It’s always a pleasure to work with a client I’ve already published before, so when Pauline Tyrell from Freshwater & Totland Archive Group (I’ve published their first book called Freshwater Reflections) approached me with her new local history project it was an easy decision.
Pauline was captivated by Ellen Victoria Jane Stevenson’s personal journal of her life and family at Hill Lodge, a grand Georgian house in Freshwater, Isle of Wight. Ellen’s journal was donated to Freshwater & Totland Archive Group and when Pauline read it she thought it should be published along with her story, research and photos, all for posterity. The book was edited by Caroline Dudley, another member of Freshwater & Totland Archive Group, who was a fantastic editor to work with.
‘I Remember Hill Lodge, Freshwater’ has now been published and is selling well in retailers around the Island including IW County Press shop, The Cabin, F R Frise, Co-operative Funeralcare, Dimbola Museum and Gallery as well as direct from the Freshwater & Totland Archive Group website or via links on our website.
Beachy Books started publishing children’s books so I knew it wouldn’t be long before I published other people’s books. A song writer and poet, David A Ballard, came to me with his rhyming poems for children and asked if I could help him get it published. His friend Christian Hennessy illustrates the book and has helped promote the book. The pair had one of Waterstone’s most successful book signings earlier in the year and the book is selling well.
I often get commissioned to publish books by businesses or organisations for specific purposes. These books may not go onto wider sale in the shops or online. Instead I am funded to print a batch for a specific purpose to give away or sell for charity.
One such commission was from Carisbrooke Castle Museum Oral History Department in collaboration with Isle of Wight Council Heritage Education Service and the Island Free School. The project was funded by a Young Roots grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
The project was to publish a book of recorded memories from local retired people on the Isle of Wight. The memories were al recorded by children from the Island Free School. It was all part of a integenerational project where the children would work with the oral history team and the retired people to show them artefacts and record their responses to these objects.
I was asked to come into some of the session at the Island Free School and introduce the children to the idea of creating a book full of photos they had taken and edited highlights of the recorded transcripts. Over a number of weeks I helped two groups of children put together an outline boo and curate the content into different themes such as seaside memories, leisure and wartime. More importantly the children came up with a great title for the book: Step Back in Time – A collection of oral histories of older people living on the Isle of Wight.
There wasn’t time for the children to create the whole book at school so I took their outline and designed and typeset a full book full of wonderful memories and images. Funding provided for a print run of copies for a book launch at the Island Free School so that copies could be given to the children and the people who had taken part in the interviews.
It was a rewarding project to be involved with and I think the final colourful book was received very well.
I was approached by a local lady called Jo Cooper who had written her childhood memories of living on the Isle of Wight during the 1950s.
Her problem wasn’t so much with writing the book, but formatting it correctly to publish it herself on Amazon. Really there is only one solution for self publishing direct to Amazon – Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP).
I’ve published an ebook autobiography (Animals Never Judge Me) for a client before as well as publishing my own short stories via KDP As well as ebooks, it’s also very easy to then go on and create a full printed paperback. That’s what Jo wanted – a real paper book of her memories that she could sell locally.
I worked as a publishing consultant for Jo and helped her format the book correctly for upload to Amazon as well as advising her on the cover. It was a fun project and after a few drafts we had a correctly formatted manuscript ready to publish.