Saturday, 7 December 2013

Small Business Saturday

Today is Small Business Saturday, a day to support (obviously) small business whether locally in your High Street, or online both now and in the future.

It's a struggle to survive whatever sector of the economy you're involved in - manufacturing, retailing or as in our case, publishing. The competition from the big beasts in the form of multi-national supermarket chains or huge media empires is intense and small outfits like ours can't access the benefits in terms of economies of scale or the enormous power over suppliers that the major operators have.

But we're all necessary - from the family business, the sole trader, the local shop or (as in our case) the independent online retailer. The customer and - in the long run - the industry generally needs us. In Darwinian terms, we're what keeps the gene pool healthy!

So spare a thought this Saturday for small businesses. And, if you can, keep us in your mind throughout the year.

The high street (and the internet and people's bookshelves) would be a poorer place without us!

(Just a reminder you can buy all our titles direct from us, either from stock or - where an initial print-run is exhausted - through our print-on-demand partners, Lulu.Inc. And all proceeds from the sale of our books go to charity. So far - thanks to you - we have been able to support mental health charities Young Minds and SANE as well as the BBC Children in Need Appeal.)

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Dandelions and Bad Hair Days

Today is World Mental Health Day and to mark the occasion, we are pleased to announce the launch of our latest book. Dandelions and Bad Hair Days is an anthology of writing about, as a response to and resulting from mental health issues. Edited by Suze Grogan, the book includes poetry, prose and photographs and all proceeds from the sale of the book are to be donated to the mental health charity, SANE. It can be bought direct from the Dotterel Press website and will be on sale tonight at the launch party, to be held at Brendon Books in Taunton, starting at 7p.m.

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Who Let the Dads Out?

Looking for something different for Father's Day? Why not get dad blogging? Inspire him with this anthology of the best of dad-blog writing, edited by Tom Briggs. He writes...

You know how people sometimes have daft ideas? Well I had one soon after I started blogging. Realising that there were relatively few male representatives in the parent blogging community, the idea of creating an anthology of posts by dads popped into my head.

I promptly forgot all about it until I bumped into well-known blogger and all-round top bloke, Tim Atkinson, at the MAD Blog Awards and found myself blurting out the idea, probably in an effort to impress him. To my amazement, Tim thought it was a good idea so, naturally, we then forgot about it again for a little while.

Then, with Christmas 2011 fast approaching, Tim got in touch and asked if I fancied putting our plan into action; Who Let the Dads Out? was born. The premise was simple; some 20 odd dad bloggers chose their favourite posts to go in this anthology, I edited it and Tim published it. In little over a fortnight, all said. It was hard work, but we're really pleased with it and are confident that you'll like it too.

You can order your copy right here for a little over a fiver. With so much fantastic writing talent between its covers, we reckon that's a bargain price!

This content requires Adobe Flash Player version 8.0.0 or greater. Get Flash

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Foyle Young Poets Awards

The Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award 2011 DEADLINE is fast approaching. The closing date for a chance to be discovered is 31st July 2011.

The Foyle Young Poets Awards is open to writers worldwide aged 11-17. Last year they had over 20,000 entries (a huge increase from 2009 where there were around 14,000 - which was itself an increase from previous years) and a number of international winners from such places as Athens, Mauritius and the US, who managed to attend the prize giving ceremony in October 2010 as part of National Poetry Day.

This year's judges, following previous ones including Lemn Sissay, Luke Kennard and Jane Draycott, are Glyn Maxwell and Imtiaz Dharker.

Last year's judges, Luke and Jane, commented on the winning poems that there was a distinctly musical, rhythmic element perpetuating their work, a theme strengthened by the fact that the survey carried out recently by the Poetry Society revealed an intrinsic relationship between the young poet's musical tastes and their poetic style. Bob Dylan was named by far and away as the most influential musician in terms of their poetry. And as one of this year's judges, Glyn Maxwell, says: "The best young poets remind me how to have no fear, how to make awe seem cool, how to know nothing again, like the best poets do. I simply know that we will find some born writers."

Individuals can enter online or download an individual postal entry form while Teachers can download a class set entry form.

Thursday, 3 March 2011

World Book Day Writing Competition

Today is World Book Day, and we're marking the occasion by unveiling our first ever writing competition. It's for children, it's free to enter and we're planning not only on awarding a prize for the winner (plus two runners up) but to publish all the best submissions in a special World Book Day anthology.

