Monday, 29 February 2016
As winter draws to a close, and just over three months since Lives & Times was published, the amount raised for the Beating Bowel Cancer is heading towards £900. My greatest wish is to reach £1000 and to keep spreading the message to raise awareness about bowel cancer. So this target is now tantilisingly close, and I'm sure is now within reach.
After the initial surge of purchases, with most family and friends having now bought the book, the challenge remains as to how to get the book to reach out and appeal to the wider audience. As ever there has also been the fantastic, warm and generous support from the bowel cancer community. February has also seen some great support from fans of The Alarm. Their support was not just a reminder of how friendships and communities are priceless, but also how bowel cancer affects so many people. Eddie Macdonald, bass player from The Alarm, pictured below with his copy of the book taken at Christmas.
Pictured above is author Freya North, who is an Ambassador for the Beating Bowel Cancer charity. She features in the book and has been incredibly supportive all the way through. The chapter on Freya is typical of many in the book in that there is a bowel cancer connection. In Freya's case it was losing her friend Hannah Berry to bowel cancer, and this is mentioned in the book as I wasn't going to shy away from bowel cancer. However Freya was spot on when she described the book as "warm and inspirational". The chapters focus on the experience of meeting and photographing the people and hopefully makes for a really fun and entertaining read as well providing a gentle informative read about bowel cancer. I met Freya outside The Roundhouse in London where we both going to see The Charlatans in concert. Totally random meeting place, but it made for a fascinating experience to write about in the book.
So here I am with my copy of the book. Every chapter tells a different story. Some people in the book are household names, and some are people you might never have heard of. The one thing everyone had in common was they have a story to tell. The book was hard work putting together, but it was also a tremendous amount of fun, totally worth the effort and I hope this comes across in the book.
To see how you can order the book click here. Please support this book and help me raise as much money as possible for the charity. Bowel cancer remains the second biggest cancer killer in the UK, but if detected early has a survival rate of over 90%. I am looking for new ways to promote the book, so I would love to hear from anyone who has any ideas to suggest.
Thursday, 25 February 2016
£5 buys you the Kindle digital edition of Lives & Times fundraising book for the Beating Bowel Cancer charity. In London, for example, that equates to the price of a pint of beer. Just think by having just one less pint in a day, week or month would allow you to buy the book. £5 would also buy you a kebab, a meal from MacDonald's, a bottle of cheap wine from the supermarket. All these you could go without on just one occasion and be able to buy the book making a valuable contribution to the charity.
The paperback edition of Lives & Times costing £10 is proving to be the most popular version of the book. These days that can be the cost of a packet of cigarettes, a ticket to the cinema, a CD / DVD, or perhaps a take-away meal for one. Just giving up buying any of the above or any £10 purchase would give you the cash to buy the paperback.
The hardback edition of Lives & Times costs £25 and is the delux version of the book that would grace any coffee table. Of course to buy this edition we have to up the stakes a bit. £25 would buy you a nice meal with a drink or two, might get you into a sporting event or even a gig or two!
Just by making a small sacrifice the book can be affordable to everyone. All proceeds I receive from sales of the book are donated to Beating Bowel Cancer, and so far the book has raised about £875. To see how to buy the Lives & Times fundraising book for Beating Bowel Cancer click here.
My mother has been battling bowel cancer since 2012, and is the reason and inspiration for me doing the book. Next week she goes into hospital for another major operation in her fight with cancer.
Tuesday, 23 February 2016
When people buy the Lives & Times book from my website or directly from me, I receive the payment and I can immediately calculate how much money I can donate to Beating Bowel Cancer. It has meant I have been able to keep an up to date figure and make regular donations to the charity.
However the book is also available to buy online through retailers such as Amazon, Waterstones and Book Depository to name a few. By having my own ISBN numbers for the various editions, the book is available to order from pretty much anywhere that sells books. Although I don't make as much per copy through these distributors it's still a vital part of the selling and fundraising process. I am very happy for people to buy the book in whichever way, and from wherever they choose.
I use Ingram Spark as my printer who print on demand, who distribute the books to the retailers, and of course me. To date I have not received any royalties from them, as they pay 90 days after the month end of sales. So initially it's quite a long wait until the money starts to come in. I have a rough idea of sales and royalties due by looking at reports. Today I got notification of my first payment. Two payments one from UK sales and one from sales in the United States. These I think are from the pre-sales of the book during November. So £16.91 is added into the fundraising pot, which takes the total raised past £875. I know there is more due, although I have to wait patiently for the next payment before I can add more funds to the total.
