Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Halloween approaches and we start looking to the interweb for some inspiration.

Now that we've opened our first official store, we have decided that everyone working on Saturday, has to dress up for Halloween.
So rather than our usual half hearted effort, (also known as a glorified pyjama day) the actual public will witness our genius (or disasters) in the world of dress-up so what we wear has to be good!
We've decided to go with the theme, 'children's books.' What could make us more accessible to both adults and children alike that something in that genre, so while searching for inspiration I came across this wonderful short spoof of a classic fairytale, made in Ireland, and thought I would share it with you all.

Now shall I be Rapunzel.....or a Pirate......

Tune in, next week for pictures from the day!

Monday, 12 September 2011

How the leopard got it's spots and how the business got it's name...

The Leopard thing was just a decoy...if you want to know how the Leopard supposedly got it's spots you'll want to read Rudyard Kipling's 'Just so Stories,' but to summarize.....

The Leopard used to live on the sandy-coloured High Veldt. He too was sandy-coloured, and so was hard for prey animals like Giraffe and Zebra to see when he lay in wait for them. The Ethiopian lived there too and was similarly coloured. He, with his bow and arrows, used to hunt with the Leopard.

Then the prey animals left to live in a forest and grew blotches, stripes and other forms of camouflage. The Leopard and the Ethiopian were hungry and consulted Baviaan, the wise baboon, who said the prey animals had “gone into other spots” and advised them to do the same. So they went searching and came to the forest. They could smell Giraffe and Zebra there but could not see them. When night came, they managed to catch Giraffe and Zebra by sound and scent. They asked them why they looked so different and the two prey animals demonstrated how easily they could disappear against the forest background.

So the Ethiopian changed his skin to black, and marked the Leopard’s coat with his bunched black fingertips. Then they too could hide. They lived happily ever after, and will never change their colouring again.”
–summary courtesy of

Image from BFDC
Now that I'm not so intentionally misleading I can move onto how the business got its name.

Often when I mention the name of my business; Adamontise, I get some confused looks. I also find it quite funny when I'm dealing with a new wholesaler or insurance rep and they struggle to pronounce the name, (it's pronounced Adda-mon-tie-ze by the way)
Occasionally someone will scrape up the nerve to ask me exactly what Adamontise means and why I named my business after it. So for those of you who wonder, but daren't ask, I thought I'd explain a little bit about where the company got its name.

Adamontise doesn't mean anything as such. It's a word I made up. Don't roll your eyes just yet....

Many years ago we had the worst power cut in my memory. Through the following five hours of no electricity my husband and I, by candlelight invented the magical land of Menoria. We sketched a map and wrote colourful stories of revolution, adventure, love and betrayal. We debated the political background and history of this land, creating an in-depth fantasy series. (I did mention it was a very long power-cut..right?) The lead males surname was Freeol and the lead woman's surname was Adamontise.

Titled ' Bee-Eater'
This picture was created by the talented artist Danny Flynn
It has nothing to do with Adamontise,
(except that I loosely know Danny Flynn,)
and think this picture is fantastical enough to be worth sharing..
I loved that long afternoon and the creativity and excitement it sparked so much that the word Adamontise just stuck with me. Over the years I've used the name for my Xbox live account (feel free to friend me) virtual critters, user names etc. so when it came to naming my book business, Adamontise just fit.

Adamontise was born through fun, writing stories and being creative. There is nothing like the name already out there. (and if you do find something chances are it belongs to me too - apart from that creature in FF7 that logistically was probably around first, but I didn't discover that until Adamontise was operational so it doesn't really count.)

After all no-one knew what Waterstones, Ottakars (I don't even know how to spell Ottakars) Borders, Barnes&Noble or WHSmith were until they launched themselves as a book retailer. They weren't words you'd associate with the word 'book' , but they've become household names. we can only hope one day it will be the same for us, but for now we tack the word "books" on the end of Adamontise just to help ease ourselves into the market and people's memories.

While it's admittedly a different name, perhaps one you wouldn't automatically link with books, I feel it provides enough ambiguity that people see their own things in it. Adam was the 'first man' and while we're not the first book retailer, we hope we can offer a level of customer service, value for money and care that is the first in our field. I've had people say the name makes them think of Adamantium (a fictional, strong metal from the on-line game Runescape) and Stephen King's Needful things, just to name a few.
The only down-side is that the majority of people I deal with think it's run or owned by a guy called ADAM! Which it isn't. It's run by a 25-year-old woman called Holly.

So now you know - and yes, there will be a test later .. ;)

What does the name 'Adamontise' make you think of?

