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Old 27th Oct 2004, 23:29   #1
John Self
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Move over Sean Wright, there's a new kidder in town...

S.N.O.T. by Nichol Williams (it's a woman, OK?) has all the right features: crappy hand-drawn cover, misleading eBay listings (search for Harry Potter or Artemis Fowl and you'll find it), doubtful Amazon review ("Ive never laughed so much and i'm telling my friends to get this. I'd give it ten stars if i could.****" - Friend, you just did). The only difference is it isn't self-published. Oh no, S.W.O.T. prefers the "collaborative" author process of Apex Publishing, a highly reputable firm that only a fool would refer to as a vanity press. Look at some of the enticing titbits on their FAQ:

Quote:
How will I be expected to pay?
We offer a flexible instalment plan.

Do you publish anything?
No. We have a reputation to think of. However, we will try our best to improve the presentation of the manuscript.

How will my book be promoted?
Every book has a promotion schedule. Apex Publishing Ltd provides advance information sheets and flyers to specialist mailing lists.

Apex Publishing Ltd also provides the author with advertisements and flyers and ensures their placement according to the author's wishes. The author will be given 50 black and white flyers and 20 colour. The author is responsible for the costs should they require any additional promotional material.
Gee, somehow I remain untempted...

Still, the eBay listings are classic Wrighto-style horseshit.

Quote:
This book is in the fore front of new magical books for this year.

The Pudsey Times calls the author Nichol Williams "Yorkshires answer to J.K. Rowling" The signed books are already fetching £50+ and as any collector will know signed,lined and dated books are even rarer.

Already set to be reprinted, with new and fresh cover, so buy an original 1st/1st s/l/d, before it is impossible to do so.
Quote:
You are looking at a very hard to find SIGNED copy of Nichol Williams debut book, S.N.O.T A sort of cross between Harry Potter and Artemis Fowl. The book follows the adventures of a clumsy trainee wizard called Jebediah Humphries whose parents are kidnapped and held to ransom by ogres. Other colourful characters include members of the gnome mafia and a commando fairy! The book is aimed at eight to eleven year-olds, it has already received rave reviews and press attention, so much so that the book is currently awaiting reprint and a sequel is now been penned. ISBN : 1-904444-24-5 Published 30th July 2004 Soft Cover 146 Pages. The book is NEW and UNREAD it has been signed in black ink on the title page.

We all know what a true first of Shadowmancer, Chaos Clock, Eragon and so on are now worth! Don't wait until Bloomsbury, Doubleday or Puffin pick up on this book. One of only 500 printed (An alternative cover is planned for the reprint) A fabulous read and a real investment opportunity. BUY IT NOW! Still not convinced? Take a look at item # 6933320742 Signed copies of this book are already changing hands for in excess of £50
And how's this for cheek:

Quote:
RECENT NEWSPAPER REVIEW.......

MAGIC BOOK FOR BOYS IS WIZARD IDEA
A LEEDS mum might be Yorkshire's answer to JK Rowling.
For Nichol Williams has just had her first magical children's book published – but, she says, it is nothing like Harry Potter.
S.N.O.T. is the Pudsey office workers first attempt at writing and 34-year-old Nichol, was shocked at her swift success. “It was a bit of a surprise as my partner sent it off to the publisher,” she said. Within a fortnight Nichol had a letter saying that the publishing company loved her idea. Less than six months later, Nichol’s book was in the shops.
Er, yes - because she waved a huge wad of cash under their noses to get them to publish it.
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Old 28th Oct 2004, 11:10   #2
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From the Apex site, a recommendation for one of their authors:

Quote:
Reviews by the Famous and Well Known
Jeanette Mann is a very special, precious lady with a remarkable aura which you can pick up simply by reading her book, Pearls of Wisdom. I admire her positive, optimistic outlook on and vision of humankind. She will succeed in her quest to bring joy to others and to enhance their happiness in life. Jeanette is truly a remarkable person and her work will inspire others to do just as she is doing - to help heal the world.
Uri Geller
~
No forecasts on how succesful she's going to be then?
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Old 29th Oct 2004, 10:13   #3
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More fun from Apex Publishing. Let's make it clear that they will not publish just anything. They have, after all, a reputation to think of.

