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Archive for the ‘Independent’ Category

The Film Tess has been Picked Up for International Distribution – Don’t Miss the Book and Film Launches!

Tracey FarrenTess Film PosterMeg Rickards

The movie Tess, based on Tracey Farren’s debut novel, has been picked up for international distribution by The Little Film Company.

The film was directed by Meg Rickards and produced by Paul Egan and Kim Williams. It has already won awards and hearts at film festivals, and it will be released on the local circuit on Friday, 24 February.

Read more about the international distribution deal here:

The Little Film Company, a motion picture sales and marketing company founded by Robbie and Ellen Little, is no stranger to the South African film industry, the company previously distributed the 2005 Academy Award Best Foreign Picture winner Tsotsi.  “Tess is a very moving and provocative film and we are all incredibly excited to be bringing it to the world”, said Robbie Little.

Watch the trailer for Tess here:


Director Meg Rickards wrote an article for Mail & Guardian about why she was committed to making this film. She believes it is crucial that women say “No – systemic sexism can never be tolerated,” and keep on saying that as long and as loudly as necessary.

The story of Tess, a young sex-worker, is one that offers a barometer of how dire sexual violence is in our society. It is not intended to be a general representation, but one story about about one woman, and one voice joining the shout to say “No!”

Read the article

Given that I’m a filmmaker — not a nurse, educator or social worker, who would have infinitely more practical responses — this is what I could do about the things that keep me awake at night: make a movie. I have this mad hope in the power of cinema, not to change the world (if only!) but to nudge it. Cinema’s punch, I believe, comes from its capacity to create empathy and on this basis I challenge viewers to take 88 minutes to walk in Tess’s battered boots.

* * * * *

Don’t miss the opportunity to hear the author, the director and the publisher of Tess discuss the story at one of these events:

Colleen Higgs, publisher, will be in conversation with author Tracey Farren and Meg Rickards, director of the movie. Entrance is free. Please RSVP to The Book Lounge: or 021 462 2425.

  • A screening and panel discussion with the WITS African Centre for Migration & Society in Johannesburg on Friday, 24 February at Wits University.

Details to follow.

  • The Nonceba Family Counselling Centre’s fundraising screening of Tess at the V&A Nu Metro on Sunday, 26 February at 7 pm

Author and screenwriter Tracey Farren, director Meg Rickards and lead actress Christia Visser will join Pauline Perez from the Centre for a Q&A after the screening. Tickets cost R150 and include popcorn and a soft drink – please email to book.

* * * * *

Here is a list of cinemas that will screen Tess on release day, 24 February:


  • Bridge
  • Brooklyn Commercial
  • Cresta
  • East Rand Mall
  • Garden Route Mall
  • Gateway Commercial
  • Irene Mall
  • Colonnade
  • Rosebank Mall Nouveau
  • Somerset Mall
  • Tiger Valley
  • Vaal Mall


  • Menlyn Park
  • V&A Waterfront


Don’t miss out!

Book details

Image of Meg Rickards courtesy of PinkVilla

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List or advertise in the new African Small Publishers’ catalogue

Small Publishers' Catalogue 2010 - AfricaSPC Africa 2013It’s time to put together a new “Small Publishers’ Catalogue: Africa”. We feature publishers and services, programmes and institutions that are useful to publishers in Africa and to those who are interested in Book Publishing in Africa. The distribution is via bookstores in South Africa, online from our website, and we take it to book fairs – the South African Book Fair and to Frankfurt and London. It gets to readers, librarians, booksellers, other publishers all over Africa and internationally to those who are interested in book development in Africa. The last edition in 2013 listed 50 publishers mostly from Anglophone Africa, but not exclusively, and included publishers from Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal, Algeria, Kenya, Uganda, Botswana, Namibia, Ethiopia, Zimbabwe and of course South Africa.

For more info about the previous catalogues click here

We plan to bring the catalogue out in March 2016, so no time to waste.

If you are interested in listing or advertising, contact Colleen Higgs for more details.

