Paperbacks are A-Go Go

It’s been a big week for eMergent paperbacks with 100 Stories for Queensland and Nothing But Flowers finding their first home in an Australian book store. Many thanks to Chris, Fiona, Krissy and the rest of the staff at Avid Reader in West End. I’m told info about the books went out in Avid’s newsletter yesterday. It was wonderful to see them on the front counter, and tonight saw them also on the front table pile of books along with the latest James Bond book Carte Blanche, Leslie Cannold’s Book of Rachel and Max Barry’s Machine Man. In very good company.

Tomorrow I have to run the gauntlet to get 100 Stories into the hands of the staff at Riverbend Books and Black Cat Books in Paddington have agreed to stock it as well. Additionally Peter Pal, library suppliers in Shailer Park took stock of 18 copies last Friday and James Bennet in Sydney have requested a copy. Finding the time to keep up with it all is challenging (to say the least). Especially when my awesome office imp, Laura Meyer is located in Victoria!

Buy Online Direct from eP and Save

The online book shop at 100 Stories is up and running, so you can buy the paperback there for $19.99 + P&H (RRP $29.99 here in Australia). Same goes for Nothing But Flowers, $16.99 (including P&H – RRP $19.99) at the revamped bookstore on the brand new Literary Mix Tapes site www.literarymixtapes.com.

A Quiet Word With Patty Jansen

I have the honour today of talking about 100 Stories for Queensland, my publishing adventures and winning ‘The Hembury” in May over at Patty Jansen’s Need Bigger Elephants (what a smashingly awesome name for a blog!) Please feel free to slip over for a read and leave a comment.

I also have a few questions from Angela Slatter waiting to be answered, for a not too distant Drive-By on her site. I’m torn as to whether to choose the donut or the danish?

And speaking of quiet words… the lovely staff at the Queensland Writers Centre sent me a little something in the post today.

After years of believing the post only bought bills and nasty letters from Centrelink, I have renewed faith and excitement in the arrival of the postie each day. Kind of like being a kid all over again.

Mr D becomes my official postman
putting books in the post for Alan Baxter and Andrew McKiernan
(the first of what will be hundreds of books to many excited readers)

Tuesday is… Release Day

Not content to release just one book… I’ll be releasing TWO books this coming Tuesday(17th May) in an Amazon Chart Rush tag-team of epic proportions.

What’s a Chart Rush?

Readers are invited to purchase a book on Amazon, in a nominated 24-hour period, with the intent to capitalise on the volume of sales to move the book up the Amazon best seller list. The higher up the chart it is (we’re aiming for a spot in the top 100) the more visible it becomes to other readers who may go on to purchase it.

It’s all about exposure and helping new readers find the books.

This Tuesday

This coming Tuesday eMergent Publishing will be releasing 100 Stories for Queensland and Nothing But Flowers via an Amazon Chart Rush. We’re inviting readers to purchase one or both books  on that day with the aim of getting them into the top 100 selling books for the day (and beyond!)

By releasing both charity anthologies concurrently we’re hoping people will add one extra book to their cart on the day,  whether that be someone stumbling onto 100 Stories… or Nothing But Flowers for the first time.

If  you can’t buy on the day, you can add it to your wishlist. Every little bit counts to rocket the books up the chart.

You can find both books on Amazon and Amazon UK.

Nothing But Flowers retails at US$17.99 or ₤5.99

100 Stories for Queensland retails at US$19.99 or ₤9.99

What is Nothing But Flowers?

Nothing But Flowers is the second Literary Mix Tapes anthology and the first to make it into paperback. It started on the 6th January (a week before 100 Stories was launch) as a Valentines Day anthology with the brief to create stories exploring the challenges and complexities of love in a post-apocalyptic world.

With the flood disaster already weeks old, I suggested to the authors involved we donate the money generated by the sale of the anthology to a flood related charity. But I had no idea the disaster which was only days away and waiting to travel in the worst apocalyptic sense, down the Lockyer Valley and into Brisbane.

I worked on Nothing But Flowers side by side with 100 Stories for Queensland, in a crazy juggling act which was made possible by the wonderful support of Maureen, David, Trevor, Nick and all the other wonderful literary folk who read, voted and edited the stories of 100 Stories for Queensland in the first six weeks. When Nothing But Flowers was web-released on Valentines Day the hits to the site were the equivalent of selling 60 paperbacks in 48 hours!

The book has been getting rave reviews, so please, if you are dropping into Amazon on Tuesday to buy 100 Stories, consider adding Nothing But Flowers to your shopping cart! All funds collected from the sale of Nothing But Flowers will be donated to the Grantham Flood Support Flood.