Saturday, 23 July 2011

We've been Tardy

I know we've been away this last week, which is, of course, unforgivable. I could lie to you and say we had computer issues, but what we really had were crossed wires. *sound of a drum kit* AHAHAHAHA, no...not funny? Okay then I'm not sure you'll like what's next, but here are some funny pictures involving books - just for you!

Many thanks to khairulbook, icanhascheeseburger, yourfunnystuff, jacketflap and entertainclub for the use of their images.

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Interview with Matt Bukaty & Edward Underhill Podcast Ep01S01

A few weeks ago Sir. Reads-alot reviewed the Hunger Games.
As a big Hunger Games fan myself, I'm always on the look-out for new information about it, and while snooping around on Twitter I came across 'The Hunger Games Music Project.' Matt Bukaty and Edward Underhill are two professional composers, based in America, who were so inspired by the Hunger Games that they composed and recorded an unofficial score for the book. Their score is wonderful and provides a whole new angle and vision to the story.
So I, very excited to find more Hunger Games addicts like myself, and particularly two who'd gone on the create a soundtrack based on the book, asked them if we could do an interview and they said YES!

So without further ado here is our FIRST EVER Pod-cast!!!

Podcast Powered By Podbean
(To download right-click the podcast player and choose save as)

To go listen to the score for free - yes - FREE visit The Hunger Games Music Project where you can also find out a bit more about these guys and get updates on the project.

Now here is a short video and nod-of-thanks to those who helped get the pod-cast together. I'll let you in on a secret ..... we were going to create a video pod-cast as well as a MP3 download, but apparently that would cause YouTube and other hosting sites to self combust, the entire internet to explode, and someone would send us the we decided on this short credit roll instead. Please check it out as we'd hate to claim unfair credit for images/music which were other peoples creative genius.

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Et Tu Kindle?

Is the market for the printed page about to enact a tragic death scene, worthy of Antigone?
As technology moves on and we use disks instead of cassettes and then downloads instead of disks. Now that everything deemed worth buying begins with an "E" or an "I", those in the business of selling the printed word to people, find themselves looking at those who traded in VHS and wiping the grins off their faces. It is the e-book, the e-reader that is staring like a wall of water in a disaster flick, and the question in everyone's mind, is it time to start paddling or move on out of the valley?

In 2009 the sale of e-books held at $96 million, about the same level as audio-books, after the January release of the Kindle and by July 2010 Amazon announced it was selling more e-books than Hardbacks.
Are we seeing a revolution in how people read their books?
There appears to be little doubt that technology is once again changing the norm, just like MP3 players, DVD and Gutenburg's printing press did in their own time. This is a scary prospect on the face of it, particularly for a fresh-faced on-line book retailer - the tangible kind of book, made of paper. So much so that for a bit of April fools day fun I made Adamontise this video;

Researching for this article, I asked a number of people what they thought were the benefits of an e-reader. For one of my colleagues it was nothing more than a gadget he had to have (one which swiftly became overshadowed by the ipad), for many others I asked, it was a gift for the special lady in their life.
It was in fact, my business mentor who summed up why the Kindle has such appeal. He would pride himself on being the wise and powerful business jedi, swooping in from head-office with a whole sack of books he'd had mentioned during a strategy meeting. He is like Yoda, with nicer skin - and an Oxford English degree and it was normal to hear him say things like "....if you read page 24 of 'The machine that changed the world' you'll see how it applies to this situation....".
I saw him a few weeks ago and the backpack of books had been replaced, by a kindle! *shock and horror*
The Kindle seems very useful to those who travel and deal in information and as the price of an e-reader is falling we might see those train station billboards make more than just a passing reference to the eBook version of the latest bestseller.

                              No need to close the blinds, this thing has a glare-free display

Market research suggests that buying trends and habits are already starting to change. Studies are suggesting that 75% of those who buy ebooks will also keep buying hard copies. It suggests that this is likely to be because most ebook purchases are casual reads, but when it comes to a non-fiction book, biography or something with large colour pictures, then the customer tends to prefer a bound copy.
So there remains some hopeful place in the universe for local and on-line booksellers, but this leads me to consider those who have a great interest in the market research I quoted above, the big publishing houses.

Obviously, i'm not an expert in the making of the actual books but it speaks to me that the printing and binding of a book is a lot more expensive than the digitising and hosting of an authors work. It seems to me as though publishers will take up a dual role, selling their "light reads" at low cost to the masses via ebook formats and reserve the high quality stuff for premium download and those gorgeous glossy hardbacks, maybe even "special edition" paperbacks.
Of course the last thing to add is that, just like DVD did before it, the ebook looks to have spurred an increase in the overall volume of sales; reminding people that a good story doesn't need the big pricetag and the classy special effects of a film or a computer game. With total sales of books up 22% in 2011, it seems that the train will be filled with people reading after all.