Quote:
Publishing classifications that we will consider:
Agriculture, Air Transport, Aircraft (Civil) (Military), Anthropology, Antique Furniture, Archaeology, Architecture & Town Planning, Art (Ceramics) (Drawing & Painting) (Sculpture) (General), Astronomy, Atlases & Maps, Bibliographies, Biography (Autobiography) (Biography), Biology, Botany, Building, Careers, Chemistry, Children's Books, Cinema & Television, Communication Services, Computer Games, Computers (Software) (General), Costume, Criminology, Customs & Folklore, Dentistry, Economics, Education, Engineering (Civil) (Electrical) (Electronic) (General), Entertainment, Fiction (General) (Historical) (Romance) (Science Fiction) (Short Stories) (War) (Western), Fishing & Hunting, Food & Drink, Forestry, Gardening, Genealogy, General Knowledge, Geography, Geology & Palaeontology, Handicrafts & Printmaking, Health & Hygiene, History (Africa) (Ancient) (Asia) (Australasia) (Europe) (Great Britain & Ireland) (North Amercia) (Second World War) (South & Central America) (General), Household Management, Humour, Indoor Games, Industrial Chemistry, Language, Law, Library Science & Publishing, Literature, Management & Business Administration, Mathematics, Medicine, Meteorology, Military Science, Music, Numismatics, Nursing, Occult, Pets, Philosophy, Photography, Physics, Plays, Poetry, Political Science, Psychiatry, Psychology, Public Administration, Railways, Religion, Road Transport, Road Vehicles (Civil) (Military), School Textbooks, Science (General), Shipping & Inland Waterways, Ships (Civil) (Military), Social Sciences, Social Welfare, Soil & Crop Science, Sport (Athletic) (Combat Sports) (Cricket) (Football) (Motor Sports) (Riding) (Rugby) (Soccer) (Tennis) (General), Stamps & Stamp Collecting, Stockbreeding & Veterinary Science, Technology & Manufacturing, Theatre, Trade & Commerce, Transport (General), Travel (Africa) (Asia) (Australasia) (Europe) (Great Britain & Ireland) (North America) (South & Central America), Travel Accommodation, Travel (General), Zoology (Birds) (Fishes) (Insects) (Mammals) (Reptiles & Amphibians) (General).
So it looks as though I have found a home for my tale of reptile and amphibian numismatics on the inland waterways of South and Central America. God be praised! Oh, and it looks as though even if you live in South and Central America, that's no bar to Apex's world of delights:

Quote:
We will consider manuscripts from the following countries:

