Category Archives: Ian K Pulham

Character, character character ~ Make them believable.

A thought struck us at Eventispress is that we warm to certain elements in stories and firstly that:

‘the characters need to be believable so that readers can identify, empathise with, warm to or be repelled by them.’

Whether the novel is loosely termed crime, historical fiction, dystopian or mystery, all of the novels we release are weighted heavily on genuine characters. You don’t always have to like them, but we promise you that you will feel their pain, their joy, their frustration ~ in fact every human emotion. You may laugh out loud or be in sobs of tears. You may pick up the book and find it hard to put it down, but we hope that some of the characters therein will live with you a while after you leave their make believe world.

What you will not see in our fiction so far:

For crime you will not see too many car chases and for murder you will not have scenes that are so graphic you can’t sleep.

For historical fiction you will not see a real person from the past brought alive in the written word, but imaginary characters set in an authentic period in history. (unless loosely based on a true murder as in MURDER Now and Then)

For mystery it is less the police involvement in the crime and although there are certainly mysteries not revealed until the end, it may not be the reason you are compelled to keep reading. (as some readers have mentioned in their wonderful reviews)

For dystopian you will not read about elves or folks from outer space in an imaginary world, but believable people with real lives entangles with a plausible (well almost) future, not of their own choosing.

Instead, this is what you will read in our books so far:

In Roderick Hart’s crime novel Interleaved Lives you will identify with the lives of people struggling to find the truth of what happened to their missing spouses, gaining some solace in each other’s company, rather than gritty police procedure.

For dystopian in Ian K Pulham’s Ticket to Eden there are monsters in the depths of the sea, but they are almost believable and their interaction with the characters in the story almost amusing at times, if it wasn’t so hauntingly disturbing. Also, the web of confusing relationships Ian weaves, as the world loses its grip on any future, is unsettling, and yet there is almost an inevitability but poignancy to it.

In Diana Jackson’s mystery inspired by history series, it is yet again the web of relationships and mixed aspirations which lead to murder in MURDER Now and Then, added to the complex parallels with the past, which compels the reader. In MISSING Past and Present readers tell us that they are desperate to find our how Dot brings herself up from rock bottom. Yes, her husband is missing, as his her step son, but it is the relationships Dot builds which make a tragic story so heart warming.

In summary

…And so, in our fiction at Eventispress expect the characters to lead you into their world ~ one you may be reluctant to leave behind when you reach the last page … and do let us know what you think and write a review.

eventispress@outlook.com

Much appreciated!

“Improve your life: read a book. Improve your life considerably: write a book!”

The above was author Ian K Pulham’s mantra at the end of his article: ‘Ticket to Eden ~ Three Months on from Publication’

So simple but so true, don’t you think.

We always say to authors, read, read, read, before write, write write.

Why should authors be avid readers?

  • You learn from experienced authors
  • You learn to be more critical of your own writing as you read less well hones novels too.
  • We are part of the world of books ~ libraries, bookshops, charity shops ~ feel totally part of that world to make connections
  • Chris Cribari’s blog post, with the link below, gives his own take on why he is an avid reader. We love the photo Chris!
Photo from Chris Cribari’s blog ~ Link below

Why should writers write reviews?

  • Writers are readers too.
  • To actively support your community of authors.
  • It’s good Karma ~ the more you give to an enterprise and those part of it, the more you receive.
  • How can you expect others to review your books if you don’t do reviews yourself?

Why should authors celebrate other authors’ novels on social media?

  • Easier to trumpet someone else’s work than your own.
  • It makes you a rounded person, telling your readers what you do and don’t like in the world of books, but be careful if you’re writing a negative review. Author Diana Jackson says ~ personally I don’t give less than 3 stars, otherwise I just don’t review. Occasionally I get in touch with the author to explain why ~ D Jackson.
  • Shout about the great books you read on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, blog post ~ it may provoke comments from like minded folks or even make contact with the author. Write their Twitter handle in the post if they have one.

Sometimes it is tough to promote your own books, but if it is, have a break from it. A positive attitude and promoting the works of others will in the least give you a feel good factor and at best bring good will back to you!

Don’t forget ~ Enjoy the ride!

Publishing your debut novel ~ What a new author needs to know

Out of tiny acorns!

Introduction

On reading debut author Ian K Pulham’s post ‘Three Months on’ last week, many key thoughts a new author ‘on the block’ needs to be prepared for leapt from the print.

Reviews on Amazon

Reviews on Amazon, Goodreads, Waterstones and elsewhere are vital for the success of a book, whether self published, main stream or hybrid such as ourselves at Eventispress. The advantage with Goodreads is that folks can review your book, whatever platform they bought it from, whether they borrowed it from the library, found it in a charity shop or were given it by a friend who loved the book.

