Saturday, October 23, 2010

Wow - a year has flown by

This blog is about the publishing and it's the publishing that is making it too busy for me to mind more than one blog. (!)

When I re-read my last blog post, I detected a fair spot of BA - Bad Attitude. I apologize to any readers who found this offensive. I was very caught up in the drive for success, and things weren't going fast enough. It turns out that patience is rewarded.

P'kaboo is coming on beautifully. We're at and I've programmed a lot of that website myself (ok one can see it - but it is functional). We are now proudly distributing 5 books and a CD, with 4 further books overtly lined up for publication and one to three books and four CDs hiding in the woodworks.

Having the website has made it such a lot real to me, how strange that is! I also had to grow into the process and conquer this terrible, horrible shyness that stops me from picking up the phone and making the relevant calls. My editor (winks at Colonialist) has tried to persuade me various times to call rather than email, and still I remain people-shy - but admitting it has helped, for heavens' sakes I'm forty not four, and it's time that my self-confidence matched my physical size.

Friday I had an interview at the local newspaper, Rekord East, they are also reviewing the Solar Wind for me and are interested in attending book launches. Which are within grasp now, after a year of weirdness and karma.

My last post was done before our last studio concert, and before, in fact, that wave of life hit me.

On the 23rd of April my car was stolen. Sure, I live in South Africa so one sort-of expects this - but not the horrible after-shocks. The insurance taking 6 weeks to pay out, and then only half of what it costs to get a replacement vehicle of similar age, brand and quality. Being without a car for more than a month, juggling work, and home, and everything.

Just as I was in the throes of finding a replacement car, I stepped on a sewing needle and it broke off in my foot. I couldn't believe it was still in there (because it was such a large piece, and it didn't hurt quite as much as I thought it would). So, being unable to get it out or even see it, I carried on with life... for a number of days, until I realized that my foot didn't want to heal and got seriously tired walking. This wasn't good in the light of no car, so we took it to X-rays, which revealed half of the needle still in there, and migrating towards the bone. The Doc booked me into hospital to have it removed surgically because it was too deep. It was taken out at 2h30 at night by a young surgeon who admitted to being more scared of this op than the bullet he'd dug out of someone's intestines earlier that evening. Because there is such a lot of fine machinery inside a foot, and because finding the thing was a matter of luck. He did find it.

I spent the next ten days on crutches; an experience I DON'T want a repeat of! I was still on crutches when we bought the car I drive now. A 16-year-old Jetta - a year older than the Toyota that was stolen.

I put my head down and worked, and nursed my foot and taught hundred violin lessons, and then the message reached me that my grandfather had fallen down the steps and was in hospital. A week of sheer madness on all parts, preceded his death after we all were under the impression that things were picking up. He had been a very charismatic and highly independent and revered man, and his sudden death rattled the family badly. We were emotionally incapacitated for a month, until his memorial service.

There have been other things after that, my daughter breaking her arm, and my having to defend my studio against some low-lives, but nothing further to stop the flow with the publishing. I'm back.

Publishing is fun - producing a brand new book from thin air. The publicity is the part I have to grow into, and am slowly getting the swing of it.

Items covered in the interview on Friday were:

Where is P'kaboo going?

We are an (as yet) small publisher, with our main goal to launch new talent. There are such a lot of truly deserving authors out there! We are picking up volume faster than I had anticipated.

We also help already self-published authors market, if we find their work deserving. From my own experience I know how blasted difficult it is for a writer, an essential introvert, to punt his own work. It is easier to latch onto an established machinery and allow us to market, and sell the books at a mark-up from the price at which you sell to us. My friend Mark would call it "putting the cat over the fence".

We offer author services too, which obviously also form part of our publishing. We offer professional editing, graphic design and some other minor items. If you are self-published we might insist that you have your book or CD cover done professionally, and that your book gets professional editing before we agree to market - it all depends on the quality of your work. Of course it helps if you've already done so on your way to self-publication.

We want to diversify into music and art as well. By now there are three music books in the cooker. One is a re-publication, authorized to us by the author, and what a privilege to have him aboard - I'm not going to let on yet who it is, suffice it to say that in violin circles, he is well-known. Only one of the three (my Violin Tunes) is on the "Coming Soon" page of futurology in P'kaboo. There are, as mentioned above, four CDs waiting to be released - once again, not yet advertized. As for art, I'm looking not only at two full-colour books in loving memory of two great artists, but simpler things too... calenders, postcards, art books by artists, prints. These I'm looking at because I know a number of young people (all under 20) whose art deserves publication; and for variety, to keep the business interesting. This is fun.

If you wish to receive updates and launch invitations, please connect with the mailing list on and email me your request.

Now excuse me please... I don't know when I'll be by again but I will.

1 comment:

  1. Am I looking into a mirror.