Sunday, April 20, 2008

Oh, bollocks



My book was due to be published on 2nd May.

On 2nd April, I got this email from the commercial director of my publishers.

Dear Adam,

As you are aware The Friday Project has gone into liquidation. This is a deeply regrettable situation and all concerned are very sorry that things have come to this. What should have been a very exciting and positive publishing experience for you has not gone as we would have hoped.

Another publisher has expressed an interest in taking on some of the books from TFP but, unfortunately, this does not include Topped of the Pops.

This means that the rights for your book now revert to you. You are free to pitch it to other publishers, or produce it yourself if you wish.

Any business or financial questions you may have should be directed to Panos Eliades who is the administrator for the liquidated company.

On a personal note may I say how sorry I am that we find ourselves in this position and to wish you all the best for the future.

Kind regards,

Scott Pack
Commercial Director
The Friday Project


I'll leave you to imagine how I feel about this. To find out how others - including a number of out-of-pocket printers, editors, and authors who've actually sold hundreds of copies of their books and now stand very little chance of ever seeing any of the money they earned - feel about it, you might have a look here.

As far as Topped Of The Pops goes, it's the end of the road. A satire that felt very "now" when I first wrote it in 2005, slightly less so when Transworld (who had read the first draft a year earlier and commented that it would only sell if it was by Ben Elton) published, er, Ben Elton's take on the topic, and rather less after Shed Production's dire Rock Rivals (a show which, curiously enough, was commissioned a couple of months after they'd been sent a TV treatment for Topped Of The Pops) was broadcast this spring, won't sit on the shelf for the next six months to a year - minimum - which it would take to go through this entire process again.

It's still a bloody good book though.

SO... Topped Of The Pops will still be coming out on, or as near as possible to May 2nd 2008. Since I never expected to make my fortune from it anyway, I'm going to do a Radiohead and give the whole thing away for free on the net. With the option of buying a high-quality bound paperback version for those that want it. On which I'll make a profit. And I won't share any of it with anyone from The Friday Project.

Right then. Anyone who's got any idea how to actually go about doing such a thing, drop me a line would you?

13 comments:

JamesB said...

Have you run across lulu.com before? I've bought from them before and the printing quality's really good. Had a tinker with their backend interface too and it looks pretty good too.

tfp said...

Adam
Can I have permission to reproduce that email from Scott Pack on the TFP discussion blog?

I'd like to make a post of it.

Thanks
VC

Richard Alan Cowling said...

yeah, lulu.com is the 'famous' on demand publisher, there are others, worth looking into on demand publishing to find the best deal ... as a recent move by amazon might really damage some of them ... Amazon just caught on to some big aggregator tricks al la supermarkets, and started forcing these on demand publishers into prohibitive contracts, ... some are winners some big losers... as for online publishing for free ... simply get hold of some software that will take your manuscript in wordprocessor format and convert it into portable document format, or .PDF, in other words, (acrobat professional, of a freeware equiv. if one exists, whichbit most certainly will) and then FTP it to a webserver and put a link to it on your blog.
Look forward to reading it!
Warm regards,
Richard

Adam Macqueen said...

VC - absolutely, feel free. I didn't have his permission to reproduce it, mind, but I'm not about to start feeling guilty about that.

James - I'm planing on using Lulu - did a few copies with them for friends and family a while back, and was gobsmacked by the quality of them - much better paper and just as good binding as my professionally produced book, The King Of Sunlight!

Richard - thanks for advice. I 've bought the domain toppedofthepops.com and plan to host the whole thing there, though I'm thinking of having each chapter as a seperate HTML page rather than PDFs, just for ease of reading. Not really sure...

yampie said...

Once you have your pdfs created you might want to try uploading the file here:
http://issuu.com/

I've used it a few times and it's a fantastic way to market a book (well i think so). It's also free and you can embed into your page.

If you want some free hosting for your new website I can set you up with hosting and help you design the site (html, php , database etc.) You should setup a shopping cart type system so people can purchase via your site without going through nasty Amazon :-)

If you want to discuss the website email me. I'm not a professional IT bloke - just a keen amateur but I have created some nice sites (I think!).
redirect7[AT]gmail.com

Emma Barnes said...

Hiya

I did the cover design for TOTP. Since it's one of the covers they did pay me for, I imagine it's one of the 'assets' of TFP now, but in my view you're welcome to use it in your ebook. Could you credit me, though? Emma Barnes at SnowAngels. Thanks!

Adam Macqueen said...

Emma, great to hear from you, and thanks for the brilliant design. My main worry was that you hadn't been paid for it, in which case I wouldn't dream of using it - but if you have, and I've got your blessing, I'm much happier to do so (with full credit, of course). I guess in theory it's one of TFP's assets, but I'd love to know what else they think they might do with it!
Yampie, thank you for advice - my head's kind of whirring at the moment with possibilities, but I may well be in touch. Thank you!
A

Adam Macqueen said...

Emma, great to hear from you, and thanks for the brilliant design. My main worry was that you hadn't been paid for it, in which case I wouldn't dream of using it - but if you have, and I've got your blessing, I'm much happier to do so (with full credit, of course). I guess in theory it's one of TFP's assets, but I'd love to know what else they think they might do with it!
Yampie, thank you for advice - my head's kind of whirring at the moment with possibilities, but I may well be in touch. Thank you!
A

Emma said...

Well, if there's any sort of a problem with using their assets, just let me know and I'll tweak it slightly so that it's a new cover - and sell the new one to you for a quid. Let me know if you need the hi res files, too (which you will for POD).

Best of luck with the launch, and shout if you have any questions on typesetting, printers etc. emma[at]snowbooks.com. For POD I can recommend blurb.com - haven't actually used them myself but hear great things.

MarkFarley said...

Once you have it for sale or at Amazon or something, I'd love to review it.

John said...

Adam

Did you ever think of podcasting it? I serialized my book Shadowmagic on www.podiobooks.com and it was one of the best things I ever did.

John L

Dave said...

I have a theory that targeted ads on Facebook could be a good way to sell the book. There seem to be several reality TV interest groups. I'm another TFP writer who ould end up with hundreds of copies of his book to dispose of and that's what I'm thinking of doing. Woudl love to have a read of your book...

JonnyB said...

Hullo Adam

I was marginally involved in putting together the Shaggy Blog Stories compilation, and we used Lulu for that. As far as I recall, the only negative was that a couple of people thought that p&p was a bit steep to the UK - but otherwise, it was a pretty positive experience.

Mike (the Editor) has probably still got the page templates knocking around if you need a starting point - let me know if so and I'll ask him.

Good luck.