AFGHANISTAN, ALBANIA, ALGERIA, ANDORRA, ANGOLA, ANGUILLA,ANTARTIC AUSTRALIAN TERRITORY, ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA, ARGENTINA, ARMENIA, ARUBA, ASCENSION ISLAND, ATLANTIC OCEAN EAST, ATLANTIC OCEAN WEST, AUSTRAILA, AUSTRIA, AZERBAIJAN, BAHAMAS, BAHRAIN, BANGLADESH, BARBADOS, BELARUS, BELGIUM, BELIZE, BENIN, BERMUDA, BHUTAN, BOLIVIA, BOSNIA HERZEGOVINA, BOTSWANA, BRAZIL, BRUNEI, BULGARIA, BURMA SEE MYANMAR, BURNDI, CAMBODIA, CAMEROOM, CANADA, CAPE VERDE, CAYMAN ISLANDS, CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC, CHAD, CHILE, CHINA, COLOMBIA, COMOROS, CONGO, CONGO, DEMOCRATIC, COOK ISLAND, COSTA RICA, CROATIA, CUBA, CYPRUS, DENMARK, DIEGO GARCIA, DJIBOUTI, DOMINICA, ECADOR, EGYPT, EL SALVADOR, ENGLAND, EQUATORIAL GUINEA, ERITEA, ESTONIA, ETHIOPIA, FALKLAND ISLAND, FAROE ISLAND, FIJJI FINLAND, FRANCE, GABON, GAMBIA, GEORGIA, GERMANY, GHAMA, GIBRALTER, GREECE, GREENLAND, GRENADA, GUADELOUPE, GUAM, GUATEMALA, GUINEA, GUINEA BISSAU, GUYANA, HATI, HOLLAND, HONDURAS, HONG KONG, HUNGARY, IBIZA, ICELAND, INDIA, INDONESIA, IRAN, IRAQ, IRELAND, ISRAEL, ITALY, JAMAICA, JAPAN, JORDAN, KAZAKHSTAN, KENYA, KIRIBATI, KUWAIT, KYGZSTAN, LAOS, LATVIA,LEBANON, LESTOTHO, LIBERIA, LIBYA, LIECHTENSTEIN, LITHAUIA,LUXEMBOURG, MACAU, MACEDONIA, MADAGASCAR, MAJORCA, MALAWI, MALAYSIA, MALDIVES, MALI, MALTA, MARSHALL ISLAND, MARTINIQUE, MAURITANA, MAURITIUS, MAYOTTE, MEXICO, MICRONESIA, MINOREA, MOLDOVA, MONACO, MONGLIA, MONTSERRAT, MOROCCO, MOZAMBIQUE, MYANMAR, NAMIBIA, NAURU, NEPAL, NETHERLANDS, NEVIS, NEW CALEDONIA, NEW ZEALAND, NICARAGUA, NIGER, NIGERIA, NIUE, NORFOLK ISLAND, NOUTH KOREA, NORTHERN MARINAS, NORWAY, OMAN, PACIFIC OCEAN, PAKISTAN, PALAU, PANAMA, PAPUA NEW GUINEA, PARAGUAY, PERU, PHILIPPINES, POLAND, PORTUGAL, INCLUDING THE AZORES AND MADEIRA, PUERTO RICO, QATAR, REUNION, RODRIGUEZ ISLAND, ROMANIA, RUSSIAN FEDERATION, RWANDA, ST HELENA, ST KITTS AND NEVIS FORMERLY ST CHRISTOPHER, ST LUCIA, ST PIERRE AND MISQUELON, ST VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES, SAIPAN, SAMOA USA, SAMAO WESTERN, SAN MARINO, SAO TOME AND PRINCIPE, SAUDI ARABIA, SENEGAL, SEYCHELLES, SIERRA LEONE, SINGAPORE, SLOVAKIA, SLOVENIA, SOLOMAN ISLANDS, SOMALIA, SOUTH AFRICA, SOUTH KOREA, SPAIN INCLUDING BALEARIC AND CANARY ISLANDS, SRI LANKA, SUDAN, SURINAME, SWAZILAND, SWEDEN, SWITZERLAND, SYRIA, TAIWAN, TAJIKISTAN, TANZANIA, THAILAND, TOGO, TONGA, TOKELAU, TRINIDAD AND TOGABO, TUNISIA, TURKEY, TURKMENISTAN, TURKS AND CAICOS ISLANDS, TUVALU, UGANDA, UKRAINE, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES, UNITED KINDOM, URUGUAY, USA, USSR, UZBEKISTAN, VANUATU, VATICAN CITY, VENEZUELA, VIETNAM, VIRGIN ISLAND UK, VIRGIN ISLAND US, YEMMEN, YUGOSLAVIA, ZAIRE, ZAMBIA, ZIMBABWE.
Still, at least they're honest:

Quote:
Important note

We must emphasise that there are no guarantees that the royalties received will fully cover the financial outlay made by the author. It is also unlikely that authors will recover their full investment.
As for the range of their catalogue, why, I haven't even begun to scratch the surface. But my attention was drawn to Freddie Mercury in My Life by Mary Howis, which is not as you might think a fan text. Oh dear me no; brace yourself:

Quote:
Housewife Mary Howis had never heard of rock legend Freddie Mercury when he was alive. Since his death she has known him intimately...from the spirit world. ... In short, he struck up a post-mortem relationship with the unsuspecting Mary which has thrown up a remarkable autobiography with dead Freddie as the ghostly co-author.
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Old 29th Oct 2004, 10:57   #4
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Great photos there. I especially liked:

.
Mary Howis at a recent book signing
.

Right, in her own house, obviously.
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Old 29th Oct 2004, 11:04   #5
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And proof, if proof were needed, that Mary writes a good tale can be found in the Readers' Comments section:

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I completely believe this amazing story by Mary Howis; because I can vouch from my own experience of hearing voices...

Philip King
Next up for the Book Group then.
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Old 29th Oct 2004, 11:50   #6
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Addicted now. Recent Publications include Sunshine & Shadow, the autobiography of Mike Barrymore (no, not that one). Another Mike Barrymore. It's a 100-page rollercoaster.

Quote:
Mike Barrymore has been a maverick and a clairvoyant from a very young age. As he looks back on his life in this autobiography, he has come to realise that everything happens for a purpose, and that his many painful experiences and struggles sparked the spiritual growth that has made him the person he is today – a full-time medium with a deep spiritual conviction, who dedicates his life to helping others, and a devoted father.
I wonder if he used to have 'maverick' on his passport ('Yes, could you change that to clairvoyant please?')?

