The hardest part of writing is getting started.

scottish winter plashmill press
scottish winter plashmill press
Early morning in Scottish winter Pic: Rod Fleming

Writing is hard. When I was young, a very wise person (my mother) told me that the hardest part of any job is getting started. Growing up in rural Scotland in the 1960s meant getting out of bed, in winter, when it was still dark, running down to the kitchen — the only heated space in the house — and remaining glued to the front of the Rayburn stove, every morning. ‘Come on,’ my mother would chivvy, ‘Get a wiggle on! Washed and dressed for school! The worst part is getting started.’

She was right. The worst part of any difficult task is getting started. That’s the same whether it be just getting out of the house on a freezing January morning, chopping up the kindling for the living-room fire when you get back from school and would far, far rather go and read — or writing.

Writing is a very hard thing to do. Most people — who never actually tried to write, or whose magnum opus is a semi-coherent string of tweets — think it’s easy. You can tell by their demeanour. ‘But you just sit there!’

In agony, albeit they have no idea.

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Cover design is essential to successful publishing – PlashMill Press

plashmill covers composite
plashmill covers composite
Some PlashMill Press book covers.

When you navigate the minefield of becoming a published author, one of the most important things to remember is this: a good, classy cover design that speaks to the content of the book is essential.

In today’s competitive retail market, good cover design must be as effective and eye-catching in all the digital or e-book formats as it is on the shelf of a conventional store. Potential readers are exposed to a book’s cover design for only a few seconds before moving on, so it must be strong enough to engage them, involve them, and lead them towards the purchase.

In other words, you need a good designer.

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Welcome to PlashMill Press — we’re back!

Welcome to PlashMill Press.  After a long hiatus, the business has been reconstituted and is once again online. It’s hard to believe that it has been five years since the old PlashMill Press online business was closed down, but it has. Much has happened in that time, believe me.

We never stopped publishing books, but various technical and operational issues meant that we stopped selling books and services direct through our web presence.  As a result of this and other factors, the site here fell into disuse.

This new site and the new, rejuvenated PlashMill Press will grow into the profile developed and left behind by the old one. Perhaps most importantly, a number of new imprints have been added in the last five years, while we have been offline. These are described in the menu bar above.

Our author-assistance packages, which were previously available under the imprint PlashMill Press will now be available through a new one, Merrivale Press.  Author-assisted books previously published under PlashMill Press will be migrated to Merrivale as and when new editions are produced.

PlashMill Press remains the general-interest publishing imprint.

In addition to Merrivale and PlashMill, we have Rare Rose Press, which specialises in erotic thrillers and Rod Fleming Press, which publishes some of Rod Fleming’s books.

There is also Redefining the Sacred, which publishes non-fiction titles relevant to the subject areas of religion and religious culture, along with the history and development of religion and its consequences for the broader society.

I will be blogging on this site and you can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter. You can follow me personally, Rod Fleming, through my own site, Rod Fleming’s World.

We are still setting up the site and new features will appear in due course. Meantime do please check back for updates.