Nov 19 2012

Welcome to the future of publishing


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 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.

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).


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 channel here;

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.

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 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

Nov 28 2014

The Elite: Dangerous premiere, a slight delay for Kate’s Fantastic book and more #SciFiHour fun tonight!

Having finally recovered from the Elite: Dangerous premiere, we thought it was about time we shared our thoughts on a Fantastic weekend.

Picture the scene…

We arrive at the Imperial War Museum, Duxford (even more fitting for the event as creator David Braben is thought to harbour Imperial leanings in game) and joined a huge queue of fans, buzzing with anticipation. We have been to launch parties before and expected something similar. Lots of pictures of the product (the game in this case), perhaps a few stacks of leaflets and the obligatory table of sausage rolls… how wrong we were…

On arriving in the hangar (yes, the event was held in a HUGE aircraft hanger that was filled with the cream of the world’s aviation including a Typhoon and a Concorde), we were greeted by signs for ‘Duxford Station’ and a large wall, chopping the hangar in two. Then the sound started. A deep, bass-filled sound that had everyone in the crowd suddenly up on their toes, looking around like alerted meerkats. This was the in game sound of a ship leaving hyperspace and cruising towards a station. Duxford station. It all started to make sense.

The wall broke open and started to pull back revealing lots of smoke, lasers and coloured lights. As the smoke cleared, we were all greeted with the tanoy message ‘Ladies and Gentleman, the Cobra Mark Three’. And suddenly there it was. A beautiful, 1:6 scale model of the iconic spacecraft from the game.


Next came the welcome announcement from David Braben himself, welcoming us all to the event. Here’s where it gets even more exciting. As David was about to leave the stage, our CEO Dan (in full cosplay) found himself face to face with this wonderful man for the first time. He wanted to express his appreciation for the game and all the team’s hard work. He wanted to shake him by the hand and thank him for reigniting his passion for the game after so many years. All he actually managed to say to him was ‘Stay right there Commander!’.

DBOBE Cheque

This was the reason. The Elite community (never a finer bunch of folks will you meet) all clubbed together to get David and the team something for all their hard work. But, as Kate Russell’s thank you speech echoed, ‘what do you get a man who has 400 billion star systems to play around in and who is known as The Creator’? The answer? Nothing. The two forms of ‘nothing’ were a pair of cheques, one to each of Frontier Development’s preferred gaming charities. One is Special Effect (Kate Russell’s charitable book contribution also gives to this charity, more about that later) and the other is Games Aid. Go and check out these charities, they do wonderful work and are always looking for help and donations to help them continue.

A note about the cheques. Each was for exactly £1104.92, making the total fro both £2209.84. This number has a special significance to the community as the 22nd September 1984 was the date the original game was released!

Of course, we had to get David and the Frontier Developments team something to remind them how much we appreciate them so Commander Iain McNeil, along with Jedi organiser Mike Snoswell and a handful of other Commanders created a commemorative plaque. It reads ‘Thank you for making the whole galaxy our playground’. He also received a book of thanks that had been passed around and was full of encouraging and heartfelt messages from the community.

DBOBE Plaque

Next come our superstar authors who, without dear Kate (who was doing some very important TV sofa stuff with the Creator and Michael Brookes elsewhere at the event) did a wonderful job chatting to the camera, talking about their books and generally looking about as slick and professional as a publisher could ever wish for. Thanks guys, you were all Fantastic!

Authors and TV types
We even managed to get ourselves snapped alongside this unruly looking bunch!

GROUP PICNow, David Braben is a high prize indeed, especially to a talented bounty hunter so, channelling her book’s main character Angel Rose, Kate decided to kidnap David for future prosperity. He’s currently chained up in one of our editorial cellars. Strangely, none of the editors have tried eating him yet, they seem content to slowly chant ‘Creator’ and offer him bits of their food and the occasional manuscript. A roaming reporter managed to snap this picture shortly before David was frog marched away…

KATE RANSOMNow on to audio book news!

Kate Russell’s Elite: Mostly Harmless was initially due to be released on the 30th November. However, due to a few last minute tweaks (to ensure it is as Fantastic as it can be), this release will now be delayed by a few days.

Everyone who has pre-ordered the book will be contacted about this in the next couple of days. The book is still available in the store as a Pre-Order so grab your copy today and we’ll deliver it as soon as it is released.

You can order the MP3 version of the Elite: Tales From The  Frontier anthology now and an email will be delivered to your inbox with links to download it. We’ve broken the anthology down so you can take it with you on whatever device you choose, all DRM-free. We have added to the store the remaining 4Gb USB Cards containing the anthology too. There is very limited stock so if you are planning to give someone over 16 hours of Elite goodness for Xmas, now’s the time!

Finally this week, we would like to invite you all to join us on Twitter this evening at 9pm GMT for the next #SciFiHour!  We will be talking about the Elite premiere, chatting about all things SF and generally having fun so please join us by following @SciFiHour and adding #SciFiHour to your questions and answers.

