Thursday, 9 September 2010


We are exhibiting at Frankfurt on the IPG (UK) stand A934 9/10.
With no funding or publicity we have achieved the following in the 20 months since launching Raven's Quill Ltd.
Nearly 6,000 copies of first book (Curd the Lion) sold in hardback at £14.99 undiscounted. Keeping in hardback until Christmas at least, as seen as perfect 'gift' book.
Translation rights sold to:
1.     S. Korea (Darun Publishers - most of their foreign list award-winners) - came out in June, 2010.
2.     Israel. Deal just concluded to publish in Hebrew.
1.     Big Apple Tuttle-Mori (largest in Far East) Have two Indonesian publishers interested.
2.     Ilustrata (Spain, Portugal, S. America)
3.     Amo Agency (S. Korea) (sold to Darun)
Scouts: Anne Louise Fisher Associates' children's scout loves it and is touting to their international clients (when she returns from maternity leave).
FILM interest:
1.     Fox Films asked for book last year (scuppered by Disney announcing Toy Story 3 just after they received it "no one in Hollywood is going to put the money for another Toy Story, however different, while that is going on")
2.     HiT Entertainment (UK kids TV co.) wrote, "We really enjoyed the inventive, witty narrative and surreal humour in the book. We can see that Curd the Lion might work very well as a family feature film."
3.     Tfou (France's TF1 kids TV) wrote: "I think your book should become a film but we don't produce film at tfou."
4.  A 3D film modeller and animator working in Pinewood Studios so loves the book's characters he is creating some of them in animated form to help us sell the idea to film companies at no charge. We await his progress with bated breath. (We now have another from the same studio working on them)
Trade Assocs. (member of):
1.     IPG (Independent Publishers Guild)
2.     PA (Publishers Association
UKTI grants to exhibit at international bookfairs (Frankfurt and Bologna so far)
Recognition: Lovereading4kids (British bookselling website) made it Book of Year, Debut of Year, Personal Choice of Founder - it topped their chart before Christmas. (to see book on their site)
Website, new: designed/built by an advertising designer for film companies in spare time for no fee because loved book so much.
Signings: as unknown author/illustrator Alan does signings regularly in Waterstone's branches around England (averaging 25 per day and 29 on Saturdays - highest 45).
Mike Shatzkin (eBook recently wrote: "Alan, what a great story! I'm glad you didn't ask me before you undertook to do this because I would have told you it was nigh on impossible! But, having achieved this much, I think your Korea sale is just the first of many you'll make around the world. You should find a literary agent to sell rights for you in the US, Canada, and Australia right away." [a few weeks before the Israeli offer]
eBook: Through Mike Shatzkin, we found Joshua Tallent (eBook Architects) who solved formatting problem with this heavily illustrated (80+ B&W tone) book and is now creating the eBook (ready late July). Negotiating with Faber to act as our e-book distribution agent worldwide across devices eliminating necessity for multiple contract deals. Distributing through new Faber & Faber aggregating arrangement.
e-book distribution: probably through Faber, but talking to a US company also.
pdf, Curd the Lion, revised text version: more suited to non-English prime-language speakers, has replaced 'phonetic Irish' with more regular English. Useful for international agents.
The book: 'The Amazing Adventures of Curd the Lion (and us!) in the Land at the Back of Beyond.' ISBN 9780955548611. See attached for children's view of Curd.
We may have a U-Tube video for Curd the Lion prepared in time for Frankfurt Book Fair, "talking you into the story", which works so well at Alan's  signings.
(We are sounding out those 3D modellers as to whether they can help to produce this U-Tube video, otherwise it's going to be Alan and his son (a chemistry teacher who composes and records music) putting it together on his Mac.
Next title: is coming out on October 31st: a ghost story for adults and young adults, called 'The Flight of Birds'. It is the first of the 'Danse Macabre' trilogy featuring a mysterious story-teller, the Shabby Tattler, whose stories come alive in the telling to overwhelm those to whom he tells the tales.
The blog: ('Pencilnotes')

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Signing tour and Curd’s new friends

   I have just returned from a four week signing tour of Waterstone’s branches (thanks to all) where I met many enthusiastic kids (and adults), such as Sam Gamble, aged 11: “ I was reading Pele's autobiography which is a great book when i bought Curd the lion in the amazing adventures in the land at the back of beyond. i read a few pages and couldn't put it down. it is one of the best books i have ever read in my life.” and William Lucas, aged 10: “Its a brilliant book. I recommend it. I met Alan in Waterstones and he told me all about his book. I really like the characters as they're funny and silly and its based in a real place. It's got a good story to it as well. I have been staying up late reading it in bed.” or Sarah Pickering: “We have bought your book about Curd the Lion for my daughter's birthday on 7 August. We will be camping up there from 1 Aug and are hoping to visit and do the walk shown on the map in the book. Can you let me know the real name of the places, please, as we're unsure where to go! Many thanks”
    I sold 470 books in all on a four week, four/five shops a week, tour. Pretty satisfactory!
See next post for some possibly VERY exciting news.