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Sunday, 31 December 2017

Happy New Year and what happened to last year’s resolutions

Well, that’s another year in and it seems to have whizzed by, it doesn’t seem like yesterday I was making my New Year resolutions and I bet you’re wondering whether I managed to keep them. So here goes:

2017 resolutions – how did I do?

First resolution – Publish my nonfiction book “Nuts & Bolts of Self-Publishing” before the end of January – I almost made it because I published it on 6th February 2017. I was only 6 days out. And I’m really pleased at how well it’s done and that a lot of people have found it useful.

Second resolution – Finish writing my next Kirsty Campbell mystery, “Bloody Murder” – Woop, woop. I finished it just before Christmas although I still have all the revision and editing to do, but I’ve made a start. The only thing is, it’s got a new title. I thought “Bloody Murder” was too modern for a historical murder mystery, so I’ve retitled it “Death of a Doxy”.

Third resolution – Promote and market my books more! Well, that was a nonstarter because I’m rubbish at the ‘Buy my book’ spiel. But then, I’m happy to be rubbish at that because I write mainly for the pleasure of writing and pleasing my readers.

So that’s last year’s resolutions out of the way. What about this year?

Resolutions for 2018:

Resolution 1 – Work hard on the revision and editing of “Death of a Doxy” and publish it before the end of January. Should be a piece of cake provided I don’t take too much time off to eat or sleep.

Resolution 2 – Plan my next book which will be another of the Dundee Crime Series. Problem is I haven’t got a scooby about the plot or anything else, apart from the fact I’ve promised our fabulous Angus library staff to place a body in one of their libraries. And thank you Lesley Matthews for offering yourself up as the body.

Resolution 3 – Write faster because that is what my readers want.

Please note, I haven’t made a resolution to do any marketing or promotion because it goes against the grain. I will just count myself lucky if all the readers who enjoy my books, spread the word.

Happy New Year everybody.

Chris Longmuir

Sunday, 24 December 2017

Christmas is a Time for Good News

Wishing you all a happy Christmas as well as Season’s Greetings to those of you who do not celebrate Christmas.

It’s a special time of the year and along with my good wishes, I also have some good news for you. My new book is almost ready because I’ve just written The End. Now for the title reveal. Drum roll. It’s called “Death of a Doxy” and it’s one of my Kirsty Campbell mysteries set in 1919.

Of course, there is still a lot of work to do. Revision and editing, looking for plot holes, checking the story structure is working, ensuring my characters are not cardboard cutouts, so I’ll be putting my head down over the holidays and getting a start on sorting all those things out.

My cover designer is currently working on the design elements of the cover so it won’t be long before I can share that with you. I can’t wait to see what she comes up with but I’ll keep you updated.

In the meantime, thank you for all your support and for reading and enjoying my books.

Chris Longmuir

Thursday, 30 November 2017

Write Scotland Christmas Bonanza

Write Scotland Christmas Bonanza

What? You haven’t heard about Write Scotland? Well, let me give you the heads up. we’re a group of eight writers who write fiction set in Scotland. Some of us are domiciled in Scotland but we also have members who live further away. Our reach even extends as far as Australia. However, we have one thing in common, we all have strong Scottish links and we all write Scottish fiction. And, dare I say it, our books are excellent. Check out the website.

The eight authors are: Chris Longmuir; Sharon Brownlie; Cathy M Donnelly: Wendy H Jones; Carmel McMurdo Audsley; Billy McLaughlin; Alex Breck; and Melanie Robertson-King.

Write Scotland Authors

Well, we’ve recently put our Scottish thinking heads together and we came up with the bright idea that we’d host a Facebook event to introduce you to our members and, as it’s near Christmas, we’re calling it the Write Scotland Christmas Bonanza. You can find the details here, please check it out and if you like what you see then we’d be glad to see you at the event.

As I’ve already said there are eight of us and we’ll be running competitions with prizes, offering freebies, and allowing you to put us on the spot by asking us any question you like, no matter how outlandish it is. But, above all, it’s going to be great fun. You mustn’t miss it.