All in all this last week has been one of the most Fantastic we’ve ever had, made even more special by the hard work of the staff, TV crews, the Lave Radio team and multitudes of helpers and volunteers.

We hope you all had a good Thanksgiving, are enjoying #BlackFriday and have a Fantastic weekend!

Just imagine,

The Fantastic Books Team

Nov 21 2014

Simon Fisher-Becker, The Elite: Dangerous premiere and our first Fantastic Audio Book is here!


This week we have more news of Simon Fisher-Becker who we went to see delivering his hilarious, inspirational and informative show ‘My Dalek has a Puncture’.

Simon will be joining the FBP family with his autobiography next year and as we hadn’t seen his show, we decided to go and see it at the lovely Warehouse theatre in Grimsby. The whole evening was wonderful and Simon’s performance (which starts with a loud, town-crier-esque bell ringing ‘oh yey, oh yey’ speech extolling the foibles of us normal folks, as cited by the tabloid press) was absolutely Fantastic. Simon and his partner joined us for a chat after the show and he was as friendly, outgoing and personable as you’d expect from this stalwart of stage and screen.

The show itself is an autobiographical look at Simon’s life and features sections that are both hilarious and harrowing in equal measure. It was nothing like anything we’d seen on stage before and we urge you all to go and hunt down a performance near you and grab yourself a ticket for a truly amazing and educational experience.

In other news, our four remaining Elite: Dangerous AUDIO BOOKS are currently being finalised by Audio Jedi Christopher Jarvis from the Radio Theatre Workshop and we are very proud to announce that the first ever FBA project is complete! Elite: Tales From The Frontier is now available as an MP3 download from the Fantastic Bookstore. The performances of Toby Longworth and Penelope McDonald are stunning and in total (contrary to last week’s blog post stating 8+ hours) there’s actually 16+ hours of Elite audio goodness for just £17.99!

You can order the MP3 version now and an email will be delivered to your inbox with links to all the files (we’ve broken the anthology down so you can take it with you on whatever device you choose, all DRM-free).

Now, very exciting news about the premiere of Elite: Dangerous. The event is being held at the Imperial War Museum in Duxford and will have lots of amazing Elite related stuff going on including a showcase of the latest build, chats with the Fantastic Elite Fiction authors and other Official authors of the Elite fiction, book readings by the authors, interviews with the game’s creators David Braben, Michael Brookes and the team, a Lave Radio recording and lots, lots more. Unfortunately, all the tickets are now sold but if you want to watch the event live then tune in to the Elite: Dangerous feed on Saturday from 8pm.

Kate Russell, Allen Stroud, Drew Wagar, Darren Grey and some of the other authors will be arriving in FULL COSPLAY to the event so get on to your cosplay networks and let them know that, thanks to their inspirational cosplay displays at FantastiCon and LaveCon this year, all the FEF authors have now got the cosplay bug too!

For the past few weeks we have been helping CEO Dan keep the premiere a secret from Gabi and we managed to until this morning so, now that the cat’s out of the bag, we can now confirm that both Commander Dan and Gabi will be at the event!

Don’t forget to join us for the live feed tomorrow from 8pm!

Simon Fisher-Becker’s autobiography, our latest Horror Competition, the very first audio book to come out of our Fantastic Books Audio division, a cosplaying premiere and incredible plans for next year’s FantastiCon event… it’s all happening this year and it’s all Fantastic!

Just imagine,

The Fantastic Books Team

Nov 13 2014

Our first Audio Book, start your FEF Card Collection and a Fantastic new comedy tonight on BBC4 at 10pm!

This week we have news of Simon Fisher-Becker, our Fantastic Elite Fiction collector’s cards are on their way this evening and our first ever audio book is launching on Saturday!

Our Elite: Dangerous AUDIO BOOKS are coming on really well and the first one, Elite: Tales From The Frontier, will be available as an MP3 download from the Fantastic Bookstore this Saturday. The anthology of 15 amazing stories (recorded by Toby Longworth and Penelope McDonald) contains over 8 hours of science fiction goodness in 15 Fantastic stories. You can pre-order the MP3 version now and it will be delivered to your inbox over the weekend. Below are two samples from the anthology so you know just how Fantastic they are;

Here is a sample from Crossing the Line by Chris Booker

Here is a sample from An Ode to Betty Cole by Nicholas Hansen

Now to news of our ACEO collector cards. Many of you have been asking if single cards will be available. For the moment, we are only be offering full book packs containing the main characters from each of the 5 Fantastic Elite Fiction books. We have a limited stock of the full packs and when they have gone, we will be offering the single cards until the next print run which will contain more characters from the books as well as information on planets, factions and items that appear in the Fantastic Elite Fiction. The cards are now available in the Fantastic Bookstore!

