Tag Archives: lulu.com

Back in the writing groove


Phil: It’s been too long. Life has come between us and the writing we love. But that has to change. We need to complete Book 3

Step 1: Remember where we are. We can sort of recall the story, but really, it’s time to re-read everything.

Step 2: Reading on screen is OK, but reading from the page is a lot easier. Eating several ink cartridges and much paper in a domestic printer doesn’t appeal, and we’re working from home so there isn’t an office printer to try to slide many, many page through.

A commercial print shop is another option, but in the past, it’s been an expensive thing to do.

So, to Lulu.com. An hour of messing around rough-formatting the manuscript file, creating a quick cover, and the book is in their print queue. A week later, two copies are in my hands. I’ve allowed larger than normally margins for scribbling, so the result is 2cm thick (I forgot to add page numbers, sorry).

All this for £7 a copy. It feels like a real book. It looks like a real book. Let’s hope it inspires us to finish the project!

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Kate vs The Potter – a free short story

Kate vs The PotterPhil: In between cakes, Candice and I have been working on something special, a short story featuring the characters from our book.

Best of all, we are giving the electronic version of this away for free !

If you follow the link below, you can download the story from Lulu.com, then settle down with a nice cup of tea and a cake to enjoy.

Download Kate vs The Potter

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Test reading: Round 2

Kate vs The Dirtboffins and orange juicePhil: I’ve just taken delivery of the second batch of printed books courtesy of Lulu.com The new editions have freshly polished text and the tractor’n’cupcake cover which looks pretty.

Resisting the urge to sneak the copies on to the shelves of a nearby Waterstones to see what happened, I met up with Candice to hand some over whilst enjoying some healthy soft drinks and a huge portion of very nice, but red-hot, pub chips. A balanced meal I’m sure you’ll agree.

She will be passing these on to more readers, one of whom lives in Wolverhampton, so it will be one of the nicest things to happen to him. I’ve already sent copies on to a couple of people who can be trusted to read and then tell me the truth. One (Hello Sarah) managed to get to page 80 in 24 hours which shows either commitment or speed reading skills. Looking at the book, this is the point where the story hots up with some giant cabbage action.

As an added extra, Neil is relaxing in 40 degree heat and reading an electronic version because I’m too stingy to post a copy out to his exotic poolside venue. That’s what happens when you are a prolific commenter on this blog. You have been warned !


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nolanparker.co.uk tractorPhil: When did writing a book evolve into more than just sitting in my garret honing my prose ?

I’m about to sort out the latest paper versions of The Book so we can thrust the revised text under another group of friends noses, and hope they remain friends afterwards (actually, I’m hoping to recruit the girlfriend of a friend because I know she won’t spare my blushes when commenting on the story). This means more messing around on Lulu.com and hoping that I produce all the pages in the right order.

We’re also back on a marketing tack. While searching for a suitable tractor for the revised cover photo, I picked up some cheap plastic versions. Sadly I couldn’t find a cake big enough to balance them on but it seemed a shame not to use them for something. So, welcome to the nolanparker tractor ! A few minutes work with the printer has produced the sort of promotional give-away that everyone loves to collect at trade shows. Of course, we aren’t going to a trade show but it’s the thought that counts. At least we are prepared !

However, if you work for a publishing house or agent, drop me a line and I’ll send one over. It will look lovely on your desk. And would you like a book too ?

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Crash test dummies

Books and Diet CokePhil: If you build a motor car, at some point you have to strap some crash test dummies into the seats and throw the thing at a concrete block. This isn’t just a legal requirement, nor a desire to produce some exciting YouTube footage, as a car maker you want to know that your product isn’t going to gain you a bucket load of adverse publicity when it hits the streets, or other cars.

OK, so you don’t do this with a book but at some point if it IS going to hit the world you want people to like it. With this in mind, we’ve recruited some test subjects (you notice I didn’t say dummies) of our own. They will be strapped firmly to the pages and hurled into our imaginary world.

This is why earlier today, Candice and I sat down in a pub over some nice healthy salad (we don’t just eat cake you know) to split up the pile of freshly Lulu.com printed books. We now have 6 copies, 2 originals and 4 MK2 “Phil fixed most of the bugs” versions. The new copies versions have larger print as both our mothers commented on the small size in the first attempt. This has made them a bit chunkier, and pushed the price per copy up nearly a pound but hey are worth every penny as the quality is such that when presented with a copy to read, the first victim didn’t realise it was anything other than a normally published book until her sister explained just how special it was !

Anyway, this is a big moment. Until now the only people to read the words are those of us who wrote them. Will real people think they are as good as we do ? I can’t believe the manuscript is perfect, very good  would be the best we can hope for, but I’m agog to find out what they think.

Let’s hope it’s not a car crash eh ?

(Note: Admit it, you read the title of this post and are now humming Mmmm Mmmmm Mmmm in a Canadian Accent aren’t you.)


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