiography ‘But after the gig…’ Those of you who prefer to do your reading via a tablet, laptop, or kindle can now enjoy this romp of a read at the touch of a digital button.

The book is available on all Amazon Kindle platforms, as well as via Smashwords. Grab yerself a copy and lose yourself in Tezz’s unbelievable story!


the roar of the greasepaint


Last month, Ignite author Ian Elmslie was in Brighton performing a live show based on his wonderful memoir A Marvellous Party. The show – drawing on Ian’s years of experience on the cabaret circuit – features selections from the book along with an eclectic collection of songs written by LGBT composers, as well as some original compositions.


The night was a huge success, and Ian will be back in Brighton again. Given how well it went, it seems wrong not to invite other towns, cities, and regions to this party. So we’re open to invitations from literary events, LGBT groups, book clubs etc etc. If you’d like Ian to come along to where you live, drop us a line at hello@ignitebooks.co.uk


eBooks

There’s an interesting article in the media this week, if you bother to look for it. Microsoft are closing their eBook store (presumably because of poor sales) and this means anyone who’s bought a digital title from them will suddenly find those books go missing from their online library. This is the unspoken downside to the convenience of eBooks, and it’s one of the reasons why we at Ignite will always produce beautiful, physical print editions of our books.

We do understand why people choose digital versions of books, though. Cost, for one. The convenience of having dozens of titles on one e-reader, for another. And that’s why we create digital editions of our books, too. If you’re hankering after one of them, you’ll find them all listed here.


good poetry sells 2

We sold out of more bees bigger bonnets. Then a week or so later we sold all of the first print run of a fine fine place. And the year’s only just four months old. Not bad going!

We now have the 2nd print run of a fine fine place in stock. If you haven’t got one already, why not pop over to our shop and sort that out? The link is here.


good poetry sells

We do like good news here at Ignite Villas. And today’s good news is that we’ve now sold out of the second print run of more bees bigger bonnets, the fourth book of poems by Ignite author Steve Pottinger. That means there are 400 copies of this book out in the world, being shared and enjoyed.

Will we chalk that up as another achievement by our small but determined and independent publishing house? You bet we will.

Oh, and you can still get your mitts on Steve’s work. His latest book a fine fine place is on sale here. Good news all round, we reckon.


hallelujah

We did it. We made it through the long, dark, cold, miserable month of January, a month which drags on for two or three eternities. The dentist’s waiting room of life.

To add to the grind, money is tight and the days crawl by even more slowly when you’re counting the pennies. So our thanks to all those of you who chose to spend some of your hard-earned cash on our books over the past few weeks. We’re always appreciative of the importance of our customers, and that’s never more true than at this time of year.

And now, finally, it’s February. Pay cheques are in. The light comes earlier and stays a little later. Summer is on its way. You can almost taste it. If you fancy a good book to celebrate all that… well, you know where we are. (winks and walks away)

Best wishes to you all for 2019!

 


louder than war

This should be the deadly dull time between Xmas and New Year when we’re slobbing about full of mince pies and Baileys, but life at Ignite Villas has just been given an incredible boost by the very welcome review of But after the gig… on the Louder Than War website. Have a gander at it here!

Thank you, Dave Jennings! Goodbye, 2018, and thanks for all the fish!!

update: The LTW review helped us to completely sell out of the first print run as 2018 ended. Thanks to everyone who’s bought a copy, and happy reading! The 2nd print run will be with us very soon.


but after the next gig…

Good news may be in short supply, but here at Ignite Villas we’re happy to do our bit to turn the tide. Because every little helps.

We’re very happy – no, let’s try that again – we’re beside ourselves with joy to announce that we’ve all but sold out of the first print run of But after the gig… and put in an order for a second print run this morning. Thank you to everyone who’s bought one so far. If you haven’t, there’s something like eighteen copies still kicking around.That number is shrinking fast.

After those copies have gone, we’ll continue to take orders, but it’ll be January 14th before the new consignment arrives. It’ll still be the same amazing book, of course. You’ll just have to exercise a little patience till you can get your mitts on one – unless you nab one of these last few copies.

The choice is yours. Move quick and get one! Snooze, and you lose!!


we told you it was good

Thank you, Vive le Rock!! Get your copy here.

VLR review

 

 

 


partying on!

Life as a small, independent publisher can be tricky. It’s a hand-to-mouth existence where the success or failure of our titles can really impact on our work. So you’ll excuse us for making a song and dance (with some suitably up-tempo tunes playing in the kitchen) about the fact that our first print run of A Marvellous Party has completely sold out!

