Nov 19 2012

Welcome to the future of publishing

Welcome_v2

Welcome to the Fantastic Books Publishing website. Our goal is to offer well-informed, friendly advice about how to turn your carefully crafted manuscript into a print and/or electronic publication.

Please have a look around. You’ll find our bookstore, wonderful resources for writers and publishers, a page containing our submission guidelines and process chart (with free download if you would rather keep them for reference), details of our upcoming and past competitions (including a winner’s circle) and some of the more common FAQs that we receive.

There’s also a contact sheet to get in touch and a little bit about who we are and what motivates us.

To keep up-to-date with helpful tips and information about our competitions, please subscribe to our newsletter. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with questions or just to say hello—we’d love to hear from you.

Just imagine,

Daniel and Gabi

A huge thank you to the talented girls and boys at branditarians.com for their work on our website. Their incredible insight and industry knowledge made us feel completely at ease and we LOVE what they have done for us.

If you have any comments/suggestions about our site, please get in touch. We’d love to know what you think.

Aug 02 2015

FantastiCon miniblog #1 – Accessibility at the convention

FantastiCon miniblog #1 - AccessibilityHi everyone!

For the next few weeks we will be posting miniblogs all about our SF and Fantasy festival FantastiCon, each highlighting a different aspect of the convention.

Today’s miniblog is all about accessibility.

Hearing impairment;

Along with the visual extravaganza of hundreds of cosplayers, Deaf attendees have loads to do at FantastiCon.

From gaming and VR experiences, a chance to pilot a Dalek, meeting the stars, perusing the many collectables tables or even braving the NERF war, there is nothing stopping members of the deaf community enjoying everything the convention has to offer.

Thanks to equipment sponsored by Gorjuss Art Ltd, T-loop systems will be in place to allow our deaf attendees to not only enjoy the stage talks at convention but also to participate in tabletop gaming too. Profoundly deaf visitors will benefit from thoughtful stage lighting designed to aid lip reading.

Hearing dogs are welcome :)

Physical impairment;

The convention welcomes everyone and we have chosen the venue this year because over 95% of the activities on offer are happening on one level in the main exhibition space of the Country Park Inn.

Only the Artemis Bridge Simulator is upstairs as due to its loud and smoke filled nature it would have disrupted the rest of the convention. However, if you are able to climb 30 stairs, you are welcome to join a team and join the experience!

With the exception of the Bridge Simulator, everywhere is wheelchair accessible and there are ample toilet facilities (two WCs in each of the two rooms). 

If you have a helper or assistant who will be staying with you to help around the convention, please get in touch when buying your tickets and we will add them to the guest list for free.

Sight impairment;

The convention welcomes members of the blind community.

As a visitor you can expect to enjoy live book readings, live Q&A panels, audiobook excerpts, meet the stars, retro gaming with feedback controllers, narrative based tabletop RPG gaming (with a dedicated Games Master) and hundreds of friendly faces to help get you around the convention.

Seeing eye dogs are welcome :)

When it comes to FantastiCon 2015, everybody is welcome and encouraged to come enjoy the fun.

See you all there!

Just Imagine

Jul 28 2015

FantastiCon is coming and now has a super shiny website too!

FantastiCon 2015You’ve seen last year’s trailer, you’ve heard the stories, you’ve witnessed the awesome cosplayers and excellent gaming tables. So what next?

This year’s event of course!

Since we created the event, we have always wanted one thing to be absolutely clear about FantastiCon. This is NOT a shopping convention, it is a 2 day long Fantastic experience for all the family. From board gaming, book readings, a pilotable Dalek, SF and Fantasy panels, cosplayers, competitions, TV, Film and Audio stars, tombolas and the Fantastic raffle to Virtual reality gaming, a nightly NERF battle and a starship team experience not to be missed, when you arrive you better get ready to get busy!

This year FantastiCon is going to be bigger, better and at least three times more Fantastic as last year! With TV, Film and Comic stars, cutting edge Virtual Reality gaming, book readings by leading authors, Simon Fisher-Becker’s one man show (all in with the price of your ticket), RPG gaming with Elite: Encounters, board games galore, brilliant sellers, incredible cosplayers (all competing to win one of three cash prizes), independent films, the unsurpassed StarFleetComms Artemis Bridge Simulator experience and a nightly NERF war, what more could you possibly want?

Free soft drinks and biscuits for everyone throughout the convention? Oh, go on then!

How about a shiny new website that lists all the awesome in one place?

