Neem Tree Blog

New publications, skirmishes on translation endings and an imminent cover reveal!

This week we entered into a completely unexpected and very surprising last-minute skirmish about the ending of one of our translations. How much liberty can or should a translator take? In this case, unfortunately, the author is dead and we can’t ask him directly either. So, we are battling it out and wait to see if we’ve managed to persuade the parties concerned.

Trees for the Absentees by Ahlam Bsharat, superbly translated by Ruth Ahmedzai Kemp and Sue Copeland, is now out!  Dr Nora Parr, a research Fellow at SOAS, refers to it as ‘a most ordinary, magical, devastating story’ and compares it to the greats of magic realism ‘what Trees for the Absentees shares with works by authors like Gabriel García Márquez and Jorge Louise Borges is that it finds a way within fiction to beautifully express what the ‘real’ somehow cannot.’

We are getting geared up for Frankfurt. It’s going to be the first time Neem Tree Press is exhibiting there, but we are under the auspices of the IPG so that should smooth things somewhat. We are very excited and hope it’ll be productive, particularly from a rights perspective.

We are also gearing up for the paperback publication for The Umbrella Men by Keith Carter on October 3rd. We are really looking forward to the Anne Cater blog tour that is lined up for the book.

We have finalized the book cover design for our first non-fiction book, Modesty: A Fashion Paradox by the fabulous Hafsa Lodi and will be revealing it very soon – watch this space.

Hello to our third weekly blog!

It’s been another eventful week at Neem Tree Press. We’ve been rushing to finalize book covers, finish off copy editing and proofreading on our next few books, dealing with the logistics around sales, distribution and publicity, making new book acquisition decisions and, although exhausted, loving every minute of it. While getting on with the business of publishing, we’ve been bemused and alarmed by the state of UK politics and wait to see what will transpire on an hourly basis.

In the meantime, the first in our middle grade adventure series, The Three Hares: The Jade Dragonball by Scott Lauder and David Ross, was published on September 5th! David and Scott have done a couple of very interesting interviews on the creative process:

Magic of Words Blog by @MagicofWorldsBE and B for Book Review by @BookreviewB

Keith Carter, author of The Umbrella Men, gave a fabulous interview on The Authors’ Show:


Next week we are gearing up for the publication of our second book by Palestinian author Ahlam Bsharat, Trees for the Absentees, superbly translated by Ruth Ahmedzai Kemp and Sue Copeland. And Douglas Irving, translator of Distant Signs by Anne Richter, will be presenting the book at The Institute for German Studies’ conference at the University of Birmingham titled ‘The GDR Today’. As we approach the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall this November, it is sobering to contemplate that the two sides are still not truly one. Here is one article that is an informative read Lingering divide: why east and west Germany are drifting apart.

Until next time!

Hello everyone and welcome to our second weekly blog!

It’s been mostly a week of sunny, clear blue skies with just a hint of cloud on the horizon that we hope to clear by next week.

We’ve just come off a wonderful #randomthings blog tour organized by the amazing @annecater. Keith Carter, author of The Umbrella Men, gave a fun and engaging interview at The Authors’ Show in the US and we will be linking to that interview in our next blog. We are gearing up for a cover reveal for our first non-fiction book, Modesty: A Fashion Paradox. We are excited for September 5th, publication date of the first in our MG The Three Hares adventure stories, The Jade Dragonball. So, great news all round. The only cloud on our horizon is that our Amazon reviews are still not formatted correctly. What is an indie publisher to do? Our onix feed is working well so it’s a downstream problem. We will set out to resolve this by next week!

Below is a taste of some of the lovely reviews Toletis received on the recent blog tour. We hope you enjoy them and are inspired to buy the book.

@BeverleyHasRead – Guest review by Lucy aged 7

Guest blogger Lucy, aged 71/2, kicked off the tour. “Lucy absolutely loved this book and I have it on good authority from her mummy that she has read it another five times since first receiving it in July. She was really inspired by the book and even drew some of the characters featured in Toletis.”

Lucy and her fabulous drawings, “I loved Toletis and the misty wonderful valley he lives in…”


@lelbudge – Orland Books Review

“This is one of the most beautiful books I have ever read. It shows the love of nature and what we are doing to destroy it… also shows how we could easily repair the damage with love and consideration.”

“Stunning and perfect for any age.”


@Lou_Bookmarks – Book Marks and Stages Review

“It is a book to inspire everyone at every milestone in their lives.”

“It shows a sensitivity as well as still having humour and adventure throughout it.”


@NerdishMum – Life of a Nerdish Mum Review

“I can honestly say I don’t think I’ve ever read a children’s book that has such gorgeous end papers and french flaps!”

“I love how the author has captured how easy it is for a child to cross the boundary between reality and imagination”


@JoannaLouiseParBroad Bean Books Review

“Toletis is a wonderful character to have narrating his adventures as he explores the nature world around him.”

“Beautifully translated with some amazing illustrations that just add to the tender storytelling the author has brought us.”


@booksandemma – Books and Emma Review

“This book is a keeper and my boys want to read it again and again!”

“Such a lovely story and the beautifully drawn and crafted pictures make this book a real treat to read.”


@LoveBooksGroup – Over The Rainbow Review


“Toletis is a beautifully written, magical book that my six year old and me loved reading together.”

“Toletis is wonderful little boy who is able to see all the magic in the world. The vivid descriptions of the natural world were fantastic and made me smile. It has made both of us appreciate the things we see on walks and has led to some lovely discoveries and discussions between us.”

@BookreviewB – B for Book Review

“Toletis is a quiet, sensitive and caring boy who isn’t afraid to show his emotions. ”

“One of the things I love most about Toletis is that it touches on big real life events such as the death of a family member in a wholesome and loving way.”


@purplekizz – The Midnight Review

“A magical book for all ages.”

“This book captures your imagination. Makes you slow down and look at the world around you a little differently. It is to be savored, preferably on a rainy afternoon snuggled on the sofa.”

Welcome to the first of our weekly blogs!

Welcome to the first of our weekly blogs on how our week as an independent publisher has gone: both the ups and downs. Last week we were scrambling to load everything up on our super-duper new website! We are so excited: Simon Appleby of Bookswarm has done a fabulous job and we hope our new site will be engaging and have you returning on a regular basis.