It’s incredibly satisfying to see a book by a first-time author on a small press make such an impact. We’re very proud that A Marvellous Party was longlisted for the Polari Prize, prouder still of the feedback we’ve had from readers who’ve identified with Ian Elmslie’s story, and absolutely over the moon that he chose to send the money from the sales of the last few copies to the Food Chain to support their valuable work.

We’ve spent the last week or two discussing with Ian what we do next, and we’re very happy to announce that a second print run of A Marvellous Party is on its way. We hope to have it in stock again by the end of the first week of December, but you can order it through our online shop right now!

It fits perfectly in Xmas stockings.


back on track

We’re very happy to announce that our online shop is now up and running exactly as it should. Last weekend, it suffered from a pesky cyber-gremlin which put a kink in things for a few days, but that’s been dealt with and we’re taking orders as normal. Huzzah!

The shop remains the best place to purchase any and all of our books. Whether you fancy a copy of City Baby – now in its FIFTH print run – one of the last two copies of A Marvellous Party, or getting your mitts on But after the gig… which is selling like the hottest of cakes, that’s up to you. And if poetry’s your bag, it’s only right to let you know that we’ve sold almost 400 copies of more bees bigger bonnets, and have just a handful of copies of the second print run left.

Buy one or more of these books (or any of our other publications) from us this weekend and we’ll throw in a free Ignite car sticker with your order. Because that’s the way we roll.

Treat yourself, or get the perfect Xmas present for a friend. You know it makes sense.


tick tick tock

It feels as though we’ve been sending copies of But after the gig… out in the post since the dawn of time. In fact, it’s just over three months. Amazingly, it’s still two weeks till this roustabout of a book is officially published. Really.

Our thanks to everyone who’s bought a copy so far, and to the people who’ve got in touch to say how much they’ve enjoyed it. We’re hoping to get some magazine reviews soon, but for now our favourite review is this one, from Jason:

I heard about Tezz’s book through a tweet by Ginger Wildheart when both Discharge & the Wildhearts played the Rebellion fest. Tezz’s story could be read by anyone who likes biographies of bands or band members, whether or not they like or have even heard of Discharge. The guy’s story is like no other. How he’s still alive is testament to his ‘pick yourself up & carry on’ attitude.  There’s stories which had me in tears of laughter when I’m thinking this shouldn’t be funny. People who live a life like Tezz’s rarely have a happy ending, yet here he is back in Discharge doing what he knows & loves best. Well done Tezz.

But after the gig… is on sale here.


hustle and bustle

Sometimes, if we’re honest, we get ever so slightly frustrated by the difficulty of gaining traction on the publicity treadmill – we know we’re turning out great books, but it’s a full-time job in itself to try and get that news out to the world – but those days are more than compensated for by the success we have, and the great feedback we get from our readers.

So, we’re delighted that the latest addition to our stable, the Tezz Roberts autobiography But after the gig… is flying out of the door. We’ve already sent copies to over a dozen different countries, and it isn’t officially published until the start of November! We’re also overjoyed that Ginger Wildheart tweeted that it was absolutely his kind of book and he read it in a day. That’s precisely the response from readers that we were hoping for.

Meanwhile, our disappointment that Ian Elmslie didn’t make it onto the Polari Prize shortlist was outweighed by our pride that A Marvellous Party had been part of their longlist, and that orders for it continue to come in. We’re incredibly close to selling out of the first print run of this wonderful book, so if you’ve been meaning to treat yourself to this romp of a tale, you’d best get your skates on. Rest assured we’ll post copies out as soon as we can – the good folk at our local Post Office get worried if they don’t see us every couple of days.


And now, back to plotting how we put more books and more great stories in the hands of more people. We love our work.


holiday time

It’s been a busy few weeks here at Ignite Villas. Ian Elmslie‘s book A Marvellous Party was longlisted for the Polari Lit Prize (we’ll be keeping our fingers crossed he makes it onto the shortlist next Tuesday) and as if that wasn’t excitement enough, our latest publication arrived from the printers ten days ago, and has been flying out the door ever since.

Thanks to everyone who’s bought a copy of the Tezz Roberts autobiography But after the gig… and a huge thanks to those people who’ve read it already and have started giving feedback (spoiler alert: they loved it).

If you’re intending to buy any of our books, please note that we’ll be taking a well-earned break from Wednesday 25th July to Tuesday 7th August. While we will still be popping online to answer emails, we won’t be able to post out books till we’re back in the office. So, either get your order in quick (and send us down the Post Office laden with books on Tuesday) or wait till early August. The choice is yours.