Quote:
His life, like the lives of many well-known mediums, has been fraught with pain, including broken relationships, custody battles, court appearances, business failure, poverty, betrayal, victimisation, false accusations and scepticism about his psychic abilities.
...and scepticism about his psychic abilities? Swipe me, he fits a lot into 100 pages, huh?
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Old 29th Oct 2004, 12:09   #7
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I love the shamelessness of someone called Jacqueline "M." Wilson (like, er, Iain M. Banks?) publishing a children's book with Apex...

And here's one which pushes the envelope of their wide category interests: Commercial Fishes of the Eritrean Red Sea, anyone?
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Old 29th Oct 2004, 12:43   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Self
I love the shamelessness of someone called Jacqueline "M." Wilson (like, er, Iain M. Banks?) publishing a children's book with Apex...
...and the clipping is right, it is available from Tesco at Milton.
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Old 29th Oct 2004, 13:29   #9
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The book Uri Geller praised above has an interesting self-stated legal obligation:

Quote:
This book is guaranteed to give you the following: Inspiration, Self-help, Friendship, Affirmation, Positive thinking, Spiritual uplifting, Self-confidence, Enthusiasm, Inner-strength, Faith and belief in yourself and Forgiveness.
Quote:
Her first book, Pearls of Wisdom, was published last month, followed closely by the second, out this week, Words of Wisdom, Friendship and Inspiration. And there’s more to come, “I’ve got six ready, but I need to do 12."
Why? Because that pesky bank balance just won't go down fast enough otherwise?
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Old 29th Oct 2004, 13:39   #10
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Be still my beating sides. Here's the best one yet - surely it must be a piss-take?

Quote:
Book Description: Collect your celebrity autographs in this 164 page book.
* Football/Sports Stars
* Actors, Actresses and Presenters
* Musicians
* Models
* Authors
* Politicians
* And many, many more...
Colin Thomas has designed this book so others can start collecting autographs, just like he did many years ago. You can ask celebrities to sign this book and then fill in the spaces at the bottom of each page of who it is, and the date you obtained the autograph.
Spaces at the bottom of each page? Not to be confused, I suppose, with the spaces at the top and middle of each page:



And I love the "reviews [sic] by the famous and well-known", which simply cry out to be quoted in full:

Quote:
I recently opened a new sports hall at a school in Harrogate. Over 100 children queued up for my autograph, and a member of staff said “Thank you for all the pleasure you have given us over the years”. It is on occasions like this that I realize what a very privileged job ours is and how lucky we are to be actors.
Derek Fowlds, Actor (Star of ITV's Heartbeat)
~

I'm sure most celebs are happy to sign autographs.
Paul Barber, Actor (Star of Only Fools and Horses)
~

I think it’s a great idea – the place for the autograph and the rest of the page for comments or newspaper cuttings, etc. The copy you sent me will be given to my 8-year-old granddaughter.
Ricky Tomlinson, Actor (Star of The Royle Family)
~

I enjoy being asked for an autograph. It means the person likes your work.
Richard Briers, Actor (Star of The Good Life)
~

I think autograph collecting is a rather pointless exercise and requests for autographs need to be made diplomatically and with a degree of courtesy. However, the hobby gives unalloyed pleasure to the collector and was, in my salad days, one which I pushed on all (acceptable) occasions and I still have my autograph book brimming with distinguished signatures. An autograph book can be a pleasingly, attractively bound artefact. Mr Thomas’ volume is most economical but a great deal more practical, and offers room on each page to record information apart from the signatures. I have only a modest profile in the theatre but am regularly asked for my autograph; in Sainsbury’s, on ‘buses, in most shops and in ladies cloakrooms… I am pleased to comply but there are many occasions when the requests are not followed up with paper, pen and pencil. This book is more resourceful and transportable, and should be attractive to many people, young and old. Children are usually courteous, and often interesting and lively to meet. Some of them should be told that it is not entirely tactful to shout out across streets “Hey, you! Are you the woman on the box?”
Patsy Byrne, Actress (Star of The Black Adder)
~

I think ‘The Autograph Book’ is a great idea. So often I’m out and about and people come up to me and ask for an autograph, but have nothing to write on except a bus ticket. Although I enjoy meeting people, I know how frustrated I’d have been when I was younger if I’d misplaced the ticket or how when out of context, the signature looks nothing.
The book provides a lovely selected piece of memorabilia.
Zöe Lucker, Actress (Star of ITV's Footballers Wives)
~

