Celebrating Together – Isle of Wight Day 2016 Book


Celebrating Together - IOW Day 2016 Book - Cover - 72dpi

Beachy books has recently worked with Robin Courage, the High Sheriff of the Isle of Wight, to create and publish a book of photos taken on the inaugural Isle of Wight Day in 2016.

The hardback book called ‘Celebrating Together‘ contains over 500 photos taken by Islanders and celebrates the various events that happened on the day.

The 80-page book is priced at £15 and will be available from the County Press Shop, ferry terminals and other retailers, which will be announced soon.

All proceeds go to the High Sheriff’s Trust which helps deserving causes on the Isle of Wight.

Celebrating Together - IOW Day 2016 Book - page009 - 72dpi

Celebrating Together - IOW Day 2016 Book - page039 - 72dpi

I am very pleased to see the book (held by Robin Courage) featured on the front page of the Weekender section of the Isle of Wight County Press (Feb 10, 2017) and a piece in the paper about the book.

Celebrating Together - Weekender front cover showing robin Courage holding book - IWCP Feb 10th 2017 - web

Celebrating Together launch PR - IWCP Feb 10th 2017 - web

Your Journey Starts Here… again!

Your Journey Starts Here - Cover - 2015 Changes - Front Cover web version

Some years ago we worked with children at Newchurch Primary School to create a book that could be given to new children starting in reception called Your Journey Starts Here (you can read about it by clicking on this link) and we are pleased to say the school has kept printing it and giving it to their latest reception intake year after year.

This year they made a few changes to it, making it full of photos to better illustrate all the exciting things that happen at school to pre-school children about to start school and again they asked us to publish it

We published and printed books in time for their teddy bear’s picnic where new children were invited in the summer to experience what it is like in the school and meet their new teachers.

We hope Your Journey Starts Here gives new children the best start on their school journey!


Beachy Books publishes your books!

Beachy Books Publishes Your Books Blog Featured Image

Do you need help getting your book published?

We can help with all aspects of publishing, providing creative and editorial services to help you get your book published.

Over the years Beachy Books has worked with charities, community groups, schools and private individuals to help them publish their own books for a range of causes.

Beachy Books is not a traditional publisher, so if you think you have the next ‘Great’ novel or celebrity autobiography then try a big publisher instead.

Beachy Books specializes in shorter print run books for specific needs. For example, a fairy story book written by children to raise fund for charity, or a book commissioned by a primary school to give to parents of children about to join, or using grants to teach community groups how to publish their own book of personal stories.

We do charge for publishing services to cover design, publishing and printing costs.

We can help you self publish your own books under your own name or publishing label, or if I feel the book sits well with my list I can publish your book under the Beachy Books or Beachy Community Books imprint.

We can print your books at cost prices so you can sell them for profit or use them how you wish and authors can keep all rights and copyright.


Over the Bridge to Gunville – Beachy Community Book Published!

Gunville Community Association holding Over the Bridge to Gunville

I’m pleased to announce that another community book has been published by our community imprint Beachy Community Books, called Over the Bridge to Gunville!

The book is a result of a Beachy Community Book Publishing Project, and has been created by members of Gunville Community Association on the Isle of Wight.

I worked with members of the group over a period of 10 weeks, helping them create a book filled with memories recorded by residents of Gunville, with the aim to put ‘Gunville on the map!’ The project was funded by Isle of Wight Council’s Adult Community Learning and the Arts Council.

After the book was finished, the group self-funded an initial print run of 100 books and they have just reported back to me that they have sold almost all of them at their launch in Gunville on Bank Holiday Monday 25th August, and from enquries following a press release in the Isle of Wight County Press. They also have 10 for sale in the Isle of Wight County Press Shop and already it’s selling well there!

As a result of this they have just ordered 100 more copies! That’s 200 books ordered withing 2 weeks of launch!

As a result of this they have just made another order, which is incredible! I thought community books would be popular, but not this popular!

After costs, all sales from the book goes back to Gunville Community Association for use in community projects and events.

Over the Bridge to Gunville is also available on-line and you can look inside and read more details and then buy it here.

Addicts’ Anecdotes Is First Beachy Community Book Published!

DnR Room members making Addicts' Anecdotes

I worked with an amazing bunch of people at Cranstoun’s DnR Room last year to help them create a book of their experiences of recovery from drugs and alcohol.

Just before Christmas the head office at Cranstoun ordered ONE HUNDRED copies to send out to people to help inspire them onto recovery themselves. This was amazing news and shows how inspirational the community book has been.

The other amazing news is it’s the first Beachy Community Book that’s got an ISBN and is now for sale on-line and on Amazon.

Funds from the sale of this book go to the DnR Room music recovery charity based in Isle of Wight at Cranstoun and help pay for printing costs through Beachy Community Books – a not for profit imprint of Beachy Books.