‘Such an effort to’ market the book

No-one can prepare you for the highs and lows of marketing your book, however your book is published. And yes, don’t kid yourself that you won’t be self marketing if you get a deal from one of the big publishing companies. You will.

As highly successful indie author Adam Croft says,

‘If you’re in front of their eyes (that’s the reader) less than other authors, you’re going to be forgotten about, no matter how much they enjoyed your book(s).’

Celebrate each victory

Author Ian K Pulham writes:

So grateful to those people for taking time out to support me in that way. It is a real confidence boost.

Each time you are aware of a new review of a reader who makes a positive comment, or there’s been a spike in your sales, celebrate! If people you know are going to read your novel on holiday, ask them to take a photo of themselves reading it; the idea might take off on Facebook with other readers posting similar selfies! Who knows. Use good reviews in your promotional posts. Marketing is too big a subject to cover effectively here, but try to create a buzz of positivity.

Know your target audience

For Ian this was a bit of an eye opener. He has found that his main target audience is women, which was a surprise to him. (women, allegedly, account for 80% of fiction sales)

Know your genre

In Ian’s case this has been baffling for him too, since many women who have read and reviewed, or given him good feedback on his novel, have said they don’t usually read Sci-fi or Dystopian novels, even though they really enjoyed his. Why did they buy it then? The novel was recommended by someone.

A question here: Should Ian be finding ways of reaching out to more readers of Dystopian or Sci’fi novels? If yes, how?

More about this and categories in another post.

Ian writes of characterization being important. Now that is a topic close to the heart of all Eventispress fiction writers so far and will also be a future topic to explore here.

In it for the log haul

This will be a post on its own too, but a debut author needs to remember that the best audience is one they grow gradually, reader by reader, step by step, because those are the readers who will be loyal and remain with them.

Very few novels, if any, gain immediate success overnight. Fifty Shades of Grey is one which comes to mind, (within one year of being self published on Amazon it was snapped up by a main stream publisher) and we’ll leave you with that thought … or maybe not!

‘Ticket To Eden’ ~ Three months on from publication

Author Ian K Pulham writes a very honest account of publishing his debut novel through Eventispress:

“Let’s get one thing straight from the start. Having my first novel published by Eventispress is in my world, the finest ‘professional’ type achievement of my life. Nothing in my forty years in the transport industry came anywhere near the thrill of seeing my work in print. And my friends and remaining family members, as well as people I know around Dunstable and beyond, have been supportive, and I believe a little shocked by it all. It’s actually quite funny. I’ll run into someone I haven’t seen in a while, and after the greetings and ‘what have you been up to’s, I hit them with the ‘I’ve had a novel published’ line and watch their reaction. Usually a mixture of confusion and curiosity. My words make grammatical sense, but they take a while to sink in. Does make me chuckle, every time.

And now my book has been available for three months, so friends will naturally ask me how the book is going. My stock reply is ‘It’s ticking along’, which it is. I get sales, here and there. I’ve got fantastic reviews, mainly on Amazon. So grateful to those people for taking time out to support me in that way. It is a real confidence boost.

However, it begs the question, if my book is good, how come it seems to be such an effort to get people to read it?

The answer to that is, I need to work harder. Visit more book shops. Post more stuff online. Send more emails. Build up contacts. Do more talks. The list goes on. And in my defence, I am focused on all those things. But it is not easy to get people to read your stuff. People I know, mainly blokes, always say they are too busy. They’ll read it on holiday. And I know of at least two guys who are reading it on foreign beaches, or airport lounges maybe, as I write this.

It’s a frustration, but then I remember back to when I was working. I’d sometimes go a year without reading a book, and when I did, it would be on holiday. Unless it was a chap’s holiday that is. Didn’t read much of anything on those.

Ladies appear to read more, though they probably rate strong characters above monsters. Judging by my reviews, I’ve got both of those in my book. If I could go back, I’d probably gear the cover and the blurb up more to highlight my lead characters and their interactions. Even the love angle. That’s a lesson learnt. To say all blokes are drunks and all ladies spend their lives buried in romance books is obviously a massive exaggeration. Even for Dunstable. But the truth is, I didn’t really know who I was writing for when I wrote this. And you need to know your audience. Categorisation doesn’t help you either. I would say just about every lady who has read my book, has commented that they don’t usually read these kinds of books. Sci-fi, dystopian…whatever. And I’m sure it’s put guys off too. I don’t know how you get round this. I wouldn’t normally read detective novels, yet I enjoyed Rod’s book. Largely due to the portrayal of the characters within. So, I’m just as guilty.