A listing costs R500. You get a free copy of the catalogue with your listing. The rate card for advertising or sponsoring will be sent to you on request.

» read article

A true history of the trials and endeavours of a small publisher

Chapter One

Once upon a time, not that long ago, a woman decided to start her own publishing company. She wondered what to call it.

One day as I was driving home in the traffic, the name Modjaji popped into my heart and didn’t leave. I knew that this had to be the name of the imprint. It also made a lot of sense to me, because as a child growing up in Lesotho, my Sotho name was Pulani, daughter of the rain. The theme of rain, rain queen, tears, fertility, growth, new life, rain-maker – all of this seems to be associated with Modjaji. The name came to me after I had already decided to publish Megan’s book and Azila Reisenberger’s book Life in Translation.

Since then Modjaji has taken on a life of her own, I feel her presence with me all the time, tugging at my arm, breathing down my neck, and it is slightly disturbing. She seems to want to fly before she can walk. Like my own daughter Kate, she is determined and in a hurry, impatient, and she has very clear ideas of where she is going and what she wants, and I find myself listening breathlessly and feeling both thrilled and daunted.

At the beginning of the life of Modjaji Books the publisher was a little starry-eyed, to put it mildy …

Modjaji Books is gestating her second child. Life in Translation by Azila Talit Reisenberger is almost due to go to the printer and I feel a bit like I’m eight month’s pregnant. Making the book and getting it to this stage makes me think about how publishing is also a work of translation. Translating from imagination to real, realising a book from a sheaf of poems, a novel from a word document that needs work, a pile of pages, some random thoughts and jottings and dreams.

Publishing is a work of miracles and wonder. In an ordinary way, the way that being a mother, a midwife, an airline pilot is working small miracles or big ones that we have just gotten used to. Publishing is a collaborative translation. For me it offers a rush like no other. Giving a local habitation and a name to aery nothings…

She went about her business in a most unorthodox fashion and what’s more she told the world about it as she did it too!

Life in Translation went to the printer, quite a relief, that last bit is sort of exhausting and you have to keep on being meticulous even though you would love to stop. Work as a small publisher never stops. Even things that used to be just for fun are now work. Like browsing in a bookstore. As you will see. The line between life and work is totally blurred.

The other thing is — I don’t see Megan Hall’s Fourth Child in any of the Cape Town book stores that I have been to in the past couple of weeks. So all you readers who care about small/independent publishing/ poetry/ or who don’t mind being a pain in the ass (am I allowed to use words like that on the blog – Ben?) — do me and Megan and small publishing in SA a favour and ask for it, even if you have got a copy and if you don’t – go into your local bookstore and order a copy. Blue Weaver is Modjaji’s distributor, but it seems to me they need a bit of help?

Oh and if there is anyone who would like to review Fourth Child for any particular publication, let me know and I will send you a copy. No chancers please…

And BTW – there is an interesting looking new literary magazine out – have you seen a copy? I got mine at the new Waterfront Wordsworths this evening – the magazine is called Wordsetc. They have a special on subscriptions. Check it out. I heard about it because I am on the Boekehuis mailing list, even though I don’t live in Joburg. It always seems that they have wonderful bookish events on there.

One more unrelated thing – well not entirely unrelated. Richard I bought your book to read on holiday. Your blog posts have intrigued me, so I read up on the book and it looks interesting. I will let you know how I find it, if you like.

These early blog posts give a charming sense of how the publisher got on with things.

Creda delivered the books today, almost a week before the launch. I am thrilled with the book and thrilled that I won’t be greying unnecessarily or grinding my teeth as I panic about whether or not it will be here in time for the launch. I don’t know if large publishers worry about these sorts of things. Maybe there is a designated person to worry – maybe everyone worries. But when you are a small publisher, you are all the people who can worry, except for the writer, and the writer’s nearest and dearest. Although maybe one doesn’t let on to the writers that there is something to worry about.

Azila or Tzili as she is known to those who have the good fortune of knowing her, likes the book, the physical object, so does her family. Another sigh of relief.

