Help us save the Next Year’s News series!

dab1718As you may have heard, we haven’t been able to produce the 2019 edition of Next Year’s News (formerly known as The Date-A-Base Book). Unfortunately, we don’t have the funds to do it. Producing a research-intensive book like this takes several months of full-time work. And that means we need to sell enough copies to cover the cost of our time in producing it. The 2017 and 2018 editions did not cover their costs. So we’ve had to switch our attention to other projects that generate an income.
 
We know that many of you were dismayed when we announced the series was ending. We were dismayed too. We know that some of you had come to rely on it, and used it to generate your own income. But, sadly, the books were losing us a lot of money.
 
Over the past few weeks, we’ve been trying to save the series. We’ve tried to recruit someone to run a crowdfunding (Kickstarter) campaign for us, with the aim of pre-selling 1,500 copies of the 2019 edition. Sadly, that effort has failed because no one with any crowdfunding experience has come forward.
 
But there is another way. We’re going to make one final, last-ditch attempt to save the series. And this is where we need your help.
 
We’re going to try and sell as many copies of the current 2018 edition as we possibly can, and see if we can raise the funds that way instead.
 
In order to save the series, we need to sell an absolute minimum of 1,200 copies. So far, we’ve sold just 130 – but at least we’re past the 10% mark.
 
We need your help to get a big word-of-mouth campaign going, and really get those sales flooding in.
 
Please will you help us spread the word? Let’s see if we can reach our target of 1,200 copies and save the series.
 
If you know anyone who would benefit from a copy of Next Year’s News 2018, please will you either buy them a copy or send them to www.ideas4writers.co.uk/2018 so they can get one for themselves?
 
A note about printed copies:
As we only sold 30 printed copies of the 2017 edition, the 2018 edition is only available electronically (as a PDF file). But the PDF file is printable, so you could make your own printed copy. Or you should be able to take the file to any high street print shop and ask them to make you a spiral-bound copy with card covers.
 
Here are just a few of the ways in which people are using the book. Do you know anyone who works in any of these industries?
  • TV/radio/production companies use it to as a source of ideas for shows about upcoming historic anniversaries. They also use it as a source of ideas for features and snippets to include within other shows.
  • News websites, newspapers and magazines use it for their “on this day in history” features.
  • Writers and journalists use it for ideas for newspaper and magazine articles that tie in with upcoming anniversaries. This is a fairly untapped market, as very few people are doing it. Yet the articles are reasonably easy to research and write – and there are thousands of ideas for them in each book.
  • Novelists and filmmakers use it as a source of ideas, and also for historically accurate background details and sub-plots.
  • Museums use it for exhibition ideas.
  • Historians use it as a source of ideas for their books, articles and lectures.
  • And other people are using it in all sorts of interesting ways.
Can you think of anyone who could benefit – and potentially make money – from their copy?
 
We are ready and willing to begin work on Next Year’s News 2019, just as soon as we sell enough copies of the 2018 edition to cover the cost of producing it.
 
We will produce a half-length version within three months of starting work on it, and the full version within five months. If we sell enough copies of the 2019 edition, we will go straight on to produce the 2020 edition, aiming to have it finished by October 2018, and then the 2021 edition, aiming for a spring 2019 release.
 
But all of this depends on us selling enough copies of the current 2018 edition. If we don’t reach our target, then we will have no choice but to end the series, with the current edition being the last.
 
Once again, we urge you to help spread the word and/or buy extra copies of the 2018 edition for people you know. Let’s see if we can save this series, and maybe even give it a whole new lease of life. It would be such a shame to lose it.
 
Thank you for your time.
Here’s the link to get the 2018 edition again:
www.ideas4writers.co.uk/2018
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New Book: 102 Powerful, Gripping and Intriguing Ideas for Thriller Writers

thrillers-220

Here’s the next book in our rebranded series of ideas and story prompts for writers.

