Its official, Hague Publishing is now an official sponsor of the City of Rockingham Short Fiction and Poetry Awards 2020. The sponsorship will include a one-on-one session with the Principal of Hague Publishing, as well as a $100 cash component.
Entries for the City of Rockingham Short Fiction and Poetry Awards 2020 open on Monday 7 September 2020 and close on Friday 23 October 2020. The theme for the 2020 Short Fiction and Poetry Award is ‘Connection’. This theme can be interpreted in any way the writer chooses. Further details are available here.
The awards are open to all Western Australian residents, and writers may enter into the following categories:
Over 50s Writer
Word. (Youth category)
All entries will be considered for the Open Category and local residents who enter will automatically be included for the Local Resident Award.
To lift everyone’s spirits on this very wet and windy Monday in Perth – the cover reveal for Ruth Fox’ ‘The Wall Between the Worlds’, the last in her ‘Bridges Trilogy’. Available mid-August.
“Mikhal knows his friends, Jake and Keira, are hiding something from him. He’s got his own problems, though – he’s failing pretty much everything at school, he just punched his best friend, and all he wants to do is play his guitar.
When Sharna Devon is assigned to tutor him, he can’t think of anything worse. Until his mum decides he needs to help out with her charity work. But soon he and Sharna are dragged into the mystery Jake and Keira are working so hard to conceal. Cari is still trapped between the worlds, and Cassidy Heights is in terrible danger. It seems this unlikely group of friends are the only hope that balance between the worlds can be restored.
It’s not going to be easy. What exactly does Mikhal’s music teacher know about Shar, the City of Silver Light? And can they stop the boundaries between the worlds eroding before it’s too late?”
AND as a special bonus all three books will be reissued as paperbacks around the same time.
“The final instalment is sensational! A thrilling narrative that does not disappoint.” Ashleigh Armstrong
“A great conclusion to the series” Brenda, Top Goodreads Reviewer.
A long time ago, Rab learned the secret of the planet he calls home. Now, after years of enslavement under the Feathers, Rab considers an escape with Cloud, hoping to find refuge with the few surviving Top-Siders who still live free in the west. But there have been dire warnings of a new breed of predator in the skies and the Kun, leader of the Feathers, has deployed his human captives to fortify the settlement’s defences.
When the child of Rab’s adopted son disappears and the Kun’s settlement comes under siege, an unlikely friend surfaces and events are set in motion that will shatter perceptions and radically shift the course of the future.
noun 1. a decorative design or small illustration used on the titlepage of a book, or at the beginning or end of a chapter. Macquarie Dictionary Publishers, 2019
I recently presented a session on The Well Crafted eBook as part of a workshop on How To Publish an eBook with Ken Vickery at the Bassendean Library. As part of my session I addressed the question of including Vignettes in an eBook. Vignettes can be obtained at a reasonable price from Shutterstock.com.
The problem with including a picture in an eBook, however, is that it must be able to be viewed on a variety of screens: from phones, to tablets, to computers, as well as on eBook Readers.
As a result we have now standardised on the image required for the printed version (300 dpi) for the Title Page (which is 590 x 270 pixels). The image for Chapter Titles is half that size (ie 295 x 135). For printed books each image has to be separately set.
When including the vignette in an eBook the following specifications are used (unfortunately this is slightly more technical and requires a little more understanding of the html/css interface/. What we are defining however, is as follows:
Width – this is the percentage of the page that is to be taken up by the image.
Minimum Width – this overrides the width and sets the minimum number of pixels, as the picture may be unrecognisable if it is too small.
Maximum Width – this ensures that the image doesn’t pixelate by getting viewed beyond up its original size.
For an eBook the picture only has to be included the once, and then linked to its location below the chapter number on each chapter page.
This is a question that I seem to come back to every couple of years. This time I decided to attack the problem properly.