So here it is, with much thanks to fantasy author and web Jedi John Scotcher (who designed and implemented the site) and our very own Darren Grey (who will be looking after updates and tweaks on the site as the event approaches).

fantasticon.co.uk

Know someone who would love a cracking weekend of fun, excitement, culture, entertainment and education? Let them know!

FantastiCon 2015. Bigger. Bolder. Better.

See you all there!

Just Imagine 

Jul 07 2015

John Harper’s Elite: And Here The Wheel arrives!

John Harper is one of our official Elite: Dangerous licensed authors and as such has already delivered us a high octane, pirate filled roller-coaster of an action novel. Elite: And Here The Wheel charts the progress of the Garry Pirate Clan through the harsh and unforgiving universe of Elite: Dangerous.

Now we are very proud to announce that, after many weeks post production by the Radio Theatre Workshop (with Christopher Jarvis at the helm) and with the addition of an original score created by super talented composer Steve Wilson (Omniboy on Sound Cloud), the audiobook is here!

So, what can you expect? Well, over 8 hours of fully augmented audio goodness, that’s what!

Sound effects, music, weapon, engine and ambient sounds from within the game, all narrated by the extremely talented Scott Ainslie, it’s all there. An incredible feat of sound engineering that we hope you will be as impressed as we are with.

John’s book is available now through the Fantastic Bookstore and will be available shortly as a fully loaded USB card and also as good old fashioned audio CD boxed set too.

10% of the proceeds of this audiobook, as with all his books in all formats, will be donated to the Wellington Cancer Society, a local division of a New Zealand wide charity that helps combat cancer with education, prevention, care, support and also runs local projects.

Thanks John and welcome to the Fantastic Books Audio family, you’re Fantastic!

Just Imagine!

Jun 22 2015

Alan Wakeman’s memoir arrives!

Alan Wakeman

Photograph by Iona Wolff

 

Fragments of Joy and Sorrow – Memoirs of a reluctant revolutionary is a collection of memories and experiences the likes of which the world has never seen.

Alan Wakeman has had an extraordinary life and has experienced everything imaginable on the spectrum hinted at by the title of his autobiography.

Each ‘fragment’ has been carefully crafted over many years and now, in his 80th year, Alan has decided to release it to the world and we are extremely privileged to be able to help him do that.

Buy your copy of Alan’s Memoir today!

From 1966 (where his published career began with English Fast, a ground breaking method of teaching English as a foreign language, influencing the evolution of the TEFL system, making it much more accessible to the masses) to the present day, Alan’s writing has inspired thousands to follow various wonderful life paths be they learning English, feeling comfortable about their sexuality, enjoying the Vegan Cookbook and all manor of incredible and interesting fields.

Now Alan joins the FBP family with his witty, emotional, sometimes explicit and often heartbreaking account of many, but not all, of his adventures.

Unlike most memoirs, these ‘fragments’ are collected alphabetically according to where Alan was at the time and each contains, rather wonderfully, the original thoughts followed by a retrospective paragraph or two which, in some cases, was written over six decades after the event. 

We hope you enjoy this touching account of a life so gently yet so powerfully lived.

The cover contains one of Alan’s artworks, an acrylic piece he painted in 1984 called ‘Enlightenment’.

Fragments of Joy and Sorrow

Alan’s book launched successfully at the exclusive Soho House Private Club on Saturday 20th June 2015 and will shortly be available in all good book stores. Very limited edition copies of his hardback, dust covered first editions are available now from the Fantastic Bookstore.

10% of Alan’s booksales will be contributed to a charity close to his heart. As his heart is so big and so far reaching, this decision will take a little while.

Here are the thoughts of Kate Russell, captured on the back cover of the book;

Kate Russell quote

Thanks Kate, and welcome to the family Alan, you’re Fantastic!

Buy your copy of Alan’s Memoir today!

Just Imagine

Jun 11 2015

Welcome to the family composer extraordinaire Steve Wilson!

With the impending release of our fourth Elite: Dangerous audiobook, John Harper’s Elite: And Here The Wheel – available soon on CD and MP3 download – we thought we’d take a chance to chat with the musician we’ve chosen to bring John’s work to life, Steve Wilson. Composing on Soundcloud as Omniboy, Steve has provide the musical score for this upcoming release, a mix of space piracy, family honour and political intrigue. Christopher Jarvis (head honcho and sound engineering master at the Radio Theatre Workshop) sat him down for a few moments to hear his take on Elite: Dangerous, score composition and the romance of science fiction.

elite-here-the-wheel-cover_lo

RTW: Welcome to the Elite: Dangerous audiobooks, Steve.
SW: Thank you.

