Tag Archives: publishers

Adventures in writing…a month of commemorations!

This has been an interesting, and moving year, so far.

Interesting because it has been a steep learning curve for me with regard to publishers. I knew they worked slowly, but never quite how slowly. Of course, this is because they have lots of work with mountains of authors in the queue before me, I understand that, but nevertheless it is frustrating.

But I’m philosophical. I have now reached the stage where I don’t care.

If it takes them three years to get round to me, then so be it. I’m not going to worry. What will be will be. When they ask me to promote, get in touch with the press, libraries, Twitter and Facebook…I might just wait myself. Wait and wait.

Let me reiterate. I DO NOT CARE. I forked out a lot of money for a virtual book tour, a Twitter campaign, etc., etc., Result? Nothing. Nada. Zilch. So, no more of that thank you very much. I’m not wasting another penny on any of these awful campaigns. They don’t work. End of.

Now, the moving bit, for which I DO care. Quite a lot.

2015 has been an extraordinary year for commemorating some of the most important dates in our calendar.

April was a time to remember the horrors of Gallipoli, Churchill’s dream of knocking Turkey out of the Great War and putting immense pressure on the Germans. It was a disaster. battle_of_gallipoliToo many died in what was to become a nightmare campaign. But we need to remember; for the men who gave their lives and to instruct our youth about the utter futility of war.

June. What a month (as I’m writing this, it is not yet over!). The fifteenth saw my school joining in with many others in the commemorations going on all around Runnymede for the 800th anniversary of the signing of the Magna Carta. Actually, that is wrong. King John didn’t sign it, he couldn’t read or write. He put his seal on it. Anyway, my school asked the question and were given the answer, and named, by Dan Snow, who is a cool guy.

Then, the 18th June. Waterloo. waterlooThere is not much more to be said about this battle, one of the most important ever fought. A terrible day, but even so I would have loved to have gone to Belgium to watch the re-enactment, but of course I couldn’t. I have bought all the stamps and the coins…and a French army in 10mm however, so that is something!

In October, it is the 600th anniversary of Agincourt…

What a year…and next year…2016, is the Somme, and the Norman invasion (950 years since Duke William came a-calling!).

Mm…I might have to buy some more figures!


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Adventures in writing…advance paying indies?

I’ve become aware recently of a new phenomenon in publishing. If, like me, you are published, you will know how difficult this is. I understand why so many would-be writers become frustrated by endless rejections, but I’m of the belief such things indicate two things … 1, perhaps your work isn’t quite good enough, and 2, you need to try, try, try again. One of the developments in publishing has been the explosion of independent publishers, ones who offer editorial support, marketing advice (many even assist in this), production of e-books and paperbacks, and all the other things the big traditional publishers offer. And all for free. Most, but not all of course, offer very fair royalty rates. Like with everything, it’s best to shop around, visit Predators and Editors, Ralan, and other advisory web-sites. You don’t want to get burned, although even the most careful of us still do! But, what I have discovered lately is the rise of advance paying publishers. This is quite a juicy prospect! Imagine, a publisher having so much faith in your words, they are willing to put their support into pounds, shillings and pence! Okay, some may not be offering the world, but one or two are offering advances against sales in many thousands of dollars. And I say ‘dollars’ because a great many of these publishers are American. I feel this is a tremendous step forward for Indie book publishers. To be given an advance is, in my mind, an affirmation. I think, being honest, I’d consider myself a real writer if I were given an advance. Why not put yourself on the mailing list of ´My Perfect Pitch’, a wonderful site which produces a monthly list of royalty paying publishers from a number of genres. You never know, it could be the start of something big. Good luck.

http://www.myperfectpitch.com gives you lots of advice

www.stuartgyates.com is my website where you can found out all about my published works and where to buy my books. Many thanks for dropping by.

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Adventures in Writing … the month so far!