Whatever you do, and whatever you buy, you’ll be getting a great read. Guaranteed.


quality not quantity

It can be tricky keeping on top of everything when you’re running a small, independent publisher. There’s the admin you get in any job, of course, but to that you can add liaising with authors, posting out orders, reading new manuscripts, and trying to maintain your business profile in the ever-changing sands of the social media world. Trust us when we say that last one’s a minefield, and takes up far more time and effort than it should.


All in all, though, we’re doing quite well. As this last week shows. First of all, Ian Elmslie made it onto the Polari Prize longlist for his delightful memoir A Marvellous Party. As he deserves to be – it’s a brilliant book. You’d expect us to say that, of course, but don’t take our word for it. Read the reviews by readers and in magazines. And then do yourself a favour and buy a copy. You won’t regret it.

This week we also sent the files for our latest book to the printers. But after the gig… is the keenly-awaited autobiography of UK punk legend Tezz Roberts, and it’s an absolute belter. It’s fair to say that Tezz has lived on the edge, and we know that the book will both entertain and amaze you. Advance orders are piling up, and we’ll be shipping those out as soon as the book arrives at Ignite Villas (currently, that’s the 9th July). You can order a copy here.

We may not bring out many books, but when we do… oh boy, they’re good.

P.S. As always, red text is a link straight to the shop page. 🙂


and again….

Here’s some good news! Our book City Baby – which is the autobiography of GBH bassist Ross Lomas, for those of you who somehow didn’t know – is going to be re-printed. That’s the fifth print run for this searingly honest, laugh-out-loud, lump-in-your-throat romp of a story. The fifth! That’s quite an achievement for a small independent publisher.

On top of that, we’ve created a Kindle version of the book for folk who prefer to do their reading in a modern, digital fashion *and* a special North American edition was published by our friends at Bazillion Points. All of which goes to show just how far a good story can travel.

If you haven’t got a copy of City Baby yet, or would like to buy another for a friend, we’re down to our last ten copies (at least till the new print run comes in). Just click on the red text to open the link to our shop. First come, first served!


change

Last week we went to listen to author Kit de Waal talk about her experiences of publishing  – and yes, it has taken us this long to write about it – but that’s because there was plenty to think about and reflect upon in what she said.

First, the bad news. It’s depressing to hear that so little has changed with the ‘big five’ publishers, that they’re still centred on (and understand) London and, all too often, exhibit  an inherent bias against work from the regions or from working-class writers. We’re not suggesting that people who work for big publishers are actively seeking to suppress alternative voices, by the way. There’s no need to embrace a conspiracy theory to explain what’s going on. However, it is fair to say that if they’re asked to evaluate a piece of work when they know next to nothing about the world it’s set in, or don’t recognise the language it uses, then it’s next to impossible for them to offer an informed opinion, and far more likely it’s going to leave them cold, bore them, and end up on the ‘reject’ pile.

Ah, you say, but isn’t this where independent publishers like ourselves come in? Thanks for asking. We wondered when you would.

The good news is that the advent of desk-top publishing and digital printing has been a game changer. It’s easier than ever now to get a book into print. That means the playing field’s been levelled out, right? Well, no. For starters, we don’t have the marketing budgets or the publicity contacts of the big five. Their budget and these contacts mean they’re more likely to get their books reviewed, and make sure the public know about their books, which helps them sell, which reinforces their belief that they’re choosing (and publishing) the books that people want to read.

This isn’t a moan about how hard life is for us at Ignite Villas. We’re very happy with what we do. We’ve achieved respectable sales for all of our books, and every single one of them has turned a profit (sometimes a very small profit, but a profit nonetheless, and you can help that by shopping for our books here). That’s not just important for us, it’s important for our authors, too. As is the fact we share those profits with them, because putting money in their pocket matters to us just as much as it matters to them. 

We’re doing fine. Now just imagine what we could do if we had the contacts of the big five.


that there amazon

We always suggest that people buy their books from local bookshops, small independent stores, or direct from publishers like (ahem) ourselves, but we also recognise that for some people the ease of browsing for the books they want via a huge online retailer is just too convenient. That’s why – despite our reservations – it makes sense for us to have a ‘seller account’ with Amazon.

Those of you who buy our books there may have noticed the prices have gone up a little. The reason’s simple: when we set them, we take into account Amazon’s fee (the amount they charge us for listing the books). Over the past couple of months it’s become clear that the fee they actually charge us is significantly higher than the one they claim we’ll pay. To keep things viable, we’ve had to pass on a little more of that cost than we were before.

So now you know. Prices of books on our website remain exactly the same – and since you’re here reading this, wouldn’t it make sense to buy our books here, too? (wink).

Happy reading!