What Brexit Means For Us

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One of our authors was asking the other day about the impact of Brexit on IndieBooks. So we thought we’d share our answer.

The most immediate impact is that our books will be more expensive to print. Almost all the paper we use comes from sustainable forests in Scandinavia, and paper is the biggest single cost in book production, and with the Pound down 20% since Brexit, that paper will rise in cost accordingly.

The second is that Brexit will have a profound effect on the economy, reflected in the eye-watering projections for the UK national debt: and if people have less money in their pockets, then book sales will suffer just like everything else.

The third is that our export sales will be worth more to us, again because of the fall in the value of the pound. That’s welcome – but though we’re always trying to export more, it’s still not going to do much to offset the negative impact.

The biggest impact, though, is cultural: the sense of the UK cutting itself adrift from the rest of Europe. Even if there were no financial cost, we’d still think it wrong to leave the EU because of the barriers it creates. It’s one reason we’re delighted to have three new European authors joining us in 2017, and why we’ll be promoting our books much more in the rest of Europe too.

And if you want to know why it happened, then watch out for ‘Explaining Cameron’s Catastrophe’,  in which Sir Robert Worcester and his colleagues explore the wealth of polling data to reveal why people voted as they did and what it means for the future. This follow-up to ‘Explaining Cameron’s Comeback’ is due out in January 2017.

 

 

Our Brexit Titles

screen-shot-2017-01-09-at-14-01-54Today’s Guardian has a fascinating piece on publishers’ plans for post-Brexit books. So we thought we’d give a preview of the two – perhaps three – IndieBooks Brexit-linked titles due out in 2017.

In the lead is ‘Explaining Cameron’s Catastrophe’, the follow-up to last year’s guide to the 2015 election, ‘Explaining Cameron’s Comeback’. Political analyst and pollster Sir Robert Worcester leads a team of academics and experts exploring how the EU referendum came about, how the campaign was fought and – crucially – what lay behind the outcome, with insights into the state of Britain and what it may mean for the future of politics. As always the team are working on the data right up to the print deadline but it’s currently due in the shops at the start of April.

And with Article 50 about to kick off the most important negotiation in British history since 1973, what better time for us to reissue the UK Government’s official guide to EU negotiations, the imaginatively-titled “Negotiating in the European Union”. It gives the inside story on alliance-building, multi-lateral negotiations, procedures, tactics and even the best restaurants to recover in afterwards, and is illustrated by the FT’s cartoonist Banx. This is due out later in January. Let’s hope Boris has his copy to hand.

And finally, for all those who found ‘Five on Brexit Island’ a bit of light relief, we’re hoping to sign up our own tongue-in-cheek guide to Britain’s post-Brexit future entitled ‘Mr Brexit: the Man with the Plan’.

More to follow on all these and more.

Our Xmas Present to You!

To say thanks tattu-cover-midrezo all our readers and contributors for your support in 2016, we’ve just published Attu, a short story by Richard “Unbearably exciting and witty” Major about a playboy President who announces the end of the world. It’s a mix of black humour and political satire with a hint of romance – the ideal antidote to too much Festive Good Cheer (or anxiety about soon-to-be President Trump).
Attu is available as a free e-book over the Christmas holiday. Just click here and download from the Kindle store in the usual way, but you won’t pay anything and you get to keep it. You can tell all your friends too – but the discount only lasts until the end of Boxing Day, so hurry!

New Fiction for Summer 16!

leyendo-un-libro-en-la-playaWe have two new fiction titles to announce for the summer season. ‘The Ballad of Curly Oswald’ is the account of a boy growing up in a hippie commune in the 1970s amid his extended family of drop-outs and dreamers, as they grapple with problems ranging from eco-friendly slug-control to the mischief of a power-hungry guru. It is an extraordinary chronicle of a lifestyle both alternative yet strangely viable, a microcosm of eccentricity, comedy and grotesque tragedy, told with the unflinching eye of a child and the sympathy of a narrator who sees the underlying humour of life in all its deranged glory. And yet more bizarre is ‘Quintember’, which tells of the murderous career of Dr Felix Culpepper, a classics scholar of St Wygefortis College, Cambridge and assassin-of-choice to the British Establishment. If there is a book with more erudition, violence and wit in it, it has yet to cross our desk. Either is the perfect antidote to yet another Wilbur Smith or Katie FFFFForde style item of beach fodder.

Is January the new December for book lovers?

hqdefaultWe’ve been trawling through our Amazon sales data and spotted an interesting pattern: January is one of our best months for sales. Usually you’d expect a dip after people have maxed out  over Christmas; all we can think is that lots of people who didn’t get enough lovely books from Santa are topping up from us in January.