Ah! I knew I’d forgotten something. The event is taking place on Facebook on Sunday 3rd December and it kicks off at 7pm (UK time) when you can meet the first of our authors, Robin Morton. My slot comes immediately after that at 7.20pm, and as an inducement, I’ve reduced all my Kindle ebooks to £1.99 for the duration of the event but they will go back to normal prices on Wednesday 6th December, so you’ll need to be quick.

I hope I’ll see you on Sunday.

Chris Longmuir

Thursday, 12 October 2017

#Newsflash - Crime at the Castle Launched

Glamis Castle

What! Haven’t you heard about Crime at the Castle? The original and new crime festival taking place at Glamis Castle and about to burst onto the scene on February 24th, 2018. Click here for information

This is where you’ll find the biggest and hottest crime writers that Scotland has to offer. One newspaper described the selection of authors as “some of the nation’s best crime writers”. And guess what? I’m included in the programme. Click here for the programme

Crime at the Castle was the brainchild of author Wendy H Jones and after a lot of hard work in conjunction with the Glamis Castle events team, the programme has just been launched. And if you haven’t heard of Wendy H Jones, then you’ve had your eyes shut. Either that or you never visit social media sites. She’s impossible to miss on Facebook and has a following that is the envy of many authors. But, if you really haven’t heard about Wendy click here for her website

But let’s talk about the conference. It’s a one-day event, and as I previously said, it’s taking place at Glamis Castle. There are sixteen famous authors appearing including Val McDermid, Denise Mina, Alex Gray, Chris Brookmyre, Lin Anderson, Caro Ramsay and plenty more. The hard thing for those booking a place at the conference will be selecting which author’s event to choose because there is a choice of six different events running at the same time although some of us have a slot in the morning and a repeat slot in the afternoon.

For example, my first slot is at 10 am in The Chapel, and my repeat slot is at 2.30 pm in the Queen Mother’s sitting room. In both slots, I will be talking about the rocky road to publication. I just hope I get an audience because Caro Ramsey, Alex Gray, Shona McLean, Caroline Dunford and Jackie McLean, are on at the same time in the morning, and I’m up against Val McDermid, Alex Gray, Caroline Dunford, Michael J Malone, and Douglas Skelton in the afternoon. All of them stiff competition.

As well as my own events I’ll also be introducing Chris Brookmyre in the Drawing Room, and interviewing Lin Anderson in the Dining Room. So it’s going to be a hectic day.

So, what will this fabulous event cost you? I guarantee you won’t have to take out a mortgage to cover it because it’s only £55 for the entire day and that includes lunch in the Glamis Castle restaurant. And they do really nice lunches. I’ve eaten there before at previous visits. In my opinion, it’s the bargain of the year. Meeting your favourite authors, sitting down to lunch with them, and an exciting experience in fabulous surroundings. What more could a reader or writer ask for?

One last proviso, there are only a limited number of tickets which is due to the space available and the inability to squeeze in additional people so I would advise you to get your tickets as soon as possible, particularly if there is a favourite author’s session you want to attend. It will be first come, first served, and once it’s gone it’s gone.

I hope to see you there.

Chris Longmuir

Amazon:   Author page

Monday, 25 September 2017

#ScotsWrite17 was a blast

Two years in the planning but the Society of Authors in Scotland conference ScotsWrite was a roaring success although now it’s all over I have to admit to being a bit knackered.
ScotsWrite team meeting to plan the day ahead
Decked out in our royal blue tee shirts and/or sashes we were constantly on the go. My Fitbit, which monitors how much exercise I take and how many steps and miles I walk, almost collapsed with exhaustion. And at the end of each day, I also collapsed into bed thinking I’d never make it to breakfast the next morning. But I always did. Plus I had to be bright and breezy for the morning team meeting where we did our planning to ensure all the delegates got an amazing experience.

I think we succeeded in providing that amazing experience because there was a definite buzz during the conference and many demands for us to do it again next year. However, there were no plans to make this an annual event. It was meant to be a one-off and given the fact this conference was two years in the making the logistics would rule out another event of this nature next year. But it has planted the idea that this cannot be a one-off and that there might need to be thought given to a repeat in the future. I, for one, certainly hope it can be done again.