Mum goes into hospital next week for an operation on her left lung to remove the lower lob as part of her current battle with secondary cancer from the primary bowel cancer. I'd love for the book to go past the £1000 as I feel that as far as fundraising goes that will be mission accomplished. Of course there is so much more that the book can do is raising awareness and fundraising.
To see how to buy the Lives & Times fundraising book for Beating Bowel Cancer click here.
Tuesday, 16 February 2016
I have spent quite a lot of time since Lives & Times was published trying to get magazine features or reviews. I been sending out press releases to magazines, national newspapers, Metro and the Evening Standard in London, and a number of online publications.
It is a case of continuously knocking on doors and hoping for a break. Now for the first time I have had a positive response, and today I posting off a copy to a health magazine group. Obviously this doesn't necessarily guarantee me coverage, or good coverage come to that :) But I see this as just another sign, of slowly but surely, there is a bit of momentum building with the book now. It has raised almost £850 for the Beating Bowel Cancer charity. The more people that buy the book the more its profile gets raised. I am hoping the same might happen with coverage in the media. If anyone has any decent contacts who may be able to help with getting some media exposure I'd be very grateful.
For anyone reading this who has already bought the book, please could you post a review on Amazon, as every review helps and you don't have to have bought the book on Amazon to post a review.
Saturday, 13 February 2016
Happy Valentines Day from Lives & Times. This weekend millions of couples will have the most romantic of times. No doubt red roses, champagne, chocolates and all manner of special gifts will be exchanged. Restaurants will be fully booked and many will cook a candle lit dinner for their loved ones. Buy why not give your loved an extra present this year and something just a little different?
The Lives & Times fundraising book is raising awareness about bowel cancer, which, although very treatable in many instances if caught early, remains the second highest cancer killer in the UK. The book both is entertaining, inspiring and focuses on people and their stories. Over the course of 18 months I met and photographed people from all walks of like including many famous celebrities. In some chapters bowel cancer is a theme, but in many others it was household names coming on board to help support the book. Each chapter features a photograph from the meeting and then I wrote up an anecdotal chapter about the meeting. Don't be put off by a book mentioning bowel cancer, as it's a lot more than that. It will hopefully leave you perhaps more aware bowel cancer and entertained at the same time.
So who can you expect to read about in the book...
- Sir Steve Redgrave CBE
- Katherine Grainger CBE
- Phil Parkes
- Mick Channon
- Charlie Nicholas
- Jonathan Agnew
- Henry Blofeld
- Lorraine Kelly
- Christopher Biggins
- Matthew Wright
- Freya North
- Ben Richards
- Carrie Grant
- Gail Porter
- Alan Davies
- Shaun Keaveny
- Mike Read
- John Shuttleworth
- Tom Rosenathal
- Antonia Mariconda
- Status Quo
- The Stranglers
- The Alarm
- Clare Grogan
- Mikes Hunt& Erica Nockalls
- Horace Panter
- My Mum!
So many fascinating experiences all put together in one book. Available in paperback, hardback and digital eBook. To see all the ways to order the book click here. Please support this book and every penny I receive is donated to the charity. Over £800 has been raised so far.
Tuesday, 9 February 2016
Deborah James is one of the increasing number of younger people who are being diagnosed with bowel cancer. Deborah, married with a young daughter, was diagnosed in May 2015. I came across her blog last year, and in spite of going through her treatment Deborah, as you can see, kindly supported the Lives & Times fundraising book I have produced for the Beating Bowel Cancer charity.
The fantastic news is Deborah is cancer free, with the results of her most recent CT scan being clear. As Deborah says on her blog her new "normal" is about to begin... She is more than ready to seize this second chance at life and live it to the absolute max. I have really enjoyed enjoyed reading her blog, with its positive tones epitomsing Deborah's determined spirit. You can go to her My Joyful Gut! blog by clicking here.
It's always great to get some good bowel cancer news, and I wish Deborah a happy,long and healthy life ahead...
Wednesday, 3 February 2016
Bowel cancer is the second highest cancer killer in the UK, but if detected early around 90% of cases can be successfully treated.
As much as we talk about it what are the symptoms of bowel cancer?
- Blood flecks in your poo! This is the most commonly noticed symptom and you should go to your doctor immediately.
- A change in regular bowel habits, that is either severe or last for more than 2 weeks.
- A feeling that you need to empty your bowels even after just going to the toilet.
- Abdominal pain or discomfort that lasts for 2 weeks or more.
- Unexplained weight loss.
- Tiredness, dizziness, or breathless due to person becoming anaemic from microscopic bleeding from the bowel.
I published the Lives & Times book in November 2015. All proceeds raised are donated to the Beating Bowel Cancer charity. To see how you can order the book click here. The book has now raised over £3000.