It’s strange how there are many books in the one book that we all think we are referring to — there is the book – the concept, the book – manuscript or content, the book – the proofs, the book – the actual, real, physical book and probably many others too? As the publisher – one of the things you try to get right – the real physical book – and then there are always things – if you could have just seen it as a physical book – you might have changed something. But by then it is too late, for this edition at least. So you gotta love the one you are with… as it were. You have to accept that it is a “good enough” book.

The cover looks wonderful – thanks to Hannah Morris – cover artist extraordinaire! Wait till you see it.

The content is excellent, pruned, carefully chosen, polished, shining.

So I have a number of boxes in the front entrance to my home. (Note to myself – need to work on warehousing.) It is wonderfully comforting though to keep passing the boxes and peeking inside. Yes – there they are.

Does this publisher stay so perky and cheerful?

How is this for a small publisher’s hoop? You have to be an exhibitor at the Cape Town Book Fair in order to run an event, like the one I want to do for Tracey Farren’s new book – Whiplash – which is the main thing I want to do at the book fair.

I thought Modjaji Books could just be a Trade Visitor for her first Book Fair. No, you have to be an exhibitor, if you want to host an event in a room. So I register for the Small Publishers’ Pavilion – which wasn’t cheap – over R5000. Not available, has been cancelled due to lack of interest.

The best possible option is to do the regular small stand 4m-squared, which costs over R10000.00 – or find someone(s) to share with.

Every time I think I have the problem solved, I find that no, not yet, and the deadline is 29th Feb, maybe I should have titled this piece leaping through hoops….

Not easy to get a foot in the door of the CT Book Fair as a real player unless you have big bucks.

The Centre for the Book will be part of the National Library stand and from what I gather it won’t be hosting small publishers at its stand, like we did last year. So are small publishers out in the cold or what?

Any suggestions?

The next chapter will follow shortly. Don’t hold your breath though, usually the publisher in question is staggering around with way too much on her plate, attempting to herd cats.

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Wanted in August and Open Book Festival in September

We got a lot of airtime this month in the Business Day supplement, WANTED. Click here to see more or see Scribd document below. Yewande Omotoso (author of Bom Boy) was interviewed, Reclaiming the L-Word was reviewed, as was by Danila Botha. And Alex Matthews interviewed yours truly about Modjaji Books behind-the-scenes.

Eloquent BodyBom BoyHester se BroodReclaiming the L-Word

Also just a quick update, Hester se Brood has been translated into English by the author and a new edition of the English and Afrikaans will be out in September. The English version is titled, Hester’s Bread Book.

Yewande Omotoso has just been participating in the famous Farafina workshop in Nigeria, hosted by Chimamanda Adichie and Binyavanga Wainaina. Reading her very few Facebook updates – sounds like she had an absolutely wonderful time there. The Nigerian edition of the Bom Boy published by Bookcraft is due out soon. We sold the rights to them earlier this year and had the pleasure of meeting the good people from Bookcraft at the Cape Town Book Fair in June.

Danila Botha is due out from Canada, to appear at the Open Book Festival happening in September, so if you are in Cape Town, catch her there. Yewande Omotoso will also be on the programme, as are these other Modjaji authors: Dawn Garisch, author of among many other books, Eloquent Body; Rosemary Smith, author Swimming with Cobras; Phumzile Simelane Kalumba author and compiler of Jabulani means Rejoice: A Dictionary of South African Names; and Jen Thorpe, editor and compiler of My First Time: Stories of Sex and Sexuality from Women like you as well as Sarah Britten, possibly Karabo Kgoleng, and some of the other contributors as well. Kelwyn Sole (Absent Tongues) will also be featured.

WANTED Books Pages – August 2012

Book details

eBook options – Download now!

eBook options – Download now!

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Notes from a Frankfurt Book Fair first-timer

I was fortunate to attend the Frankfurt Book Fair as a participant in their Invitation Programme from the 7th to the 17th October. The person who did all the organisation for us was Corry von Mayenburg, who has been to the Cape Town Book Fair a few times. She and her team were incredibly well organised, accommodating, kind, and responsive.