The registration desk is ready and we're raring to go

The conference started on Friday afternoon, but we were all there from early morning to tackle the tasks that needed to be done prior to the arrival of the first delegates. There was registration to set up as well as display boards inviting comments and discussions. Some of the organising team assisted by student volunteers tackled the mammoth task of packing the goody-bags. In fact, there was so much to do I did wonder at one time whether we would make our deadlines. But writers are used to deadlines and this was a conference organised by writers for writers. So everything was completed in time and the conference got off to a good start.
Three of our keynote speakers
Our lineup of speakers was outstanding. Many conferences have one keynote speaker but because we had a keynote speaker each day of the conference and two on Saturday, that meant we had four: Joanne Harris the author of Chocolat and other books; Jane Johnson who has been a publisher and is now an author; Charlie Higson who wrote the young James Bond books; and Joanna Penn, author-entrepreneur, who is an expert on all aspects of publishing and marketing. I managed to see and hear them all except for Charlie Higson because I was manning the registration desk which remained open the entire conference for any queries that might arise.
Denise Mina presenting her breakout session
Apart from the keynote speakers, there were masses of breakout sessions (workshops) all of which were excellent, and I had the honour of hosting Denis Mina at her session. She’s a lovely person as well as being a brilliant writer. Did you know she won this year’s McIlvanney prize for best crime novel? Other breakout sessions were presented by Caro Ramsay, Emily Dodds, Mary Hoffman, David Bishop and a host of others. We also had two Scrivener sessions and got a sneak peek at the new Scrivener Three which will be launched within the next few months. I can’t wait to get my hands on it.
Westerwood Hotel - ScotsWrite venue

Our venue was the Westerwood Hotel at Cumbernauld and as far as I am concerned it’s one of the best conference hotels around. The facilities offered included their own golf course as well as a spa but, of course, we didn’t have time to use them. As always, the food was delicious and I think I’ll have to diet for the next month to recover. Oh, and I can’t forget the ceilidh we had on Saturday night after the gala meal. It was a blast as well. The floor was packed although I managed to avoid most of the energetic dances like the eightsome reel and strip the willow.
Whooping it up at the ceilidh
I’m exhausted after all that and I’m off to lie down to recover now. You may not see me for some time!

Chris Longmuir

Amazon:   Author page

Friday, 11 August 2017

Countdown to #ScotsWrite

Writing conferences are part and parcel of a busy writer’s life. They release writers from their self-imposed solitude and confirm there is life outside the writer’s cave. It provides an opportunity to expand our knowledge, find out how other writers work, meet other writers who are household names and others who are less well known. Above all, it’s about networking.

Normally I am simply an attendee and sometimes a speaker but I’ve never been involved with organising a conference. Until now.

After the Society of Authors in Scotland (SOAiS) made the decision to organise a conference we were gripped with excitement. We wanted it to be the best conference ever, particularly as it was going to be a one off and wouldn’t be repeated. Well, at least not for a long time. Find out all about the conference at
Hard working members on the ScotsWrite Conference organising committee
Our committee, headed up by our wonderful chairperson, Linda Strachan, got to work. And as a committee member, I was in the thick of it. We soon realised it would be of benefit to have additional SOAiS members join the committee to help with the planning and implementation of the conference. These extra members were a boon and things were soon merrily chugging away although at the beginning things were a bit chaotic for me. That was soon to change when our events organiser, Jenny Kumar, joined our working parties and soon whipped us into shape. I reckon Jenny is Wonderwoman in disguise.
Westerwood Hotel ScotsWrite conference venue
Anyway to cut a long story short. We have our venue arranged, the luxurious Westerwood Hotel, in Cumbernauld, which is central and easily reached from all parts of Scotland. The food is to die for and if there’s time in between listening to all the great speakers we have lined up, there’s always the spa or the golf course.

Our speakers are booked and the line up is stupendous. The speakers include Joanne Harris (Chocolat), Caro Ramsay, Denise Mina, Charlie Higson, Joanna Penn and a host of others too numerous to mention including publishers and agents. Plus, if you want to know about Scrivener we have sessions devoted to that. And there is optional Tai Chi if that’s something you fancy. If you want to see the full programme check it out here and if you want to know more about the speakers check them out here

It’s going to be an exciting weekend and we have a delegate bag full of fascinating goodies for everyone who comes along. But don’t delay because places are selling fast. And don’t think if you miss it this year you can come along next year because you can’t. This is a one off conference and there will be no repeat next year.

