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The art of submission

A corridor of mostly grey doors, one of which is red.

Despite appearances, this is not a blog with a ‘fifty shades’ theme. The major source of sauce round here is gravy. But don’t click away just yet.

We have now perfected our new process infographic so you can see at a glance how we get you from submission to publication. Everyone in the Fantastic Books family has had to get through that first crucial stage, so if you want to know how to get a publisher on the hook from the first contact, then you may wish to read on.


What a wonderful weekend break our head honchos Dan and Gabi have just enjoyed at EliteMeet in Bristol. While we toiled in the whirring, clunking underbelly of the FBP Offices, our brave leaders were forced into a car, chauffeured to Bristol by the ever graceful Commander Sam Stanley (he of retro gaming 16-bit Sam fame) and Ben Moss-Woodward, fed the finest foods and press ganged into playing the finest and most enjoyable board, RPG, retro and Virtual Reality games and then, no doubt entirely against their will, given copious amounts of alcohol and sent to bed at one of Bristol's most central and pretty hotels, the Grand.


Obviously as underlings in the cellars we know nothing of 'enjoyment' or 'freedom' but hope that our masters had a good time and they will return soon to continue at the helm of our great endeavour (and possibly top up our water troughs if they get a moment and would be so kind).


EliteMeet is a gathering of folks from one of the friendliest, welcoming and accommodating gaming groups in all the world, that of the Elite: Dangerous fan community.


Review your favourite reads!

Is it enough to purchase a book, read it and enjoy it? 


On the surface the answer would seem to be yes. However, look at it from this point of view.


There are hundreds of thousands of books published every year, millions in fact. They all sit on the usual sites (Amazon, iBooks, Google Books, the Fantastic Books Store) and folks purchase and read them. When a book is considered to be of low quality, either because of sloppy production or the writing itself, it may receive a negative review which will push it down the list of books and lower its visibility on those sites. After a few days that book will sink away from view and possibly never been seen again.


In contrast, if a book receives a positive review its visibility is bolstered and it shows up a little higher in searches and suchlike.


Great! So all we need to do is find a couple of positive reviews and all is good, yes? Unfortunately not. 

Reading Young Minds: The XX Factor

It was recently International Women’s Day, always an important day for all of us here at Fantastic Books and for our wonderful free thinking readers. But the day is bittersweet: we celebrate the amazing women in our lives but are confronted with the stories of those women whose astronomical achievements haven’t been currency enough for a ticket to public consciousness.


We’d like to think that this doesn’t happen anymore, that we are raising a generation whose stellar women will not be consigned to the footnotes. But the recent viral video by Rebel Girls, which has taken the internet by the scruff of the neck, is a warning against complacency. It shows a mother and daughter in front of shelves groaning with children’s books. One by one the pair remove books to show the depressingly small number of volumes left which feature girls as vital, aspirational characters. As the video ends, the little girl asks the off screen bookstore owner “Excuse me, I want to go to Mars. Do you have a book for that?”


Watch this space. It’s about to get interesting!




FantastiCon 2016 - Success!

FantastiCon 2016 has been and gone and what a wonderful weekend it was!


The beautiful Guildhall in Hull was the venue and you guys partied until 3.30am on both nights (mornings). Also, thanks to not being able to get into the venue until 5am Saturday morning (the first day of the event), there was a mad dash to setup in time for the early access backers to arrive at 8am. We just about made it but it was a real scramble at times and the amount of people who arrived early just to help us setup was very humbling indeed.


As it was such a varied convention this year it's really hard to find a single highlight that stood out for me, although Gabi diving out of the NERF war shouting something regretful about wearing a low cut top was one of my personal favourite moments.


Thanks again for a fabulous event everybody, I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did!





Drew Wagar set to Burn the Midnight Oil

AriseOur very own Drew Wagar, author acclaimed for his Elite: Dangerous tie-in novel, Elite: Reclamation, has been snapped up by another of the big gaming communities. The Lords of Midnight!

The Lords of Midnight is very different from Elite: Dangerous but it has some key similarities too. Both games were born into the 8-bit, single-figure MHz technological world of the 1980s, and were crafted by inspirational creators who saw beyond the confines of the technology.


The late Mike Singleton, creator of the Lords of Midnight, squeezed the last drop from the technology of the time, wowing his players with amazing feats of 3D projection, but his real genius was to build his game world of a magical frozen landscape on a background of richly developed lore, and then to give his game players strategic and sophisticated contexts in which to play. It was a winning formula from the off.


The Lords of Midnight is not just a popular retro game, it has been brought up to date by techno wizard and long-time game fan, Chris Wild, who has worked with the Singleton family to give 21st century fans the game on their modern phones and tablets, enhancing the magic that Singleton wove into the original with the advanced technological capabilities of today’s devices.


From the start, Singleton’s world of the Lords of Midnight has been compared to Tolkien’s worlds with their elaborate history, traditions and folklore. So the latest step is no surprise. As Wild says, ‘The obvious next step is an epic novel. I have worked closely with the Singleton family to do justice to Mike’s original vision and we were all delighted to come to an agreement with Drew to author the book.’



Read Drew's own take on the project here.

The Lords of Midnight, coming soon...

Do you want dawn?

Just Imagine


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