1. Spending ten days with ‘my people’, other small and/or activist independent publishers, (quite a few of whom are also writers, even poets!) from all over the “South” or the developing world. It was incredible not having to do any small talk but to leap straight into intense discussion, joking, riffing, telling stories, teasing gently, playing games with language and meaning, as though we had known each other all our lives. There was lots of shop talk too: print runs, contracts, how to sell rights, book design, dealing with authors, leads for selling rights, publishing mistakes and how to fix them, who we get to do our covers, using up extra card in a print run to make post cards or bookmarks or invitations, distribution issues and how to solve them, industry gossip from mainstream connections, stories about our work.

The other publishers came from North Africa, Tunisia, Morocco, Egypt; West Africa – Senegal and Togo; Central Africa – Uganda, Middle East – Syria and Lebanon. Central and South America – Venezuela, Costa Rica, Puerto Rico, Nicaragua, Argentina and Peru. South Africa (me) and Zimbabwe. Asia: India, Iran, Bhutan, Cambodia and Singapore. Eastern Europe – Croatia and Romania. As I was an AFS foreign exchange student in 1980/81 this Frankfurt experience reminded me of AFS, the part of meeting people form other countries and forming friendships quickly and easily. It turned out that Oscar Castillo from Costa Rica had also been an AFS student though a few years before me.

Hermann Kesten Prize of German P.E.N. for Egyptian publisher Mohamed HashemThe publisher from Egypt, Mohamed Hashem, had been part of the Invitation Programme twice before is to receive the Herman Kesten Prize of the German P.E.N. – some of us attended the press conference where he and a publisher from Belarus were interviewed about their work. Hashem together with the famous writer Ibrahim Mansour, started Merit Publishing House. He and Merit have been honoured several times for their courageous work. And this year he lived through the Egyptian revolution, from Merit’s offices just off Tahrir Square. Read more about Mohamed Hashem here

2. Walid Soliman told about his first hand experience of living through the revolution in Tunisia and he gave us a background of what life in Tunisia has been like up to and post the revolution. Needless to say it has been a tough time as a publisher. The elections are happening as I write this, it remains to be seen what will happen, because even though they are rid of the old regime, it is not yet clear how the dust will settle.

3. Meeting two feminist press publishers (Susan Hawthorne from Spinifex – also a poet) and Urvashi Butalia from Zabaan Books in India and reconnecting with Hilda Twongyeirwe from Femrite in Uganda. I participated in a writers’ retreat in Kampala in 2008, which I wrote about here and here and in Home Away.

4. It was wonderful to see Bibi Bakare-Yusuf again, the driving force behind Cassava Republic Press from Nigeria. I met her a couple of years ago, just before the first Jozi Book Fair and then again at the Cape Town Book Fair. We have made plans to share ideas, strategies and find ways to collaborate.

5. The Weltempfang or Centre for Politics, Literature and Translation hosted a translation seminar in which a translator sat at a desk and did a live translation in front of a smallish relaxed audience. The book she was translating from English into German was The Fault of our Stars by John Green.

We also had various welcomes and farewells and events at the Weltempfang, a feast of talks and events, PEN related, social justice and the role of the writer and publisher in society, translation.

6. Speaking to publishers, agents and translators who were interested in Modjaji books, and finding I had polished up my “elevator pitch” in talking about Modjaji and about several authors and their books, in a way that made them sound sexy and saleable and fabulous. I realised that the pressure and intensity of Frankfurt ‘forced’ me to re-invent myself as someone much more confident, with the gift of the gab!

7. Learning about publishing issues from experienced German publishers and industry experts – including a book designer who is also the Director of the Stiftung Buchkunst (see below), a literary agent, rights specialists and a social media marketing campaign manager.

8. The exhibition of best designed books. I took pictures with my phone to remind me of some of the things I saw. This complemented the presentation we received from Uta Schneider, Executive Director of Stiftung Buchkunst (Book Art Foundation) based in Frankfurt and Leipzig. The books on exhibition were selected for typography, book-design, and book production.