A final word before I finish. As well as special rates for SOA members there are special affiliate rates for the conference if you belong to any of the following organisations such as: ACW; ALLi; Borders' Writers Forum; Federation of Scottish Writers; Historical Novel Society; ITI; NUJ; Playwrights' Studio, Scotland; Royal Literary Fund; SAS; SAW; SCBWI; and WGGB. So, be sure to claim your discounted price.

This conference is something you can’t afford to miss and it is open to everyone, not just SOA members so make sure you book. And make it soon so you don’t miss the event of the year.

I’ll see you there.

Chris Longmuir

Amazon:   Author page

Saturday, 8 July 2017

Experimenting with Book2Look Widgets

Book2Look Widget
Click to look inside
I recently attended a Nielsen Book Publisher Seminar which supplied lots of information about the publishing business and the use of ISBNs. Among a lot of other things, they covered electronic trading, the use of metadata, and digital marketing. All useful information which applies to the crowded business of publishing. Did you know there were 178,000 new titles published last year alone, and that 488 new books are published every day? The mind boggles.

One thing that grabbed my attention at this seminar was the session on Book2Look widgets. I’d vaguely heard about these widgets but hadn’t paid much attention. However, as the presentation developed the potential became obvious although I wasn’t sure whether the outlay for the widgets would have any economic benefit for an author. You can find the web presentation on You Tube. Click here to view. You will also find some other shorter You Tube videos. Click here to see a selection.

Promotion and marketing do not come easily to me. It comes from being Scottish and being taught from an early age that you shouldn’t, in the words of my Gran, ‘blow your own trumpet’. So the fact my books are popular does not come from any great efforts on my part. I dabble a bit with Twitter and Facebook but not to any great extent. But even I could see how attractive these widgets were so I decided to give it a whirl and bought a stack of widgets, enough for all of my books.

They came with enough information to get me started. A video webinar, a Quick Guide, and a more in-depth online manual. I found it relatively easy to create my Biblets (that’s what the widgets are called) and instantaneous email help was provided each time I had a query.
What you see when you first open the Biblet

Inside the Biblet, which opens like a book, you can access sample chapters (you choose how many), audio clips, You Tube Videos, a selection of your chosen reviews, plus it automatically inserts information from Goodreads so there is no need to include this yourself. It also includes any shop links you indicate you want included and this is done before you create your Biblet so it automatically links in each time a new Biblet is created.

So, once my Biblets were created I tested the links. All the shop links worked and I was amazed to find I had reviews on Amazon in Germany. Who would have thought? Everything else worked perfectly, the audio, the video and the book sample. I then tested the sharing links and posted to Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest from inside the Biblet. Every single share worked and the Widgets opened in their media destinations.
Why don’t you have a go? Open the widget above and have a look around. There is a menu down the left side of the open widget although once you have clicked one thing it will collapse. Just click the icon with the three dots at the foot of the page and it will open again. If you are using a browser on your PC there is also a tab on the right side of the screen that says ‘Did you know?’ If you click that it will pull out the menu bar. Be my guest and have a play around and let me know what you think of it.

Now I’d compiled and published my Biblets I needed to add them to Blogger, and you can see them all down the left sidebar. If you click on them they will open but I was unable to figure out how to get them to open in a new window (a Blogger thing) so once you’ve opened one you’ll have to use the back button to get back here.

I still have to add them to my website. That’s going to be a major task but I think it will be worth it.

I’m really impressed by the Book2Look widgets. Whether they will pay off for me is another matter but I don’t care, I like them and I think they look good. If you want to check them out this is where you will find them

Do let me know what you think.

Chris Longmuir

Amazon:   Author page

Thursday, 25 May 2017

Scottish Authors Infiltrate Crimefest

Another year and another Crimefest, and no matter where I turned this year I kept bumping into Scottish authors. They were all over the place. You can’t keep a good Scot down!

So, this year I’m not going to write about all the various panels and what a good time I had. I’m just going to entertain you with a rogues gallery of the writers who weren’t fast enough to escape from me. So, here goes, in surname alphabetical order:

Lucy Cameron

Lucy Cameron. It was great to see Lucy on a panel this year after many years of attendance as a spectator. Lucy has just published her debut novel Night is Watching and I have it on my reading list. I talked to her before she took part in her first panel Nightmares and Trauma and she admitted to shaking in her shoes. But she put up a brilliant performance and I’m sure by her second debut authors’ panel she would have been in her stride.