There are any number of events this year from performances by Welsh schoolchildren of Roald Dahl's Revolting Rhymes at the Millennium Centre to a 'Human Library' day at Birmingham Central Library. And the dressing up of primary school children as various book characters seems to have become an annual event up and down the country, all in the cause of getting children reading. And if your children are inspired by reading, why not encourage them to have a go at writing? Children are often natural story-tellers; part of play involves the creation of imaginary worlds with accompanying narratives and we're trying to capture the spirit by providing an incentive to get writing.

There's no limit - other than your child's imagination - to the subjects he or she can write about, but we are limiting the number of entries to three per child. And by child, we're taking entries from everyone up to (and including) the age of 16.The closing date is 1st September 2011, and we're asking for submissions by email ( with 'World Book Day Writing Competition' in the subject line at any time up to that date. Please include your child's story either in the body of the email or as an attachment, and include their name and date of birth, plus the name of the school they attend.

And finally, please help spread the word. We want as many children as possible to be able to take part, to have a chance of winning a prize and be published in the conmpetition anthology. There's no entry fee, and proceeds from the sale of the anthology will help support future World Book Day events and giveaways.

Monday, 14 February 2011

Now available on the Kindle!

Small publishers like ours can never hope to compete with the 'big boys' in terms of paperback and hardback sales. We can't afford the discounts, the distribution fees or the 'sweeteners' to get our books into the likes of Waterstones. (Did you know it can cost several thousand pounds to get a major bricks-and-mortar bookstore to sell your book? And then, it has to be so heavily discounted that costs are barely covered.)

The problem is, unless readers see your book, they can't buy it. And they buy books they see. And here's a question posed recently by Joe Konrath: is a book a bestseller because it's good, or because people can buy it? What makes a bestseller? And who decides? As Joe puts it, 'I don't believe an author becomes a bestseller, and then becomes available everywhere. I believe an author is available everywhere, and that's why they're a bestseller.' It's a chicken-and-egg situation, and one that's been determined by the traditional gatekeeper - the publisher.

But with the advent of the e-book, the playing field is starting to level out quite nicely. Ebooks ARE available everywhere - at least to those with a suitable ebook reader - and on the biggest online bookstore in the world - Amazon. And - as recently reported with varying degrees of trepidation recently - sales of ebooks on Amazon outstripped those of paperbacks for the first time ever.

So we're pleased to announce that our first two titles are now available in ebook format - which means, of course, everywhere and on the same terms as those applied to everybody. Click the links below if you're interested in having a look - you can try before you buy, too. And if you haven't got a Kindle, don't worry: the books are formatted for the Kindle app on the iPad, iPod and iPhone too.

Monday, 7 February 2011

An exciting opportunity!

Are you an aspiring author? Would you like some help polishing your writing? Do you want to find out more about the Holy Grail of getting published? Maybe you'd like to receive some mentoring from a published author, someone with experience both as a teacher and as a writer, someone who could give you the benefit of supportive criticism to help your development as a writer?

If you've answered 'yes' to any of the above questions, then you might be interested in our special offer. You'll have heard, no doubt, of Tiny Acorns, the course anthology of new writing that was generated by the e-course offered by Tim Atkinson last year. What you might not realise is that the entire course - all ten lessons - in printed in the book as an Appendix. Now when the course first ran, students were allocated to on-line peer mentoring groups where they could submit their work and receive feedback from their fellow students. But although the course includes all the writing exercises that the would-be authors did, there isn't really any way of getting the same kind of feedback on them. Until now. Because Tim has generously offered to take ten lucky authors under his wing and provide e-coaching to them as they work their way through his writing course. This offer is open to anyone who buys a copy of Tiny Acorns direct from us (and not through Amazon or Lulu) during the month of February. In addition to making your purchase here, you'll need to send us an email ( informing us that you'd like to participate. Clearly not everyone who buys the anthology in February will want or need such free tuition. But if you do, then simply buy a copy of the book, and let us know. It's as simple as that. And if you know somebody who you think would appreciate such help, then let them know. Or maybe even buy them a copy of the book!

Good luck!

*Offer open to ten purchasers of the anthology 'Tiny Acorns' when bought direct from Dotterel Press during February 2011 and who follow the creative writing course as printed in the book's Appendix. This offer includes personal feedback on each on the course units (one per unit) plus general advice and support on various aspects of the student's writing. At the end of the sessions, the student will receive a report based on the progress they've made together with an action-plan detailing the steps the student should consider taking following the successful completion of the study programme. If more than ten qualifying entries are received, the offer will be available to the first ten purchasers drawn at random on March 1st 2011.