RTW: You’ve got quite a variety of music styles on your Soundcloud page – Omniboy. Why were you inspired to write music about Elite: Dangerous?
SW: I’ve always loved film music and grew up listening to various composers such as John Williams, Hanz Zimmer, Jerry Goldsmith and Vangelis. Elite: Dangerous was a great way to focus my attention on the type of music I like to compose and the themes I am most excited about, space and sci-fi. I do compose a number of other types of music but I find that electronic orchestral music is what I do best.

RTW: What’s your history with the game series?
SW: A number of years ago – about thirty in total – I was playing Elite on my friend’s BBC computer. I used to love that game and although I only played it now and again I loved the feeling of exploration and the vastness of the Elite universe. I try to reflect these emotions in my music.

RTW: We found you as a result of your involvement with the Elite Soundcloud group – how did you come across that and was it hard to get included? How might others get involved?
SW: It was actually very straightforward to become included. I visited the Elite forums where Elite fiction and community creations were discussed. There are a lot of very talented people creating some amazing Elite: Dangerous related works. I had listened to a number of Lave Radio broadcasts previously and when I saw the opportunity to get involved on one of the threads I decided to do just that. Allen Stroud gave me a link to join the Elite: Dangerous play-list and then shortly after I had my music as part of the Lave Radio live stream. There are a lot of different composers out there all doing great work!

RTW: A lot of composers in the Elite Soundcloud have very different styles and textures, all expressing and somehow perfectly fitting the Elite universe. Your music is very cinematic, broad and orchestral. What is it that defines that aspect of the game world for you?
SW: A well written orchestral track can be timeless. I guess I’m trying to touch on that timeless feel to an extent with a modern electronic style mixed in. I think the vast style differences in the music being created reflects just how different each person expresses themselves and how Elite: Dangerous, space and the universe makes them feel.

RTW: The pieces themselves have a great thematic variety throughout – do you let the music itself develop, or do your have a narrative in your head to which the music provides a score?
SW: For Encounter I had a very clear vision of how the music would evolve. It was a story of discovery, fear, threat, battle and finally victory in the face of death. I listen to so many film tracks to get an understanding of how to try and create an emotion. Which instruments to use, how to score each section. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t but when it comes together it is exciting. The reflection, or “calm” section in To Come was one of these sections that worked really well. The simple use of cello over voices and strings gives a feeling of vastness and also a romantic connection with the universe. The music in Alien is fantastic, especially the intro theme. I remember watching the documentary about the music composition where someone mentioned the romantic feeling that space can present. For His Journey it really was an experiment of different emotions using basically the same chord structure and overall musical theme. I had been listening to a lot of Hanz Zimmer so this probably had something to do with the heavy drums in the third phrase.

RTW: And for the techies, what’s your set-up? Do you use live instrument recordings or is your work entirely digital?

SW: I use Cubase 8 with a number of VST instruments: Vienna Symphonic, Omnisphere, u-he Zebra & Diva, plus plenty of Kontakt instruments. I recently transferred all my VST’s onto an SSD which made a lot of difference to loading times. I would recommend it highly. Other than VST’s, I sometimes use an electric guitar but only for very basic heavy chords or simple leads. Anything more complicated and I would more than likely hire a session player. If you are serious about producing high quality tracks and can afford it I would recommend using live performers. I can’t state enough how you cannot beat the real thing no matter if that is piano, guitar, strings or vocals.

cubase8_image

 

 

 

 

 

 

RTW: What would you love to be able to do next?

SW: I would love to compose for film if the opportunity ever presented itself and write for a real Orchestra. Although desktop sampling has come a long way, you just can’t beat the real thing. Sci-fi and space musical composition really is the thing that excites me. I would love to do any composition for that type of thing again, whether it be film, TV or audiobook. It would be good to attempt to compose other types of electronic orchestral music as well. I’m up for trying anything. Dive in at the deep end and see how it pans out. The worse thing to happen is you fail.

Thanks for your time Steve, you are clearly a great fit for both the audio world, the film industry and, of course, Fantastic Books Audio!

Welcome to the family, you’re Fantastic!

Just Imagine :)

May 14 2015

Welcome to our newest imprint – Gemini Press

energy-g (1)This week we welcome a brand new imprint to the Fantastic Books Publishing family in the form of Gemini Press!

Gemini Press were originally based in Soho, London, and publish cerebral prose and poetry. 