Mason Cross

Mason Cross. I often meet Mason at CWA (Crime Writer Association) lunches so it’s always a pleasure to see him take part in these events. His Cat and Mouse: Playing with your readers on Friday, was a delight.

Doug Johnstone

Doug Johnstone. Author, journalist, and musician appeared early in the programme on Thursday, talking about the dark side of human nature in the panel What are you hiding?

Michael Malone

Michael Malone. It’s always good to catch up with Michael whom I’ve known for many years and it’s great to observe his success as an author who now has eight books to his name. I read his most recent one A Suitable Lie and it was a cracker, joining the relatively new domestic noir category of crime fiction.

Wullie McIntyre

Wullie McIntyre, who currently writes as W. S. McIntyre. I’d never met Wullie before although I’d brushed shoulders with him on Facebook, and I hadn’t realised he was a criminal defence lawyer. You would expect someone in this career to be somewhat formal but his presentation was humorous and it led me to start reading one of his books Present Tense, and I must say that although it is quite definitely crime fiction, I haven’t stopped laughing since page one.

Caro Ramsay

Caro Ramsay. Another author I’ve known for a long time and count as a friend, floated past me a couple of times with the promise from both of us that we’d meet up. But it didn’t happen, we both seemed to be spiralling in different directions. Next time, I’ll nail her to the floor.

Anne Randall

Anne Randall. I haven’t known Anne quite as long. I’m not sure whether it was last year or the year before we met. But she’s a lovely person and generated enough interest on her author panel, when she spoke about her books and writing, for me to download her first book Riven to my Kindle. I’ve made a mental note to myself that I must read this one ASAP.

Of course, I was also there having a whale of a time and, naturally, I’ve already paid my deposit for next year.
Chris Longmuir
Chris Longmuir

Amazon:   Author page

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Dangerous Authors Meet at the CWA Conference

How do you like my new friend from the CWA Conference
I arrived in Edinburgh for the Crime Writers' Association conference with a suitcase that weighed a ton. However, once I’d offloaded books to Blackwell’s Bookshop it was a lot more manageable.

Hotel check-in went smoothly and I popped up to the seventh floor in the lift only to be faced with a small downward flight of stairs to get to my room. It reminded me of the time that SAW had their conferences in Blairgowrie, odd sets of stairs all over the place. Went down one set and then up another all on the same floor. The Queens Hotel in Harrogate was like that as well. Maybe it’s a feature of old buildings.

I think the poor duck is traumatised
by what he is seeing!
The room, once I got there was lovely. But why do hotels put masses of cushions on their beds. I only wind up heaving them on the floor. Oh, and because it was an Apex Hotel I had a room share with one of their plastic ducks! I found him perched in the shower soap tray

I was on the registration table and it was great meeting everyone as they arrived, ticking them off on the list, and issuing them with halyards while an army of volunteers presented everyone with a goody bag. Inside were some lovely books and a posh notebook as well as lots of other stuff.

As soon as registration was over it was off to the welcome reception with drinks and canap├ęs and Ian Rankin in conversation with Alexander McCall Smith.

Alexander McCall Smith and Ian Rankin
Ian and Alexander had a wide-ranging conversation about Edinburgh and its influence on literature and crime fiction. They mentioned the grave robbers Burke and Hare, Deacon Brodie who was a respectable alderman during the day but who turned to burglary during the hours of darkness, the Stevenson family of lighthouse builders and the author Robert Louis Stevenson who preferred writing to joining the family business. And, of course, Arthur Conan Doyle who was heavily influenced by his time in Edinburgh.

Saturday morning arrived, bright and sunny, and after a superb breakfast, in the company of some of the other delegates, we embarked on the activities of the day.

Tom Halpin and Alex Gray
Tom Halpin, who was formerly the Head of CID Operations at Strathclyde Police and Deputy Chief Constable at Lothians and Borders Police, gave an entertaining talk which he called “Reflections of an optimistic detective”. The audience was spellbound as he regaled us with his experiences of various murders and the conflicting interests that arose during the course of investigations, plus his problems with the police hierarchy. Aly Monroe described his task as “a realistic and moving account”.

