Threadgold Press, bees and a hornet

Threadgold Press logo

Threadgold Press logo

M-R, you asked what Threadgold Press is. Well, in 2002 I had my first novel published by a stupendously chaotic one-man independent publisher (he had a colleague, but she resigned). So with my second novel, after I had  tallied up a few rejection slips, I became a (fairly chaotic) publisher myself. Threadgold Press is a small thing, but mine own. You can be a publisher by giving yourself a name, and applying for ISBN’s, jumping through a whole load of hoops and publishing a book. I published Unseen Unsung (Hilary Custance Green) in 2008, I’ve sold around 400 copies, and reckon I have broken even. currently offers 7 copies (used) for .01p and 1 (new) for £999. Uh? (I won’t see a penny from these either way).

On a different (more important) subject, I am deeply worried that I cannot go into the garden without stumbling over a dead bee. These are usually smaller bumble bees and I see one or two most days. Is anyone else finding these? We don’t use pesticides.

One the upside, a few days ago, my husband called from the glass area near the back door. He had heard what he described as a four-engine job. An enormous fat golden stripey hornet was bombing around in there. It looked magnificent and sort of new-born, metallic shiny; it also sounded very fed up. Sadly, I do not have a picture. I love bees, wasps, spiders etc but I’m an all-out wuss when it comes to hornets. I gazed in admiration from a distance as my husband wielded the butterfly nets we keep for such events. I am now steeling myself to look into the loft (not my husband’s territory). I saw a big ‘something’ flying around near the eaves and then popping in.

12 thoughts on “Threadgold Press, bees and a hornet

  1. You know, Hilary, that gives me MUCH heart ! – I like the idea enormously. If I get my short stories written, that’s what I shall do. Shall I become a client of Threadgold Press ? – that is, I would like to commission you to help me set up, as you did.
    As to why I haven’t yet bought your books, consider the following:
    “Items (2): AUD 11.14
    Shipping & handling: AUD 37.44
    Total before tax: AUD 48.58”
    Why shipping costs from the US to Oz are so APPALLING, I’ve never understood; but they make it totally prohibitive to buy anything from up there. 😦
    I also love insects: have I recommended you to the French “Minuscule” TV series ? I have no idea why you’re finding dead bees: I hope very much that bee virus hasn’t reached you …

    • I love the idea of hands across the Atlantic and Pacific (I live in the UK), but in practical terms I doubt Threadgold Press will be of any use to you. Would Freemantle Press not publish your stories? I don’t know if setting up as a publisher in Oz is the same as here, I’ll ask around. As a writer, I must admit I find the publishing side a dead bore, it is all office work and posting. If I were starting from scratch and could afford it, I would use one of the REPUTABLE self-publishing firms (careful choice needed here). I am hoping to make Unseen Unsung into an e-book in the near future, that should zap all these shipping/postage costs.
      I have been holding a globe in my hands. How did the UK ever come to colonise Oz? They simply couldn’t be further apart!
      We have the varroa mite problem in our honey bees here, but this level of dead bees is new and so sad.

      • Do you have a magnifying glass of any kind ? – I’ve a small one that Stringer used to view his negatives with. If you can find one, I’d definitely check out one of the tiny corpses; because if you found mites, for instance, you could alert whatever is your Department of the environment …
        Your point about the being a publisher taken: I shall turn to self-publishing, I believe. Being formally published has not been something I wish to go through again – apart from the editing, which was a wonderful experience.

      • Yes, the first dead bee I was aware had something that looked like mites clearly visible, but they could have colonised the body after death. I will take the magnifying glass out next time.
        I rather think that being published is a major undertaking however you do it. At least with your own company you get to make all the decisions yourself. I had fun today constructing an Advance Information sheet. I’ll post about the various steps in due course,

  2. Sorry to hear about the dead bees. Bumble bees should be less susceptible to disease than those who live in hives/colonies, so it is worrying.

    • Yes, I have been so thrilled by the way the garden is buzzing all year, but this is making me anxious. Also where are all the thrushes? Spring used to be accompanied by endless tapping on the paths as the thrushes dealt with snails.

  3. We are really worried here, Hillary. We have lavender at the side of our house that is normally swarming with bees. This year we are lucky to have two or three at any given time. –Curt

    • Yes, the lavender is a real test of bee presence. We had masses of bees on the rhododendrons earlier in the year, and I am waiting anxiously for the lavender to come into bloom. I have to say that I haven’t seen a dead bee since I put up this post, so I’m hoping the problem was local and temporary. We shall see. I hope yours get a good summer and bounce back

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