The interesting HoBB Publishing Community

000256I am interested in publishing. Are you?

From blogs and podcasts to tweets, vids. FB Wall postings, ebooks, podcasts, vids. and augmented reality on apps.  – the ways to publish your own works online are many.

If you are still wondering exactly how to go about it, visit sites like – a self-help group of authors helping each other into epublishing or join the HoBB Publishing Community  or the Jacketflap Publishing Community.

If you are a writer looking for writing partners, try networking at or Wattpad

If you are a writer, illustrator, editor or book designer and want experience in publishing,  become a intern or a goalshare partner at Little People Books and share in what we know.

History of the HoBB Publishing Community
Once upon a time … a useful self-help group of photographers and illustrators was born, called the Birmingham Image Group. Everyone in the group was keen to get into publishing.

For many years, monthly meetings were in Birmingham (UK) pubs, members’ homes, wine bars and restaurants. These were well attended. As membership grew to include graphic designers, calligraphers, model-makers, cartoonists, architectural delineators, fine artists and sculptors, the group changed its name to B.I.G. (British Image Group).

Sadly, the Group’s founder, the late great Jonathan Inglis, was hit by a bus outside the Custard Factory (Birmingham) and died. The enthusiasm to continue meetings dropped suddenly. Many of the members, including myself, moved away from the Midlands – but a few members kept in touch.

B.I.G. could have fizzled out or ended there, but as the Group’s web site was archived it continued to attract enquiries and the remaining members were able to assist others keen on publishing and being published. Now based at the HoBB, it has evolved into the HoBB Publishing Community.

To help more illustrators and other creative expressionists, the archive site needs to get a good rebirthing. So if you are interested, able to put together a great responsive site and are keen on getting involved with quality creatives, message me and we’ll do it! It will be fun.

Today’s thought:

 Children’s Book Illustrator, Camilla Zaza, was asking the World about Illustration Agencies and whether it was a good idea to get an agent.  From a personal perspective, and ex-secretary of B.I.G.,  I wrote this reply:

“I regularly draw to communicate. Some of my illustrations appear on the covers of books for children. I ran an illustration agency for a few years.

Picture editors like choice. They collect and retain their own records of illustration styles whilst on the look out for ever fresher ones. Your aim is to find the picture editors that want to use your style but here’s another aim you might like to consider ….

Imagine what it’s like for a picture editor. They get emails, cards, flyers, calls, visits and sometimes presents from illustrators. They get a lot. To be noticed as an illustrator, proof reader or designer, you need to stick out from the crowd.

One very well known picture editor who loved my work but never used it, told me this : “Grant, I have an illustrator that does wonderful figurative work in pencil. I have another that produces the slickest photoshop work on car engines and everything mechanical. Every illustrator I use has a set talent I can depend upon for specific contract requirement. Go away and only come back when I can place you in my mind as a specialist. There are thousands of illustrators who have great bulging folios of their work, but unless their work burns into my memory on first view, they stand no chance of working with me.”

So yes. I went away and specialised. However, I returned three years later with a folio ‘on fire’ to find the contact had retired.

Another editor once told me: “I like to enjoy my work. I use illustrators I like. It’s not just about the standard of their illustration, it’s about the whole process of putting the team together, producing the book, launching it and celebrating its popularity and sales. Once we know an illustrator and enjoy knowing them as a person, they become part of the team.”

So agents? Some are great. Most are busy. Many spend all their time devoted to getting contracts for those illustrators on their books.

Self promotion? You can do this in a standard way or you can stick out from the crowd and get noticed.

Is there a third way? Yes. In this plug-and-play world, more authors are teaming with illustrators and designers to create near perfect finished books (pdf format), excluding the legal page. An editor can scan these very quickly and spot an illustrator’s skill at adding image to story.

Is there a fourth way? I’m sure there are many more ways for illustrators, authors, designers, photographers, film makers and publishers to combine and create tomorrow’s world of entertainment, education and effective communication.

Our recipe – the interesting HoBB Publishing Community.


Children’s Book Week (US)

Children's Book Week (USA)Next :

May 2 – 8, 2016 — the 97th anniversary!

We hope everyone is celebrating Children’s Book Week over in USA and beyond.

Since 1919, Children’s Book Week has been celebrated countrywide with author & illustrator appearances, parties, storytelling, and other book-related events in schools, libraries, bookstores, clubs — anywhere where kids and books connect.


Future Dates of Children’s Book Week (US)

May 2 – 8, 2016 — the 97th anniversary!

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