But all the talk thats going on around whether ebooks will replace normal books might prove to be pointless if the ebook world doesn't sort their formats out pretty fast. Of course one can't ignore the "on-demand" age we live in now, where you can download a book in a matter of minutes rather than waiting for it to arrive by post, an angle I completely appreciate when mid-trilogy and desperate for the next installment, but just like VHS against Betamax, HDDVD against blueray, vacuum cleaner against cyclone cleaner and PC against applemac. Diversity of formats can often be a major threat to the new thing in town. Ebooks come in many formats and you can't, as yet, buy one eReader to view them all.
There is a battle raging over which format becomes the standard. My personal vote goes to Adobe PDF format since it's already widely used and gives anybody the ability to publish their work as an ebook. However the only commercial winner there would be Adobe themselves so it seems unlikely. On top of this we might look at the prestige given to having your work published.
While there is nothing wrong with self publication, and there is undoubtedly a large volume of high quality, independent work out there, there is still something to be said for the exclusivity of signing a book deal, and going to press on the first few bound copies. I wouldn't be surprised to hear big authors writing into their book deals that a certain number of hard copies will be printed - along with royalty agreements for downloads as well as traditional book sales.
James Patterson's "second life" ebook signing, attended by millions of people and one squid

As with all technological gadgetry, within two years the current generation of eReaders will start to breakdown, become old news or just get forgotten about. It'll be about this time when companies will start releasing the next generation of reader. If there isn't a huge reduction in the number of formats by then, the risk will be that the market becomes too diluted and people will be turned off. For the time being, Amazon seem keen to restrict the Amazon ebook format to the kindle only. This will have to change at some point if they are to retain their clearly desired status as the go-to site for books and ebooks alike. Next in line is Sony, who have already learned their lessons from battling for superiority in the HD media sector, with blu-ray and their UMD portable movie format.
They come to the battle packed with this knowledge and the added incentive of being the ones who can put the same tech into their mobile gaming and smartphone devices.

So, assuming the market for ebooks doesn't become too divided by the formats to compete with the printed word. It looks like peaceful coexistence is possible, in fact a great friendship can be nurtured that will forever keep the love of reading alive.

So what do you think, are ebooks the way forward, or just a flash in the pan? Will you continue to buy actual books or only the format of the greatest convenience? Would you like us to open an ebook section in our own store? Let us know your opinions in the comments below.

Dominic works as a 'Business Improvement Engineer' in the food industry, as well as offering his opinion for Adamontise's 'Books Open to Everyone' blog.

If you are interested in becoming a guest blogger, please contact the blog staff at

Saturday, 2 July 2011

That's not how we pick your orders around here....honest...

When strolling round the interweb, we came across this funny and sweet little video posted some four years ago, and thought it was too cute not to share with you.

The video had us all laughing, we can only imagine the mischief this little fellow would get up to in our own very bookcase orientated office.

I guess this means we shouldn't think about adding cats to the payroll any time soon......

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

'May the Odds......Be Ever in Your Favour'

The Hunger Games

Reminiscent of Orwell's '1984' or Westerfeld's 'Uglies,' 'Pretties' and 'Specials,' the Hunger Games tells the tale of society controlling and oppressing it's people.
Set in the ruins of post-apocalyptic North America, the Hunger Games are a televised reality-TV show which forces twenty-four children to battle in an arena, where the only rule is to kill or be killed. The last tribute standing, wins.

"Winning means fame and fortune.
Losing means certain death,
The Hunger Games have begun."

After a failed uprising against the Capitol, some 74 years ago. The Hunger Games were created to remind the districts that the uprising came at a cost and must never be repeated. The 12 districts who live in abject poverty, are forced to lose a child of both sexes, through pot-luck, to these 'games' and all for the entertainment of the wealthy Capitol citizens.
To make the event humiliating as well as torturous the district citizen's are required to treat the Hunger Games as a festivity and great sporting event and not as the death sentence it is.
What better way to divide the districts than to pit them against one another.

"From the moment I first picked it up, as a way to pass a few slow hours, 
the hunger games had me captivated.
 It's thrilling, incredible story left me breathless
 and I couldn't turn the pages fast enough.
The world is woven so intricately 
it's hard not to imagine the surroundings, 
taste the food and to live the terror." 
Holly @ Adamontise

Following the tale of the 74th Hunger Games, the book delves into a world both foreign, yet familiar and not to hard to imagine as an alternate future. It will surely become a great cult classic for teens and old alike, this tragic and horrific series is worth the read.

