Category Archives: Cypress Branches

William has been in the papers!

This post was originally published on acuteanglebooks.co.uk on 13th April 2012

On 5th April, the Milton Keynes Citizen ran a feature on William and Pegasus Falling. Sally Murrer wrote a lovely piece which ran on the inside cover (much to our shock and excitement!). We’d like to extend our thanks to Sally for writing such a lovely piece for us.

The article also appeared on the MK Citizen’s website – www.miltonkeynes.co.uk – and you can read the article online here.

And thanks should also go to Rachel, who attended the book launch, for her very touching comment after the article. I’m glad to hear you’re enjoying the book, Rachel!

We’re hoping for a lot more media coverage over the coming weeks and months, so keep a look out.

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Family gathers to launch Pegasus Falling

This post was originally published on acuteanglebooks.co.uk on 25th March 2012

Four generations of William’s family gathered today (Sunday 25th March) to celebrate the launch of Pegasus Falling.

The event took place at the care home where William is now resident, so that the man himself could be a part of the day. William, who suffers from Alzheimer’s Disease, got into the spirit of the occasion by sporting a vintage paratrooper’s beret – similar to the one he wore as a member of the parachute regiment during and after the second world war.

The family raised a toast to William and the success of the book with a glass of champagne (orange juice for the kids!) and enjoyed the glorious spring sunshine before leaving William to his well earned afternoon nap.

Thanks to all the family for making the effort to attend the party and give the book the perfect launch.

Ebooks vs. Tree books

This post was originally published on acuteanglebooks.co.uk on 9th March 2012

The debate is well and truly raging – what’s better? Digital ink and the handheld device? Or a good old fashioned paperback?

When we published The Cypress Branches back in 2009, digital books were still in their infancy and I never really gave the idea of releasing a digital version any thought. But now, E-books and digital publishing is definitely a force to be reckoned with and we simply can’t ignore them.

The whole E-reader revolution has somewhat taken me by surprise. In only three years, they’ve gone from a relative novelty to a must-have accessory. According to research, astonishingly, 1 in 40 adults in the UK received an e-reader for Christmas last year – that’s over a million E-readers. And just as interesting is the fact that they appear to be more popular with the over 55s than they do with younger age groups. It therefore makes perfect sense to make Pegasus Falling available in digital format and that’s exactly what I’m working on at the moment. In fact, I’m thinking that digital copies will far out-sell the print version.

The quality of the reading experience aside, I believe the key to digital publishing’s success is the cost. Amazon reported to be selling its devices at below production cost, no doubt in an effort to get them into as many homes as possible and therefore sell more E-books. They are, in retail terms, a loss-leader. And the books themselves tend to be cheaper – best-sellers from established names aside, most commercial E-books tend to be in the region of £1-2. That’s no doubt a big sell, and it has made the traditional publishing industry sit up and think.

This time around, I’ve always had the digital version of the book firmly planted in the back of my mind as I’ve prepared Pegasus Falling for print. And a lot of people have asked me why I’ve even bothered printing hard copies when it would be easy enough (and a lot cheaper) to just release it online.

Personally, I still prefer paper to plastic, and I know a lot of people out there feel the same. I also think that there is still a stigma attached to “digital books”. There are millions of books which are published exclusively online every year. Pegasus Falling could have been one of their number, fighting for recognition in a very large and crowded field. But I believe there is still a desire for people to own the actual book and publishing it in physical form as well as online lends a book a certain legitimacy. It also gives people a choice – it’s there if they want to buy it, in which ever form they wish.

This morning, Channel 5’s The Wright Stuff held an interesting debate on this very issue, and thankfully, it reassured me that we’re on the right track in terms of making the books available in both physical and digital forms. Matthew Wright’s guest, children’s author Michael Rosen, appears to be a fan of E-readers, as do the callers and audience members asked – but there were also murmurings of that desire to hold and interact with a paper book.

One question which always pops up is whether E-books will kill off the printed book altogether. I’m with Rosen on this one – I doubt it. There’s no reason why the success of one means the end of the other and I think they can both live alongside each other. There will always be a wish to own books and after all, doesn’t the saying go, “a home without books is a body without soul”?

NEWSLETTER – MARCH 2012

This post was originally published on acuteanglebooks.co.uk on 9th March 2012

Below is the text from the latest newsletter, sent to members of the mailing list on 7th March 2012. If you’d like to be added to the mailing list and receive all future newsletter directly to your inbox, please send an email to newsletterATacuteanglebooksDOTcoDOTuk

Dear friends and family,

PRE-ORDER YOUR COPY OF PEGASUS FALLING TODAY!

There may only be 141 days left to go before London 2012, but booklovers have another, much closer, date to look forward to. Pegasus Falling, the first part of the Cypress Branches trilogy, launches in just 19 days and after a lot of hard work, and what seemed like an interminable wait, the first batch of books arrived this morning from the printers and I am very happy to announce that Pegasus Falling is now available to pre-order from the website. Head over to www.acuteanglebooks.co.uk/pegasusfalling to order your copy.

Pre-ordered books will be dispatched to arrive on launch day so this is the only way to guarantee receiving your copy before the official launch date of 26th March. Depending on how well the postal service is working, you may be lucky enough to receive your copy a day or two early (but I can’t make any promises!). Pre-ordering will be available until Wednesday 21st March 2012 when the site will revert to normal sales. All orders placed after 21st March will be dispatched from 26th March onwards, so hurry to make sure you bag your copy early.

THE DIGITAL EDITION
Those of you with Ereaders will be glad to know that Pegasus Falling is also going to be available on many devices. From launch, it will be available in the Amazon Kindle bookshop. Other devices and ebook services will follow in due course. Links to all available formats will be presented via the “Pegasus Falling Digital Edition” page on the website.

KEEP UP WITH ALL THE NEWS
A lot will be happening over the next couple of months as the PR campaign kicks into action. As I’m keen to keep these newsletters to no more than once a month, if you’d like to keep right up to date with all the news, you can:

Follow @cypressbranches on Twitter and use the hashtag #PegasusFalling to discuss the book with your friends. Let’s get it trending!
“Like” us on Facebook. Pegasus Falling now has its own Facebook page. Search Pegasus Falling, like the page and all the latest will be streamed straight to your newsfeed.
Join the website and discuss the book in the Forum. Membership on the site is free and I’m keen to get people nattering about the book in the forum. Click on “Join this site” in the top left of the screen on the site and get the discussion going.

Facebook, Twitter and of course, the website itself will be updated regularly with news and photos and anything else happening. The newsletter will be sent out every so often with a digest of the latest in case you missed anything.

As ever, please feel free to forward this newsletter to anyone you think would be interested in the book. Everyone is welcome! And feel free to drop me a line if you have any questions or queries – the address to write to is contactusATacuteanglebooksDOTcoDOTuk.

I’ll be in touch again on 26th March to mark the launch day. Until then, best wishes to you all.

Mike Harris
acuteANGLE books

A note on the digital edition: We will not be selling ebooks directly from the website. Instead, we are making it available through third-party sites which specialise in selling ebooks.