The first paperback Hague Publishing put out was Barry Dean’s The Garden of Emily Washburn. This was sized at 5″ x 7 13/16″ (12.8 x 19.8cm), and from memory was based on a quick visit to our local bookshop to see what they were stocking. When it came time to put out our second book I thought I’d address it a little more scientifically and approached Google for advice on the most popular size for Trade Publications. The answer was a resounding 6″ x 9″, which is the size we’ve generally stuck to for the last couple of years. However, I have never understood why 6×9 is so popular, because it is really too large for comfortable reading, and particularly when a bookseller friend of mine has pointed out on multiple occasions that that format is not a popular size in Australia, and simply won’t fit on his shelves. So with the impending release of Leonie Roger’s Amethyst Pledge, the first book in a new trilogy, I thought I’d dig a little deeper.
After a couple of minutes work I was able to locate examples of the three sizes in my own bookcase.
In my personal opinion, the 5 x 8″ looks by far the better, so why are people using 6 x 9″. Well, unsurprisingly, it all comes down to cost, and the fact that our books tend to have more words in them than they did 20 years ago.
Wikibooks points out that smaller books lose disproportionately more space to margins, increasing the cost. A 6″x 9″ book has nearly 20% more text space. But a 6″x 9″ book costs only about 5% more than a 5.5″ x 8.5″ book. The result is a 15% cost savings.
In reality the difference in printing costs are negligible. As on 5 Nov 2019 Ingram charges $89.20 AUS for 10 paperback books of 230 pages 5″ x 8″, and only $91.55 for a 6″ x 9″ book of the same number of pages. Taking into account that the 6×9 book can hold considerably more words and there you have it.
In Australia we are also restricted to ensuring that the printed book is less than 1.5 cm, to allow us to post it at the cheaper ‘paper rate’ of $5. If the envelope goes over 2cm it falls into the parcel rate of $11.
I’ve now done some preliminary formatting of Amethyst Pledge and it looks like using the same font size, spacing, and margins as we did for the Frontier Series the 5 x 8″ format will still only require 220 pages, and as we can go to 250 pages we can probably tweak the size of the type up a bit to improve readability.
Hague Publishing is seeking previously unpublished Science Fiction or Fantasy manuscripts by new or established Australian and New Zealand authors. This year we have amended our submission guidelines and ask all prospective authors to purchase a book from Hague Publishing before submission. This is partly to contribute a small amount to the hours of reading many submissions, partly so you are familiar with our list, and partly to support fellow Australian and New Zealand artists.
Hague Publishing was established in 2011 as an independent Australian publisher of Science Fiction and Fantasy. It is registered in Western Australia, and publishes original work by Australian and New Zealand authors.
Hague Publishing is not a vanity press, and adheres to the Independent Book Publishers Association Code of Ethics. We pay royalties to those authors whose work we accept for publication. Authors are not charged for any part of the publication process.
We publish both eBooks and paperbacks. Using Print on Demand our paperbacks are available to purchase from Amazon.com, our own online shop at https://www.shop.haguepublishing.com/, and throughout the world using Ingram’s Global Connect Program. Our eBooks are available through all major international eBook distributors.
I decided to wait three weeks until I had some useful (?) data. If you remember from my last post the intention was to target people searching for Alternate History (or similar) using the Google search engine. The seven findings so far:
Despite specifically excluding search terms
including bookshop or books, and only placing the ads before people search for
Alternate History (or similar), Google decided to ignore my instructions
because it needs to generate clicks not sales (see point 2). Specifically the
phrase ‘books’ triggered the ad in 11,938 cases (nearly 1/3 of all impressions),
and generated 15 clicks (out of a total of 108).
Google tunes its placement algorithms based on
the number of clicks, not sales. I concede that Google can’t actually identify
sales (that’s my job) but its hardly a fair trial of my proposed strategy if
Google does its own thing.
Most of the ads placements were actually on Google
partnered sites (97%), rather than in direct response to a search, once again preventing
me from properly testing the effectiveness of my proposed strategy (see point 7(a)
Despite only 3% of ads appeared on Google Search
13% of clicks came from ad placement on Google Search, indicating that such
placements were 430% more effective than appearances on partnered sites.
In addition, despite only 3% of ads appearing on
Google Search they made up 43% of the cost.