All of the ideas have been edited and updated;
there’s a lovely new cover;
the Kindle price has been slashed to just 2.99;
and it’s available in paperback for the first time too!

It’s only available from Amazon, and to comply with their exclusivity requirements, we will no longer be selling it on the ideas4writers website.

 

Here’s the new description:

Write thrillers your readers will never forget!

No more ponderous, over-used plots; clichéd, one-dimensional characters; and stories that lack imagination and depth. Your plots will be epic, compelling and fresh; your heroes and villains will be complex and memorable; and your stories will blow your readers away.

Includes:

  • The Easy Way to Write Thrillers
  • The Formula that Works Every Time
  • The Best Heroes and Villains for your Stories
  • How to Thrill and Scare your Readers
  • How to get your Hero out of Trouble – in any situation
  • How to use the Different Types of Deadline
  • How to Increase the Drama to nail-biting levels
  • And much more
  • Plus you’ll get 40 great scene and storyline ideas you can use immediately or adapt as you wish

Here are those all-important links:

Kindle edition: mybook.to/thrillers102k

Paperback: mybook.to/thrillers102p

We’ll be working on the Science Fiction collection next. It should be available in time for Christmas.

Advent Calendar of Books!

santa-sack-964342_640My friend P. D. (Pam) Workman has put together an Advent Calendar of Books as we count down to Christmas.

Each day between December 1st and 24th there’s a specially selected free or $0.99 book on special offer. I’ve seen the full list, and there are some really good ones, covering all sorts of genres.

Note that the special price is only valid for the day the book is featured in the calendar.

Please share, and let’s spread the good cheer!

[UPDATED] Wanted: crowdfunding expert. Reward: up to 50 percent of funds raised

notes-1199516_640HELP! We’re looking for someone with experience of running a Kickstarter campaign. Do you know of anyone? Can you help spread the word?

The aim of the campaign is to raise the funds to produce the book “Next Year’s News 2019”. This is our annual collection of historic and newsworthy anniversaries for the coming year. It’s used by several high-profile companies and writers. This will be the 12th annual edition. We have not run a crowdfunding campaign before, but have relied on sales direct from our website.

There was dismay when announced that we were discontinuing the series because we weren’t selling enough copies. Some of our regular customers had come to depend on it.

Here’s a typical response: “I am desolate at the thought of you stopping your wonderful book. It has enriched my website for years! Whatever will I do without you?”

So we’re considering a Kickstarter campaign that will raise at least £15,000. The idea is that at least 1,500 people or companies will each pay £10 to order their copy of the book in advance. If we reach the target, we’ll drop everything and get it written by the spring of 2018. If we don’t reach the target, the series will be officially retired.

We don’t have the expertise to be able to pull this off ourselves, but we’re sure someone out there does. If not you personally then perhaps a friend of a friend. We’ll give that person a share of whatever the Kickstarter campaign raises. (However, they only get paid if the campaign reaches its initial target.)

The reward tier:

If the campaign fund fails to reach £15,000, you will receive £0.00

If it hits £15,000, you will receive 10% (at least £1,500)

If it hits £20,000, you will receive 20% (at least £4,000)

If it hits £30,000, you will receive 30% (at least £9,000)

If it hits £50,000, you will receive 50% (at least £25,000)

Achieving a figure of £50,000 (equivalent to 5,000 copies sold) won’t be easy, but it’s certainly possible if you have the crowdfunding skills to pull it off.

If you’re interested in running the campaign:

Please email us: mail@ideas4writers.co.uk and tell us about your previous experience of running a successful Kickstarter campaign. (If it wasn’t successful, you need to be confident that it would be if you did it again – lessons learned, etc.)

We can supply any graphics or text that might be required – just tell us what you need.

If you require any additional items or services that we cannot supply, e.g. promotional materials, video, advertising, they must be funded by you.

If you want to see what the book looks like, here’s the link to the 2018 edition: www.ideas4writers.co.uk/2018

Or email us at the address above and we’ll send you a pdf of the 2017 edition.

