Posts tagged new book
Personal Touch

 

In just under one week my book, Paradox, is officially launched and the pre-launch discount ends.

For those who have already purchased the Hardback, thank you. It’s been a great encouragement as I venture down this Path of reimagining how to publish.

The publishing world continually encourages any dreamer to fit into a template model of production and distribution, usually motivated by cost. Although the Paperback and eBook of Paradox is fully immersed within that model, the Hardback is walking a different adventure. I’ve tried to keep true to the authentic tale of the story, from sustainable material to moral choices around production and delivery. But there is one part of this adventure I have yet to speak about.

The personal touch.

The personal touch is unscalable. It requires cost. Time. Capacity. And this month, I have faced that challenge head-on. Did I think through all the implications of writing a handwritten note with every purchase? Is it worth the energy to package the book in a bespoke way or frame any public presentation to bridge the gap between author and reader?

The answer to these questions and many more is yes!

This book is more than a story bundled inside a red cover. It’s my attempt at allowing the story to shape every part of this adventure. I have no set map or easy template. Only trust. So once again, thank you to everyone who has supported this dream, regardless of any purchase.

And for those who still want the book at a discounted price before its release. Order this week at www.andysmithyman.com.

A mysterious adventure awaits...

 

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Andy SmithymanParadox, new book
Pre-Orders are now Live

The nervous moment has arrived...

Pre-Orders for my new book, Paradox, are now live on my website!

I have no idea how this book will be received. Does the story hold up? Will people like the design? The questions can seem never-ending. Occasionally overwhelming. But last week, a friend told me it was time to enjoy this moment. Celebrate. Follow this crazy adventure. It was good advice.

Looking at the finished product, it’s a book I’m really proud of. The creative team did a fantastic job. We didn’t get to do everything we dreamed of (that’s for the sequel), but what we did do is worthy of shouting about.

The Special Edition hardback looks and feels beautiful. It has an Iris Cloth cover. The uncoated cream paper (made from wood procured from sustainably managed sources) compliments the nature of the story. Ollie Mann did a fantastic job with 18 black & white illustrations.

The hardback retails for £20, but you can pre-order the book during November for £15.50. As a bonus, you will also receive the eBook version of Paradox for free!

Alongside this, there are a selection of signed prints (12x16inch) available to purchase (for those who like the idea of The Twins staring at you over the dining room table).

The paperback and digital versions are released internationally on 01/12/18 from most retail distributors.

One final thing. I’ve wrestled with the best way to approach P&P, from sustainable packaging to a delivery method which doesn’t take advantage of workers. Finding cost-effective solutions is difficult. I may not have found all the answers, but I did make a few decisions. When you purchase the book from my website, you have two options on P&P.

A flat fee of £2.50 for any order under 2kg.

Or.

Free customer collection.

Enjoy Paradox.

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A Confession

 

I've written a book. 100,000 words, give or take a few paragraphs. It comes out at the end of 2018 in Hardback, Paperback and Digital form. Although the book has taken 3 years to write, it's a product of a 30-year journey. 

This is a different kind of book for me. I've ventured from the comfortable world of non-fiction into the unnerving landscape of fiction. It's been an exhilarating and challenging ride, testing my imagination to the limit and then beyond. 

Writing is a vulnerable process. My words sound like a work of art when I'm the only one to hear them. But the real test is when that manuscript is laid down for others to read. No hype. No excuses. No biased lens. A small group of people have seen the text, their input crafting something more beautiful than my own hands could ever do. And in a few months, another layer of my heart is displayed. General release. 

Vulnerability is crucial for me. I'm a better person when I drop all the facade that modern-life and my head encourages me to hold onto. The temptation is to hype this release, make it into something that it's not. But I don't want to do that. Yes, I'm going to have fun with the promotion, but I'm also going to be faithful to how this book came about. 

Over the next few months, I'm going to lay out the journey of this book as it goes into print. There will be a few surprises, tales and unanswered questions. Along the way, I'll open up about the design process and what you will get if you decide to buy the book. And maybe, there will be a few lines about my hopes, fears and insecurity. 

This book has introduced me to The Twins. I don't know where they are going to take me or what I'm going to see. But I do know this simple truth. 

The Twins are here. The Twins are real. The Twins are right in front of you and me.

Andy Smithymannew book
'A Christmas Carol' talk

My Dickensian hat-tip to the people who designed such a welcoming space for me to talk about 'A Christmas Carol.'