An exciting time for me so far this month, and we’re not even half-way through!
It began with the tussle I had with one of my publishers over the publication of ‘Whipped Up’, the second of my Paul Chaise thrillers. They said they were reluctant to accept anymore work from European writers, which I found bizarre to say the least, but my other publisher thought differently and they accepted it. Whipped Up will be published sometime soon. Here’s some background to the story:
‘Paul Chaise is a former operative in the SBS – the Special Boat Service – but has been ‘retired’ for over ten years, living a quiet life in Spain, following a career as an estate agent, selling villas to the ex-pats seeking a new life in a new country. Everything is going very well until he inadvertently gives a hitchhiker a ride and his life begins to spiral out of control. This is the premise for the first book ‘Burnt Offerings’. At the end of the book, with his girlfriend fleeing to the UK, and his former employers incensed that he has emerged from his ‘cover’, he too is summoned to return.
‘Whipped Up’ sees Chaise trying his level best to make something of a life in the UK, taking up employment in an East Anglian estate agents. His old ‘employers’ are not convinced and they have him followed. He becomes embroiled with the problems of a customer who is being harassed by some particularly nasty Eastern European types who want to take over the running of this man’s houses. It all spirals out of control when this man is murdered and his wife tortured, her mutilated body left in Chaise’s flat as a warning to back off. Naturally, this has the opposite effect and the body count soon begins to mount up as Chaise goes on a one-man crusade to bring these Europeans down.
When the S.I.S in London gets wind of this, they decide to rein Chaise in, and that’s when it becomes really nasty!
A contemporary thriller set in the sordid world of human trafficking; this second in the series pulls no punches and will appeal to anybody who likes their thrillers violent, fast moving and with lots of twists.’
The first book, ‘Burnt Offerings’ is available through Amazon, on the Kindle and in paperback:
I really enjoyed writing ‘Whipped Up’, and as soon as it was done, I turned my attention to another thriller entitled ‘Overstretched’, and I’ll give more details about this next time. Of course I had other concerns too. The second in my Harald Hardrada series was completed, and I was working feverishly on the re-writes. Entitled ‘To Be King of the Norse’, it too has gone to the publisher. I am hopeful it will be released sometime in the autumn. ‘Varangian’, the first in the series, has been receiving some amazing reviews lately on Amazon. Here’s a sample:
‘This was one of my favourite historical-based books that I’ve read in ages, mainly because it blended reality and fiction so perfectly. Fictional characters mixed with actual figures from this time period, and I found myself flipping back and forth between search engines and my reader to try to decipher which parts were based on fact and which were just the creations of Yates’ imagination. It was a seamless and well-thought out story that had everything someone who loves 300, Rome, Game of Thrones, and dozens of other historical/fantasy/intrigue sources of entertainment. There was violence and sex and betrayal and power-hungry madmen who would stop at nothing to retain their control.’ Such wonderful words from somebody I do not know. This is what writing is all about, for me. Creating a world in which strangers can visit and enjoy.
See other great reviews, and the details of how to buy Varangian here:
So, it has certainly been busy, as I said at the start. Soon I shall turn my mind to the third in the Paul Chaise series (I have some ideas, of course) but as for Hardrada, well, I am already 25,000 words into the third part. I envisage it going to at least four volumes, possibly five. His is such a fascinating story. Some have compared it to Game of Thrones, but apart from the intrigue and the killing – oh, and the sex – there really is little to compare. George R.R. Martin’s word is episodic and brilliant in its breadth, an awesome achievement from a superb writer. I am humbled to be compared to his majestic talent, but Hardrada is no fantasy figure. What he did was real. A giant in Viking history and a man who, for far too long, has been buried away under the piles of literature written about William, Duke of Normandy. Everybody feared Hardrada, including the Duke. I wonder what would have happened if Hardrada had prevailed at Stamford Bridge…? Now, there’s fuel for thought … and possibly a damn good book too!
Thanks for dropping by, and keep reading!