The next publication by Gemini will be Alan Wakeman‘s Memoirs and we are extremely excited to have the privilege of publishing the accounts of such an incredible fellow. The Memoir will be called ‘Fragments of Joy and Sorrow, the memoirs of a reluctant revolutionary’ and charts Alan’s often turbulent journey through Gay Rights Activism, Veganism and as a revolutionary in the field of teaching English as a foreign language. Much of the artwork used in Gemini’s publications is Alan’s.

The logo of Gemini Press is that of a never ending knot, signifying the ongoing dance of the sub atomic, a subject that interests both our CEO Dan and main Gemini author Alan very much.

Here’s Gemini’s first publication under Fantastic Books publishing;
Hamun and Giben and other storiesOur newest family member, Alan Wakeman, published his collection of fables ‘Hamun & Giben and other stories‘ under Gemini and his paperbacks are currently available to purchase from the Fantastic Bookstore.

Three other publications are incoming very soon from Gemini. To keep up-to-date with all our upcoming publications (including those of Fantastic Books Publishing), please subscribe to our newsletter.

We’d also like to know what you think of the new imprint so please get in touch, we’d love to hear from you!

Just imagine,

Daniel and Gabi

Feb 20 2015

FantastiCon 2015 venue, date and basic itinerary announcement

The second FantastiCon now has a date, a venue and more special extras than you can shake a stick at, and there’s still 8 months to go!

Yes, that’s right folks, it’s that time of year again and we’re starting to crank up the organising engine behind FantastiCon 2015

We have decided to change venue as this year the convention will be bigger and better than ever. We will be holding the event at the Country Park Inn in Hull, right on the river Humber and set in the beautiful Humber bridge county park.

As there are lots of local conventions going on, we have decided to run this year’s event on the 24th and 25th of October. It promises to be a full weekend of fun and adventure for anyone who loves fantasy, science fiction, gaming, cosplay, collectibles, virtual reality, independent films, theatre, the list goes on and on…

So far we can confirm the following excellent happenings with many, many more to follow over the coming 8 months;

  • Live RPG gaming with Dave Hughes and Elite: Encounters
  • Oculus Rift virtual reality gaming with Elite: Dangerous
  • Raffle Mountain returns!
  • CASH PRIZE gaming competition
  • CASH PRIZE Cosplay competition
  • Simon Fisher-Becker’s live one man show
  • Independent film screening
  • Retro computer gaming
  • Join StarWarz4Hire and get yourself photographed next to a life sized Jabba the Hut, R2D2, Yoda, Han Solo in carbonite and more, all while sitting on an awesome Star Wars speeder bike!
  • Book readings from established and upcoming authors including Drew Wagar, Stuart Aken, Jex Collyer and more
  • Exclusive book launches from the likes of Simon Fisher-Becker (his autobiography in print) and Drew Wagar (the first book in his much anticipated Shadeward Saga) and more…
  • The Fantastic Bookstore
  • Dozens of market stalls offering everything from comic books, original artwork, steampunk clothing and accessories to signed memorabilia, Star Wars and Dr Who collectibles and anime, all in the Fantastic Market
  • Stars of stage and screen including Toby Longworth (Star Wars, Dr Who, Elite: Fiction, Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy), Penny McDonald (Dr Who, Elite: Fiction, decades on stage and screen) and Derek Lyons (Indiana Jones, Star Wars, The Shining, Krull, Flash Gordon)
  • Live camera and gaming feeds so our international fans can join in the fun
  • A NERF battle arena
  • And much, much more…

So there we have it folks, planning for the second FantastiCon is well under way and we are super excited to see you all again!

We’ll keep posting various bits about it in the coming weeks and we’ll also be keeping you all up to date on our Twitter feed and Facebook Community page too. Come join the party, you’re very welcome!

And to think it was only last August when we put on what was our first ever offline convention…

Just imagine,

Daniel and Gabi

Dec 18 2014

Kate Russell invites you to join her journey home and A Seared Sky reaches a stunning conclusion!

Two excellent announcements this week folks! Kate Russell will be starting her epic journey home to Slough at 7pm this evening and Stuart Aken finishes his magnum opus epic fantasy trilogy with his final release!

Kate Russell, tech journalist, professional author and presenter of the BBC Click technology show is celebrating the release of the audio version of her book in style. She will be signing into the Elite: Dangerous game and flying her ship, live and in game alongside thousands of other space ship Commanders, to her protagonist Angel Rose’s home planet of Slough. She will be starting her epic journey at 7pm GMT TONIGHT! We’ll be there and will also be accompanying her in game (if indeed we can find her in the 400 billion playable star systems – Yes, we typed that correctly, there are 400 BILLION star systems to play in).