Check it out here – Addicts’ Anecdotes

Check out DnR Room on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/dotcommz

Check out DnR Room on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/dnrroom

Beachy Books Awarded Arts Council Funding for Community Book Projects

Arts Council National Lottery Funding Logo

I am very pleased to announce my 6 new Beachy Community Book Projects for 2013-14 have been match-funded by a Grants for the Arts award and “supported using public funding by Arts Council England.”

I’m so relieved! The two weeks of completing the application form and portfolio was all worth it! I had to think about how my projects help community groups promote the arts – through literature and a love of reading and books. And I’m glad the Arts Council saw the benefits of publishing books by a diverse range of people. I think it’s a great match with the requirements of my grant from the Isle of Wight Council’s Adult Community Learning of delivering innovative learning to adults aged 19+ living on Isle of Wight, focusing on those in most need.

I have now fully funded my new community book projects – 50% from Isle of Wight Council’s Adult Community Learning and now, a matching 50% from Arts Council England! The grant came with an aspiration to become more self-sustaining and use part of the funds from sales of community books to fund future community books…as well as benefiting the groups who created them.

The grants pay for my time delivering, creating, teaching, and organising the projects, which are each 10 week courses, with the final product being each group publishing their own community book (or publication).

Through my full funding I can now offer my 6 projects to community groups, and groups of individuals, aged 19+, for FREE! Yes, I know nothing is truly free – we’ve all paid for it by buying lottery tickets and through government taxes – but it does ensure some of the community book projects can help groups who have little or no funding!

I’m currently meeting with groups to finalise my 6 new community book projects for 2013-14.

2013 Community Book Projects

DnR Room members working on Addicts Anecdotes

After working with a local primary school I found out about funding through Isle of Wight Council’s Adult Community Learning to deliver learning in the community. It only applies to adults 19+ age, focusing on some of the more disadvantaged groups.

I was pleased to gain funding to become one of their community learning providers and so Beachy Community Book Publishing was born…

Through this blog I will be documenting my first experiences teaching and delivering these (and new) community book projects and give more detail on the books created.

I’m going to try and blog as I go this year!

But for now a summary…I worked with the following groups last year:

Cranstoun | DnR Room – Cranstoun are a national organisation supporting people affected by drugs and alcohol. A group within Cranstoun, created entirely by a service user called Jay ‘Jmo’ Jamiseon, along with other volunteers, created a room (all while we were delivering our book project in another room at Cranstoun) called DnR – (Discova ‘n’ Recova) to provide a space at Cranstoun for users to create music and get involved in other creative projects. They are now a “music based recovery” charity in their own right and this community book was their first project. Their book was a book of personal, heartbreaking and emotive experiences of drugs and alcohol. The book is called Addicts Anecdotes.

Bodster Equine Assisted Learning CIC – An organisation run by Jo and Giles Boddington, both experienced teachers and experts in natural horsemanship, who run courses for children and adults in the community  where they help them learn how to work with ponies on the ground through natural horsemanship techniques. I worked with a group of learners on their “Never Too Old” project to encourage over 50 learners. Their book documented their experiences working with the ponies and personal reflections. It’s also a great showcase of what Bodster do. Their book is called “Never Too Old”.

Southern Advocacy Services – A charity providing advocacy help to vulnerable people in the South and Isle of Wight. I worked with their advocates and clients (some with learning and physical difficulties through advocate help) to help them put together a book they had wanted to create filled with personal stories of advocacy and personal accounts from those they help.

An eBook autobiography – I am also working with a young person with cerebral palsy and some other learning difficulties, who volunteers at Bodster CIC, on a special one-to-one project helping her create an autobiography of her experiences in school and life as a young person with a disability to inspire other young people. It’s great to work one-to-one as there is the time to work on more writing, editing, and craft techniques. The project is on-going and we hope to publish the book as an eBook to raise funds to help others.


Community Book Publishing Projects Begin…

It is a happy new year for Beachy Books as I start working with three community groups on the Isle of Wight, delivering a publish-a-book project that will go from initial idea to finished book, published by three community groups. Every project will be different and have its own challenges and I’m very excited about them all.

It will be a learning curve for me working with a wonderfully diverse mix of people who applied to take part in the project, following our award of grant funding through Isle of Wight Council’s Adult & Community Learning, who are responsible for delivering courses, training and education to adults aged 19+ on Isle of Wight. Their recent move to  commissioning learning providers such as Beachy Books has enabled innovative new ways of delivering learning in the community.

I hope my Beachy Books publishing projects will inspire learners and lead them onto further educational opportunities and employment. I’ve already met with 3 groups and last week I kicked off the project. I hope to tell you all about how the projects are going under this community blog category over the coming months.

