Uncategorized

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!

 


down time

We love January. OK, that’s a love tempered by January’s obsession with dressing itself up in something cold and wet and dismal, while it piles on the guilt about our festive excess, so calling it love may be taking things too far. Maybe it’s something more like affection. Affection for the fact that – for small independent publishers, at least – January also means the opportunity for a little down time. Down time after a busy year of editing, typesetting, publishing and – above all – promoting books.

In the summer, we launched Ian Elmslie’s wonderful memoirs (if you haven’t read them yet, where have you been??) and in the autumn we followed that up with another volume of poems from Steve Pottinger (we recommend that too, natch). Right now, we’ve earned the right to sit back a little and take things easy. We’ll still keep things ticking along, though. Over the festive period we created a Kindle edition of A Marvellous Party for those of you who prefer that option – we’ll always choose ‘real’ books ourselves, but we understand the attraction – and if Kindles float your boat, you can buy that edition here.

While you’re doing that, or going to the gym, or trying to ignore that bottle of wine waving at you from the fridge because you’re doing dry January, we’ll put our feet up, have a little breather, and get on with drawing up our plans for 2018. 

They’re going to be good ones. Happy New Year!


winter words

It’s very festive at Ignite Villas right now. Not because we’ve festooned the place with decorations (we haven’t), and not because we’re busy wrapping presents (we’re not), but because yesterday’s snowfall has transported us from the oh-so-familiar West Midlands to somewhere wonderfully new, where nothing looks the same.

We’re looking at it all through the window, naturally, while munching mince pies and sipping a whiskey. Such is our devotion to our work, though, that we’re tearing ourselves away from that to inform you that Ian Elmslie has been (and is being) a very busy man.

On Monday, he’s one of the guest readers at the final Polari Literary Salon event of 2017, at the Southbank Centre in London. If you’re kicking around the big smoke, you really should make a beeline to the south side of the river and treat yourself to a ticket to this. All the details are here.

Sadly, we can’t be there as we’ve a prior commitment with a sizeable number of mince pies and a bottle of Baileys. We’ll be enjoying those as we listen to Ian’s new audio extracts from his book, which are now up on Youtube. They’re really something special. We haven’t worked out which our favourite is yet, but this one – about the day Ian met Armistead Maupin – has to be up there. Pour yourself a glass of something warming, and have a listen.

Enough of the humbug. Let’s have more of the ho ho ho.


jingle jingle jangle

Thanks to all of you who’ve supported us by buying our books over the past few months. As the nights draw in, we hope you’re all happily curled up with your copies of A Marvellous Party, a fine fine place, City Baby, and co. There’s some great reading to be had between those covers!

Thanks, too, for spreading the word about us. Letting your friends know how much you’ve enjoyed what you’ve read, and sharing your recommendations on social media, blogs, and the like really makes a difference to a small independent like ourselves. With Xmas coming up, what better time to point someone towards a book you know they’re going to love?

Oh, and our books make wonderful presents, too. Just saying…


once more…

…unto the launch, dear friends, once more. Less than a month after the hugely successful evening at Gays The Word in London, where we officially welcomed A Marvellous Party into the literary world, we’re venturing forth into the glittering world of celebrity-packed book launches again.

This time we’ll be celebrating the publication of a fine fine place – the latest book of poems from Ignite author Steve Pottinger – at the Lych Gate Tavern in Wolverhampton city centre, on the evening of Sunday 15th October. Free entry, good company, great beer. Oh, and copies of the book will be available to buy.

If you’re in the area, it’d be lovely to see you. If you can’t make it, a fine fine place is also on sale here.


fine, very fine

We returned home to Ignite Villas on Friday afternoon, still floating on the excitement of Ian Elmslie’s book launch in London the previous evening (you can read more about that here, by the way) and found a note pushed through the letterbox: your books have been left next door.

It’s a busy time here: A Marvellous Party successfully launched, and now – fresh from the printers – the copies of Steve Pottinger’s latest volume of poetry ‘a fine fine place’.  The confusion over a missing box has now been resolved (thanks for popping back with it, mister courier) and they’re now all with us. which means they can be with you very soon, if you choose. It’s very simple: just follow this link and we’ll process your order as soon as we possibly can.


Can’t say fairer than that. And now, time to crack on with our next book. More news on that later….


reflection

There are times when being a publisher is a grind, a hard slog. It’s not unique to publishing, of course, any job has its downside. Set against those times, thankfully, are the moments which make it all worthwhile.

Yesterday’s book launch for A Marvellous Party – held at Gay’s The Word bookshop in London – was one of those moments. We’ve always known, from the moment Ian Elmslie sent us the draft of his manuscript, that he was a natural storyteller, with a fascinating story to tell. What we had no way of knowing was that he’s also a wonderfully gifted performer.

Listening to an author read three excerpts from their book so engagingly, with such an easy facility for bringing the characters to life – allowing you to imagine Armistead Maupin or Quentin Crisp are actually in the room and you’re eavesdropping on their conversation –  and all that in front of a packed house, well, that was an absolute privilege. A joy.

As one of the Gay’s The Word staff said afterwards: in thirteen years of listening to authors do book launches, last night was the best he’d heard. Praise doesn’t come better than that. Nor, Ian, was it ever more deserved.

A Marvellous Party is on sale here.


party

This is going to be one exciting week. On Thursday we rattle down to that there London to launch our fabulous new book A Marvellous Party at Gay’s The Word bookshop. It’s not officially published till October 1st, but this is our chance to celebrate the glorious response it’s had from everyone who’s got their mitts on it so far. Boyz magazine loved it. And our readers have, too. Here’s just some of the reviews:

‘I’ve just finished your wonderful book. I am in floods of tears that may never stop.’
‘Loving this book so much. So easy and enjoyable to read. Such warmth.
‘A life-changing book.’
‘The best book I’ve read in years.’
Bloody addictive. I’ve never read better in descriptive text.
‘It is rare that I finish a book and feel it has been a defining moment in my life as a reader. I loved every single word.’

A Marvellous Party would be worth your time and your money whenever it was published. In the year when the LGBT community is commemorating the 50th anniversary of the first moves to full equality, it’s an absolute must-read. 

At Gay’s The Word bookshop this Thursday evening, Ian Elmslie will read selected extracts from his marvellous memoir. There may – just may – be a re-union performance from Katrina and the Boy, too, which will look a little bit like this. Will this be the most culturally significant and fun happening in London town this year? Quite probably. We’ll see you there.

All the details you need for this event are here.


what happened

Ah well, guess that’s the end of summer, then. *sigh* Time to get back to the grindstone… Which means a stock-take at Ignite Villas, and the discovery – a very pleasant discovery – that over the past few months, while we’ve had our eye on other things, the fourth print run of City Baby has been quietly selling like the proverbial hot cakes.

What that means is we’re now down to the last box of this punk-rock nugget of a tale. A mere 24 copies. Wow. If you want a copy, we suggest you get your skates on (metaphorically speaking).

Suddenly, the end of summer doesn’t seem so bad.