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You’re the team who brought us Virtual Noir at the Bar. How is Bay Tales different?

We are indeed the VNatB bar buddies. We loved doing it and we’ve taken all the good stuff we learned there and used it to offer something we think is going to be even better.

Whereas VNatB was a chance for authors to read short extracts from their work to a live audience, we’re looking to do a whole lot more with Bay Tales. We’re talking online events, physical events (when we’re allowed to do so), and a real, honest-to-goodness website featuring a ton of stuff. We’ve got so much stuff we’re hoping to do with Bay Tales we can hardly wait to tell you every last detail … but we’re good at keeping secrets, so we’ll just have to try.

Think bigger, better, broader.

Are you just about crime fiction?

What do you mean ‘just’? It’s a big world of crime out there – from cozy to hard-boiled, historical to future, and a whole lot in between.

But no – we’re not just about crime, how ever broad you paint it. We’re going to start off that way, because it’s what we know and do best – but the sky’s the limit. And we’re future-proofing ourselves to make sure we bring you what you want.

What services do you provide?

Did we mention we’ve got big plans? We have. A ton of fun. Stuff you wouldn’t believe … but to start with we’re looking at two basic areas:

  1. A website featuring premium content. This is where you can find out everything we’re up to and, if you register as a paid member of Friends of the Bay a whole range of fiction, non-fiction and special offers from carefully selected third party suppliers.
  2. Online events that will allow us to go beyond the sample reading format of VNatB and offer extended author interviews, panel discussions, workshops, and lots, lots more.

Is all this free?

The simple answer?


The longer answer?

We’re aiming to provide a highly professional offering and that takes time and money. While the basic website is free, the Friends of the Bay section, containing our fiction, non-fiction and special members’ offers, will be a premium service.

But one thing’s for sure – sign up and you’ll get your money’s worth.

We genuinely believe we’re offering value for money that is unparalleled by any other service out there.

Likewise, the events will have, for the most part, a cost. This is to cover platform costs, subscription service payments, hosting, development, and the effort which goes into creating them. But again, we believe we’ll be offering the best value events available. These will range in cost depending on the event type but will start from as little as £3.50.

How come Virtual Noir was free and these events aren’t?

Wow, you’re tough, aren’t you? OK. Here’s the deal – we ran VNatB for 22 weeks without missing a week. It took about twenty hours each week to create every show. We didn’t earn a penny for it – any profits: from the event or from Noir from the Bar, the book we produced, went to NHS Charities.

We’re looking to offer more with Bay Tales – more variety, more speakers, more platforms, more fun (sounds impossible, right? But it’s true). And it all takes time. Huge amounts of time – and considerable amounts of money: the website, the monthly bills for email, event ticketing, webinar platforms, the book addiction … it all adds up.

So yes, we are charging. But at around £3.50 an event, we’re talking a third of the cost of an adult cinema ticket, or a fifth of the cost of a new ‘premium release’ on them there streaming channels, and seriously – have you seen some of the stuff Hollywood is churning out now?

Are you on social media?

We sure are – just click on one of those little social media icons we’ve got dotted around the site to follow us on Twitter (@bay_tales), Instagram (@bay_tales) or Facebook (@baytales). In fact we’d encourage it: as well as our frankly hilarious posts, it’s where we’ll be posting updates about new content on our site and live events.

Isn’t this all a bit too good to be true?

You’d think so, wouldn’t you? But we’re modest types and say that’s just the way we roll.


How can I contact you with PR enquiries?

We LOVE PR. Just visit our Contact page and send us a message – please mark PR Enquiry in the subject line.

I’m an author, how do I get involved?

YAY! We’re always keen to work with new authors – whether that’s new to Bay Tales or new to writing: we’re not just about international superstars (but you’re more than welcome if you are); we’re dedicated to supporting new and aspiring authors as well. Visit our contact page, send us a message and mark Author in the subject line.

Do you pay authors for their work?

Simple answer: no.

Longer answer: well, not in actual money. Yet. Maybe one day when we’re well-established and signing cheques from our yacht. BUT we don’t expect any author to give us stuff for free. We’re writers ourselves and we think that sucks. So, here’s what we do. Any author who appears at an event, or has a story/ non-fiction article published on our site will be given their own entry into our Hall of Fame, their own extended profile page (which we’ll work out with you to include any links), and a year’s free membership to Friends of the Bay. It’s not going to buy you a new house, but it ain’t nuthin’.

I’m a publisher, how can I get one of my authors involved?

Just ask! If you’ve got an author you think would be suitable for Bay Tales – either as an event speaker, or to submit something to our website, then please use the Contact page and enter Publisher Enquiry  in the subject line and include any relevant details.

