• About Us

    We want to make books that are worth publishing. We want to help you realise that creation, and we want those books to be available to everyone.

    Click to find out more about Moofix - what makes us tick, what we do and why we do what we do.

  • Send us stuff!

    A new simplified upload process to get you started. Just write, upload and then we can get started talking about your ideas.

    Click here to go to the send us your stuff page, or follow the link above.

  • Kindle Short Stories Service

    With new changes to Amazon's pricing structures, publishing short stories is now possible. Click to find out more!

writing

Calm after the NaNoWriMo storm

So that was November and with it NaNoWriMo. I hope everyone succeeded, but those who didn’t shouldn’t worry there’s always next year and in between now and then is a wealth of time in which to re-evaluate approach. For those who didn’t quite succeed,did you spend too much time staring out the window dreaming of NaNoWriMo victory? Did you not manage to flesh out characters into relatable and believable people before falling into a trap of frustration and a lack of willingness to continue. Did you start out with a fantastic idea and write like a demon but then peter out towards the end?

All these problems are common and frequently suffered, you are not alone. Take a break, this period of time before the next NaNoWriMo burst is brilliant for reflection and planning, just because you didn’t finish your novel this month doesn’t mean you can’t finish it and with a little time to breathe and refresh it could be all the better for it. Perhaps take some time to discuss where you’d like to go with it with a friend, colleague, family member or pet if it helps! That way by the time the next NaNoWriMo rolls around you’re a lean mean novel writing machine and ready to show that writers block who’s boss.

That having been said I hope that nobody is too burnt out to enjoy Christmas and all the excesses that come with it. What do you have lined up on your Christmas reading list. Are you a traditionalist with a dog eared copy of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol or just boning up with Great British Bake Off: Christmas. Personally I believe I’ll be reading Santa Comes to Norwich until I have it memorised, the joys of children at Christmas.

girl with cup of coffee writing something

Dreaming of writing…

We find a lot of authors disappear from our radar over the summer months. Many of them have families and small children, and when not a full time author, their spare time disappears quickly.

But this break from writing can be a great period of time to reflect and plan. Don’t worry too much that you haven’t put many words down on paper. Instead focus on the future of what you are going to.

Personally, the best novella I ever wrote was written after thinking about it over summer. When I came to write it, the words just flew from my hand. I didn’t know everything about it – I didn’t even know who ‘did’ it (it was a murder mystery) until quite far through writing, but what was clear was that I knew the characters, I knew how they interacted. They didn’t feel like flat stereotyped undeveloped characters, instead they actually had personalities.

I believe preparation is the key to good writing. Practice is one form of this, but thinking and evolving ideas is another.

Whitepapers

We’re still working…

Whitepapers. When I set out to do Moofix, we were always aware that we wouldn’t always be producing visionary books, and that we would sometimes have to do whatever work came in. One of my oldest friends suggested we would help do annual reports to help make ends meet.

One of the most exciting things we’ve been doing over the last six months though is whitepapers. Whitepapers are basically advanced adverts. They are generally available from technical based companies who use them to explain how their products solve problems.

What we’ve found though is that very few whitepapers are actually white. Instead they use a wide wealth of graphical displays. Along with large blocks of copy, there are infographics, photos of smiling people and schematics or explanatory diagrams of how the solution works.

It has been great fun to work with a few companies and individuals especially to take their passion for their work, and help them explain and show that off to the world.

World Book Day and Exciting New Developments

March 7th was World Book Day and we took the opportunity to get together for a planning afternoon, it seemed fitting to spend the afternoon talking about making books anyway!

Amazon changes

We kicked off by talking about some changes at Amazon around the kindle pricing structure for publishers.  We’ve always shied away from publishing short stories, even to kindle, because of the high price point.  We want to deliver value for our customers, as well as a great experience for our authors.

But the recent kindle price changes mean that this is all about to change.

Introducing the “Kindle Short Stories” programme

So, without further ado, let me introduce the Kindle short stories programme to you.  We’re very excited about this change, as we know so many people who would love to see their short stories in publication, and in fact we’re already working on a few.

If you are interested it is a simple 7 step process, which I’ve outlined below:

1) Submit

After you’ve written your story, submit it via our standard submission form. If you enter in your cover note that you’re interested in the Kindle Short Story programme. If you don’t we may point you in this direction when we review your submission.

2) Review

We review your submission and let you know what we think. At this point, you own the copyright to your story, and there is no commitment for either you or Moofix. Our Reviewers use a simple scoring matrix to help us quickly identify work, and we reply with an honest reply.