Dickens announced the ghost of Marely as a prophet's rod, urging the reader to give careful attention to the message that was about to be announced. That voice in 1843 is still relevant today. Beware of 'Ignorance' and 'Selfish Want.'

 

Andy Smithymandickens, new book
New Book Update #4: Secret World
Everybody has a secret world inside of them. I mean everybody. All of the people in the whole world, I mean everybody — no matter how dull and boring they are on the outside. Inside them they've all got unimaginable, magnificent, wonderful, stupid, amazing worlds... Not just one world. Hundreds of them. Thousands, maybe.

Neil Gaiman: The Sandman Vol.5

Sometimes, when you look around. Everything seems still and clam on the surface. Then you detect a little disturbance. And you know for sure there lies some other secret world.
Peter Gabriel: Secret World 1994


Secret Definition:

Something that is kept or meant to be kept unknown or unseen by others.

Something that is a mystery.

A valid but not commonly known or recognized method of achieving or maintaining something.
 

World Definition:

One's life and activities. A particular group of living things.

All that relates to a particular sphere of activity.

 

There is a continual temptation to narrow life. From the things we sign up to, commit resources to and give credence to. But the world / worlds behind our world shouts at us to drop a pebble in the pond and disturb our line of sight.

The rewrite is going well... so is the secret world.

Andy Smithymanquotes, new book
What a dismal song
My own little bed was so superciliously looked upon (thinking one is superior over another) by a Power unknown to me, hazilly called "The Trade", that a brass coal-scuttle, a roasting jack, and a birdcage, were obliged to be put into it to make a Lot of it, and then it went for a song. So I heard mentioned, and I wondered what a song, and I thought what a dismal song it must have been.

Charles Dickens : Callow

 

This WAS a memory.

This WAS a childhood experience, when toys and places of imagination were sold due to family arrears.

This WAS Charles Dickens as a child.

This IS sadly a storyline that still plays out today, NOW with different actors. 

New Book Update #3

I find writing magical.

The doorway it leads me through defies imagination, and continually presses upon my heart to trust the hand of creativity. In a world where I replace so much wonder with the surety of systems and order. It is great reminder that beyond initial sight, there is a beauty that is walked into by stepping off the boat of reason.

Unlike the other books I have written, this new venture is a novel. With it, I have been able to play around with history and the present day in such a childlike way. I have been surprised how often, in the past, I have suppressed the wonder of childlike eyes with the surety of knowledge and theory. If there has been anything this book has taught me in its crafting, it’s that physical age should never loose the embrace of a childlike spirit. It’s the only way to truly see the world around.

July saw the completion of the first draft. August was a month off. September launched the re-write. 

Of all the stages in writing, the re-write is the part I enjoy the most. The pressure is off. The plot line, characters and direction are all complete. Now is the time to play. It may sound strange, but the idea of taking what I have already formed and then pull it apart, taps into my passion for craftsmanship. I have time to labour over how one character speaks to another. Explore the sights and smells of a location, and reimagine a plot device through a different lens.

I have set aside four months for this, before it lands in front of an editor. Fun times ahead.

Andy Smithymannew book, dickens
Writing another book

 

Sporadic blog posts on my website could mean many things. Exotic travels, daring adventures or even plain boredom. In this case, the simplest of statements - I am writing a new book. I will reveal more over the coming months, but suffice to say, it involves two loves. Dickens and activism.

60,000 words into the project, with the end still not in sight, I am reminded of a few words from John Steinbeck in The Exonian.

 

A man who writes a story is forced to put into it the best of his knowledge and the best of his feeling. The discipline of the written word punishes both stupidity and dishonesty. A writer lives in awe of words for they can be cruel or kind, and they can change their meanings right in front of you. They pick up flavors and odors like butter in a refrigerator...
A writer out of loneliness is trying to communicate like a distant star sending signals. He isn't telling or teaching or ordering. Rather he seeks to establish a relationship of meaning, of feeling, of observing...
Of course a writer rearranges life, shortens time intervals, sharpens events, and devises beginnings, middles and ends. We do have curtains—in a day, morning, noon and night, in a man, birth, growth and death. These are curtain rise and curtain fall, but the story goes on and nothing finishes.
To finish is sadness to a writer—a little death. He puts the last word down and it is done. But it isn't really done. The story goes on and leaves the writer behind, for no story is ever done.