Saturday 30 April 2022

Book sales April - Amazon & Etsy

Spot the difference? There's not a lot in it*, but anyone who buys a Eurovision Colouring Book since April 15th gets the cover on the right, which has replaced the cover on the left. This follows an amend I made last month, where a mis-captioned Bucks Fizz illustration had them labelled as Brotherhood Of Man. Anyone who has that version has a rare collectors item.

The Eurovision Colouring Book is far and away my best seller at the moment. Its Tik Tok video got 12.5K views, ten times more than any other post I've done, and it's selling a signed copy every other day on Etsy at the moment. Here are my sales stats for the past month.

Amazon (+Etsy) sales Mar 31 - Apr 30 2022

Eurovision Colouring Book        27 (+8 on Etsy) *

Book Of Esther                         13 (inc one order of 12)

Comic Tales From Bible             10

70s old                                       4

80s                                            4

2020s Pop Star                          4

70s new                                      3

90s                                             3

Punk                                           3

Queens                                       2

Scottish                                       1

60s                                             1

UPDATE: As of May 10th I've sold 43 Eurovision books on Amazon and another 4 on Etsy since May 1st. And I've drawn a 2nd Volume, which is still processing.

So, let's be honest, I'm not setting the world on fire with my publishing empire. I'm now a member of the Facebook group 20BooksTo50K, where successful writers share their stories of making tens of thousands of pounds a month, and make it sound deceptively easy. I just have to finish writing that bloody crime novel, don't I? In the meantime, the colouring books sell at a trickle, while I try and get my writing head back on, two months after the house move.

* If you're interested, on the main figure's arm, just behind Annafrid's hair, I've removed a small head and hand; and between Agnetha and Annafrid there's now a white area where previously you could see the blue background. 

Graphic novels:

Comic Tales From The Bible - 90 pages, colour, only £8.99 paperback

Findlay Macbeth

Prince of Denmark Street

The Midsummer Nights Dream Team

The Comic Book Of Esther

Colouring books:

Pop Star Colouring Annual with 50 images from 70s to now

Top 20 David Bowie

Top 20 Scottish Pop

Top 20 Rom Coms

Top 20 80s Pop Superstars

Top 20 Christmas Movies

Queens Of Pop

Tuesday 26 April 2022

Teaching puppetry in Aberdeen

One of the less likely days spent recently was this Monday, the 25th, when I went all the way to Aberdeen to teach some kids how to do puppetry.

The librarians at Dyce Academy in Aberdeen had seen the Socks at the Edinburgh Fringe a few years ago, found us online, and thought it would be a good idea for me to teach a small group of kids how to do puppetry. It probably was, I have no way of measuring it. 

I can tell you it involved setting the alarm for 3.30, leaving the house at 4.30, flying at 7, driving for two and a half hours from Edinburgh to Aberdeen, the working with the kids for just two hours before doing he whole return journey again which, with delayed flight, saw me getting back home around midnight.

I gave the kids, 2nd year high school pupils, some of whom had a few educational needs, a 20 minute Socks show, then got them, in 5 groups of 4 or 5, to performe bits of The Sneetches by Dr Suess, which they'd chosen. I think it went well.

They are the only kids, or people of any sort, to have been allowed to perform behind my actual Socks set, see above. My thanks to the school for a learning experience for all involved.

Wednesday 20 April 2022

Eurovision Sock Contest - Preview dates

You can catch the Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre's brand new hour-long musical comedy extravaganza The Eurovision Sock Contest live on stage in a series of previews, in the run up to their return to the Edinburgh Fringe in August.

See them now at:

Sun 22 May 12.30 - Komedia, Brighton Fringe

June 18 7pm - Ludlow Fringe

June 23 - Grassington Festival

Sun July 3 6.15pm - Derby Bar One 

Fri July 15 7pm - Beverley Puppet Fest

Sun July 17 3.25pm - Sheffield New Barrack Tavern

Sat July 23 - Bedford Fringe 

August 3 - 13 - Gilded Balloon, Edinburgh Fringe, for 11 nights only, 4.30pm. Tickets on sale NOW!

Scottish Falsetto Socks on Facebook

Scottish Falsetto Socks on Twitter

Scottish Falsetto Socks on Instagram

Scottish Falsetto Socks on TikTok

Scottish Falsetto Socks on Youtube

Socks on BGT (or not, as the matter may be)

Here we see the socks, taking pride of place on the promo article for Britain's Got Talent's opening weekend in this week's TV Times. We're the only act pictured apart from the presenters. Does promo get better than that? Well, it's the best we've had for a while. "On the right foot: The Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppets". There's a very similar prominent slot for us in TV & Satellite Week, as this TikTok video celebrates...

