The Date-A-Base Book 2019 – saved!

Great news, folks!

Thanks to some creative thinking, we’ve finally managed to save The Date-A-Base Book series. Work on the 2019 edition is now well underway and we hope to release it around the middle of March.

We’re going back to our original format of listing the top 100 – 120 anniversaries per month – as judged by me.

Listing 400 anniversaries per month, as we did in the most recent editions, was unsustainable and unprofitable. And, fascinating as they were, I’m not sure they were really of that much use to people.

We’re going to go straight on and work on the 2020 edition as soon as the 2019 edition is completed. Hopefully, that one will be available around the end of April.

Then we’re going back to updating and rereleasing the ideas collection books. The next ones will be Fantasy (May), Mystery & Suspense (May), Comedy (June), Characters (July), and Writing for Children (August).

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New Book: 122 Down-to-Earth Ideas for Science Fiction Writers

sf220Here’s the third book in our rebranded series of ideas, story starters and writing 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.

A lot of work went into this one. The writing is better, the ideas are clearer, and there are lots of new bits.

Here’s the new description:

Write science fiction stories your readers will never forget!

Banish those ponderous, over-used plots; clichéd, one-dimensional characters; and stories that lack imagination and depth. Your plots will be huge, entertaining and fresh; your heroes, villains and aliens will be authentic, memorable and extraordinary; and your stories will be out of this world.

The 122 ideas in this book include:

  • How to create unique story ideas
  • How to predict the future
  • How to use (and misuse) technology
  • Everything you need to know about time travel
  • How to write alternative history stories
  • Everything you need to know about aliens
  • How to change the way the universe works
  • How to create your own worlds and universes
  • And much more

Plus you’ll get 33 great scene and storyline ideas you can use immediately or adapt as you wish

If you’re ready to take your readers on the journey of their lives, buy 122 Down-to-Earth Ideas for Science Fiction Writers today!

Here are those all-important links:

Kindle edition: mybook.to/sf122k

Paperbackmybook.to/sf122p

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

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.