Let’s have a book design award here, I think the folk at the Frankfurt Book Fair would be only too delighted to assist us in setting one up. I think it is a way of drawing attention to design, and promoting good design. We can think about our context and what kind of books we would like to reward. Well designed books don’t have to be expensive, they have to be thought about with imagination and creativity. We do already have very beautiful and imaginative books. It would be a way of drawing attention to books in a new way. Come on, let’s do this, South African Book Trade!

9. Lots of new publishing ideas, some of which might actually make some money; making new connections with people; things to follow up on, cool gifts for my daughter from the Gutenberg Museum which had a stand at the Fair.

10. Meeting people who were really interested in Modjaji’s books and were eager to meet and connect and find out if we might do business. (I also loved how people’s eyes would light up and say “Mandela?” when they heard I was from South Africa.)

11. Going all the way to Frankfurt to meet Libby Doyle who lives in Cape Town and having breakfast with Arthur Attwell at the hotel, and hearing more about his Paperight project.

1. Hall 8 on the first day of the Book Fair, it was like ADHD on steroids. And every book name or institution you have ever heard of in the English book world was there. I had an appointment with a publisher at the reception of HarperCollins. She got the date mixed up, so she didn’t turn up the first day. I felt like I would be moved along and wasn’t sure how long to wait so I didn’t seem desperate. A bit like a blind date in a new culture – what are the rules?

2. Making appointments, taking the risk of approaching a publisher, agent or scout, and then pitching a particular title

3. Realising again and forcefully what a tiny fish Modjaji Books is, and what a tiny pond South Africa is in the global context, and yet … it was also comforting, and a reminder to “think global, and act local”.

1. The Iceland exhibition – in which Iceland as the Guest of Honour to the Fair offered something special, quiet time, a space to reflect and calm down. I loved the video installation cube that you can stand inside or lie down inside of, and experience Iceland – made me think of the movie The Tree of Life, and of Viking and Nordic myths and legends, of Ygdrassil, and of Iceland as the place where the umbilical cord or navel of the planet is, that connects the deep fiery interior with the surface of the earth, ice and fire, the northern lights, and hot geysers gushing out exhaling.

Another aspect of the exhibition was the way the rest of the space was made up, like several living rooms or libraries, furnished with couches, tables, bookshelves, muted lighting and the walls were large posters of people reading, until you realised that the posters were alive, and you could see the people’s eyes blink and a hand turn a page. Now and then a new person would start reading in a language unfamiliar to me. I rediscovered from a new perspective, the quiet joy of reading, by being able to watch these quiet, peaceful people reading.

I loved the range and beauty of the books on the Iceland exhibition and the tables at which you could sit down and read them, paging through books of wild looking ponies, remote hillsides with little if any evidence of human existence. I could have spent all day, or many days there.

It seems apt that Iceland was the Guest of Honour at the Frankfurt Book Fair this year.

2. I went twice to see the Twitter installation

13.10.2011, Installation at the Frankfurt Book Fair
KMS TEAM is the curator of an installation by Christopher P. Baker entitled “Murmur Study”, currently on display at the Frankfurt Book Fair in cooperation with Audi. The installation is an artistic exploration of the topic of networking. It consists of 132 thermal printers connected to a computer. A program written by the artist searches the social network Twitter for selected terms, such as “dialogue”, “idea” and “literature”, as well as emotional elements like emoticons. The corresponding tweets are then printed. This process creates a work of art that reflects what inspires and connects people around the world
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3. Being outside in the fresh, sometimes chilly air after too many hours indoors, in air-conditioned halls. I loved the stands selling Bratwurst and Beer outside, where you could join others taking a moment to eat and relax. You could also get pancakes with Nutella filling, I know some writer friends who would have loved that.

