Jul 282013

Have you ever had one of those moments when the fickle finger of fate alters your life? I’ve always been a party girl and anyone who has known me socially knows I like a drink or ten. Having run a wine business in France I sort of developed the habit of drinking wine almost daily. I have tried several times cutting back, limiting it to weekends etc but, despite knowing I was drinking far more than I should still looked forward to wine o’clock.

Then a manuscript by Lucy Rocca and Sarah Turner arrived on my desk and I sat down to read it in my professional capacity. And a funny thing happened – it made me realise what I’d gain by giving up drinking – not lose. And I haven’t had another drink since. Giving up was incredibly easy – I had no physical symptoms at all except that I feel better, look younger and am losing on average 2lbs a week. What’s not to like about that?!

Oh, and of course I’m saving a shedload of money which I will save for a much better reward than wine.

I’m hoping that by sharing my story I will help other women question their relationship with alcohol because there is now a major problem with women drinkers who are dying from alcohol related illnesses in their 40’s and 50’s. These are mums who thought it was fine to drink too much because all their friends were too. They won’t be there to raise a toast at their kids weddings or see their grandchildren born. We need to start making this a normal conversation and I have no shame in saying I used to drink too much – most of my friends did too. It was fun, glamorous and those government guidelines were meant for other people – not us! I’m really glad I’ve stopped though and I’m loving the liberation that not being controlled or defined by alcohol brings.

 July 28, 2013  No Responses »
Jun 062013

Taking a bite out of the Big Apple

Taking a bite out of the Big Apple

Reflecting on a great week in New York where we exhibited at BookExpo America for the first time. For several years we have had our own stands at the London and Frankfurt Book Fairs but this was new territory for us and, I have to confess, I was a little daunted. The BA flight out from Heathrow was fine – those Gordon’s miniatures they serve always help, as do a couple of funny movies! In the cab to the hotel I planned room service and an early night but then found the hotel was under renovation so there was no restaurant and the wifi wouldn’t connect – not a great start but my moaning paid off and I ended up getting free wifi for the week – saving $14.95 a day. I felt a bit like Alice in Wonderland in my room as everything was ridiculously big – you could have slept on the TV and I almost needed a ladder to climb into the bed.

The next day Peter Newsom, our Sales Director and I  set up the stand – there is always a moment of panic involved but we were both pleased with the end result although it was in a very dark part of the hall. More moaning eventually produced some free lights as we had bought a turnkey package and I was assured we’d just need to turn up – everything for the stand was provided. To be fair, the organisers couldn’t have been more helpful or welcoming.

And then the fun began – the atmosphere was totally different to the other shows. There was a tangible excitement and clear hunger to discover new books, publishers and authors. We had a steady stream of bloggers, librarians, booksellers and power readers who were all keen to learn more about us and our range. We talked and talked while handing out hundreds of free reading copies. Visitors carried huge swag bags which they regularly emptied into suitcases stored in the lobby – some may feel this was greedy but from a publisher’s perspective it was a delight to see that hunger for print format books.

Was it worth the time and expense? I think so – we certainly raised the profile of both Accent Press and Xcite Books. I have a stack of cards from bloggers and reviewers and a much better idea about the US book market. It was a big financial investment but potential rights sales should justify it so, in conclusion I’d say we were right to try and take a bite out of the Big Apple and will probably be back for another one next year!

 June 6, 2013  No Responses »
Mar 122013

Smile is our key motto!

Smile is our key motto!

Having outgrown our space at the Old School we have this week moved to our new offices. It is wonderful to have the space to take on new staff and to really take the company to the next level. Here we are beside our new inspiration wall!

Welcome to Claire Travers who joined us today – it’s great to have you here!

 March 12, 2013  No Responses »
Feb 122013

ipg13We are really delighted to be on the shortlist for the PrintOnDemand Worldwide Specialist Consumer Publisher of the Year in the Independent Publishers Guild Awards 2013.

We are in great company shortlisted alongside Osprey Group, Quiller Publishing and Witherby Publishing Group. If we win or lose I know we will have a good Awards Night party at the IPG conference on the 7th March.

Please keep your fingers crossed for us 🙂

 February 12, 2013  No Responses »
Jan 232013

 I’m really thrilled that Jane Wenham-Jones’ book Prime Time – full-length romantic comedy novel has been shortlisted in the RNA Awards – Romantic Comedy Novels Category. It is huge recognition for her book and Accent Press since all the others are by Big Boy London publishers. I have already booked by ticket for the Awards Dinner on 26th February and will have to treat myself to a new frock!

Here’s what the Daily Mail said about the book – “Prime Time is thoughtful, insightful and often laugh-out-loud funny. I raced through it and thoroughly enjoyed myself in the process.” Why not grab yourself a copy and let us know if you think it deserves to win?!


 January 23, 2013  No Responses »
Jan 032013

Please a few moments to complete these questions for a range of business books aimed at female entrepreneurs. I believe that together we can help more women have the confidence and support they need to start successful businesses.