Advertising on a Friday is twice as expensive as
it is on a Saturday, and three times what it is on a Sunday. That is $1.20 per
click on a Friday, compared to $0.61 on a Saturday, and $0.47 on Sundays. OK –
this one was an easy fix, I stopped advertising on Fridays and shifted that
budget to the weekend, which should increase the number of click throughs by
The Google Ads App has way more information than
what’s available on the desktop – which is very weird. Information available only
via the App includes:
Where the App was viewed:
Google Search – 3%
Google Partner Sites – 97%
What the App was viewed on:
Smartphones – 39%
Tablets – 47%
Computers – 14%
The Ad was clicked on:
Google search – 13%
Google partner sites – 87%
I have cancelled Friday’s advertising and
transferred its budget to the weekend
I have a phone conference scheduled in a couple
of days with my Google Ads Campaign Specialist to discuss
I have previously blogged about the failure of online advertising to sell books. My most recent blog on this was in September 2015 and entitled: “Does online advertising work for books?” This blog was based on an IBPA survey, and our own experience in 2014 with a series of blog-ads that cost us $330. For this we got 86,000 views, which gave us slightly over 43 click-throughs, and which in turn resulted in two sales. Given other examples quoted by the IBPA it was clear that online advertising doesn’t work for books.
About two weeks ago, however, I received a phonecall from an
individual working for Google to inform me that because I had registered Hague
Publishing as a business on business.google.com they would be providing technical and artistic
assistance to me for three months to develop and tune a Google advertisement.
That generated a conversation that went for 1.5 hours as John
and I tried to work out what products Hague Publishing produced (Science Fiction
and Fantasy books), and what type of advertisement might actually result in us
selling more books (probably none). However, during that conversation it occurred
to me that online advertising of non-Fiction books such as self-help and DIY
might result in some sales if the search terms were narrowly focussed on those areas
the books were about. And then flowing on from that perhaps people searching
for ‘alternate history’, which is a pretty niche genre, might be interested in an
alternate history book. And so I agreed to advertise my most first book “Nightfall”,
published by Zmok Books.
The first thing was to come up with the search terms that
would be used. This is set by a combination of the ‘business’ and the
services/products being sold. This was the first problem as describing the
business as a ‘publisher’ gave terms that focussed on ‘printing’, not ‘books’.
Changing the business to ‘bookseller’ created more useful categories, although
even here terms such as ‘new books for 2016’ isn’t going to get your ad in front
of the right people. Luckily Google lets you turn search terms ‘off’ which
resulted in me turning off all 221. It was more useful however when I listed
the services/products as ‘alternate history’. This gave me 20, very specific search
As the advertisement links direct to the paperback listed on
the Hague Publishing site, and postage overseas is a real killer I set the
advertisement to initially only be offered in Australia. A further restriction
is that the advertisement will only run Friday-Sunday, hopefully putting itself
before people who are in the mood to whip out their credit cards. In an effort
to increase conversion rates, however, I also updated the listing to include
links to eBook distributors, including Kobo, Google, Apple, and Amazon.
So will this advertisement actually appear before anyone,
and if it does – will it result in any sales? I’ll keep you informed.
The following was extracted from Judith Briles’ guest post entitled ‘As the Author World Turns on Amazon Book Review Policies’ on Joel Friedlander’s The Book Designer. The Blog was posted 21 March 2019.
Authors need reviews on their books. Lots of them.
Once, there are 25, the [Amazon’s] robots warm up. More than 50, expect to see cross promotion: book covers pop up on “like” books … “Customers who bought this item also bought …” meaning that your book cover gets displayed on other author pages.
As your reviews build up (think more than 75), Amazon does email blast, suggesting your book cover with the live link to viewers of the site that have shown an “interest” in your category with their searches. How cool is that?
So yes, reviews do count. Big time.
While Judith has anecdotal evidence supporting her claims about the effect of Amazon reviews the comments under the post make clear that this is a contentious area, and even if Judith is correct, as she wrote in response to one comment: “Guaranteed – Amazon always changes its system. What is good today, may not be next week.”
Anecdotally, however, I just got an email blast from Amazon.com suggesting I might like Melissa F. Olson’s new book Boundary Broken which had, when I checked 69 reviews. OK, OK, Amazon knows that I’ve bought the previous three books in the series, but still ….
Anyway, regardless of how important reviews are, I think any author would agree that any positive review is helpful, and the more the better.