4. Wolf Hingst – My family had a foreign exchange student, Wolf Hingst, from Germany, to stay in 1985. I was at UCT and doing my H Dip Ed, sharing a flat in Rondebosch. I’d lost touch with him and in fact hadn’t seen him since 1985. Well the week before I left for Frankfurt I got an email from Wolf. He found me on Facebook while on the train during his regular commute, and he wrote to me. I was able to say that I would be in Germany in a week’s time. Amazingly he came by train from Hanover to see me. We clicked immediately and had a wonderful intense conversation. I hope to stay connected to Wolf now. He was able to explain lots of fascinating bits of German culture for me, also because he knows what South Africa is like. I learnt about German media and ‘verreine’ – co-operatives or associations that are at the heart of German social, cultural and sporting life.

Frankfurt Book Fairies

5. I loved the Carnival atmosphere of the Frankfurt Book Fair on the two public days when the young people come dressed up as fictional characters, many from Manga, but not only. I think there might be something that we, the SA book trade could pick up on? Allow young people free into the Cape Town Book Fair if they dress up as fictional characters? Or even the Book Lounge or Jozi Book Fair?

1. The amazing generosity of the German government and Litprom in bringing 23 publishers to get a foot in the door of the biggest and best Book Fair in the world.
2. In Frankfurt, the mixture of very old and new buildings, the understated details in buildings.
3. Seeing South African wine in a small neighbourhood supermarket.
4. The trains, run on time and are clean and fast and fabulous. We stayed 18kms away from the Book Fair and it took about 35 minutes to get between the hotel and the Fair.
5. The breakfast at the hotel, Bircher muesli and fresh fruit every morning, and many other delicious foods.
6. The Bauhaus style apartment buildings and orderly, well planned and well designed architecture.
7. The allotments alongside the railway track, carefully tended and fertile.
8. The forests that are still in evidence, especially near the Park Hotel and the patchwork of well cultivated fields of dark soil that you see from the train on the way to and from the “Messe” (Fairgrounds).
9. The Beer and the Riesling (sausages and sauerkraut not as much)

1. The collective presentation of titles from small and author publishers “Founded in 1979, the Group promotes small publishers without whose creativity and dedication the cultural diversity of books in Germany would not be possible in its present form” (from the Pocket Guide to the Fair).
2. The Comics Centre
3. The International Library Centre
4. The Booksellers Centre
5. The Children’s Book Forum
6. Some of the many discussions about Digital Publishing, Mobile publishing, and Digital rights.

For more photos have a look here and here.

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Modjaji Books at Cape Town Book Fair 2010

Come and visit Modjaji Books at Stand J6 at this year’s CTBF. We have published 9 new titles since last year’s Book Fair, all of which will be on sale at a special Cape Town Book Fair discount of between 10 and 25% off the recommended retail price.

New authors include Meg Vandermerwe, Arja Salafranca, Jane Katjavivi, Phillippa Yaa de Villiers, Beverly Rycroft, Hester van der Walt, Melissa Butler. New titles include The Bed Book of Short Stories, Undisciplined Heart, The Thin Line, This Place I Call Home, Hester se Brood, The Small Publishers’ Catalogue, The Everyday Wife, Missing and removing.

Modjaji Books has organised 4 events at the Book Fair this year. A first for us and for the Cape Town Book Fair is the Pick n Pay demo kitchen space; Hester van der Walt will be demonstrating the making of French Baguettes. Hester’s slot is on Monday 2nd August at 12h00. Her book Hester se Brood will be on sale at this event and at Stand J6.

Three more events

Saturday 31 July, 12 to 12.45 at the Poetry Cafe: A panel on women’s fiction: Tracey Farren will be in conversation with Fiona Snyckers, Cynthia Jele, Rosie Kendal looking at chick lit and women’s fiction, are they the same or different? Who are these authors writing for?

Sunday 1 August, 1.00 to 1.45 at the Poetry Cafe: Panel on autobiography and memoir: Jane Katjavivi, author of Undisciplined Heart (from Namibia) and Sindiwe Magona will be in discussion with me (Colleen Higgs) about what it is like to write about your life and to see your own story go out into the world and be read by strangers, friends and family.