The 2018 edition has only sold about 120 copies so far, which is why the series will be discontinued unless we can get the funding. The minimum number of copies required for a viable product is 1,500.

We think there should be a lot more demand for it. Previous editions have sold significantly more than the current one. But we don’t seem to be reaching the right people (admittedly our marketing in recent years has been minimal). We also believe that Google is preventing people from finding our website because it isn’t mobile responsive yet, and we haven’t had the time to fix it.

Another issue we have is that people regard the series as their “secret weapon” and keep it to themselves. Now that they risk losing it if they don’t spread the word, that ought to be enough to persuade them help. We have the contact details for everyone that has bought a copy previously, so you’d be able to email them and try to enlist their support.

The books are currently used by several international broadcasting networks, and they buy copies year after year. So the quality of the product, and our reputation, are both top-notch.

The key targets for marketing purposes would be media/production companies, newspapers, journalists, and article writers. Secondary targets could include event planners, libraries, and educational establishments.

If the campaign is successful, we will want to run it again in subsequent years to fund future editions. The campaign to raise funds for the 2020 edition would begin as soon as the 2019 edition is completed. We would aim to complete the 2020 edition by October 2018 – subject to it being funded.

Wanted: someone to run a Kickstarter campaign for us. Reward: 10 percent of funds raised.

pound-1680567_640

We’re looking for someone with experience of running a Kickstarter campaign who would like to earn some money.

We’re getting lots of complaints that we’ve discontinued The Date-A-Base Book/Next Year’s News series. This was our annual collection of historic and newsworthy anniversaries for the coming year. We weren’t selling enough copies to make it worth continuing. But some high-profile companies and writers had come to depend on it.

So we’re considering a Kickstarter campaign that will raise £15,000 – £20,000 (more would be nice) where people pay £10 to order their copy of “Next Year’s News 2019” in advance. If we reach the target – equivalent to at least 1,500 copies – we’ll drop everything and get it written ASAP. But if we don’t hit the target then it won’t get written, and the series will be retired.

We don’t have the time or marketing expertise to be able to pull this off, but we’re sure someone out there does. If not you personally then a friend of a friend, perhaps. We’ll give that person 10% of whatever the Kickstarter campaign raises. (However, they only get paid if the campaign reaches its target.)

So … £1,500 – £2,000 (maybe more) for a few weeks’ work … anybody?

[UPDATE] To help sweeten the deal, we’ll raise the reward to 20% if the campaign fund reaches £20,000, and to 50% if it reaches £50,000. achieving that kind of figure won’t be easy, but it’s certainly possible. If you have the crowdfunding skills to pull it off, £25,000 could be yours.

Please spread the word and let’s see if we can save this much-loved series!


If you’re interested in running the campaign:

Please email us: mail@ideas4writers.co.uk and tell us about your previous experience of running a successful Kickstarter campaign. (If it wasn’t successful, you need to be confident that it would be if you did it again – lessons learned, etc.)

We have the contact details for everyone that has bought a copy previously, so you’d be able to email them and try to enlist their support.

We can supply any graphics or text that might be required – just tell us what you need.

If you want to see what the book looks like, here’s the link to the 2018 edition: www.ideas4writers.co.uk/2018

Or email us at the address above and we’ll send you the pdf of the 2017 edition.

The 2018 edition has only sold about 120 copies so far, which is why the series will be discontinued unless we can get the funding. The minimum number of copies required for a viable product is 1,500.

We think there should be a lot more demand for it. Previous editions have sold significantly more copies than the current one. But we don’t seem to be reaching the right people with our marketing. We also believe that Google is preventing people from finding our website because it isn’t mobile responsive yet, and we haven’t had the time to fix it.

The key targets for marketing purposes would be media/production companies, newspapers, journalists, and article writers.

