Snail Trail is now out on KINDLE! Download now for a sneak preview at £2.00/ USD4.96.
AMAZING DAY YESTERDAY.
SAW A SNAIL’S HEART BEAT.
CAN YOU BELIEVE IT?
A GLASS SNAIL ON THE HANGER, SELBORNE, IN THE COMPANY OF JUNE CHATFIELD.
THE MIRACLE OF LIFE ….
Just picked up the book from the printer. The quality is outstanding. Slime in Time is excellent value at £5.99 – over 170 pages, fourteen beautiful illustrations, all in madaboutsnailbook style.
Thanks to Guy Nicholson for the brilliant cover. Thanks to Liane McCarthy for the wonderful, wonderful headers. Thanks to Image Print 2001 Ltd for sourcing the best printer ever. Thanks to my daughter, Amy, and Henrietta Hellard for all your hard work. Thanks to you all.
You really MUST see this book to believe the quality!
Happy days ….
SLIME IN TIME
with Sarah Lucas
at WATERSTONES, ALTON
11.00 am SATURDAY 10TH NOVEMBER
Free goody bags for the first twenty
children through the door … bookmarks
and balloons … colouring fun. Come and
I had a fantastic day at Sheet Primary School last Friday working with a group of twelve children on journalism. I used to be a journalist. I told them what it was like, how to write a press release, how papers worked and how important sticking to deadlines really was.
Then they got to work.
Did they work hard! From 11.00 in the morning until 3.00 in the afternoon, they prepared a press release on their own Olympic Sports Day they had held that week. It was fun. They came prepared with quotes, having interviewed some of the children, parents and teachers.
We had teams working on the content, results, photographs, and title. Then we swapped around. We wrote the press release together, didn’t worry about spelling mistakes, just made sure the content was right. Then we went over it all and reviewed the work. Did a bit of editing. Guess what? They made the deadline by about one minute.
Watch out in the Petersfield Herald and the Petersfield Post for their reports.
With thanks to everyone who worked so hard and made me feel so welcome, especially to Karen Parish who is probably one of the most enthusiastic teachers I have EVER met.
Well done. I think the children learnt some good lessons and I just want to keep on doing more workshops, more workshops and even MORE workshops.
What happened to that thing called time? Another year is spinning on, everyone seemingly more busy than ever before, as if it could get any busier!
There is much happening at madaboutsnailbooks; e-books on the horizon, the new book Slime in Time coming out, appearances at festivals, bookshops and schools. Workshops are increasingly popular. There’s nothing I like more than helping children to understand how writing works, especially in the real world, through leafleting, design, newspapers and the marketing of books.
SLIME IN TIME
Speaking of marketing, an invitation to order your copy of the new book is just about to hit your letterbox, so keep an eye out for it and let us know if you’d like us to reserve you a copy.
Launch date is the end of August, but it may turn into an autumn launch, all in time for the right setting of this spooky, Halloween tale!
Want to try before you buy? Here’s the first chapter for you to read. Enjoy! And remember, if you’re ordering any of the madaboutsnailbooks , you can do so via Paypal on-line, thus by-passing the need for stamps.
Talking of stamps, for all orders placed during the month of May 2012, we are happy to swallow the p&p costs. We’re not an Amazon, but we know you’re watching every penny. We’d love to discount our books, but a quality book comes at a price and we hope you understand. So, wherever you are and however many books you want, place your order in May 2012 and there will be no charge for p&p.
Slime in Time is aimed at confident readers aged 7-11 and up.
CHAPTER ONE: CHARLIE DROPS A BOMBSHELL
In the school playground, the children stared at Amy. They stood as still as statues, waiting. When Bill Bracket spoke, their mouths would fall wide open.
‘It’s the film crew, isn’t it? They’re coming, aren’t they?’ he asked of soon-to-be film star and snail freak, Amy Lolly.
Amy stuck her nose high into the air, closed her eyes and sniffed.
‘Yeah, they’re coming this week,’ she said, almost not believing the words that had escaped out of her mouth.
‘Film crew? The film crew? The snail trail film crew?’ ran a whisper as Amy’s best friend, Charlie, bit hard into a lip.
‘It doesn’t matter. Any of it,’ Charlie mumbled into her curtain of long brown hair.
Nobody heard. All they wanted to know was what Amy would say next.
When her face broke into a smile and she punched the air, everyone smiled back.
‘We get the script tomorrow!’ she yelled, jiggling around on her feet.
‘Tomorrow?’ ran the chorus.
‘What’s a script?’ asked a little girl at Amy’s side, her head tipped back, her face looking up.
‘It tells us what to say and when,’ was the reply.
‘Don’t you know what you said?’ Keira asked, laughing.
