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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.