@scottishfalsettosocks The Scottish Falsetto Socks all over the telly papers #BGT ♬ original sound - Scottish Falsetto Socks
So we prepared to watch Saturday and Sunday's launch episodes of BGT with some excitement. About to be seen by 5 million people? That's got to do something for the image, wouldn't you think? I'd duly set a regular flow of Socks videos going on Twitter, all with the #BGT hashtag, so that any curious viewers would be able to search for us and some of our good stuff would pop up. (In contrast to the bit we do on the show which, spoiler alert, is a story I'll be boring a lot of people with when it gets transmitted).

And then, well, nothing. We weren't on Saturday's show, we weren't on Sunday's show and, as far as any trailer clips that have come up so far are concerned, we're not on this coming weekend's shows either. 

I mean, I know patience is a virtue, but I thought the use of our publicity photo suggested we'd be coming up sooner rather than later. Of course now my paranoid fear is that we're not in the show at all. That they put out that publicity material, inc our photo, before they'd finished editing the episodes, and we've ended up on the cutting room floor in the meantime. 

It'll sure make a mockery of the shows I've tried publicising off the back of it. I've redesigned the ads for our forthcoming Edinburgh Preview show to include a BGT logo. I look forward to having to strip all those out when the auditions finish and we haven't appeared yet!

What Edinburgh Preview shows, you ask? Let me tell you. Here are the dates for your diary, get booking fast...

Sun 22 May 12.30 - Komedia, Brighton Fringe

June 18 7pm - Ludlow Fringe

June 23 - Grassington Festival

Sun July 3 6.15pm - Derby Bar One 

Fri July 15 7pm - Beverley Puppet Fest

Sun July 17 3.25pm - Sheffield New Barrack Tavern

Sat July 23 - Bedford Fringe 

With more dates to be added. Including our Edinburgh Fringe run itself, Stay tuned.

Tuesday 19 April 2022

Comic Tales From The Bible - The Hardback

I sounded out people in the 20BooksTo50K group (which I must tell you about, it's fascinating) because my Amazon ad for Tales From The Bible had been banned.

The short of it is that I redesigned the cover for the hardback and the ad got approved. The long is that I got some interesting feedback on my original cover:

Here was the story:
Bible Banned Shock!
Amazon won’t allow the ad for Kev F’s Comic Tales From The Bible cos: “Your ad contains an image of children shown in an unsafe way, such as around drugs or in adult or other situations that may be dangerous to them”
It’s a cartoon of the story of Jael in the Bible! She’s holding a tent peg and threatening to stab a guy who looks like a Roman* soldier with it. (Am I allowed to attach images? I haven’t, in case it breaks the rules).
(*not Roman. He’s Sisera, a Canaanite)

Comments included:

Amazon Ads are strict. Advertise elsewhere with that cover or change it.

Yeah, your centurion looks about 12 years old, which is probably why you’re having issues. 🙂
You appealed, they still said no. Best bet now is to move on. Use other promo methods like FB ads and BB ads, or change the cover.

Yeah, definitely the image. It looks like a kid about to be attacked.

Another vote for the one being attacked looking like a jug-eared, bucktoothed child.

Your logo looks like “Tales from the Crypt” a lot. Probably that was the reason.

I'd say it's a VERY direct homage. Too direct, IMO. There's a TON of good advice here. Basically, if you want to use your largest marketing tool (and perhaps garner better sales all-around by not messing up the message), then you should change it. If you don't care about marketing, then leave it.

I'm not convinced Amazon is your biggest problem with this cover. Have you put this out for just generally input on the cover? Asked Christians how they react? If they would buy this for their child? Does this cover reflect the tone and style of the content? If yes, will this cover appeal to the gatekeeper (parent/grandparent) or even get by the gatekeeper?

Even though someone here had a "laugh" reaction, your callout here is exactly why Amazon has these strict rules: on behalf of customers who complain about this kind of stuff all the time. "This stuff" is not just related to religion, but also the stringent rules they have around violence and nudity. Folks talk about Zon being prudish but a lot of this is based on customer feedback (complaints).

Jael didn't kill a Roman with a tent peg. It was Sisera, a Canaanite king. The Roman Empire didn't even exist yet when that happened.

