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The Awakening

Posted in Neem Tree Blog on July 20, 2020

We’ve been a little paralyzed by the lock-down and have found ourselves navigating Dr Seuss’s surreal Waiting Place. We too have been ‘waiting for a train to go or a bus to come, or a plane to go or the mail to come, or the rain to go or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow or waiting around for a Yes or No’, but of course, our hair certainly grew! We have, however, recovered fully from this reverie and are focused on our autumn publications and beyond.

The lock-down dealt a severe body-blow to our first non-fiction book. With events being key to raising the profile of a debut author and a young publisher, having to cancel talks at SOAS, the London Fashion Institute with Professor Reina Lewis, attendance at the Muslim Shopping Festival and the Stella Live event, among many others, was truly gutting. Even as we list all these, and there were radio interviews set up that also had to be cancelled, we realize we will just have to stop moping, dust ourselves off and push onwards.

We are incredibly lucky with Hafsa Lodi, the author of Modesty: A Fashion Paradox. She has been truly tireless and amazing with her persistence in seeking out podcasts and any and all online events for publicity purposes during these tough times. With help from our US and UK publicists and with perseverance from Hafsa, the book has secured an amazing mention from  Harper’s Bazaar US under ‘ The Best Fashion Books Of All Time — Fashion Memoirs, Coffee Table Books‘ (see slide 3!) and  An Excerpt From Fashion Journalist Hafsa Lodi’s Book | Teen Vogue and numerous other outlets. Here Hafsa lists all the publicity the book has received to date, Modesty: A Fashion Paradox | Journalist in a Jumpsuit . We’d also love to ask everyone that we’ve sent review copies to please write and add the reviews on any and all online platforms. Reviews are the life-blood of small independent publishers and books can sell, or not, based on reviews.

We are very excited about our new author, Phil Bowne, debuting with Cows Can’t Jump in September. His work has been aptly described as ‘youthful, irreverent and topical’ and will be a much-needed antidote to the gloom of Covid. In addition, Children of War will come out in the US in October. We’ve received some fabulous reviews from Anne Cater’s book tour in late March. From @MeredithRankin2, “This book dazzled and fascinated me. I felt as if Yorulmaz and I were sitting in a cafe, chatting over strong Turkish coffee. And then I fell silent, mesmerized as the old man recounted stories from his life, leisurely…I highly recommend this book to those who like historical or literary fiction, or those who like to read about immigration/immigrants.”

We’ve just finished an instagram blog tour for The Three Hares: The Jade Dragonball by Scott Lauder and David Ross. Again, some absolutely fabulous reviews, and we hope these wonderful social media reviews lead to book sales. The second book in the series, The Three Hares: The Gold Monkey Key, will be out in Spring 2021. We will also be publishing the Arabic Trees for Absentees by Ahlam Bsharat and will promote the books together to Arabic departments at universities looking to add more accessible and shorter novels to reading lists.

We are actively seeking submissions for literary fiction, historic fiction and non-fiction proposals, and would love to receive submissions from minority writers. We will be putting out a call on social media next week and hope we can continue adding to our growing list of wonderful authors!