But to wind this up on a positive note, a fair amount of people have read my book and enjoyed it too. I really couldn’t ask for any more. The truth is, my life is considerably better now having written a book, and then had it published by the wonderful Eventispress. It’s more a spiritual improvement maybe than financial, but in honesty, that was what I was searching for when I began all this around three years ago, so my prayers have been answered.

Therefore, my manta for all this would be – Improve your life: read a book. Improve your life considerably: write a book!”

Thanks so much Ian. Here’s Ian’s novel Ticket to Eden.

WATERSTONES AMAZON

ISBN: 978-1-8381526-4-2

Ian, your post raises some vital issues which we will address in the next couple of posts and we’ll finish the series with ‘What Eventispress does to support authors in the marketing of their novel.’ Not a straight forward task or certainly a panacea!

HOW CAN SMALL PRESSES ENJOY BOOKSHOP SUCCESS?

It is important to acknowledge bookshops and give them thanks, because all of our authors now have the same treatment on bookshop websites as they do on Amazon, with author bio, descriptions of books and reviews.

It is harder for small presses like us to be visible in actual bookshops up and down the country, especially following the pandemic shut down, because we are in competition with all the huge publishing companies. This is an area we are working on both by email and by physically visiting and supporting bookshops ourselves.

Let’s look at author Brian Kerr’s books:

Please check out his pages on:

BRIAN KERR’S PAGE ON WATERSTONES

FOYLES

HIVE and WH SMITHS for Skylarks only

Hive is an on line bookshop where you can give a percentage of the sale to support a local indie bookshop of your choice. Ignore the ‘OUT OF STOCK.’ It is the cheapest site on the market to purchase the book and it will take a few days for the order to come through.

Brian’s books have always had orders from bookshops, especially locally in Bedfordshire, with whom we have a good relationship.

Author IAN K PULHAM’S debut novel

Ticket to Eden is on the WATERSTONES

website too.

Author DIANA JACKSON has several books on WATERSTONES including Riduna, Ancasta, Murder Now and Then, her latest mystery Missing Past and Present

and The Healing Paths of Fife, which is also on WH SMITHS.

Diana Jackson’s books have been stocked in bookshops in Bedfordshire, the south of England and on the Channel Islands.

However, all of our books can be ordered from any good bookshop.

We’ll let you know the progress we make in changing attitudes and acknowledging the contribution to publishing small presses like us make.

Everyone Likes Free Short Story

Continuing with marketing tips here on Eventispress, three of our authors are giving away short stories and encouraging readers to sign up for their newsletters:

Ian K Pulham’s Radical Action, is a standalone prequel to Ian’s debut novel Ticket to Eden:

Roderick Hart’s Back to the Wall, which includes some of the characters in his recent novel Interleaved Lives:

Author Diana Jackson’s short story is unrelated to her novels but has a quirky title, A Very Yellow Memory and like much of Diana’s work is fiction but has fragments of truth much in the flavour of The Healing Paths of Fife:

Let’s Zoom to Face to Face

As most businesses we at Eventispress have ‘met’ regularly on Zoom during the last couple of years, both as a whole group and in two’s, for particular in depth discussions, guidance and support. These meetings have been vital and energy giving, when the author’s life, especially during this pandemic, has been quite a lonely one.

‘You are the only people in my life I can really talk about writing issues with. My family and friends care, but they just don’t really understand,’ remarked one author.

We are pleased to say that our first ‘face to face’ meeting of our Bedfordshire contingent is taking place shortly. We hope it will help to:

  • Re-energize individual authors
  • Help to share and explore ideas for marketing
  • Discuss best approaches
  • Think of ways to be mutually supportive

The list could go on and on. Joining a writer’s group is similar but has a slightly different focus. More about that in another post. All of us at Eventispress have a goal to promote the Eventispress brand, as well as our own books. This is far easier than purely self promotion, where everyone benefits and everyone contributes.

Ticket to Eden Now Available Through Bookshops

Ian K Pulham’s novel Ticket to Eden’ is now available in paperback on the Waterstones website and can be ordered through any good bookshop. If you do, then please mention us here at Eventispress.

Here’s the link: WATERSTONES

ISBN: 978-1-8381526-4-2

We realise that every bookshop cannot hold every book in stock and therefore would like to thank Waterstones for their support over the years:

  • Stocking a variety of our books at key location stores
  • Hosting author book-signings
  • and making all of our books available for order.

Note from author Diana Jackson re the last post:

Many thanks for the warm and positive response to her author talk to Kirkcaldy Probus last week. Much appreciated!

Great News ~ Author Ian K Pulham is in the Luton News on line!

“Dunstable author’s delight as dystopian novel is published”

Click on this link to The Luton News to read the great publicity for the release of

Ian K Pulham’s debut dystopian novel ‘Ticket to Eden.’

Click HERE to read the full story