3) Publishing Agreement

Before Moofix does any editing of your story, we provide a simple standard publishing agreement. This is designed to be simple, clear and concise, so you know what is going on with your work.

4) Edit

The editing process varies heavily from project to project and author to author. We try to establish a good working relationship with you, and try to fully understand what it is you want from the service and to make sure you’re happy with the outcome.

5) Preview

There is a final preview confirmation where you confirm that the story is in the format that you expect.

6) Market & Sell

Moofix now gets the book sold. We may utilise a variety of marketing techniques to help with your book sales, but the marketing plan for your individual book is discussed with you in advance.

7) Payout

Payments are made once a month once your account has reached a trigger level (usually around £5) – if you have not reached a trigger level, do not worry, it just rolls over to the next month.

What are you waiting for?

We believe that short stories are as valid to help encourage people to read as novels, so we’re looking for quality submissions, great stories that make us want to read more.  If you think you have a story in you, get in touch, either through our submission pages or our facebook page, or if you have any questions you can even email me: becca.sibley@moofix.co.uk

We can’t wait to read your stories!

Moofix 2013

Goodbye 2012, Hello 2013

Happy New Year!

So, 2012, an amazing year for us at Moofix, and we’re hoping that 2013 is going to continue to be as fun. We’ve had over a million words submitted to us last year, and we’ve soft launched our first book.

The reaction we had to our first book launch was amazing: although it was the first edition and we whilst we knew we wanted to make some changes to it, mostly changing a few of the images that were not really up to print quality, they flew off the shelves.

Earlier in the year we also ran two competitions with the aim of getting in touch with new authors, and the response was astounding. Originally we had thought we would receive only a few entries, and of those only a few would be suitable so a monthly run was planned. However so many new potentially awesome books came through that we hit our quota of authors after just two months, so instead of continuing the competition we decided to pause it and work with the authors.

Moofix 2013

The million words of submissions this year have spanned the widest range of scope. From book excerpts through to full drafts, and the widest and most exciting range of topics, many of these books have more work to be done.

We received a million words in submissions this year – a lot of this work is in a preliminary draft state or as excerpts from unfinished work, and a lot of it we have requested more work from the authors. Because most of our authors are not professional – they have full time jobs and families, these finishing parts of the writing process can take the longest time, and we encourage the quality rather then rushing to a deadline.

A row of moofix books

Whats in 2013 for us? More books! We’re hoping to launch the second edition of our Gildencroft book, as well as two new books early in the year, and then give you guys and update about the second half of the year as we get closer.

But our principles remain the same: we want to simplify the production of books for people who can write, but can’t produce books. We want to provide an honest and clear accounting process, and we want to treat everyone in the value chain fairly. If book production could be Fair Trade, this would be it.

Remember, you can find us on facebook at http://www.facebook.com/moofix/ and twitter https://twitter.com/moofix/ and as always you can use the submission form on the website http://www.moofix.com/ or the facebook page to get in contact or send us work.

So Happy New Year!

James

Book Worm – About Becca

One of the reasons that I agreed to be a part of the Moofix family is that books are my life blood.  I’m what you might call a prolific reader, a book worm if you will.  Not that I read great works of literature, or worthy books every week, but I always have something on the go.

I’m a huge fan of crime fiction and supernatural novels, I’m not so good with non-fiction.  I love stories that take me somewhere and I get lost in them.  The last book that made a huge impact on me was The Hindi-Bindi Club by Monica Pradhan which I blogged about over on my personal blog.

Pile of old books

Pile of books

As a challenge for my 30th year I decided to attempt to read 100 books in the year – I’m currently just over half way through the 100 and have just under 4 months to go! Any recommendations?!


What has this got to do with Moofix I hear you cry!

Well, I suppose technically this doesn’t have a great deal to do with the company, except to tell you a little bit about how we tick as individuals, and why this is the business we chose to go into.

Reading is so important to us here at Moofix and we’d like to think that you feel the same, which is why you are reading this blog, looking at our facebook page or following us on twitter. We want to connect with like minded individuals who love nothing more than getting lost in a good book.

What was the last book you got lost in?

 

June Competition Launch – Royalty!

It’s quite fitting to launch the theme for our June competition this weekend – here in the UK we’re celebrating the fact our Queen has reigned for 60 years (we’re technically not allowed to mention the “J” word!!).

So instead, we want you to write a story about royalty. Royalty means something different to everyone, does it conjure up images of princesses and frogs for you? Or HRH the Queen?