A few FAQS on 100 Stories for Queensland

After the weekend’s debacle with The Courier-Mail and another blog post which alerted me to the fact incorrect information has the capacity to travel fast (and vast distances) I cobbled together all the questions which seemed to be coming up consistently about 100 Stories and set in concrete (yes, another Moses moment – not!) some facts about the project.

This appears on the 100 Stories FAQs page and also the blog…

Here are some of the commonly asked questions regarding 100 Stories for Queensland. If there is something we’ve forgotten… let us know in the comments section. Please feel free to use any of the information provided here in blog posts, articles, press releases etc.

What is 100 Stories for Queensland?

100 Stories for Queensland is a charity anthology of flash fiction, that is, short stories of under 1000 words, in aid of the survivors of the worst flooding in history in the Australian state of Queensland.

100 Stories DOES NOT contain real life accounts of the floods. Everything between our covers is fiction – or so our authors tell us!

100 Stories follows in the footsteps of 100 Stories for Haiti and 50 Stories for Pakistan, from the creative philanthropy of UK ex-pat, Greg McQueen.

What kind of stories will I find in 100 Stories for Queensland

100 Stories for Queensland has something for everyone, with stories in a number of genres, including literary fiction, science fiction, magical realism, romance, fantasy, humour, paranormal and slice of life.

Where are the 100 Stories for Queensland authors from?

The stories were penned by an international contingent of writers. A quarter of the stories came from Australia, a third from the UK and the rest from across the globe including the USA, Spain, France, Austria, Malaysia, Israel, Greece and Canada.

What format is 100 Stories for Queensland available in?

The anthology is available as an eBook (in epub and PDF formats) downloadable from this website. It will also available as a paperback in mid May.

How much is the anthology?

The eBook retails at A$4.99 and the paperback A$19.99 (US$19.99 and ₤9.99). Different third party retail outlets may sell for more or less.

Where does the money go?

Money from the sale of the book goes to The Queensland Premier’s Flood Relief Fund.

100% of the sale price of the eBook is donated.

100% of the wholesale price (less printing costs) of the paperback is donated.

When can I get a copy?

eBook are available now. Paperbacks will be released in a fortnight’s time (date to be set pending uptake by third party distributors).

Where can I purchase 100 Stories for Queensland?

HERE: Right now you can download the eBook direct from this site. The paperback will be available for purchase through this website mid June. All paperbacks bought through the website will have a free eBook bundled with the paperback.

ONLINE: In the next fortnight the paperback will be available through online retail outlets such as Amazon and Book Depository.

LOCALLY: In the next fortnight you will be able to take the ISBN into your local bookshop and they will be able to order the paperback in for you.

IN BULK: You can also contact us directly if you would like to organise a bulk shipment. Bulk shipments for Australia are recommended for mid-June (when our printer opens its Melbourne press) to avoid astronomical shipping charges!

SAMPLER: Not sure if 100 Stories for Queensland is for you. You can download the first 11 stories, plus the foreword as a PDF or ePub file.

Is this an eMergent Publishing project?

Yes and no. eMergent Publishing is the publisher of the anthology, but the project is a community based one, made possible by the generosity, skills, expertise, time and energy of a group of 40 people working behind the scenes.

How can I help promote the anthology?

You can buy a copy and post a review to:

  • your blog/website
  • YouTube
  • your social network
  • Goodreads, Shelfari
  • Amazon, Book Depository etc

Use the online ratings system on Amazon, Book Depository, Goodreads etc.

Participate in our Amazon chart rush (more on that in a week’s time)

You can request an interview with one of the 100 Stories for Queensland team to run on your blog or website.

You can place an image of the book cover on your blog/website as a widget.

You can buy a second copy and run a competition or promotion on your website/blog – especially during the month of May which is Short Story Month.

You can change your social media profile picture to the book cover.

You can send a press release to your local media outlets – newspaper, radio etc. Contact us if you need help with this.

You can send information on the anthology to any literary newsletters you might receive.

You can organise a local launch or reading at your favourite local bookstore or library.

You can suggest the anthology as a possible read for your book club.

Word of mouth… not just through social networking, but telling people, face-to-face about the anthology: friends, family members, work/sport/hobby colleagues or complete strangers.earch” />

Utterly Frustrating


Below is a copy of the blog post which appears on the 100 Stories for Queensland website.

It is so frustrating and disappointing to have our chance at reaching an audience be undermined by an article littered with incorrect content. I have no idea how what I explained got so completely confused. And sadly, it is obviously confused when you read the text and then the quotations form me in the actual article (which isn’t on line – and for once – perhaps that’s a good thing!) Let’s not ask how real life stories can fall into different genres?!