The Hunger Games is currently being made into a movie even as we write!
It's release date is yet to be confirmed but with Lionsgate driving the wagon it is sure to be a top-notch release.
We can only hope the film does justice to the excellent novel and captures the brutality without the need to 'sugarcoat' for Hollywood.
There is going to be a massive buzz when the film is complete, quite possibly as massive as that of 'Harry Potter' and 'The Twilight Saga', so it's well worth reading it before that happens, and at least then you can tell everyone you discovered it first!

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Weeding out the gardening section

'Our England is a garden, and such gardens are not made
                                 By singing: -"Oh, how beautiful!" and sitting in the shade.'
~Rudyard Kipling, "The Glory of the Garden"

We at Adamontise feel there are a vast number of "specialist" books on the market, and it can be hard to tell which ones are worth the read.
So I decided to get my wellies on, get my hands dirty and test-out the newest gardening range at our fingertips.

I decided to try digging a flowerbed, from scratch by following the hopefully simple, instructions found in 'Planting a Small Garden.'
I like to think I have 'green fingers,' but the truth is, most of the time I just re-plant things purchased from the garden centre. I don't have the confidence to try anything for myself and any seeds I do plant, just don't grow.

After a quick browse, I felt brave enough to try following the instructions for 'making a border.'

The step-by-step instructions were useful. I didn't have a hose to layout the shape I wanted to cut but a tape measure did the job just as well, and I was really pleased to find that my efforts matched the images in the book.

I've even taken the tips on lawn edging and invested in a good border.

I would recommend 'Planting a small garden' for beginners or even those attempting something new in a small space.

Another book that came in handy was none other than 'Bugs, Slugs and other invaders'
While digging I unearthed a red ants nest. I'm not a big creepy crawly lover and these had me itching thinking they were all over me. I wanted to try solve the problem because they were everywhere, without harmful chemicals hurting my plants, pets of the ants themselves, it's their habitat - my inconvenience.
I was thrilled to quickly find my way to a section on dealing with ants.

Apparently they hate the small of cinnamon and just watering the border with a mix of water and cinnamon got them to move along to a different part of the garden.
The book offers up another 50 ways to beat garden enemies, all with humorous cartoon drawings which make an entertaining read of themselves. It even covers solutions for dealing with pests such as rabbits, moles and even (believe it or not) how to discourage deer!

The final book I'm covering today is from the same range as the small garden book and is entitled 'Vegetables in a Small Garden.' My family has been interested in Organic Vegetables for years and what better way that to grow our own!
I tried out growing lettuce and carrots and it really is as easy as the book says, you can just sprinkle seeds into correctly prepared soil and before you know it, I had more lettuce than I could eat!
The root-vegetable section helped me identify which carrots were best for my garden and there was plenty of information on organic veg.

The book even features a plant guide at the back, full of colourful solutions to seasonal veg planting and I'm looking forward to trying to successfully grow some tomatoes this year.
The book has plenty of simple advice on choosing the right seeds, location and growing as much as you need, with step-by-step guides (often in photographs) as well as expert tips and techniques.

All three titles get a big green ' thumb's up' from me for having useful information that is easily applied to your own garden. You can find all three books in our on-line store.
We'll be back putting more gardening books to test as soon as we're ready for planting the flowerbed.

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Poll Time

We are very interested in what you would like us to provide as a book retailer. We've had a mass debate between ourselves of whether to offer Free UK postage or Fixed UK postage rates in our forthcoming Facebook Store. We've so many pro's and con's about the idea that we decided to roll the decision out to you! After all it's you that it's going to affect, and we'd like to offer you the chance to choose our system.
Please give us your input through the poll at the bottom of the blog, we really want to know what you think.
Here is a bit of a summary of what would happen;
Free postage: will be free postage on any items anywhere in mainland UK.
Fixed postage: will be priced based on weight and size, in accordance with Royal Mail regulations. With discounts on shipping rates (we hope this is code-able) on multiple purchases to help keep prices low.

The poll closes on the 22nd of June and we'll be rolling out the results in our Facebook store from July. So scroll on down and let us know what you think!

Sunday, 5 June 2011


Here is the first post of our new blog. We aim to update every Saturday with book reviews, promotions and new releases. As well as information on upcoming events and anything new that we're busy getting up to. We hope to see you following us and look forward to hearing from you.
Oh, and of course;
Hello! From all of us at Adamontise.