My own business journey began ten years ago when my triplets were six years old and I started a publishing company. I’m now passionate about sharing the skills and experiences gained with other women to help them become successful entrepreneurs.

The books are scheduled for publication in June 2013 and there is also a TV series being planned. While we cannot guarantee to use everyone in the books your company profile will be added to the website that will support the series.
Many thanks for your help and support. Please CLICK HERE 

Hazel Cushion – Managing Director – Accent Press Ltd

 January 3, 2013  No Responses »
Oct 032012

Tomorrow is graduation day for the Lead Business course I have been doing at Swansea University – it has been a fantastic opportunity. I have learnt so much and met some brilliant people – as they say, education is wasted on the young so the fact that I’m about to turn 51 may explain why I got so much out of it! One of my motto’s is ‘make every day a school day’ and I certainly learnt a massive amount during the last eight months.

If you are interested in learning more about the programme please CLICK HERE.

Room 107 Technium Digital
Swansea University
Singleton Park,
Telephone: +44 (0)1792 606 738
Email: info@leadwales.co.uk
 October 3, 2012  No Responses »
Sep 272012

Had to buy a new iPad today so that I can demonstrate our fantastic new 3D Hologram Kama Xcitra at the Frankfurt Book Fair – oh joy!

(It works with smartphones too but to demonstrate to a crowd I NEEDED a new iPad) It’s coming out in December – for more info click here

If you are going to be there please visit us on Stand B968!


 September 27, 2012  No Responses »
Sep 252012
Author of ‘Wanna be a Writer?’ and ‘Wanna be a writer we’ve heard of?’ Jane Wenham Jones is running a week-long course, ‘Is there a book in you?’. It starts on 6th October in Castillon la Bataille in south west France.  Janie and Mike are excellent hosts. The old house is gorgeous, with huge rooms, plenty of character and a swimming pool. You will eat well, have chance to take walks along the Dordogne and go wine-tasting. Katie Fforde will also be there, which gives you two great talents for the price of one!
I wish I could go myself but I’ll be at the Frankfurt Book Fair – maybe next time.
You can contact Janie on: janie.amanda@googlemail.com or go to the website
 September 25, 2012  No Responses »
Mar 252012

Yesterday I received the very sad news that Michelle had died after a long and difficult battle with breast cancer. When she wrote My Mummy Wears a Wig: Does Yours? in 2007 she hoped she had beaten it. I know her book has brought great comfort to many families facing breast cancer. It is so open, honest and often very funny. Michelle was an amazing woman and my heart goes out to her family, husband and young sons.

In the final chapter she wrote –

April 17, Tuesday

I had my mammogram results today and everything is fine. I am so relieved it is finally over. I have told all my friends and family and people at work, and everyone is so happy for me. For once I do feel that I can be happy, and that this is news worth celebrating. I am not cured, they do not use that word, but I am in remission. I will be monitored for at least the next five years and I will be on Tamoxifen for five years and have a mammogram every year. I am not going to let cancer blight my life with worry and wonder what might happen and if it might come back.

I am going forward thinking that it will NOT come back, and I will not be frightened to say that. I am asking the Cosmos for my health, and with a bit of help from me along the way, I am hoping the Cosmos will give it right back to me.

I do not want my cancer to come back. I want to be cured and never to have to face this again. The fear is there, of course, and at times it can haunt you and I guess I could be small and quiet and hope that it will pass me by and not notice me again and let me live a peaceful life with Rhodri and my two boys.

But to do that would be doing a disservice to myself, because for all the darkness that it has brought to me, cancer has also brought me light. My cancer has changed me and shaped me into the person I have become.

Cancer has made me confront demons in my life that I would never have otherwise had the courage to confront. Cancer has shown me angels in the form of the people who have cared for me, and my family and friends who have stood by me and loved me. It has brought me together with my husband in a way I would never have thought possible. We started off two very different people in one place and now I feel that we are as one, united, and I would never have thought that would happen.

I thought that we might crumble, but we did not, we became stronger. My eyes half-closed to life are open because of cancer. I have made decisions that I would never otherwise have made.

So I will NOT lead the small quiet life I envisaged at some points along this journey, living in fear of cancer. I AM going to live a large and loud life, full of love and happiness with my three boys, Rhodri, Elis and Osian. I will shout at the top of my voice that I am alive and, no matter what is to come in the future, whatever life throws at me, I will catch it and throw it back and like Aslan the great lion in Narnia, I will come back the stronger person because of it.

Is is very hard to read it knowing that, in the end, this vile disease claimed her but I have used it as an illustration of what a wonderfully positive person she was. I really enjoyed working with her and getting to know her as we promoted the book. Life isn’t fair and it makes me want to rage against the injustice of it. Instead I’ll try and do something positive and raise money for cancer research. I’m also going to reread her book – it’s a great legacy to a wonderful woman and it was a privilege to publish it.

 March 25, 2012  2 Responses »