Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Cover Design Competition - An announcement

Following some unhappy comments on Facebook about our design the cover of Splinters competition, we have decided to cancel the contest and go with a different idea.
            It seems people felt that to run a competition in this way doesn’t value the work of artists in the way it should and that the resulting exposure would have little impact for the winning artist. We think, honestly, that people were upset at the thought that we would get our cover for £50 rather than paying an industry standard fee. Joseph looked into professional original cover art when he was thinking about self-publishing. Quotes ranged from £400 - £1200. Far outside our reach.

            Timeline Books is a tiny, independent publisher. We've brought out one book so far, Greg Stekelman’s London Tales. There’s no way it could afford professional rates, so the competition seemed like a fun, cheap way for us to encourage creativity and possibly bring in some visual surprises from ‘outside’ the industry box. But we do understand that working for free or for small rates is a subject that people find upsetting.
             Joseph says "Speaking as an author, I’ve yet to make a living wage from writing after twelve years of work, so I can understand why the competition annoyed people. That said, for many years I accepted publication without taking a fee – it was either that or no publication and I needed to get my work to readers somehow"

            Timeline Books is an interactive publisher. It’s also a fledging publisher. We’re relying on public comment and advice for direction and help in the project. That’s either democratic, or socialist or something. Whatever it is, it’s very exciting because neither neither of us know what’s going to happen next!
             So after weighing up the pros and cons we have decided to cancel the contest. We're especially sorry to those of you who’ve made a start on work but we hope you can understand the reasons for our decision.

            Meanwhile, panic not, for there is a Plan B (from outer space…)
            There might even be a Plan C (but we haven't thought of it yet)

We'd be interested to know what you think about this, btw.

Friday, 15 June 2012

Cover Design Competition. Win Big.

You have helped us choose the name for the new book of short stories by the brilliant Joseph D'Lacey, which will be coming out at the end of September.
It will be called 'Splinters'. It is a short story collection of dark fiction, fantasy and horror and it is an honour to be publishing it.

We'd now like you to design the cover.

The winning design will be used on the cover of the book and you will also win £50. That's the kind of money some of us can only dream about.

It is very simple.
Here are the rules.

Cover Competition
Timeline Books
22, Bradmore Green,
Brookmans Park,

Conditions of Entry

- Artwork can be in any format (drawing, photo, computer generated etc)
- Printed copies of artwork are acceptable. Original artwork need not be submitted.
- All art being submitted must be original and belong to the person submitting it.
- Artwork must be in portrait format. The final work will occupy a standard A5 sized cover but entries can be any size.
- Entries can be sent to the above address by post or emailed as an attachment
- Please include name, address, email and/or telephone number and age (if under 18) with your entry. - If your artwork is chosen the original artwork may be needed to ensure that we can obtain a quality scanned image for use on the book cover.
- The winning image may need to be altered to accommodate the title & author's name.
- You can enter as many times as you like.
- All artwork will be judged by a panel of judges, whose decision will be final.
- Closing date for the competition is July 25th 2012.

The Prize

- The winning artwork will be used as the design on the cover of Splinters, the new short story collection by Joseph D’Lacey being published in September 2012. The artist will be credited inside the book.
- The winning artist will receive £50 and a signed copy of the book.
That's it. Couldn't really be easier could it?
The more people who know about this the better so please help spread the word.

Tuesday, 12 June 2012


So, we've chosen the stories that are going in the collection. You have helped us choose the name of the book. Splinters. Well done everyone, excellent choice.
So now we're going to work out how much it's going to cost to print the book. If you're more organised than me, you would have probably done this first, but hey, this is Timeline Books.
Printing is an expensive business.
Right, imagine someone wants you to make a potato print of an owl on a piece of paper.

It will take a good hour to buy the potato and to carve the owl onto it. Once that's done it will take 10 seconds to print one owl. If they then wanted another 100 owl prints, it would take no time at all to print the other 100 owls, cos you've already got the owl print ready.
This is my crass description of the printing industry. The cost of small print runs is a lot more per book than the cost of larger ones.
Our print run is 500. This is relatively small and so the cost per book would usually be quite high. The cheapest I can find online for what we're looking to produce is around £2.40 per copy. This does not include typesetting, proofreading, editing, designing the cover or all the other expenses that publishing a book includes.
As our budget for the whole project is £1,000.
Ah, but wait.
I have worked in the bookselling industry for 26 years and have lots of wonderful friends who I could maybe ask advise and/or help.
So I have.
I spoke to my friends at Gallic Books and I asked them who they used to print their books. Gallic Books are lovely. They told me that they used a company called CPI Anthony Rowe and they also if I sent them the book specification they would get a quote for me. You see, I told you Gallic Books were lovely didn't I?
So now we've got the quote back from the printers and rather than £2.40 a copy, they have quoted us about £1.40. That has just saved us £500.

It also means we have £300 left to do everything else to get this book published.
So now it's down to you lot again.

I need help to build a microsite to get some pre-awareness for the book. Are there any html whizzkids out there who would like to offer their services on a micro budget? If so, please get in touch. It would be greatly appreciated.

We also need an editor & a couple of proof readers who love their jobs so much that they'd do this in their spare time (almost).

News of our latest competition will be announced very soon too.