It again challenges my ability to trust in journalists and makes me wish those who are interviewed and quoted had a chance to vet the article before it went to print.. before they printed a whole heap of things which aren’t true. It makes me question my ability to answer a question (though I at never said anything about the anthology having stories from flood survivors in it?!) and makes me even more weary for any future interviews. Bring on radio, or real time interviews.

What have I learnt from this:

  1. keep your answers simple
  2. write an awesome bloody press release that they can pull directly from – you can usually trust yourself to get the facts correct.

– – –

100 Stories for Queensland appears in today’s Weekend Courier-Mail (Saturday/Sunday 30th April-1st May) in an article entitled “A Flood of stories and all for a worthy cause”.

Several statements were made in the article misrepresenting exactly what the 100 Stories for Queensland anthology is. Below are quoted sections from the article, followed by a summation of the facts.

From the devastation of the January floods comes an uplifting collection of homespun tales, 100 Stories for Queensland, which tells the story of the heart-breaking experiences of those most affected.

Wrong! 100 Stories for Queensland is an anthology of flash fiction (ie. short stories under 1000 words). While there are homespun tales in there from authors living in Queensland, the stories were donated by writers from across the globe, from the UK to Israel, the USA to Malaysia, and across Australia.

There are no stories of heart-breaking flood experiences – this was never the intention of the project – in fact we rejected stories (even if they were uplifting) – if they were set in a flood. The stories are all fiction, in a range of genres, including romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction and paranormal.

Using Facebook and Twitter the books creator’s connected with flood-affected individuals across the state to deliver a collaboration of inspiring stories!

Wrong… on two counts!

  1. While people were connected with via Facebook and Twitter, we never invited people affected by the flood to write and share their story with us.
  2. Writers did not collaborate with each other to write the stories which appear in the anthology.

The truth behind

  1. The project plugged into the established networks created by the anthologies which preceded, 100 Stories for Haiti and 50 Stories for Pakistan, but also into the networks of individuals within and beyond the project. Writers, readers, editors, publishers, and anyone else who wanted to help, spread the invitation for writers to submit a piece of uplifting fiction to be considered for inclusion in the anthology. And while social media was definitely very important, the word was also spread via blog posts and more tradition means.
  2. This is collaboration on the scale beyond what most of those involved in the project, had ever been part of – with 40 people working together behind the scenes to read, vote, edit and proof read the stories which came through.

And yes… the stories are inspiring. They are also funny, though-provoking, poignant and uplifting.

“It was the first time we’d used (social networking) for something this big,” she (Jodi Cleghorn) said.

Wrong! Both 100 Stories for Haiti and 50 Stories for Pakistan, headed up by Greg McQueen relied solely on social networking for spreading the word about the project. Greg made full use of Twitter, Facebook and also YouTube to spread the word, during and after the project.

The truth behind

What we were using for the first time, on such a huge scale, was the SubMishMash online submission platform and management system, where the stories were submitted, read, voted on and which provided a communications hub for all participants.

The project also used closed Facebook groups as forums for the first time to great success.

Many of  the people helping with 100 Stories for Queensland, had helped with 100 Stories for Haiti and 50 Stories for Pakistan and knew how to use social networking for a project like this.

“It was all there (online) so people could read it and vote for it…”

Wrong! It wasn’t online for people to read and vote on. This wasn’t an online popularity poll for fiction.

The truth behind

It was available on the aforementioned SubMishMash, which is an online platform, where stories were read and voted on by a group of volunteer readers.

… all proceeds from the good will go to the Grantham Flood Support Fund.

Wrong! All proceeds from the sale of 100 Stories for Queensland go to the Premier’s Flood Appeal.

The truth behind

100 Stories for Queensland Project Administrator, Jodi Cleghorn, is also the editor of another anthology Nothing But Flowers (published by imprint Literary Mix Tapes). Proceeds from the sale from Nothing But Flowers go to the Grantham Flood Support Fund.

…Local writers are thrilled to have a platform to contribute to the relief effort.

Wrong! It is not just local writers who feel this way. All the writers involved feel this way – especially those from overseas who were not able to help out in a practical way as part of the Mud Army, Baked Relief, or to provide food, clothes, toiletries or emergency accomodation for people displaced by the flood.

100 Stories for Queensland is a community project which is both global and local in its scope.

Confession


When I was pregnant I read accounts of mothers who confessed it wasn’t love at first sight when they were handed their babes. It took time for them to fall in love, hours, days, weeks and for some, months. I’m glad I read that, because that’s how it happened for me. I had a beautiful pregnancy, an empowering birth and plenty of help afterward but when I held my son, put him to my breast, changed his nappy, held him for hours on end… there was nothing. No spark of the love I was expecting, not even the tiniest inkling of being smitten. I cared for him because he was my responsibility, he was tiny and helpless… and because I chose to bring him into this life. Babies, thankfully, don’t come with a returns policy.