I’m a publisher/ business/ billionaire who would like to discuss marketing opportunities, what do I do?

Well, unless you’re wanting to tell us we’re being left 10,000,000 zingots in your will if we just pay for the bank charges to transfer it, then use the Contact page and enter Promotion in the subject line – let us know what you’re thinking about and we’ll get back to you with our rate card. And if you’ve got an idea we haven’t thought about, we’re happy to hear it.


What can I expect from one of your events?

The best time ever? Ah, you want specifics? Well, to be honest, much of it will depend on the event in question – whether you’re a reader, a writer, or a book lover in general. But we’ll be offering the same professional events we created for Virtual Noir at the Bar – just more of them, and more varied.

So, there’ll be the chance to interact with the featured speakers, competitions, regular news updates, reviews, and much, much more. It’s going to be pretty unpredictable… in the best possible way.

Can I pay for one-off events?

Go on then, seeing as it’s you.

Really? We understand that some events will have more appeal and be more relevant than others – depending on whether you’re a writer or reader. We also understand it might be difficult to commit to a full series of events, so as standard our events will be on a pay-as-you-go basis: one event at a time.

Is there a discount for buying multiple tickets?

If you’re convinced you’ll love everything we do, and all of the guests we plan on hosting, we’d hate to get in the way of you giving us your money. So, sure, if you DO want to buy a block of event tickets, use the Contact Us detail links on the Events page to drop us a line and we can explain our season ticket pass deals. Just include Season Pass in your enquiry, and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible to give you the full skinny on our special deals.

Will the events be available on demand after they happen? And if so, will they be free?

Yeah, we guess we can do that if you’ve paid for the event but you will be missing out on the fun of a live show. We’ll make the events available to registered attendees after the fact for a limited time. Post-event, all registrants will get an email with a link to view.

Do I need special software to access your events?

A computer.

The internet.

Other than that … not much.

We will, initially at least, be running our online events using Zoom. If you’re attending a Zoom event for the first time, you may be required to download a file – this takes about five seconds and you don’t have to do anything other than click a button. If you’ve used Zoom before to attend any online event, then you’re good to go!

Friends of the Bay

So if I became a Friend of the Bay, what do I get for my subscription?

You get access to all the good stuff in the Friends of the Bay sections of the website: the fiction, the non-fiction and the special offers.

We’ll be adding at least one new item every week – that may be a new story, a sample, a novel, an article, video, audio file or…well, anything else we think will be of interest to you.

You’ll also get access to a whole range of special offers – from suppliers we believe in. This will include discounts on books, food, drink, and other things we think will be of interest to readers and writers.

You’ll also have access to the Friends of the Bay community group – an online forum where you can discuss with other members all things writing – the best reads, writing advice, and anything else you want.

Friends of the Bay members will also get discount on selected live events.

How much is subscription?

Now we don’t want to sound like a well-known sofa seller here saying ‘sale must end Sunday’ BUT we’re offering an early bird special – one year’s membership for just £25. This offer will be valid until December 31st 2020. (So it’s perfect if you’re looking for a Christmas present for that book lover in your life). In the New Year, we’ll be raising the price to £35.

To put that in context – we’re anticipating AT LEAST 60 new articles/ fiction pieces per year. Combine that with the discounts you can benefit from and we’re giving you what we believe is an incredible deal.

Do I get free access to the events if I pay to become a Friend of the Bay?

Free? No – we can’t quite manage that (see all the other sections explaining exactly what an amazingly good deal you’re getting for your Friends of the Bay membership) But we’ll do our best to make some of our events discounted to Friends of the Bay members. How many? We can’t guarantee that yet, and we’re still trying to work out all the buttons and levers involved in making that happen – but we’ll do our best.

If I cancel my membership, can I still access content?

Of course you do, friendo. We’re not the sort that cut you off like that.

You’ll be able continue to access content until the date of renewal comes around.

Note: we do not auto renew membership – we hate that, so we’re not doing it. No nasty surprises in your bank account.

If I subscribe now, can I access historic content?

Absolutely – all the way back to the dim and distant past of Bay Tales origin.  Other than exceptional circumstances where authors have to take down their offerings due to copyright requirements, we won’t be removing items from our site.

As a Friends of the Bay Member do I get access to the recordings of live events?

Sorry – no. We make the recordings of events available to event attendees and registrants, but you don’t get access to them as a FotB member … you will be able to get discount on selected events with your membership, though, which will then give you access. And with events starting from as little as £3.50 with the average event costing just £5, it’s still a cheap night in with a ton of fun.