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Adventures in Writing – a personal journey by Stuart G Yates…a little about the minefield called ‘publishers’.

Mistakes happen.

Whether we choose to LEARN from them, that is the point.

The mantra is, to learn from the mistakes we make…but I’m as guilty as the rest, by putting my hands up and saying, ‘I haven’t’.

I’ll try to explain.

Firstly, however, an apology. I haven’t blogged for a while. I’ve been in a region the French call ‘The Russian Mountains’ and have not felt the urge to put my thoughts down. Often, when I do, people come back with criticisms, so I thought ‘to hell with it’. I’ve never been one to stand on a soapbox. I quietly get on with what I do. And when I succeed, despite the negativity surrounding me, I seldom stand up and shout, ‘I told you so’. So, I prefer to keep quiet.

I’ve also been on holiday! Back to the UK, to visit my lovely daughter, and some friends. And I had the best time. I hate Spain now, am desperate to leave. All I need is a job, then I’m gone. I’ve had enough, but that’s another story. Maybe I’ll blog about that some time. We’ll see.

This is not the mistake I mentioned above, although the mistake of coming to Spain was massive!

No, this one is about publishers.

Like most would-be writers, when I had completed my first MU I was impatient to see it in print. Back in 1978, that was an extremely involved and long process, so when I finally got my act together and embraced the digital world thirty years later in 2008, my anxiety levels guided me to seek out an independent publisher.

Now, it must be said, I had no idea what I was doing. Blind man groping in the dark. That was me. I hadn’t even thought of seeking guidance from anyone. I had ‘The Artist and Writers Yearbook’, as always. I had that in 1978. Now, of course, it included email addresses. But getting an agent was as difficult as it ever was, so I began to seek out an indie, although the process was similar. Submit a covering letter, synopsis, and the first 3 chapters.

I joined an on-line writing group. Met some interesting people, and learned a lot in a very short space of time. I got some addresses too, and began the long process. I’ve written before about WHY I write, so no need to go there again. I now NEEDED to be published. I’ve never been one to think about financial gain. That has never, ever been my guiding principal. The desire to be published has more to do with sharing my stories. I want people to be entertained, it is as simple as that. If my books sell, then that is excellent. Money is secondary, well, to be honest, it’s probably much further down the list than that! BUT, I wanted to be published. Not self-published, but ACCEPTED by others, professionals, people who knew what a good story was. I still feel that way. That is why I’ll never self-publish. Who is there out there amongst friends who would have the balls to tell you, ‘actually, mate, your work is crap’ when you self-publish? But I digress, and I don’t want to upset people AGAIN….so…

I made mistakes. Of course I did. My first publisher was a crook. I submitted to many more. Rejections followed. Lots of them. I got depressed, but I never stopped writing. Even when I was submitting my book, I continued to graft. Write. Think. Imagine. That is something I have always done. So many stories to write, so little time.

I suppose that was the thing that undermined me. My impatience. I was 50. I’d been dreaming of being a writer since…maybe from the age of 11. That’s a long time, and I had hardly done a thing about it. How many years have I got left? God knows, so I wasn’t about to hang around. I HAD to get published, to do what I always wanted.

So, when I finally found a publisher who liked my work enough to go ahead and publish it, I was totally bowled over.

Then, came the sledgehammer.

They wanted to charge me for the privilege!

Well…we’ll see how this pans out….next time. So come back soon.

Thanks for those who have ‘liked’ this blog.

My work, and where to buy it, is all detailed on my websites:




Please pop along and take a look at some of my work. Maybe you’ll like what you see so much you even be tempted buy a copy, or two. I hopes so!  ‘Roadkill’ (http://www.amazon.com/Roadkill-ebook/dp/B00CWPQC8A/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1373571161&sr=1-1&keywords=stuart+g+yates)  is my latest, and is at a great price on Kindle and Nook right now!

Take care, and keep reading!


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