What about the love, I kept asking myself, over and over, in the flicker of the TV late at night as I breastfed, in the few quiet moments I got in the shower and when ever I had the chance to string together a few thoughts of my own. Never admitting it to anyone other than myself.

About a week later, he was lying on the floor and from deep within, up welled the most overwhelming wave of love. It was so powerful it almost physically knocked me down. And I knew everything would be all right. I was head over heels in love… I was where I was meant to be.

100 Stories for Queensland is like that. I can admit it now  because I’ve (as of about 4pm today) held the fruits of all our labours in my hand and felt the overwhelming surge.  Prior to that moment, I’ve just felt numb, going through the motions because I said I would (duty is a damning thing), because I said so… because it was important.

When I ripped open the cardboard and held the book, I wanted to laugh, I wanted to cry and for a while there, I thought I might be able to simultaneously do both.

This project isn’t about me so I’ve kept Mum on it (I totally understand the use of that phrase now). Even now I don’t feel entirely comfortable confessing, yet I feel like I have to come clean. I feel like I’ve done a crap job.

I’ve watched projects collide and my hold on everything go. I’ve neglected my family and myself. I’ve struggled through depression the last six or so weeks, putting on a brave face, trying to do what I do best – edit and produce books – resenting almost every minute. It’s easy to point fingers and lay blame… especially when you’re pointing at yourself. I’ve fought with myself to surrender to the process – to understand that the project chose me, not the reverse. Until now, nothing has really made much sense.

I’ve tried to understand why I feel this way and in all the soul searching I found myself asking the same question I did almost seven years ago: Where was the love? But this time I was asking: why haven’t I fallen head over heels in love with 100 Stories like I have done with every other literary project I’ve been involved in? Where did my passion get way-laid? What the hell was wrong with me?

I’ve been dreading doing PR, fearing the journalists would see straight through me. Worried the absence of passion and enthusiasm I felt inside would be visible on the other side. I didn’t want to be a sham, I wanted to be the real deal! I’m a shocking liar.

I apologise for all the emails I’ve ignored or haven’t replied to about PR.

Right now, and forever forth, it doesn’t matter. I feel it now. It’s been a long time coming, but it’s worth it. I’m enamoured. Thanks for bearing with me (even if you didn’t know you were).

Thank you to everyone who believed and invested in 100 Stories for Queensland, pouring their time, skills, passion and energy in. And thank you to everyone who has supported me in my role as administrator – especially Maureen, Trevor, David and Nick who made up the core management group, my partner Dave and my son Mr D who’ve ridden the tempest with their usual mix of non-chalance and hugs, and everyone on Facebook and Twitter – those who’ve dropped in with sweet, encouraging comments.

I’ve learnt so much about myself through this and I’m charmed to have had the opportunity to get to know a whole new bunch of talented writers – many of whom I hope to work with in the future.

I’m so proud to be part of 100 Stories. And I’m glad I’m drowning in the love! Now to take it to the world…

As it says in the book, just before you hit the first story – on the page where I always place a favourite quote: If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to far, go together.

Release Me

Oh my goodness me… I can almost see the light at the end of the 100 Stories for Queensland tunnel. It’s been a long haul, longer than it needed to be between illness, more natural disasters, personal and business issues, colliding deadlines.

I have in the last half an hour uploaded the files to the printer in the UK and by Friday I should have the proof copy. This means I’m moving from dread to a kind of excited anticipation. I’d like to thank everyone who has been part of the cheer squad and especially Trevor, David, Nick and Maureen who do their stuff behind the scenes to keep things moving – especially Maureen and David for getting the list of authors and staff up on the website.

Until Friday, here’s a few details, including the lovely cover (which I can thank my cousin Michael for converting into a good quality jpeg file) and the blurb.

“One hundred beautiful stories. Our stories. When so much was lost or destroyed, this was created. That’s something that can never recede or wash away.”
Kate Eltham
CEO of The Queensland Writers Centre

100 STORIES FOR QUEENSLAND has something for everyone, from slice of life to science fiction, fantasy to romance, paranormal to literary fiction. Heart-warming, quirky, inspiring and funny the stories between these covers will lift readers to higher ground.

ISBN (Print): 978-0-9871126-2-0
ISBN (eBook): 978-0-9871126-3-7
Pages: 316
Dimensions: 229x152mm
RRP: A$19.99, US$19.99, ₤9.99 €9.99

100 Stories for Queensland will be released worldwide on Tuesday 3rd May. The book will be available as a paperback  via Print On Demand and an eBook downloaded direct fromthis site. The book will also be orderable via your favourite book store as of next week.

For more information email: storiesforqld[at]emergent-publishing[dot]com