After the talk, there was a chance to mingle with the other delegates during the coffee break and to catch up with old friends and meet new ones. The atmosphere was electric and the room buzzed with voices.
Some of the goodies on offer at the coffee break
Lin Anderson and Lorna Dawson
Professor Lorna Dawson, Scotland’s top forensic soil scientist was on next with “The application of earth science to the criminal justice system”. Once again, this was an interesting and informative talk amply illustrated by slides.

Saturday afternoon was free time with two excursions on offer. One group set off for the Real Mary King Close which was a guided tour of the underground streets that lie below the High Street, otherwise known as the Royal Mile. The tour gives a flavour of what life was like in these narrow alleyways and is known for ghostly presences.

The second group was taken to the Writers’ Museum, a seventeenth-century residence close to Edinburgh Castle, which commemorates Sir Walter Scott, Robert Burns, and Robert Louis Stevenson. They then visited The Museum on the Mound which is part of the Bank of Scotland. On this part of the tour, there was the opportunity to see what a million pounds looks like and to try to crack a safe.

Others explored Edinburgh to suit themselves and there is certainly plenty to see in Edinburgh. I think all the delegates were impressed by the city and they certainly seemed to be enjoying everything Edinburgh had to offer.

Creasey Bell presentation to Martin Edwards by Susan Moody
Martin Edwards chaired the AGM which went smoothly. Following the AGM the Creasey Bell was presented to Martin by Susan Moody former chair of the CWA.

The gala dinner was the perfect ending to Saturday. The food was excellent, the company was good, and the evening was rounded off by the guest speaker, the Rt Hon Leeona, Lady Dorrian, Lord Justice Clerk, who entertained the company with an informative and witty after dinner speech.

I staggered up in the lift and then down the stairs to my room and collapsed into bed where I slept like the proverbial log.

Chris Longmuir with James Grieve
Sunday started off with a talk by James Grieve, professor of forensic pathology. He is a brilliant speaker who was highly entertaining, describing the highlights as well as the lows of his profession.

After the coffee break, Tom Wood, former Deputy Chief Constable at Lothian and Borders Police talked about “The Legacy of the World’s End Murders”. It was a fascinating account of an investigation which took 37 years before the killer was convicted of the murder of two girls in 1977. His partner in crime was by that time dead. I have a copy of Tom Wood’s book The World’s End Murders. It’s next on my list to read.

Tom Wood’s talk was the last thing on the agenda for the CWA conference, but we weren’t finished. An additional event had been arranged at Blackwell’s Bookshop where 26 authors met readers. It was speed dating with crime fiction authors. I was on a table with the Mulgray Twins and Wendy H Jones, and it was great fun.
Mulgray Twins, Wendy H Jones, and Chris Longmuir
at the Dangerous Authors event at Blackwells Bookshop
Finally, it was time to run for my train. It was the London to Aberdeen train which is about two miles long and, of course, I was at the wrong end of the platform for my carriage. I never knew I could still run!

Absolutely exhausted, I left Edinburgh behind. Roll on the next conference!

Chris Longmuir

Amazon:  Author Page

Sunday, 5 March 2017

Are You Publishing a Book? What do you Know About Legal Deposit?

Recent posts on Facebook indicate a great deal of confusion over Legal Deposit. Some self-publishing authors have never heard of it, while others question what it means to them. Combined with this is a misunderstanding of where the books have to be sent, mainly because a lot of the Depositories are National Libraries. To many people, writers included, a library is a place which lends books, and the distinction between Legal Deposit libraries and public libraries is not clear. So, it might be best to start off with a clarification of this issue.
Montrose Library courtesy of Russ Hamer, Wikipedia Commons
Public Libraries

Public libraries can be found in every town. They provide a free book lending source for the general public. These libraries should not be confused with the Legal Deposit libraries which I will discuss in the next section. A public library buys the books it requires to stock the library and is not entitled to free copies of an author or publisher’s book after publication, although an author may gift books if they so wish. However, library contacts have informed me that not every library will accept free copies and if an author sends them they will not be added to the library shelves and will probably land up in the next library book sale. The reason for this is related to health and safety because many donated books are not in good condition.