KatesJourney

For the majority of the journey, as her recent cosplay outing the the Elite event in Duxford proved, Kate will be staying in character as Commander Angel Rose. Join her by following her twitch.tv channel here;

twitch.tv/KateClick

Kate has taken 2 weeks off work to make this journey so get out there in the void and join her if you are a player of Elite: Dangerous and if you are not, join her on her twitch channel and help her as she flies across the galaxy trying to stay alive, make credits, upgrade her ship and generally stay out of trouble… if she can…

The twitch feed will have a donation portal and 100% of the contributions raised will be given to the charity Special Effect who do sterling work adapting and supplying gaming equipment for physically disabled gamers. For joining her on her magical journey, Kate will be throwing shiny gifts around left, right and centre to those who are watching the stream too! You don’t have to donate, you just have to be there. Thanks Kate, you’re Fantastic!

Now to our big launch news this week…

The wonderful Stuart Aken has worked for literally decades on his magnum opus work, ‘A Seared Sky’. This trilogy deals expertly with some very prominent world issues, all set against the backdrop of a beautifully constructed fantasy world. The series is set across three titles. They are; ‘Joinings‘, ‘Partings‘ and the final book ‘Convergence‘.

We are very proud to announce that Convergence is now available in the Fantastic Bookstore and will be available as a print-on-demand paperback. It’s available now from the Createspace store and will be available on Amazon in the next couple of days.

EBOOK-COVER
The beautiful cover was designed by Heather Murphy, as were the covers for the first two titles, and we hope you’ll agree is it stunning. Thanks Heather!

As well as the individual ebooks, we are now offering all three titles at a discount, exclusively from the Fantastic Bookstore.

The maps in Stuart’s books were created by him, feature in the cover art of all three titles and are also in both the print and electronic versions of the books.

From epic fantasy to a futuristic mission through space, the next few days are going to be Fantastic!

Just imagine,

The Fantastic Books Team

Dec 04 2014

Kate Russell’s a busy bee, a shiny new release for John Connor and Penny Grubb gets Buried Deep!

Taking 2 weeks off work to make a pilgrimage across the galaxy to the planet Slough? Kate Russell is, and she’s going to be role playing as her character Angel Rose!

Following the success of her recent Ebay ticket raffle where one lucky person got to win a ticket to accompany Kate to the official Launch event of Elite: Dangerous at the Imperial War Museum in Duxford, Kate has decided to fly her character Angel Rose, in-game, to the planet Slough. There will be a live Twitch.tv feed and Kate will be putting out live broadcasts where folks can question her about her novel, her journey and her mission. If you are lucky enough to own the game yet (you can buy it here if you are not) then you will also be able to join Kate in the void during her journey. Ramon Marett, the video genius we have mentioned before, has created this intro video with more details so please go and check it out, it’s awesome!

Next comes news of our very own poet John Connor. John probably describes his simple, heartfelt style of poetry best. He says;

‘I have lived with grief all my life. That’s why my poems come straight from the heart. The words just enter my head.’

John’s first collection ‘Believe’ topped the Amazon listings for inspirational poetry and is regularly featured in the top 100 love poem collection charts. Now, we are very proud to announce, his second collection ‘Believe 2‘ is now available in the Fantastic Bookstore!

believe2 - ebook jacket - tiny

For John’s second collection, given the success of his first, we decided to apply an upgrade and have employed Polish artist Jolanta Dziok to create 10 beautiful, hand drawn pencil drawings to accompany John’s poetry. The collection contains 40 poems including some of John’s most popular offerings such as ‘Butterfly Kisses’ and ‘Letter to Mum’.

John has kindly offered to donate 10% of the proceeds from this new collection to the ‘Healing Hugs’ grief management website, a non-profit charity that helps millions of people deal with grief and sadness worldwide.

Although very popular with the Christian community, John’s poetry is not focussed on any particular group. His wish is that people from all over the world can find peace and consolation in his words and, with time to heal, will be able to deal better with their grief as a result of reading his work.

And finally this week…

International Award winning crime author Penny Grubb is releasing her very first police procedural novel as part 5 of her Annie Raymond Mystery series. It’s called ‘Buried Deep’ and will be available from Amazon as an ebook and print on demand paperback. Pre-orders are now available from the Fantastic Bookstore.

Fancy a sneak peek at the cover? Of course you do…

BD Cover teaser

We absolutely love this cover, designed by Heather Murphy. It really brings home the darkness in the novel.

Talented designers, galaxy traversing authors, world class poets, it’s all happening and it’s all Fantastic!

Just imagine,

The Fantastic Books Team

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