Monday 2 August, 12.00 to 12.45 at the Poetry Cafe: Panel on short stories chaired by Ben Williams of BookSA, who will be in conversation with Arja Salafranca, Sarah Lotz, Meg Vandermerwe, Louis Greenberg and Henrietta Rose-Innes. They will look at short stories in South Africa today…

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A few of the hundreds of mistakes a publisher can make

I put this up on Facebook first, but the response both on the blog and in my Inbox was so rivetting I decided to publish it here on Book SA too. Sometimes I wonder why I decided to go into publishing, using my own money when it is a business that is so fraught with so many hundreds of places where you can go wrong. There is always a new possible error, mistake, blunder, oops, disaster. Some cost money, some cost face. It’s a business that keeps you humble and on your toes. Here are a few of the errors, please feel free to add your own, unless of course you have never experienced any. In which case, go away, this is not for you…

1. Allocate a previously allocated ISBN to a book
2. Allocate the right ISBN but the book is printed with the incorrect barcode/ISBN so that the ISBN on the imprint page and the back of the book aren’t the same and you have an incorrect ISBN on the book
3. Random blank pages in the book
4. Spell the author’s name incorrectly on the cover
5. tTypos
6. Book can be bound so that the pages fall out
7. Book can have sections wrongly bound together so page numbers are out of sequence
8. Printing not good enough, too light, pixellating happens
9. Badly bound so it looks like a cat has eaten the book inside out
10. Incorrect printer in imprint page
11. Forget to acknowledge a donor
12. Not have wide enough inside margins (gutters)
13. Spine incorrectly aligned
14. Spine not wide enough
15. Spine too wide
16. Spelling error in blurb
17. Incorrect no of pages in catalogue or in bookdata sapnet database or book incorrectly paginated in some way
18. Publish a book that the reps don’t want to sub or that shops don’t want to stock
19. Print too many copies of a book, way too many
20. Budget according to an old specification that has now changed to a more expensive one
21. Misplace an invoice book so you can’t work out the royalties correctly
22. Give authors too big a discount and thus run into cash flow problems
23. Pay authors their royalties in books
24. Think that if you go with a cheaper printer, the whole job will cost less
25. Think that if you go with a big, established printer that you will definitely get excellent service
26. Put the wrong printer’s name in the imprint page
27. Get some facts wrong in the book

If you want to follow the discussion that has already happened on my Facebook post have a look here

I haven’t made all of these blunders, although I have come close to doing all of them, but I’ve made enough of them to have very grey hair, a constant sense of anxiety and a highly developed sense of humour.

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Small & indie Pan African publishers catalogue – call for advertising

NIPPA or the Network of Independent Publishers Pan-Africa is looking for likely prospects to sponsor and/or advertise in our Small and Indie Publishers’ 2010 Catalogue. This Pan-African publication network aims at sharing knowledge about publishing and distribution in African countries.

Modjaji Books on behalf of NIPPA has undertaken to compile and produce a catalogue of small literary and trade publishers in Africa. It is our aim to have the catalogue ready in time to represent small publishers at the London Book Fair in 2010. As most people in the book world in South Africa know, the London Book Fair has selected South Africa as its 2010 market focus country. South Africa’s publishing industry will be front and centre; showcasing publishers, books and authors over the Fair’s three days.

We propose to publish the catalogue in a directory format, in black and white on glossy paper. The size of the catalogue will be A6: 105 x 148 mm

The costs of advertising in the catalogue are:

For Inside Back Cover and Inside Front Cover: R2000
For Back Cover: R5000

For a Full page advertisement inside: R2000
For a Half page: R1200
For a Quarter page: R600
To Sponsor a Page
(narrow banner ad across the bottom of a page): R300

All advertisements will be in black and white, except inside and back covers.

All of the above prices include VAT

If you would like to advertise in the catalogue, please contact me at cdhiggs AT or if you have suggestions of likely candidates for sponsorship or advertising, please let me know.

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