'The Wolf's Footprint' began as a short picture-book text of three hundred words. It rattled around from publisher to
publisher for a while, and lots of people said they loved it, but no one was prepared to take on the expense of turning
it into a book. Picture books are so expensive that they have to be pre-sold to America or Europe before it's
financially viable for a UK publisher.
Then Hodder asked me for a story suitable for the 8-10s. I took the Wolf's Footprint story, which I'd always
liked, and expanded it.
It was favourably reviewed from the outset, not least by the children I read it to when I visited
schools. It has never failed to produce an open-mouthed silence. I think it's the opening, which echoes Hansel and
Gretel, with parents planning to abandon their children in the forest, so they won't have to watch them starve. (Hansel
and Gretel is the most obvious reference, but the notion that if you drink from an animal's footprint, you become that
animal, is from Russian folklore.)
Out of Print
After a few short years, Hodder let the book go out of print, which is the way of modern publishing. Writers are used
to this happening. They sigh, and get on with other things.
But my mailbox started filling up with emails from parents and teachers, asking where could they get copies, and did I
have any to sell? I put the few I had into my on-line bookshop,
and they were gone in a fortnight. Still the emails came in. Did I have 16 copies? Did I have a hard-back copy?
I searched for second hand copies on-line, and found some selling for £145! I emailed the seller and said that I had
never recieved anything near £145 for a copy. I used to make about 45p.
So, since I had the rights, I decided to turn the book into an ebook. I commissioned new illustrations and a new cover
from Andrew Price. It's been available as an e-book for some months now, and is selling steadily.
But the emails still kept coming. Ebooks were all very well, but how about a real, paper book that you could share
while sitting on a sofa, even if you couldn't be bothered with electrical e-thingies?
So I set about tackling CreateSpace, and it was not nearly as easy as they claim it
I'm very glad, and relieved, to be able to send out the news that there are now two paperback editions of The Wolf's
Footprint available from Amazon.
I started this multi-blog with my friend and fellow e-booker, Katherine Roberts, back in 2011.
Twenty-eight independently publishing writers blog here. There are crime-writers, biographers, historical novelists,
thriller writers, children's writers.
On the 29th of every month, we have a 'How To' day, where one of us posts about some technical or writerly
And the last one or two days of each month are given over to guests, who blog about their own books.
If you're interested in writing, or if you're looking for a new book, or want to while away a few moments reading an
entertaining blog, check us out here, at http://authorselectric.blogspot.co.uk/
We have a website too, where you can find out more about us and our books. It's at http://electricauthors.