Legal Depositories

Legal Deposit of publications is a requirement in every country. Legal depositories are mainly National Libraries which also includes University libraries in some countries. In addition to National libraries, university libraries are used as depositories in the UK, Russia, Poland, Slovenia, and Sri Lanka. Books acquired for Legal Deposit are archived and not available for lending, although they can be viewed and accessed for research.
Legal Depository stacks at the National Library of Scotland

What is Legal Deposit

Legal deposit is a statutory requirement to submit copies of publications to a repository. This has been limited to printed publications but the system is currently under expansion to include digital publications. It is referred to as Legal Deposit in most countries, however, it is referred to as Mandatory Deposit in the United States.


Most countries have their own legislation setting out the statutory requirements. In the UK the current legislation is the Legal Deposit Libraries Act 2003, although the legislation originated in 1662. Secondary legislation was brought in to deal with non-print publications (electronic) with the Legal Deposit Libraries (Non-Print Works) Regulations 2013.

In the Australia legal deposit is embodied in the Copyright Act 1968. In Canada, it is the Library and Archives of Canada Act 2004. In China, it is article 22 of the Regulations on the Administration of Publication 2001. Each country has its own legislation.

The Legal Requirement

This varies from country to country, ranging from one copy of each new publication in Brazil, to nineteen copies in Poland. As I reside in Britain I will restrict this discussion to UK requirements.

The legal requirement in the UK is for six copies of each new publication to be submitted for legal deposit. The legislation states that one copy of a new publication should be sent to the British Library within thirty days of publication. The British Library will not ask for it and the publisher is expected to send the publication within the allotted time scale. If the book is not sent they will send a reminder informing you that you have not complied with the legislation.

The five remaining books do not need to be sent unless a request for them is made. But once the request is made by the Agency for the Legal Deposit Libraries the same time scale applies.

It is important to note that the British Library legal deposit of one book and the five books required by the Agency for the Legal Deposit Libraries are sent to different addresses. If you combine the six books into one parcel and send to either one or the other address it will result in lost books.

The addresses are:
Legal Deposit Office, The British Library, Boston Spa, Wetherby, West Yorkshire LS23 7BY (one copy)

Agency for the Legal Deposit Libraries, 161 Causewayside, Edinburgh EH9 1PH (five copies)

Agency for Legal Deposit

As mentioned previously, the Agency for Legal Deposit is separate from the Legal Deposit Office at the British Library. The agency’s role is to collect and disperse the remaining five copies of the new publication to the various legal deposit libraries. These libraries are:
  • the Bodleian Libraries of the University of Oxford;
  • Cambridge University Library;
  • the National Library of Scotland;
  • the Library of Trinity College, Dublin;
  • the National Library of Wales.

Who has to comply with Legal Deposit?

The statutory duty to comply with the legislation rests with the publisher. This is another area of confusion with self-publishers. They sometimes find it difficult to determine who is the publisher. The term self-publish can lead to the assumption that everyone who self-publishes is liable for Legal Deposit, and in many cases that is the correct assumption. However, some self-publishers accept the free ISBN that Createspace and similar companies offer, and if they do this they are not the publisher of their self-published book.

So, to clarify the position, it is the person or company who buys the ISBN who is the publisher. So if a free ISBN has been accepted this makes Createspace, or the company supplying it, the publisher. Therefore, the responsibility lies with them. And, of course, if Createspace is the publisher the book is a US publication. If, on the other hand, you have bought your own ISBN and are using Createspace as a printer, rather than a publisher, and you reside in the UK your book is a UK publication. If you reside in a different country it is the country of residence of the publisher.

I have tried to include everything in this post but if anything is missing, or you have a question, please put it in the comments and I will try to answer.

In the meantime, I suppose I should mention that I have included a section on Legal Deposit in my new book the Nuts & Bolts of Self-Publishing: How to Self-Publish Ebooks and Paperbacks. There are also other sections on PLR (library lending), ALCS (secondary royalties) and loads of other information as well as step-by-step guides to formatting.

Chris Longmuir

Where to buy Nuts & Bolts of Self-Publishing
UK – paperback – Kindle

US – Paperback - Kindle