December Newsletter

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December Newsletter

The Story Mint December Newsletter

December Newsletter


Happy Christmas and all the very best for a wonderful 2014 from the team at The Story Mint.


2013 in Review

In February 2014 we celebrate three years of developing the business. In many ways 2013 was the toughest as we had to re-think our business model and our markets. We have a core group of dedicated subscribing members but we need to grow if we are to build a sustainable business.
Early in the year we began experimenting with the Style Guide™ to see if it could work in a range of markets. We received an encouraging response from the education and corporate markets.
We are very lucky to have a relationship with Kristin School. The students’ feedback gave us the impetus to add another function to the Style Guide™ which identifies word groups and explains how they contribute to writing style. We also added colour coding so that writers can see which words are verbs, nouns, adjectives and adverbs.
Users are now given instructions on how to move from one part of the grid to another. Students Anna Zhigareva, Matt Flower and Lucy Nie did a fantastic job explaining the Style Guide on video. This video was a hit in India
Murrays Bay Intermediate also made a video featuring Paris Whitehead and friends This received over 8000 hits on You Tube.
With the help of an ecentre, we were connected to a company that provides educational services in India and were invited to form a partnership with them. Suraya went up there for a week and while there she signed an agreement giving them exclusive rights to India, Kuwait, Bahrain, Saudi, Oman and UAE.
Discussions are now underway with representatives from other countries to explore developing the Style Guide™ for specific markets in those countries.
One thing that always worried us was that as Suraya focused on pursuing these opportunities our service to writers would suffer.
Thanks to some amazing people this has not happened and we have Bruce Howat, Mary-Liz Corbett, Flo Ginsburg, Ray Stone, Leif Rennes and Annette Connor to thank for keeping things going. We also thank all the wonderful serial writers for keeping the chapters coming and the stories growing. That is marvellous!
Although The Story Mint is still struggling through the start-up phase, we are confident we are on the right path and will move into a growth phase next year. 

Marketing Strategy

Claire Thiveyrat is working with us to build a cohesive marketing strategy. She is founder of Grapevine City, an app that enables people to plan a night out. She comes from the hospitality industry and is Director of Operations for the Cambridge University Technology and Enterprise Club, an organisation that brings together diverse technology based entrepreneurs in the UK. She has first class honours, International Business strategy, Cambridge Ashcroft Business School. 

Suraya's Novel 'Bend With the Wind'

Suraya’s novel, ‘Bend with the Wind,’ comes out soon.  
Nelson Mandela’s passing reminds us of the history linking South Africa and New Zealand. Suraya’s novel focuses on the violent protests that flared up when the Springboks came to New Zealand to play rugby in 1981.
Sophie and Joe are from opposing cultures….one with all the power and the other which was overpowered. ‘Bend with the Wind’ tells their story and the legacy they must each overcome if they are to endure as a couple. Their world is shaken by New Zealand’s first Civil War where lives were shattered and innocence destroyed. It all began as a protest against a rugby tour and ended up a bloody battle on city streets and rugby fields.
The explosion began brewing in the mid 1970s but its genesis goes back to 1881 when government troops overwhelmed settlements like Parihaka in order to sell land to incoming settlers. The Parihaka story has parallels around the world where pacifist leaders rise to oppose the loss of land and culture using non-violent resistance as the weapon. The Parihaka leaders were the Prophets, Te Whiti o Rongomai and Tohu Kakahi. 
Joe is descended from that tradition and Sophie is a descendant of the early settlers.

Author Success

Ray Stone was interviewed by CK Webb from Webb Weaver books and received the following email from a reviewer.
Just listened to your radio interview with C.K. It was great. I think you picked a good part of the book to read on air. It really gave listeners an insight into the story including the relationship between Enda and Jessica. It's fabulous that CK invited you back when the next book comes out. 
To listen go to

Writer's Pad

Alice’s experience with writing English as a second language has provided valuable insights into the challenges ESL speakers face. Her experience has informed the next phase of development for the Style Guide™.



We reached over 8,200 people on Facebook in the first week of December. This grew to 13,359 in the second week. Bruce Howat is doing an incredible job of growing our numbers and this has resulted in a growth in numbers of people visiting the website.


Suraya’s latest blog is the fifth and last in a series about her trip to India. This blog talks about familiarising her hosts with the Style Guide. This blog was read by over 3000 people.



‘The Choir’ has three chapters left to book. This is a fun serial and well worth booking as writers can really play with the quirky characters
Book a chapter and laugh as you write.

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