As the need for books with which to curl up in front of a log fire (or under a duvet etc as you prefer) does not end on 31 January, we’re now planning a Fireside February book promotion. Look in next week to see how it works and snap up some seasonal reading.

 

‘Explaining Cameron’s Comeback’ on BBC Tonight

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Sir Robert Worcester and Mark Gill will be discussing ‘Explaining Cameron’s Comeback’ on the BBC Parliament Channel’s ‘Booktalk’ show tonight at 8.45. And it will be available on the iPlayer for 21 days after that.

‘Explaining Cameron’s Comeback’ Out Today

9781908041272The first full account of the 2015 election is published today. It’s been a great pleasure to work with the doyen of political analysis Sir Robert Worcester and his colleagues Roger Mortimore, Paul Baines and Mark Gill, and they’ve produced a guide that’s both packed with data and insight and also completely accessible to the general reader. There’s already a lot of media interest in what the team have found and the conclusions they have drawn, both about 2o15 and what it means for British politics now and in the future. To join in the debate, order direct from us and we’ll send it with free first class postage.

Explaining Cameron’s Comeback: A Cover Conundrum

We’ve been working on another cover design conundrum. After each general election, Sir Robert Worcester – doyen of political analysis and opinion polling – joins with his colleagues at MORI to produce the definitive guide to the campaign and the underlying trends behind the outcome. The series dates back to 1997 and we’re proud to be publishing the latest in the series, Explaining Cameron’s Comeback, in January.

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But how to maintain some continuity with the previous four books in the series, while also coming up with a fresh and striking look? We wanted to keep the cartoon theme – but oddly, there are very few political cartoonists who have really ‘got’ David Cameron (and those that have caught something of his essence, such as Stve Bell, are a little bit too scathing – and rude – for our purposes)
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In the end, we’ve gone for a riff on the second design – a really bod, authoritative title, but with the cartoon – by The Times’ Peter Brookes – to reflect the way the content is very accessible and has wry touches of humour too. And we found a fun new font – Newsflash BB – to give the title a bit of distinction. And it always helps to have a couple of big names giving their endorsements on the front cover to round it off!

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Getting it Right: or, The Perils of Proof-reading

It’s said that six out of every ten books published have errors not in the content, but in production – spelling, layout, punctuation, and so on. And it’s an odd thing that, however many times you check before it goes to press, it only takes a few seconds to spot those errors when you unpack the first box back from the printers. Yet getting it right isn’t just about pedantry: errors can spoil the enjoyment of a book, and (particularly in non-fiction) undermine the reader’s confidence in the content.

2015-12-04 12.24.04We were very conscious of this with ‘Latitude North’ because the author, Charles Moseley, knows just as much about the craft of making books as he does about writing them. He was an editor with Cambridge University Press, and he was also a trained printer, so would be sure to spot even  glitches such as inconsistent use of en and em dashes. And because ‘Latitude North’ ranges so widely over the culture and literature of the Scandinavian lands, as well as descriptions of the places he has visited himself, we also had a range of titles, technical terms and place-names to get right, in various Scandinavian languages, and using the right letters (yes, including runes).

Then there’s fact-checking. Should it be ‘skidoo’ of ‘Skidoo’? Is ‘omen aberat’ the correct way to make a pun in Latin on the obedience of your gun dog (and we had to go to a Professor of Ancient Philosophy at Durham University for that).

You can judge for yourself if we’ve got it right – and there’s a prize for the first reader to tell us what we missed.

 

The 2015 Election Explained

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The authors discussing the previous title in the series, ‘Explaining Cameron’s Coalition’, at a Hansard Society event in 2011.

Since Labour’s 1997 landslide, political analyst and pollster Sir Robert Worcester and his MORI colleagues have produced a definitive account of each UK general election. And we’re excited to say they’ve chosen IndieBooks as publisher for the latest in the series. ‘Explaining Cameron’s Comeback’ analyses hundreds of surveys and focus groups to make sense of the campaign from the voter’s perspective: what they really thought of Cameron and Miliband; what made the 2015 campaign so unusual; why it made sense to go negative, despite voters’ claimed dislike of it; and why the pundits read the polls wrong. They also use trend data going back six decades to help show what the 2015 election result means for the next five years of British politics, from the European Referendum to the implications for the 2020 election. Sir Robert’s co-authors – Roger Mortimore, Paul Baines and Mark Gill – are all leader experts on political marketing and psephology in their own rights, so ‘Explaining Cameron’s Comeback’ will have every justification for being called ‘definitive.’

Publication is scheduled for early January and we’ll be opening for preorders in December.