Tag Archives: book

Book-Themed Budget-Savvy September Wedding

Although it doesn’t look it, Jennie and Alex only spent £3000 on their September wedding. They were as thrifty as possible and made some really clever choices to save as much cash as they could. They were married at The Athenaeumy in Bury St Edmunds and had their reception at Risby Village Hall.

The bride’s Grace Loves Lace dress was bought at a sample sale and she paired it with vintage shoes that had belonged to a friend of her mum who wore them to her own wedding the same year Jennie was born!

Other money saving items included the cake, which was made by a friend, the bridesmaid dresses because they were chosen and purchased by the bridesmaids themselves, and the flowers that were bought from a local market stall and arranged bu the groom!

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So You Want to Write a Book..?

I got my book deal in April 2018. It was a big moment of celebration for me as it’s something I’d been thinking about wanting to do for over five years. I caution my use of words here – THINKING ABOUT – because that’s really all I’d been doing. I hadn’t actively been working towards getting a deal or writing a book at all. Because of this my experience of this whole process is probably quite different to that of someone ardently pursuing it. However, I hope sharing the things I’ve learnt throughout the process will still be interesting and useful to some of you.

Did you have a literary agent? How do you go about getting an agent? What does an agent do?

I started working with my manager, Sharon, in June 2017. She approached me (we already knew each other because of her background in PR) and I signed with her to have her manage my bigger brand projects and collaborations. As soon as we started working together, she mentioned how she’d love for me to write a book. I told her it’s something I’d been thinking about but I wasn’t sure how to go about it. We had a lot of other projects on the go back then so we put the idea on the back-burner for a while.

Although not solely a literary agent, Sharon acts as the middle (wo)man between me and whichever business or brand I’m working with. In other words, she does all the negotiations/ deals with the contracts etc and SHE IS A GODSEND. Of course, I check everything over myself too, but it is fantastic having someone who can speak on my behalf and who understands more about that stuff than I do. Also, let’s be honest, it’s much easier for someone else to sell you than for you to sell yourself and for them to ask for more money or a better percentage because you’re British and a creative and generally very awkward about that stuff.

So, when Ryland, Peters and Small approached me at the end of 2017, Sharon was involved in every step. She was in every email chain, at every meeting, and she was the one that checked and double checked the contract, renegotiating parts if necessary and making sure everything was in order.

What was your initial pitch/ meeting with the publishers like? Did you have to go in with sample chapters and all your ideas laid out?

Because my publisher approached me, our first meeting was quite casual. I went in with some copies of our magazine but they already had a pretty good idea of who I was and what they wanted the book to be about.

I’d jotted down a few sample chapter ideas to present them with and I mentioned some things I thought wouldn’t work and why. Luckily, we were completely on the same page and they loved all my ideas! After this, I started working with my editor, Alice, and we came up with the chapter outline, word count and flatplan.

How did you get from having an idea for a book to knowing where to start with writing it?

The flatplan was invaluable and is something we use for the magazine too. It’s basically a document that lays out every page and shows where each chapter will go and in what order (and in the case of the magazine, where the adverts will be). Once we had this decided we were able to work out how many words each chapter had to be based on how many pages it had been assigned and how many images we’d need to source or shoot to fill the allocated space.

Having this break down made the whole process much less scary. I was basically working chapter by chapter rather than trying to think of the book as a whole. Unlike fiction, each chapter was a self-contained entity, and from my point of view they were like writing individual blog posts or long magazine articles. The whole process then felt much less overwhelming because I’d basically be practising doing that for the past decade!

Publisher vs self-publishing – how did you decide?

As someone who self-publishes a magazine you might have been surprised to find out that I went with a publisher for my first book. I’ve also have friends who have self-published books with massive success, so I guess I always thought this might be the route I’d take one day too.

However, the thing that put me off and ultimately made me procrastinate on writing a book for so long was just how much extra STUFF I’d have to do (on top of actually writing it) in order to self-publish. Things such as hiring an editor, hiring my own designer to put it together, researching printers, working out what kind of print stock to use, paying for the books to be printed, figuring out how to get the book on Amazon as well as all the costs involved in producing the photo shoot!

In the end, it actually felt like a huge relief to be working with a publisher who not only took care of all of those things but already had the expertise. If I’ve learnt one thing throughout this process it’s that publishing a book is VERY different to publishing a magazine!

Also, let’s not forget, I got paid upfront too by way of my advance. If I was entirely self-publishing, I’d effectively had been working for nothing until the book was released. I’m so happy I decided to work with Ryland, Peters and Small on this book. They were fantastic from start to finish.

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Oh, What a Night: The Rock n Roll Book Launch Party!

I’m not gonna lie, one of the first things I thought about after getting my book deal last year was organising a kick ass party to celebrate its eventual release (#priorities). I really just wanted an excuse for a good old knee’s up and to get all of my favourite people in one room to drink and dance the night away. And oh boy, did we!

