Author of Izzy and the Tumble Thunder – a book for children aged 8 – 13 years old
Stu approached me in May 2021 when I’d connected with him on LinkedIn. He’d asked for help with his first book. He’d never written a book before and so I gave him some advice based on what I’d learned about the self publishing process since I’d started writing and self publishing my own books.
I offered to read Stu’s book and I give him some structured, constructive feedback. At that time Stu was employed by the BBC as the Head of Digital & Social and the BBC Centenary. Looking back on the e mails we swapped back then, little did I know where the conversation would take us. I knew his book was good. Whilst it’s aimed at a pre teen / teen market, this 50+ reader loved it too. And there are other avid readers of many ages who have gone on to support Stu as Beta readers who have enjoyed it too.
So I sent Stu some feedback on his book, what I liked, what I thought would make it better and I left him with enough knowledge, ideas and suggestions on how to get his book done. 6 months later when Stu had moved from the BBC and had started his own media business, he reached out again and we picked up where we left off the discussion about his book project. Eventually after a few more discussions I introduced him to my business partner and publishing consultant David Hambling. We signed him up for his ‘3 book deal’ and the adventure that has been creating his first book – Izzy and the Tumble Thunder’ began.
And now it’s done! It launches 1st November and not only have we taken him from 1st word to finished book, we have also taken him on as our very first author! We decided at the very outset of our business that one day, we’d come across a book that we’d want to back and so we are launching his book and our very own publishing business ‘Whalebone Publishing’ at the same time! What this means in practice is that we take a lot more responsibility for the books’ success. Whilst we give pointers and tips to all of our authors on how to market, sell and build their own ‘Author brand’ and their ‘Book Brand’, up till now that advice has been limited. Becoming a publisher means that we take on more of that responsibility and commitment that comes with writing and publishing a book. An Authors’ success is dependent on their ability to write a good story and our ability to support them in getting the book promoted, marketed well and onto the bookshelf for sale, at the right time, to the right audience, at the right price.
We hope Stu is the first of many in the future that we take on and support as one of our Authors. Like any business, we need to know that their book, the ‘product’, has more than a good chance of making it in the big wide world. Every publisher wants to know that any Author that they take on has done the legwork. By that I mean that they have put on the many hats it takes to become a successful author. The marketing, sales, finance, promotion, public speaking etc. They have to start building their own author brand from Day 1. They must be able to show that they can take their product (their book) to market and start to build its success.
We have other authors we are working with who show the same traits as Stu. They are learning not only how to be an author but also how to build their ‘brand’ as an author and take their product to market and sell it too!
We are very excited to be launching Stu’s book – Izzy and the Tumbler Thunder – Book 1 of 3 – 1st November. Published by Whalebone Publishing – a subsidiary of The Book Writers Resource Ltd.