‘No, Keira!’ Amy giggled back. ‘It’s the script writers who write the script.’
‘Oooooh! Script writers write the script!’ sung the girls who had gathered around.
Dark-haired Emily Buddy stood apart. She began to moan.
‘It should have been me in that film!’ she began with a face like thunder.
‘You didn’t find the snail! They did!’ Bill spat, turning around to face her.
‘Old McSlithers is practically family!’ Emily protested.
‘I used to play with him …’
‘Then why did he run away? You must have been horrid …’
‘I gave him lettuce … let him crawl up my arm …?’
‘Smothered him in salt more like!’ Bill joked.
‘It still should have been me in the film! Not her …’ Emily repeated, growing angrier by the minute.
‘You can’t even act!’ Bill hissed. His hair stuck up like horns from the top of his head. His face was red.
‘I’m having lessons …’ Emily protested.
‘Shame you didn’t have them before Summer Holiday!’ he spat without thinking.
There was a sharp intake of breath, then a pause. Everyone watched Emily’s face turn pink.
‘Grrr!’ she growled and she stamped a foot hard on the ground.
Down in the snail park, something was beginning to stir. A tentacle appeared from inside a dark shell, like a periscope from a submarine far out at sea. On the end of it, there was an eye; a very small eye, still sleepy, still warm.
On the playground, Charlie spoke up.
‘It doesn’t matter. Any of it,’ she repeated, though louder than before.
‘We’ll have chocolate, Keira! All the sweets we want! Bath bombs!’ Amy carried on.
‘You hate baths …’ Charlie mumbled.
Amy shot her a frown.
At last Charlie had her attention. She fixed her beady blue eyes on her friend and delivered her news.
‘I can’t do the film! Any of it. We’re moving to Australia. We leave next week,’ she told her friend. ‘I’ve been trying to tell you …’
Amy glared at her.
‘That is so not funny!’ she hissed back, almost wobbling her head like it was made of jelly and someone had poked it. When Charlie said nothing more, Amy wasn’t sure whether to laugh or cry.
Bill came to her rescue.
‘First you say you’re going, Charlie Cummings, then you say you’re not …’ he began, moving two steps closer, throwing his face menacingly into hers.
‘Charlie’s right,’ Laura Crust told them, coming up from behind. ‘Mr. Skinner’s not well. He can’t fly. Something to do with his heart? Charlie’s dad’s going instead.’
Emily Buddy broke into a sudden and raucous laugh.
‘D’you mean it? You really going to Australia?’ she howled, the thunder long gone from her face.
The girls closed in, their eyes on stalks.
In a panic and feeling she might faint, Amy spun around. She closed her eyes and waited. When the girls screamed with delight behind, she knew Charlie must have nodded.
‘Who’ll they get to take your place?’ someone asked.
It was Emily’s turn to stick her nose into the air, to close her eyes, to sniff.
‘Well, it has to be me!’ she announced, as noisily as she could.
In the snail park, Old McSlithers, the giant African land snail Amy had discovered with Charlie high up on Zig Zag common, sat and shivered. He recognised the voice of the girl who had tormented him; he’d recognised the anger in her words. Unable to see her with just the one eye, he pushed out another tentacle and peered out from the safety of the snail park fence. It wasn’t long before he saw her.
Emily was throwing back her head, laughing the laugh of a hyena. When he saw her face through fuzzy eyes, the snail trembled in his shell.
‘We can’t do the film without Charlie!’ Amy whispered to Bill. ‘What are we going to do?’
‘We?’ he offered, smiling, feeling quietly pleased.
‘Didn’t your dad lose half his bottom in a parrot attack?’ Emily asked of Charlie.
When loud fits of giggles burst into the air, Amy snuck a look over her shoulder. The girls were sticking out their bottoms like pink flamingos. Even Charlie was at it.
Old McSlithers sat and watched. Wishing he could join in the fun, he quietly scrunched up his foot, threw out his bottom, but quickly lost his balance. Toppling to one side, he bashed his head against his bowl and lay, eyes spinning on the end of their stalks like plates balancing on sticks.
‘Can I come to tea?’ Bill asked Amy excitedly.
‘They only told me last night …’ went a little voice behind.
Amy’s back grew stiff.
‘Cool! Come to tea, Bill. Why not?’ she said, through gritted teeth.
‘We could go onto the common?’
Amy blew warm air out into the cold, autumnal day.
‘Never! Never ever going back there! Too many bad memories! Let’s go down the old railway. To the woods? Nobody ever goes that way …’
‘Railway line it is!’ Bill replied, smirking from ear to ear.
Old McSlithers waited for his eyes to stop rolling before glancing back over the fence. He could see that Amy had left, that Bill was already walking away. When he saw Charlie stumble as Bill passed by, he frowned. Feeling sad for his friends and worried he might never be fed, Old McSlithers crept back to the warmth of his deep, dark pit, and to the comfort it offered.