What's more important to you, the cover or the content? I'd just change the cover because why piss off the biggest sales tool you have?

You will not get that cover approved. If you don’t read the words, it looks almost like a horror comic. He looks like he is bound in place and she is about to torture him with a mallet and spike. I know it says ”Humorous” but the cover doesn’t present that way.

Is it a comic or a graphic novel? The cats say graphic novel and might deter your buyers.

That cover will never get approved due to the violence against a child. It's best to re-do the cover if you want to do AMS ads. And possibly even stay on Amazon, for that matter because there might be enough people that report the book due to the cover and your book might be taken down. It's always a possibility.

It definitely looks intimidating.

Change it.
I don’t know what Bible banned shock means, but it sounds hysterical.

They won't let anyone advertise a cover with someone being stabbed, any blood, a gun pointed at a person or at the reader, etc. Read the guidelines for covers. You aren't being singled out.

OK, I have a thorough knowledge of the Bible and found your sample cartoon above quite hilarious. I did a 'zon search to find it and the one bit that stood out for me as a red flag was in the descriptive blurb; 'Rahab is the story of a prostitute - target audience age 8 to 12.' I found that thoroughly confusing. I would have thought that adults with a religious background AND a sense of humour (very important) would be your ideal reader. Not sure many parents would feel comfortable ordering a book for 8 to 12 year olds that had prostitution in it. I'd consider making the online description clearer. It's a tricky one, good luck!

Amazon has strict codes on Ads with respect to covers - that tend to exclude depictions of blood, guns or weapons or too much exposed flesh. Maybe check their guidelines.
Btw, surely not a Roman soldier in a Old Testament story.

Hey Kev Sutherland from the sitcom trials!

Kev F's Comic Tales From The Bible is available as a full colour graphic novel in paperback and now in hardback

Monday 18 April 2022

The Doughnut Who Stole My Mum - latest comics by kids

Among the house-building (that is the flatpack-furniture building and box unpacking that has filled the last 6 weeks of our existence) I've done a few Comic Art Masterclasses. 

Surrey Explorers in Putney Methodists Church. This is a class I last did three years ago, before lockdown. We'd hoped to give the kids a photocopied comic to take away, using a copier at the shop down the road, but it had closed in the intervening time. It was one of those Mailboxes businesses that, I fear, are among the many feeling the pinch of late.

The marvellous librarian Shirley Everall of Hertfordshire libraries has been employing me for classes in libraries all over the county for the last decade. Very sadly she's retiring soon, so I really hope her successors will want to keep using me. These comics are from Watford library, an easter holiday group, and the next pair... from Hatfield library. Well attended and well run classes, long may they continue.

The celebrities these five groups chose to appear in my demonstration strip were Dwayne Johnson, Michael Jackson (twice), Jeff Bezos and Boris Johnson.

Saturday 9 April 2022

Comic Tales From The Bible - out now

Announcing a brand new book: Comic Tales From The Bible by Kev F Sutherland

Comic strip writer and artist Kev F Sutherland, best known for his work on Beano and Marvel comics, has turned his hand to humorous adaptations of five classic Bible stories in Comic Tales From The Bible.

In this full colour 90 page graphic novel, Kev retells the stories of:

The Book Of Esther – where Mordecai and Esther have to fend off the threat of extermination by the evil Haman. The Purim story as a Disneyesque comedy adventure.

The Book Of Ruth – how Ruth the Moabite gets to marry into the tribe of Israel, with smutty innuendo and threshing.

The Story Of Joseph – How one lad from a big family gets given a colourful coat (not technicolour, that’s copyright) and rises to become the greatest administrator in ancient Egypt.

The Story Of Rahab The Prostitute (did we mention this book is suitable for readers aged 8 and older?) – How Rahab and her family survive the destruction of the walls of Jericho.

Jael Wife Of Heber – PG Wodehouse’s favourite Bible tale. Spoiler alert: involves a tent peg through the skull!

Originally commissioned by Bible Society, these stories written and drawn by Kev F Sutherland are now available in full colour for the first time, from Amazon.

Kev F’s Comic Tales From The Bible, 90 page colour paperback £8.99

Contact Kev F Sutherland at

Kev F Sutherland, as well as writing and drawing for The Beano, Marvel, Doctor Who, Shakespeare & The Bible (no, really), runs Comic Art Masterclasses in schools, libraries and art centres - email for details, and follow him on Facebook and Twitter. View the promo video here. (Also works with the Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre). 

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