We will shortly be publishing Spain, an amazingly short history by Bob Fowke as a Kindle book. The reviews for this book were complimentary and sales through Spanish supermarkets have ensured that the first edition has almost sold out. The books in this series were designed to be read on the plane so they would seem to be ideal material for e-publishing. We’ll see.
‘This splendid little book should be read by every expat … the perfect flight companion,’ Everything Spain.
‘Read them on the plane for all you need to know’, Sunday Times.
‘The ideal entry point for young (or old) minds,’ Everything France.
‘Great for both kids and adults.’ Sunday Times Travel Magazine.
Thank you to all who attended our self-publishers’ launch which took place at the Morris Hall, Shrewsbury, last Thursday 8 December. If self-publishing companies could travel at the speed of rockets, we’re already on our way to Mars or Venus. Writers with books on local and family history, philosophy, religion and fiction attended, and discussion flowed easily from Bob Fowke’s talk – of which our blog contains a condensed version. Unfortunately, we’re unable to declare a winner to the Potential Book Raffle – plenty of books for us to work on, but no raffle synopses. Maybe there’s a sanctuary for potential books on Venus, when we get there.
We’re holding our launch at the Morris Hall, Bellstone, Shrewsbury on Thursday 8th December, 6.00-8.30pm. After the welcoming biscuit (and all that that implies) and ceremony with raffle there’s going to be a discussion/seminar – about publishing and self-publishing and how the new technologies are changinging the book industry. We particularly want to explore how writers of local and family histories, autobiographies and memoirs can take advantage, but all writers and interested parties are very welcome. Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org if you think you can make it. We need an idea of numbers.
As a bit of fun, there’ll be a ‘potential book raffle’. More on that later.
The other day, Gerald Mothershaw, author of local history The Parish of Hodnet, told Steve an anecdote about his army years in the 1950s. Gerald told how he was leaving camp in Aldershot on his bicycle when a man hailed him from a window and asked him to post a letter. It was addressed to a Wendy Cave of Wem (Shropshire, home town of William Hazlitt). Steve rang his aunt Wendy who happens to be a Cave and, yes, it was her, probably from his Uncle John. Steve says it’s a lovely coincidence but perhaps it’s something weirder, see the birthday problem. Although it is a small world – if you live in Shropshire.
We have started a blog about writing and self publishing with the focus on local and family histories and memoirs. Bob will be writing most of the content but we hope Steve will have time to contribute his wisdom on matters relating to printing and publishing technology. Bob’s first entries have addressed the use of suspense and the advantages of detailed reseach and of visiting places written about. You can find it here.
The Parish of Hodnet, some interesting memorabilia
We are presently working on a book by Gerald Mothershaw, based around the little Shropshire village of Hodnet, once home to Bishop Heber, he of ‘From Greenland’s Icy Mountains’ fame. A prolific local writer, Mr. Mothershaw has constructed a compendium of local lives and anecdotes. The first chapter is taken from the Brattleboro Reformer Newspaper, Canada 1839, the story of a wealthy and mysterious visitor to the village who marries a local girl. Another chapter features an idyllic account of childhood in the village between the wars by a Eva Starkey. Other chapters, written by Mr Mothershaw himself, include a brief life of Elizabeth Vernon who married Henry Wriothesley, Earl of Southampton, probably the ‘fair youth’ of Shakespeare’s sonnets. (Shakepeare dedicated his poem The Rape of Lucrece to Wriothesley in fulsome terms: ‘The love I dedicate to your lordship is without end … What I have done is yours; what I have to do is yours; being part in all I have, devoted yours.’) It is hoped that sales of the book will contribute towards the upkeep of Hodnet Church.
William Caxton (c. 1422 – 1491) the first English-language printer and publisher, was also the first English self-publisher. His first book The recuyell of the historyes of Troye (1473) was his own translation of a French romance and he published several other of his own translations in the eighteen years before his death.