Blue and Pink Crowns

The competition page is here along with all of the rules and a link to the entry form, we’ll be taking entries until 1st July and as ever, the winner will be published in “Moofix Chronicles” in the autumn.

So what are you waiting for? Take us into your Royal Court and entertain us.

– Becca

Whats the best format to…

So this is a question which comes up quite often: What is the best format to send something to us in? Well, sometimes there isn’t a clear answer to this, because it all depends on what it is your sending, however, 90% of the time the answer is quite easy: Microsofts Word Doc format.

Sure, you might be using Open Office or Libre Office, or one of a hundred other open source products (and we at Moofix support the Open Source movement – but thats a post for another day), but all of these should be able to save and read Microsofts .doc or .docx format.

Now, we don’t do our final page layouts in Word, but it is the most useful for us whilst editing. If you’re book is heading over a few hundred pages, then we might break it down into multiple Word docs, but we use the features of comments and track changes to make sure we don’t get confused when sending drafts between editors and proof readers.

What if you can’t do a .doc / .docx format? Well, plain text is preferable to pdf, but try sending us anything – we’ll do our best to open it and if we can’t we’ll get back to you.

What about internal formatting?

Inside the document, keeping it simple is generally better. Unless you are trying to do the entire book design yourself, try not to change font or size unless you want that in the final product – as part of the formatting process we will talk about the different font options in printing, but every time you change font or size in your document we need to then query that back with you.

Generally working on A4 (we’re British here) at a draft stage is ideal, and then when we convert the book we will repaginate the entire document to the correct page size and layout.

Any image assets you want in the book either need to be kept at a draft level and not finalised until we get to the final print version, or kept at the highest resolution possible. If in doubt, drop us a query on our contact us form.

How to get a book published with Moofix

We want to produce some amazing books, and we want to be part of that “value chain” when it comes to creating them.  Quite early on in our redesign of our website this got drawn, and its supposed to show how the system works, and this blog post is just a short introduction to that:

Write > Upload > Edit > Publish

We realise some books the author needs to have a lot more control over the page layout, and that sometimes the author doesn’t have the technical skills to produce the work, and we can help there. But generally, it starts by you guys just sitting down and writing, one word after another.

Once you’ve written, you upload. We’ve got some helpful forms here that you can use. That allows us to move to the third step: editing.

Editing for us is about turning a word document into a printable (or e-publishable) output. Undoubtedly there will be a fair amount of back and forth to you if we have queries or suggestions. But this is where we sort out the page layout and getting any art assets sorted (things like cover and fly sheets).

Once you’re happy, and we move to the fourth and final step, which is getting it available for people to buy. We manage it on the online bookstores, and organise the reports of sales for you, so you can have continual visibility of the process.

James

p.s. Please remember that we’re also accepting short stories or extracts for our Chronicles magazine. For more info see here

Transcending Time: Money

I was reviewing a short story that had been submitted, and it started a bit of a discussion here at Moofix HQ; Should you put amounts in stories or not? We came to the conclusion that its generally not a good idea if you want your literature to transcend time.

Lets start with this:

The sculpture was beautiful, it cost £1750

So there are various problems with this:

  • what if the reader is not English? The exchange rate fluctuates daily, so that could go between $2000 and $3000 within a couple of months.
  • what if the reader is in the future? Then we have inflation to account for. Over the years as people read this it would slowly become worth less and less and less.
  • what does the reader consider expensive? For a kid, a thousand pounds is a more money then they’ve ever seen (at the time of writing), but for an adult its a monthly pay check.

Instead, consider doing things like:

The sculpture was beautiful, but it cost as much as a small car

Now we get an understanding of what the narrator feels about it – the word “but” suggests hesitation – the price of a small car will vary with location, and time, but allows the reader to relate it to something that is current, so I would say this sentence suggests that the sculpture was more expensive then average.

The sculpture was beautiful, and I remembered I had some money left over from my end of year bonus

So this time the narrator is suggesting they want to buy the sculpture – without more understanding of what the narrator does for a living, we have to guess a little about how much it would be, but we get the feeling that the narrator feels that the sculpture is good value for money. We get the idea that the narrator is relatively well off – they are able to afford art out of some savings.

The sculpture was beautiful, and I flirted with the checkout girl as I paid

In this last example, we’re suggesting that the price is negligible compared to the value. Perhaps the narrator is buying it for a birthday present, and as the price isn’t mentioned at all, so we can presume that they’re well off.

Of course, as with any rule, theres *always* the exception – if the amounts matter then put them in, consider the obsessive compulsive who must by $3.14 worth of lunch every day, or the traditional “1p” business transaction (things like shares, land etc).