• E. Rachael Hardcastle

Monthly Meow: January 2020

Wow! January flew by, right?

Sorry this newsletter is a few days late—submissions opened on the 14th January and I've had an overwhelming response! It's been a busy few weeks, but an awesome start to the new year.

Here's what's been going on (& it's a long one... sorry!):

Carol Mace's First Interview!

Well done to debut author Carol Mace (The Terrific Trip of Douglas Drip, 2019) who attended her first ever radio interview with BCB this month. Carol discussed her December release and her ideas behind the pre-school book, Douglas Drip, which is now available to purchase through your favourite retailer. Carol braved the 10 minute interview with her husband, and it turns out she's a natural!

Another #1 Bestseller!

A HUGE congratulations to debut author David Hardcastle for reaching #1 on the Amazon bestseller's list for Children's Insect and Spider e-books this month (co-author of Bluetooth & the World Wide Web, 2019). After several successful months on tour, we both decided to offer the book for free on a variety of platforms for a limited time.

Wherever possible, I love to run giveaways and freebies and it's always nice to see them reach the top of the list—thank you to everyone who downloaded and pushed David's hard work into the spotlight.

Oh, and if that wasn't enough, it also reached #5 in another category, Children's Humorous Literature.

Renovating Police Cars

Closely linked with the above, David Hardcastle has been renovating some old police cars for the museum he volunteers at (Bradford Police Museum, Bradford City Hall), and I was lucky enough to get a ride during a test run between Keighley and Bradford this month! Check out the video below:

Curious Cat Books Welcomes Two New Authors!

As I mentioned at the beginning of this newsletter, submissions to the company re-opened on January 14th 2020. I had such an overwhelming number of manuscripts e-mailed to me (and many more yet to read!) so I was thrilled when I read a selection of work by two authors in particular—I was lucky enough to sign both Alanna Betambeau (Bournemouth, UK) and John Brookes (Bradford, UK) to the imprint for their children's books.

Alanna will be releasing two books with me this year, MOUSE & the Mystery Box and Brother Butterfly. Alanna loves writing books for children. She has written several picture books and is currently working on a chapter book trilogy. She writes classic style stories and has collaborated with some fantastic illustrators to help bring her stories to life.

John will be releasing his debut story, currently titled 'Henry'.

Both authors (if not already showing when this goes live) will soon be listed on the publisher's site,www.curiouscatbooks.co.uk if you'd like to check them out. I know you will all join me in saying a huge welcome to the team, and I'd like to thank them for all their hard work so far.

I would also like to take this opportunity to congratulate Bradford illustrator Beth Yates on signing (and releasing) her first ever book with author Carol Mace!

Submissions Are Open

Remember, submissions are still open with Curious Cat Books until April 1st 2020, so if you have a book you think I'd be interested in, be sure to email that over at your earliest convenience. Here are the guidelines, and a bit about what I can offer...

'Curious Cat Books was created to be a personal, reliable platform for new and struggling authors. But, here are a bunch of other reasons why Curious Cat Books could be the right choice for you!

You'll never deal with anyone but Rachael herself. She's been there and understands how difficult the industry can be. She'll be in touch regularly via e-mail and/or telephone. Plus, if you're local, you can even meet for coffee! She responds to all correspondence personally, meaning you'll get an e-mail within 48 hours. You'll never receive a template or standard reply, and she also runs the live chat facility on this site herself, so you'll never hear from anyone but Rachael. 

As well as being a trained copy-editor with a diploma in Successful Self-Publishing, she also holds a university-level business qualification. More importantly though, she's experienced—self-publishing has been her thing since 2010.

Rachael is (of course!) an author at heart. She knows exactly how hard you've worked and how important getting this right first time is. Don't worry, she'll take good care of your book baby.

Though your contract will require a small contribution, Curious Cat books is not a vanity press, nor is it a traditional publishing house.  It sits comfortably in the middle, offering professional publishing services at a fraction of the cost you'll probably have already been quoted elsewhere. Rachael reads every submission herself, choosing books and authors she's confident she can help. 

All services through Curious Cat Books are affordable with easy, convenient payment plans to suit your needs. Editing fees are in line with these guidelines, and when you choose to publish with Rachael, it's the editing part your contribution covers. You can order as many books as you need for upcoming events whenever you like, so there are no storage fees or last-minute worries.

Whilst she's English-speaking, her services are available to authors worldwide. If you're outside the UK, you can still submit your manuscript for consideration. She can't promise to publish everything that lands on her desk, but Curious Cat Books is interested in a variety of genres. If you can write it, Rachael can read it, though she does prefer not to read erotica or academic works. When a book needs something extra, she'll tell you honestly—any feedback will be constructive and useful, and if it's not something you'd like her to fix for you, she can show you how to do it yourself.'

Paid Membership & Online Course Now Live!

Oh, I'm so excited to announce this! My very first online course went live in the brand new members area of Curious Cat Books this month, following a successful workshop* at Harrogate Library, where I discussed the top 10 mistakes new authors make.

*I'd like to thank everyone who paid to come see me on January 18th 2020 - it was a pleasure to meet you all, and I hope you found my workshop helpful! If you would like access to this course, please join as a paid member them e-mail me - I will happily refund your first month's subscription so you can re-watch the session for free!

I realised that whilst face-to-face workshops are brilliant, some people may not be able to attend due to the location or the timing. This being the case, I came up with a brilliant solution—you can now access the course online, to learn in the comfort of your own home and in your own time.

If you're not already familiar with my members area, you can now create a FREE log in for access to downloadable and printable extras, the first chapter of my new self-publishing guide, The Universe Doesn't Give A Sh*t About Your Book, access to all my YouTube content 48 hours in advance, plus the option to answer and ask questions in a private forum. Each year, members will also be able to submit their books two weeks before the public, meaning I'll see their submissions before anyone else's.

However, you can now upgrade your membership for just £6.99 per month (cancel your renewal at any time—**joining for just one month is absolutely fine!) to gain unlimited access to the new online course and materials. With 60 minutes of video footage, PLUS tasks to complete along the way, it's a great start for new or struggling indie authors.

**I plan to add further courses this year, so please feel welcome to re-join as a member at any time.

Two Years Ago - Christmas Fair!

Two years? Doesn't feel like two minutes!!

I remember this day so vividly, as it was not only the first time I met the Lord Mayor of Bradford, but also the first time I read Noah Finn & the Art of Suicide in public.

We were later invited to visit his chambers for tea and biscuits to discuss my business, and it was such a memorable occasion!

In 2019, I was also lucky enough to meet a second Lord Mayor of Bradford at our Keighley book signing with WHSmith!

I love looking back at my Facebook memories and seeing how far I've come. If you don't already follow me, you can do so here:


Curious Cats Cuppa Continues!

My publishing advice series on YouTube will continue from Thursday 6th January 2020. Catch up on this month's content below, and don't forget to hit like and subscribe to the channel.

Curious Cats Cuppa #5 and #4 - I discuss using a free ISBN, and feeling like an impostor.

And that's it for this month... phew! Check back in February for more amazing author updates and progress reports. Peter Kay's book is almost ready, plus I'll be visiting Ingramspark with David Hardcastle to check out their facilities!

Thanks for reading! See you next month!

Rachael x

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