New Book: 176 Lovingly Crafted Ideas for Romance Writers

176 Lovingly Crafted Ideas for Romance Writers

Here’s the first book in our rebranded series of ideas and story prompts for writers.

All of the ideas have been edited and updated;
there’s a lovely new cover;
the Kindle price has been slashed to just 2.99;
and it’s now available in paperback too!

It’s only available from Amazon, and to comply with their exclusivity requirements, we will no longer be selling it on the ideas4writers website.

Here’s the new description:

Create romantic stories your readers will never forget. No more boring, over-used plots; clichéd, one-dimensional characters; or stories that lack imagination. Your plots will be fresh and exciting, your characters will be realistic and compelling, and your stories will be so full of imagination and depth that your readers will be hungry for more.

Includes:

  • An easy way to write romantic stories
  • The essential elements of romantic fiction
  • How to create the perfect hero and heroine
  • Conveying emotion and building tension
  • The perfect formula for sexual chemistry
  • How to write romantic dialogue
  • And much more
  • Plus 50 great storylines you can use immediately or adapt as you wish

Here are those all-important links:

Kindle edition: mybook.to/romance176k

Paperback: mybook.to/romance176p

(Hint: the paperback version would make a lovely Christmas gift!)

We’ll be working on the Thrillers collection next. It should be available in about two weeks.

Humans are not from Earth (2nd Edition) by Dr. Ellis Silver

hanfe2coverI’ve lost track of how long I’ve spent working on this book. I spent 11 days brainstorming and mind mapping it with the author, Dr. Ellis Silver (an American ecologist and environmentalist), and ended up with a Mind Map the size of a wall (on my iPad), a comprehensive outline, and 900 pages of very rough notes Ellis had already compiled, based on feedback I’d been sending him from the first edition.

It’s taken me a good year since then to knock it all into shape, write it all out neatly, fill in the gaps, find supporting evidence where it was missing, edit it, lay it out for publishing, and design a cover.

On top of that, throughout this process, new discoveries were announced in the media pretty much every week – sometimes daily – and many of them not only needed to be included in the book, but had a profound effect on what had already been written. That, of course, led to lots of emails back and forth, and we went back to the drawing board again and again.

One reviewer who commented on the first edition on Amazon said writing this second edition would be impossible. And to be honest, she wasn’t far wrong. But I’m actually quite good at the impossible. It just takes me a while sometimes.

But at last, it’s finished, it’s all done, and it’s on sale!

I was aiming for around 350 pages but it’s so comprehensive and wide-ranging that it came out closer to 500. On top of that, there’s over 100 pages of references, as every major point is backed up with evidence – we felt that was extremely important when dealing with a subject of this kind. Plus there’s an expanded table of contents and a detailed index, bringing the whole thing up to 646 pages.

It’s a fascinating read, debunks many common misconceptions, and covers much more than the title implies. If you click on the cover image over on Amazon you’ll be able to see the expanded table of contents (and the first 50 pages of the actual text) and get a good idea of what it’s all about.

I hope you like the cover. I had to take a 3-month advanced Photoshop course to be able to do that. The course runs for another 2 weeks, and then I’m taking a 3-month graphic design and typography course.

If you’re interested in buying a copy of the book, it’s exclusive to Amazon and available on Kindle (£4.99/$4.99) and in paperback (£18.99/$24.99).

If you don’t have a Kindle ereader device, there’s a free Kindle app that you can install on any computer, tablet or smartphone. You can download it from the book’s Kindle page – see below.

The following links should take you to your nearest Amazon website, wherever you are in the world:

Kindle version: http://mybook.to/hanfe2k
Paperback: http://mybook.to/hanfe2p

 

[UPDATE] There’s now a Facebook page for Humans are not from Earth, where we’ll be discussing the book – and the topics it covers – in more detail, and hopefully having some fun and interesting debates. Come and join us, even if you haven’t bought the book yet. And if you have bought it, there’s a Very Special Offer there for you!