Friday, 18 November 2011


Sandy will be talking about her career in publishing and her published writing during the past two decades.  This will include her successful novel
as well as her poetry in
and the book she is currently working on.

Be sure to tune in...this can't be missed!

Monday, 7 November 2011

PORCUPINE LAUNCHES: David Hilton-Barber’s "Footprints"

On Friday, 4 November, the Porcupine Press team travelled from Johannesburg to the town of Tzaneen, in the Limpopo Province,  for the launch of their latest book:

 David Hilton-Barber’s:
 Footprints – on the trail of those who shaped Tzaneen’s history.
The launch was held in the early evening at the scenically situated
Approximately 100 guests attended.

The mood was festive and guests were treated to an array of snacks and a glass of wine.
Gail Robbins, co-owner of Porcupine Press, addressed the assembled guests.

Gail began her speech by quoting Doris Lessing:

" ‘In an age of committee art and public art (and international best sellers) people may begin to feel again a need for the small personal voice; and this will feed confidence into writers; and with the confidence of being needed will come the warmth and humanity and love of people which is essential for a great age of literature.’"
Gail went on to say:
"Porcupine is definitely concerned with such things – warmth, humanity, love of people, literature, the small personal voice – while at the same time caring sufficiently about economics to remain in business.

To publish a book of local history about local people and local achievements – as David Hilton-Barber has done – is confirmation of what Porcupine is doing and wants to continue doing – giving freedom to what Lessing describes as ‘the small personal voice’."

This impressive opening was followed by David Hilton-Barber.  He took the stand and thanked various people for their contributions to his research:
David Hilton-Barber autographs a book.

The books sold  briskly and a smiling Clare-Rose Julius, general manager of Porcupine Press, kept an eye on the sales.

 Above: David Hilton-Barber with well-known local artist, Ina van Schalkwyk.

(Above: Howard Blight clutches a handful of Footprints)

 After meeting up with another local author - Howard Blight - and his partner, we soon discovered a happy coincidence.  Howard is long-standing friend of the family of
Caryl Moll
 another porcupine author, whose remarkable Maxdog, a book about a dog in cyberspace, will be launched by Porcupine Press in Johannesburg early in December.

We'd like to take this opporunity of congratulating David Hilton-Barber on his book.
We are proud to represent him and wish him all success in this venture!



Don’t forget that Porcupine Press is South Africa’s leading independent publisher with an emphasis on marketing and distribution.
To begin your five-star publishing treatment, please call Clare-Rose Julius, our general manager:
011- 7914561
or email Clare-Rose at:
Our website is:

"Happy Writing!"
Caryl Moll
(Blog Administrator)

MAXDOG, by Caryl Moll.

by Caryl Moll
(Author of MAXDOG)

I stood at the edge of the cliff-face that day and looked across the vast landscape of the South African Lowveld. In the distance, the open plains of the Kruger National Park stretched out into oblivion. This was my home, I thought – the place where my heart was always rejuvenated.

How wonderful it was to finally be there – at God’s window. The name had never been lost on me. I could almost touch the heavens. In the blessed moment, I felt encouraged to ponder the road ahead. Like the distant plains, the voice of my solitary journey beckoned.

"Write! Write! Write!
There’s a story to be told. Tell it well! Make it happen! Don’t, even for one second, doubt that it is your destiny. MAXDOG will not die.”
As I stood at the edge of the cliff, I felt his presence – that gentle golden spirit which, in the past weeks, had continued to reach down and comfort me. He too was affirming my resolve.
“Our journey was unique, Maxmom,” he seemed to say. “One of a kind. Yet, in it, our story echoes those of others who do not speak. My bond with you is shared by many dogs before me. Their owners ache to know that their own journeys, with their beloved companions,are affirmed. Be strong, Maxmom! I am with you.”
Eventually I hiked back down the forest paths to the valley below. I knew that there was no longer time to waiver. I had to write MAXDOG’s book – the story of the small puppy, whose presence I’d resisted for so long. He was a dog who would eventually transform my life and, yes, he’d remain with me forever.

And so the journey began.
"As I look to the sunrise, I now know
that you are there in its glorious glow;
chasing bunnies, playing with balls,
romping the more walls!"
is published by PORCUPINE PRESS and will be launched shortly.
 Please address your enquires to:
Please also visit Caryl's blog:
(click on the link above)

Friday, 4 November 2011

Marketing and Distribution: the most important elements


After less than two years of operation, Porcupine Press is ahead of the independent publishing pack in South Africa – if not in the international context as well. This dynamic publishing house has achieved such pre-eminence by concentrating its efforts into those areas of independent publishing that have been traditionally weak.

In the whole range of services – from advice to authors and editing, through the entire production process, to marketing and distribution – it is the last two on the list that have tended to be neglected by independent publishers.

But these have become Porcupine’s strengths.

In support of such a statement, Porcupine has already taken on the distribution function for several important South African publishing concerns, Mousehand and Botsotso being the most prominent so far.

Launched at the end of 2009, Porcupine immediately assembled a powerful team of expertise in the fields of writing, book design and production. ‘We were certain we could match and surpass our competition in these areas of publishing,’ says general manager Clare-Rose Julius. ‘So we focused all our extra attention on the really difficult parts – marketing and distribution.’