It's always a pleasure to sign for anybody. What drives me mad is the people who have loads of the same pictures for you to sign loads of times when there is so many other people to sign for. I wish the book well as I had a autograph book myself growing up and enjoyed getting autographs.
David O'Leary, Aston Villa Football Club (Manager)
~

This certainly seems like a good idea and a worthwhile approach.
Glenn Hoddle, Tottenham Hotspur Football Club (Manager)
~

I give autographs anytime of day or any place. It’s quicker to do it than argue about it. Real autograph hunters have books or pictures tidy, they know what they want. People of any age take the chance to get an autograph. When they see you or meet you they want anything signed, from toilet paper to vests, anything available. Don’t argue - give an autograph!
Jack Charlton, Former Leeds Utd and England Football Player (1966 World Cup Winner)
~

To see the reaction of young childrens faces is a wonderful thing of signing autographs. It is also very humbling to realise what this autograph means to them, that is why I try to response to all requests.
Gary McAllister, Coventry City Football Club (Manager)
~

I always deal politely with any autograph request. The time you don't it will rebound on you somehow. Kids react politely and that’s important. I think your book is neat, and clearly states what it is, an autograph book - for that purpose.
Alan Curbishley, Charlton Athletic Football Club (Manager)
~

Although there have been many autograph books available throughout the years, this novel approach is one which I am sure will appeal to young children who are about to start collecting autographs.
It is an attractive publication of ideal size with an unusual introduction of name and date at the bottom of each potential autograph. I am sure that youngsters will greatly appreciate this provision.
As one who has, particularly in my previous post, been inundated with requests for autographs it is invariably a delight when presented with a pristine page, suitably annotated, on which to write. I am sure this publication will fit that bill admirably.
Craig Brown, Preston North End Football Club (Manager)
~

On behalf of everyone at Arsenal, may we wish you every success with this particular venture and good luck for the future.
Arsenal Football Club
~

Regarding autograph requests; nine times out of ten the timing is right and everybody is very respectful, especially the children. It’s a pleasure to sign autographs if people want them. I’m a serious jogger so I wouldn’t stop to sign an autograph because at my age I can’t get going again! I’m sure autograph hunters do not understand but it’s my only rule. Great idea for your book, good luck!
Peter Taylor, Hull City Football Club (Manager)
~

If any one is fortunate to be asked for their autograph they should always oblige and be as polite as possible, never forgetting that the supporters pay the wages of the players and while players and managers move on support is constant and ultimately the club belongs to the supporters.
Phil Parkinson, Colchester Utd Football Club (Manager)
~

I think it is a good idea and the book has a clear order so that signatures are not mixed up. I do not think any player or celebrity if asked politely would refuse to give an autograph. The book is small and easy to handle and I am sure would be a nice pocket edition for children to collect autographs of their heroes.
David Pleat, Tottenham Hotspur Football Club (Director of Football)
~

When I was a boy, the idea of somebody asking me for an autograph was stunning. Although the feeling loses a lot of excitement over time, I am always mindful of how I felt as a motorcycling fan when I used to ask riders for their signatures and the feeling of joy as I walked away from one of my heroes. The only time I mind nowadays is during a meal when I am out with my family, I feel people should know better and at least wait until I have finished eating.
David Batty, Leeds Utd Footballer
~

No problem! (signing autographs), the test is when they stop asking.
Dion Dublin, Aston Villa Footballer
~

I think that your autograph book is a brilliant idea. I have requests for autographs from all over the world from old boxing fans and film action fans with a request for a photo as well, of course I am pleased and proud that they have remembered me after all these years, but although they send a normal stamped envelope I have to provide a large envelope to fit my photo. This means the stamped addressed envelope they have sent is wasted. I have autographs from Duke Wayne, Joe Louis, Sammy Davis Jnr, Willie Pep, Errol Flynn, Ali and quite a few more stars of the stage, screen and sports. In years to come I can see your little book possibly coming up at an auction house and making a lot of money, as my Duke Wayne signature which is signed on the inside leaf of his autobiography has been valued at seven hundred pounds.
I wish you every success with the book and even at my young age of 75, I am going out hunting again. My eldest son Greg is the action director on the new Harry Potter film as he was on the last one of which he received an academy award nomination. So the first few pages will be signed by the stars of that film.
Nosher Powell, Former Heavy Weight Boxing Champion
Only one question: which of their many categories of interest does this particular publication fall into?
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