IT’S AN AMAZING time to be working with words; there is SO MUCH going on, SO MUCH happening, SO MANY changes in the marketplace. There is a downside. Independent book shops are still closing. Budgets are being cut wherever you look. Book launches are no longer the grand affairs they once were. Interestingly, whilst e-books continue to storm ahead and print books are heavily in decline, people are reading more because of the availability and cheaper option of e-formats.
The consumer is benefitting all round.
And when we look at what the publishing industry and the media are trying to do to encourage children to read and to write more, it’s nothing but good news. Nationally, TV programme, Daybreak, has just launched its GET BRITAIN READING Campaign, entry to BBC Radio 2’s 500 words competition for children has just closed last week and, more locally, the Rotary Club of Four Marks and Medstead has just announced the winners of its poetry and prose competition for primary age kids for which there was an astonishing 107 entries. It’s great news indeed!
What’s equally interesting is the fact that a quarter of all fiction e-books are now written by self-published authors. Is this because technology has made it easier to self-publish? Is it because there are so many people who, whether they have a family story to tell, whether they have unearthed something terribly exciting, or whether so many people enjoy escaping (for that’s what it is, is it not?) into a world of their own? A happy world? A world where their imaginations can run free?
it may be easy to self-publish. At madaboutnailbooks we are also going down that route – carefully and with much thought. There can be pitfalls with formatting; one still needs to use a specialist. And what about the price? How does one set it? And once it’s up and running, how do self-published authors intend to market their work in what is quickly becoming a saturated market? How do they intend to make their work stand out from all the rest? And what is it about a purchaser of e-book material that makes him/her buy an e-book? Price alone can’t be a factor, so what else, apart from the obvious, genre, could it be?
It’s a challenge for sure, an exciting one indeed. For those of us who have truly found our vocation in the word, in whatever format, we’ve got to make sure we manage to write the kind of books that people want, in a format they can afford.
Now that IS a great subject, a format people can afford …. for another time.
From someone who still loves to hold a printed book in her hands, I wish you all happy reading and writing!
When I first met David Cradduck, I was working as a marketing manager for Guildford and Farnham solicitors, Stevens & Bolton. His company was then known as The Cradduck Partnership, TCP for short. When I think of David and his company, I still think of him as TCP, though TLC might have been more appropriate.
David, Liane, Ann and John helped madaboutsnailbooks to become a reality. They supported us through the creation of our book design, the website, guided us through getting the best treatment for Amy’s illustrations and advised me, in my enthusiasm, against publishing all of our books in one go. This was wise advice indeed.
Our first book, Snail Trail, was a real springboard for the madaboutsnailbook brand. Through it, we learnt lots of lessons. Those lessons were carried through to Snails Don’t Burp! and Snail Park; they helped to oversee the production of the school book, The Secret Scroll.
I am only sorry that they won’t be with us for Slime in Time, holding our hand.
Cradducks gave us tender loving care. On behalf of my whole family, and everyone who has ever bought a madaboutsnailbook, I’d like to send a belated and heartfelt thanks to David and his team. We wish you all much happiness.
It’s been a sad time with designers and printers going out of business. Slime in Time has been delayed because of it, but we are thrilled to hear that we are now able to bring the new book out in the spring!
We took advantage of the difficulties to add another layer into the story. In a way, this has worked very well. Many of you have been asking about the launch date of our next book. I will let you know as soon as the book has been laid out. All I can say for the moment is that the story has benefitted from the delay. As soon as I have some idea of the launch date and location, I will post the details here.
Slime in Time is aimed at primary school readers, though will suit more advanced readers who enjoy mystery stories with plenty of twists and turns. The language is accessible for primary school readers, and, with over 24,000 words and some 16 illustrations, is excellent value at a rrp of £5.99. Orders are now being taken through the website shop.
Chapter one will be posted here shortly for those of you wishing to get some idea of the book’s flavour.
Hi to all the schools and nurseries out there who are taking part in World Book Day or Reading Week 2012. I am looking forward to visiting the Caring Day Care Centre in Godalming this week, as well as Victory Primary School in Porstmouth. Exciting times are ahead!
The good news is the snails are out of hibernation – good news also for all gardeners as it means the winter weathet is coming to an end.
The bad news is we lost a snail during the hibernation period and we are sad about that, but all the others are healthy and are looking forward to their school and nursery visits this week. They will be hungry snails though, so bring in some cucumber!
For those of you who have never met a giant African land snail, then remember that they do have mouths and they do have tongues but ask youselves this: do they have ears? For those of you who don’t know, find out this week!
Happy Reading Week and World Book Day.