Porcupine distribution networks include: physical books through a reputable distributor into South African bookshops and libraries; print-on-demand services in Britain and the USA for the supply of physical books in those countries; an online Porcupine bookshop for cut-price online sales; linkages into the five largest online book distributors in the world; e-book facilities (soon to include a direct Kindle link); as well as representation at selected book festivals and fairs.

Marketing services range from media liaison packages to promotional material and events. Launches are a speciality, and customised services can be sourced from our various partners.

‘Obviously,’ says Clare-Rose, ‘the more books we have on our lists, the more we’ll sell. That’s why we’re eager to talk to other small publishing houses and individual self-published authors. Come and join us on Porcupine’s distribution and marketing express.’

Above: Clare-Rose Julius
General Manager: Porcupine Press

"Happy Writing!"
Caryl Moll
(Blog Administrator and author of MAXDOG)



I once had a very good friend who was a publisher. In fact, I have had several friends who were. But the one I am thinking of in particular liked to tell a particular joke which illustrated how hard done by authors often felt at the hands of publishers. The joke is about a voracious New York publisher who says with a manipulative gleam in his eye: ‘Why buy the girl from the country a mink coat when a pair of silk stockings will do?’

As an author, I have been called far worse things than a na├»ve country bumpkin – but not by publishers. In fact, I have never come across a genuinely greedy one. Of course, they are astute – they need to be to stay in business – and they are naturally suspicious of authors’ views of the book trade. I have worked with six different commercial publishers in my time, and I must admit that none has offered me a mink coat. Nevertheless, I have liked them all. As I say, one or two of them became good friends. After all, a pair of silk stockings is better than bare-legged obscurity.

I think the world is changing quite rapidly for conventional publishers, and for book shops as well. Technology is seeing to that. Change is always a bit unnerving. For myself, I’ll miss browsing in shops, especially those dusty second-hand ones. Doing so on the Internet isn’t quite the same. And switching on one’s Kindle will never, for me, replace that sense of tactile relish of opening a new book for the first time.

There is one thing in particular that the current revolution will bring to publishing. Thanks to the increasing ease of production, in print as well as in electronic formats, the volume of published books will increase, as will the size of the total pie that will have to be labelled ‘mediocre’ or worse. On the up side, however, will be the ability of writers (and publishers) to more readily disengage themselves from economics, and to write what they feel the most urgently.

Doris Lessing seems to be talking about precisely this when she says: ‘In an age of committee art and public art (and international best sellers) people may begin to feel again a need for the small personal voice; and this will feed confidence into writers; and with the confidence of being needed will come the warmth and humanity and love of people which is essential for a great age of literature.’

My ideal publishing house should be concerned with such things – warmth, humanity, love of people, literature, the small personal voice – while at the same time caring sufficiently about economics to remain solvent. A bankrupt publishing house is of no use to anyone. These perceptions certainly lie very close to the heart of Porcupine Press, which I part own, and through which I have published for the past few years.

David Robbins.

 David’s latest book, Searching Africa, is to be launched on 29 November 2011 in Johannesburg!!!
(See right hand toolbar for details)
Come and meet this well-known South African writer, author of 19 books, and chat to Clare-Rose Julius, general manager of Porcupine Press.

"Happy Writing!"
Caryl Moll
(Blog Administrator and author of MAXDOG)


announces our brand new blog... 

Welcome to all our readers! 

It's great to have you visiting us!  We have recently identified a need to be more visible in our market and would like to increase our interaction with our customers, friends, authors and readers alike, via this, our new blog.  Our vision is to provide you, our readers, with regular and interesting snippets about the happenings in our company and our market.

We encourage you to follow us and interact with us via this site.  We welcome your feedback, so please leave us a note by clicking on 'comments' below this blogpost.

If you are a first-time visitor, we encourage you to also visit our official website to view our range of services.  Please click HERE.

Firstly, a little background about ourselves:

Porcupine Press is a small independent, but professional publishing house, that is dedicated to fulfilling the needs of its customers.   We are a small team who aim to provide a cost-effective and professional service. 

We publish books, magazines, papers and other materials and cater to authors who have also been turned down by mainstream publishers or who have preferred to take up the self-publishing option for their works.

Porcupine Press publish, distribute and market paperbacks, hardcover books, magazines, papers and other materials.  We also provide a conversion service for eBooks. We are dedicated to independent publishing and take pride in giving personal service with face-to-face relationships and sincere, honest and knowlegeable advice about the book industry.

Perhaps Marketing and distribution are of concern to you or perhaps you may simply be concerned about losing control over the decision-making processes surrounding the dissemination of your work. We understand these concerns and assure you that you have come to the right place to address them. 

Perhaps you just want a simple printing job done for private distribution, or a complete publishing service, or  a combination of services. In all these cases, Porcupine Press is the answer and we are waiting to help you!

Porcupine Press also offers South African authors and independent publishers the chance to showcase and sell their products in our exclusive online store. Take a look at some of our books on the Right-hand toolbar and click for more information.  Not only can an author earn 60 percent or more of the retail price selling through our WEBSITE, but there is an added advantage of not having to compete with hundreds of other popular international titles.

Our specialities:


In summary, we will be glad to be of service to you. 
Please contact our General Manager: Clare-Rose Julius, should you wish to discuss our services:

Porcupine Press
P O Box 2756

Tel: 011 791 4561

"Happy writing!"

Caryl Moll
(Author of MAXDOG & Blog administrator)