Finally this week we have news of our very own Simon Fisher-Becker, who is joining the FBP family with his autobiography next year. Simon stars in sure fire hit comedy ‘Puppy Love’ this evening on BBC4 at 10pm. Go and show him some love and have yourself some belly laughs into the bargain. The info page for the show is here

And if you want more of Simon, look no further than his one man show ‘My Dalek has a Puncture‘ which is currently touring the country. He will be performing in Grimsby on the 19th November at the Warehouse Theatre from 7.30pm.

Want another great way to feel Fantastic? Get out there and show the world’s creative community some love, be they authors (book sales and reviews), sculptors (visiting exhibitions), actors (watching theatre, TV and Cinema) or carpenters (visit their workshop and buy their creations). Supporting creativity is a wonderfully easy way of saying thanks to the thousands of folks out there devoting their lives to the creative arts. 

Just imagine,

The Fantastic Books Team

Nov 06 2014

Kickstarter, Harlequin, Elite audiobooks, Kate Russell interviewed, Fantabble news and Simon Fisher-Becker!

This week we’ve been really busy and have lots and lots of Fantastic news for you!

First comes news of Penny Grubb’s dark crime fiction series featuring PI Annie Raymond. Penny’s books are still heavily discounted during our Crime Bonanza and they have been spotted by a globally recognised publisher Harlequin who have contacted us about the mass market paperback rights for Penny’s fourth novel ‘Where There’s Smoke‘ and have also expressed interest in seeing her fifth novel ‘Buried Deep’. With the company tag line ‘entertain, enrich, inspire’, Harlequin are clearly our sort of people and we’re very proud to be working with them. Congratulations Penny!

Now to news of our Elite: Dangerous AUDIO BOOKS! Yes, that’s right folks, two of our audio books will be available as MP3 downloads by the end of this month. The anthology of 15 amazing stories (recorded by Toby Longworth and Penelope McDonald) will be released on the 15th November and Kate Russell’s Elite: Mostly Harmless (read by Kate herself with a cameo appearance by the creator of the game David Braben himself!) will be joining the audio fold by the 30th November, sooner if we can. If you want to receive these two books before the winter holidays, please pre-order the MP3 versions now to avoid disappointment.

Over the past few weeks we have been helping Anthony Olver in Australia run his Kickstarter campaign to create a beautiful hardback history of the last 30 years of the Elite game. We are very proud to announce that yesterday in the early hours of the morning they made it! $30,209 Australian dollars (about £16,500) and there’s still a full 2 days to go. In a perfect world we would love to get Anthony over here to the UK to launch his book at next year’s FantastiCon. To do this we need to push the campaign up to $42,000 so please help us get Anthony over here by spreading the word and maybe dropping a few pennies into the pot and grab yourself one of the excellent pledge gifts.

Next is news of a cracking interview by Rose Thurlbeck. She spoke to Kate Russell about her life in tech, her new novel and her future plans. She also explains what ‘Elite: Dangerous phantom float’ is and how and why she’s been suffering from it of late. Check out the interview here!

Now, who’s free and in the UK on the 19th November? We will be going to Simon Fisher-Becker’s excellent one man show ‘My Dalek Has A Puncture‘. Simon has recently joined the FBP family with his autobiography which he will be releasing at next year’s FantastiCon so come along and support him as he continues his mammoth world tour!

Finally news of our Fantabble contest. Some of the entries are truly chilling and we have now been joined by professional horror author Regina Puckett who has given us a story for the anthology called ‘Can This Day Possibly Get Any Worse’. Thanks Regina!

So many projects, so many new friends, thank you all for choosing the Fantastic Books Publishing family, you are all very welcome!

Just imagine,

The Fantastic Books Team

Oct 30 2014

Bill Kitson goes dark for the Crime Bonanza and the world reacts to our Fantabble competition!

This week the Crime Bonanza is joined by Bill Kitson’s dark and risqué novel Minds That Hate. Bill’s protagonist Detective Mike Nash has his work cut out as he is charged with the protection of a convicted child killer, but is everything as it seems when doubts arise about killer Gary Vicker’s guilt?

Bill’s crime writing has always been a no holds barred, raw look at various dark aspects of society and his uncompromising writing style makes for easy, if at times uncomfortable reading. His novel is currently discounted to just £1.99! Go take advantage of the Crime Bonanza today.

Now to news of our very first full length book trailer. It’s been live for a week now and already over 1000 folks like it with 6000 views! We think that counts as a successful first video don’t you? So we’re already making plans to create more book trailers. The film studio would definitely help but we’re a way off our target yet.

Finally news of our Fantabble contest. We recently created a video to promote the competition and within a few hours of being live it’s already been viewed over 10000 times! In anyone’s book that’s got to count as a huge success so let’s all keep pushing and who knows? It may be the first video from Fantastic Books Publishing to go viral!

The video’s here and we’d be very grateful if you would consider leaving a comment letting us know what you think. Don’t forget to send us your entries too! The competition page is in the description of the video.

We feel very lucky to have so many Fantastic friends! Thank you all!

Just imagine,

The Fantastic Books Team

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