I am currently putting together lesson plans specifically targeted at the three groups but it’s all just a start as I will adapt my plans as learner needs arise and I have a better idea what books we will be making. It’s all very exciting and fun to not have everything totally planned and to be reactive to group needs. All I can say is, by the end of the 3 projects there will be 3 fully published books in the world created by the learners on each project.

More news soon…

Beachy Books Awarded Community Book Publishing Grant

Supported-by-IW-Council Logo

Beachy Books has been awarded grant funding by Isle of Wight Council’s Adult and Community Learning to become a provider of adult learning by working in collaboration with groups on the Island to create and publish community books.

The community publishing projects are open to all adults on the Isle of Wight who are aged 19+. I have funding for 3 book projects, and in each, up to 10 adults per group. The group could be an existing community group, charity or organisation. Or the people involved could be individuals who have come together to publish a book as a group on a unified theme.

The published books could help celebrate the work of a particular group, promote an organisation or the people they help. The books could be traditionally printed or in eBook form.

The grant was awarded following a successful bid in response to the Isle of Wight Council inviting local groups and organisations to submit bids to become providers of adult learning opportunities in the community.

I intend to use freely available software and resources to make community publishing accessible to the smallest of groups. It’s also flexible enough that I can work with a community group in their own setting or it can be convened at a central venue. For example, if participants have transport or accessibility problems or if it’s important to capture content for a book on site.

The funding follows my successful school book publishing project this year working with Year 5 children at Newchurch Primary School, where I helped the children to create and publish a full colour book to give to new Reception children joining their school this year. I wanted to take my idea of group publishing out to the community and work with adults, which is what this grant will help me do.

I hope the community book publishing projects will help foster community cohesion, collaborative working and allow individuals to learn new skills while working in a team with a unified aim. There’s so much involved in making a book, such as team working, ICT skills, design, writing and literacy. My hope is that people of all ages and backgrounds involved in the community publishing projects will learn new skills that could lead them to vocational training, further adult learning or increase their chances of future employment.

There’s also an entrepreneurial aspect where people involved will be able to take on the challenge of raising funds to pay for print runs of the books they create, so they can then go on to sell books to raise funds and promote their own causes.

The community grant covers the majority of the costs of the book publishing projects but learners or groups who can afford to contribute financially will be asked to do so.

If any community groups, or individuals with a unified aim, are interested in creating community books then they are invited to contact me, Philip Bell, at Beachy Books via our Contact Page.

Poetry and story writing at Hunnyhill Primary School

“The children thoroughly enjoyed the story and the fact it was read aloud by the author was really engaging. They had a lovely time and afterwards wrote their own nature-inspired poems.”

Kim Arnell, Year 1 teacher, Hunnyhill Primary School

In May I visited Hunnyhill Primary School in Newport, Isle of Wight, to read from our woodland adventure Jack and Boo’s Wild Wood to a year 1 class and then we did some very early poetry. I tried to keep it really simple. I provided a nice sheet with some lines and surrounded the page with illustrations drawn by my wife, Eleanor Bell, (who illustrates our Jack and Boo books) and I asked the children to choose an image that excited them and to then write a sentence about it – whatever came into their heads. We talked about describing things in a new way, as if they had seen it for the first time.

They were obviously very young and some were struggling over spelling (I still am) but I said that didn’t matter for now. Some chose to write whole stories about woodland trolls others wrote single sentences about blackberries and some just wrote out all the names of the things on the sheet. All were unified in wanting to colour in the drawings on the sheets I’d given them! Children love colouring and it helps with their handwriting. After the session I went around and read some of their work or listened to them read to me. A great start on the poetry road.

I then went into a year 2 class and read from the book and we talked about local woods and signs of spring. The teachers commented that it’s great for the children to see a writer (especially a male) reading to them as many need male role models working in this area.

I then asked the children to fold and cut little paper books and write a Jack and Boo style diary-esq story based on any times they had been out into nature. I’ve noticed when I do these sesssions some children want to be more fantastical or write about familiar favourite characters from films, books or favourite TV characters. That’s fine – whatever inspires them I say.

Some children find it difficult to think of anything to write ( I have that problem – it never goes away!). I find it a bit sad when children cannot think of fun simple things they’ve done with their parents or carers to inspire them. I wonder how many are taken out to beaches and woods? When this happens I suggest something simple about a pet they like or a party or event they have enjoyed. I try to keep it simple and work my way around the class ensuring all the children feel engaged.

I’ve observed from previous school sessions, some children prefer to make their book like a comic, with speech bubbles, or just fully illustrate it like an early picture book – again there are no rules or ways to do it because every child is different. I also have the advantage of not having to stick rigidly to the National Curriculum or feel I have to deliver a “lesson” as the teacher can obviously cover that. I think it’s important for children to see there are many ways to skin a cat.

The story session seemed to make an impact as the children all surrounded me at the end waving their illustrated story books, all eager to read them out.

Another great session. Thanks to Hunnyhill for having Beachy Books in Residence.