I decided on Town Hall Hotel in Bethnal Green as the location (if you’ve picked yourself up a copy of issue 24 of the magazine, you may recognise it from the fashion editorial inside) because not only is it a stunning space with so many gorgeous original features, but the staff there are some of the loveliest I’ve ever met. Nothing was too much trouble and they went above and beyond to make the party wonderful (even so far as dismantling the enormous balloon display at the end of the night when I know all they really wanted to do was get home!)

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My Book Goes On Sale Today!!!

January 8th 2019 has been highlighted in my calendar for the past 10 months, circled in a hot pink Sharpie and covered in gold star stickers. Why? Because today’s the day that my book finally comes out!

The build up to this has been such an exciting few months, teasing bits and pieces on my social media and seeing all those pre-orders come in. Between announcing and now we actually sold out of the stock we ordered from the publishers (TWICE!), which is quite frankly AMAZING (don’t worry we ordered more right away so you can still grab one!) I can’t believe how many of you have pre-ordered a signed copy from us, thank you SO MUCH.

If you did pre-order and you are in the UK then your copy should arrive with you in the next few days (check your email for a dispatch notification) or in a week or so if you’re abroad.

So, what exactly is the book about?

Rock n Roll Bride: The Ultimate Guide for Alternative Brides is everything I know about planning a wedding, extracted from my brain and beautifully presented in a completely gorgeous, hardback coffee table book. I’ve answered pretty much every question I’ve ever been asked about creating an alternative wedding within these 208 full-colour pages.

This book will help you navigate the muddy waters of planning a wedding that goes against the grain. It’ll help you with everything from figuring out timelines and budgeting, setting your theme, choosing your dress, finding suppliers who ‘get’ you, dealing with difficult family dynamics and coping with the post-wedding blues. This book features gorgeous imagery to inspire you, but most importantly, it’s packed with practical advice that will help you plan your wedding in your own unique way.

This book is for everyone who’s ever considered themselves an outsider, a weirdo, someone who doesn’t quite fit in. Being Rock n Roll is not about being rebellious or even thinking of the
most out-there ideas that you can, it’s simply about planning a wedding that reflects you, your partner and your love.

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Rock n Roll Bride: THE BOOK!

Price Deliver To +Shipping
£16.99 9.95

I have been obsessed with writing and publishing wedding content for over a decade. I love sharing inspiration and planning advice every day on this website and in each issue of our print magazine. When people ask me what I do for a living I usually reply by saying I’m a magazine editor and blogger but from today I’m now able to add something else to that list – published author!

YES, THAT’S RIGHT, I ONLY WENT AND WROTE A BLOODY BOOK!

I have been so desperate to tell you about this and I can’t quite believe I am finally typing these words, but Rock n Roll Bride: The Ultimate Guide for Alternative Brides is being released on January 8th and it’s available for pre-order right NOW.

If you’re wondering how this all came about then let me rewind for a minute and start the story from the beginning… Believe me, keeping all this quiet for the past six months has been one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do!

I have secretly wanted to write a book for a very long time. I first started thinking about doing it around five years ago. My plan back then was to self-publish, but the enormity of the task overwhelmed me so it never got off the ground (remember this was before we had the magazine so I knew literally nothing about offline publishing). For the last few years the book idea has been stuck in the back of my mind as something I’d like to revisit again one day, but without an agent, or any real knowledge of the book publishing world, I had no clue where to begin. Let’s face it, I’m a busy girl, and the thought of having to write and pitch a book that may or may not even get picked up felt a bit soul-destroying.

Then, early this year I received an email from Ryland, Peters and Small, inviting me to meet with them to pitch a book idea to ME! Serendipity was clearly on my side this time as I’d just signed with my manager who would be able to help me navigate the negotiations and all that slightly scary stuff too.

Long story short, not only did the team at Ryland, Peters and Small totally ‘get’ the Rock n Roll Bride brand and ethos but they loved all my content ideas! Their books are completely stunning and really visual with lots of gorgeous photographs, which I’m sure you know I am ALL about too. They were happy to give me almost entire creative control but using their experienced team to make it a reality – AKA the dream scenario! It was a match made in heaven and I was so excited to get started.

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Bookish Wedding at Furness Abbey

Bookish Wedding at Furness Abbey (29)

Jay and Rachael described their wedding as bookish and happy. They refused to get suckered in to following the standard wedding template and made sure the every detail was something that was special to them.

“The inspiration for our wedding was our life”, said the bride. “Our story is a bit different and we wanted that reflected in the day. We met 20 years ago, separated due to youthful emotion, pined for 14 years, reconnected and instantly fell back into insane love. I got cancer, recovered and fulfilled my dream to open a bookshop, hence the book theme of the wedding.”

Bookish Wedding at Furness Abbey (13)

“The venue, the rings, the ceremony, the music – everything was chosen because it meant something to us. We wanted it to be completely special and representative of who we are. Furness Abbey, where we got married, isn’t a wedding venue so we begged English Heritage to give us permission to use it!”

Bookish Wedding at Furness Abbey (18)

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