A New Revised and Updated Version of
An Unassuming County ~ The Making of the Bedfordshire Countryside by Brian Kerr
will be published shortly.
A New Revised and Updated Version of
will be published shortly.
‘The weekend was great. ‘
‘It was good to network and speak to potential readers.’
‘The venue at St Andrew’s Art Exhibition in Ampthill and the location beside the coffee and cakes was perfect.’
‘we all sold some books.’
Sounds like a good weekend was enjoyed by all.
Just shows it doesn’t have to be a book fair or bookshop.
Well done chaps!
Eventispress Authors Brian Kerr and Ian K Pulham will have their books for sale at St Andrew’s Church Art Festival in Ampthill, Bedfordshire, this weekend. They will each be making an appearance through the couple of days.
Ian’s gripping novel is set in Bedfordshire, especially the Dunstable Downs:
All of Brian’s interesting non fiction books explore environmental issues, two are based in Bedfordshire:
and his latest How to Value a Skylark looks at UK wide issues.
Also present is our website designer and writer Peter, who will be releasing his debut novel with us early in 2023.
Many thanks to the folks at St Andrew’s for allowing us to join them.
All of our recent publications are now available for bookshops to order through Gardners.
AN UNASSUMING COUNTY: The Making of the Bedfordshire Countryside ~ Second Edition
This book was published by Eventispress in 2014, with much of the research and writing completed in the previous two years. Therefore, the book is now almost a decade old and beginning to show its age. It is surprising how quickly any non-fiction publication can become out of date. In fact, the gestation period for this first publication was more like a lifetime of accumulating reports, and maps, and newspaper cuttings with periodic half-hearted attempts to bring order to the chaos. Writing a book was a novel idea, with the thought that at least the pile of documents would be shuffled into, at most, a dozen chapters. A somewhat radical classification, during which a lot of stuff could be discarded.
A decade later the world has changed. That sounds superficially trite: how could global events have any impact on what we see over the hedge in Bedfordshire? However, a moment’s reflection will surely bring to mind the speed and range of the changes and the accelerating trends which are already altering how the public perceive the countryside and how we use a finite area of land. The evidence for climate change is no longer deniable and the rush to plant trees has captured the political class and largely has public backing. During the pandemic there was a renewal of interest in the ’great outdoors’, backed by solid evidence of the benefits of green space on mental health. There is a rising demand for greater access beyond the eight percent of land presently accessible to the public from the footpath network.
… And we left the European Union. This has brought to reality the new funding arrangements required for agriculture, which will challenge the previous perceptions that farms were all about food production. Public Funds for Public Goods, is now a firm policy stance, with payments linked to environmental improvements. More hedges better maintained, tree planting in field corners, and wildflower patches are all to be rewarded. Add to this the trends away from meat to plant-based diets, with a corresponding reduction in livestock farming. The increased business opportunities in the countryside for leisure provision, such as cycle tracks and fishing lakes. Yes, in Bedfordshire the landscape will and is changing.
So, the challenge in updating a decade old text is how to reflect all this without overturning the structure of the original book entirely. Can we keep the original Chapters? New photographs perhaps? Do we need a new cover? And yes, there is the opportunity to correct the odd mistake which, despite a tight editing process, crept into the first edition.
Will this sell more books? Unlikely, I think. However, we are committed, and three months into the process we have reached the penultimate Chapter. It is unlikely this new edition will be such a thrill to me as the first publication, but there will be great satisfaction in getting it right. And that matters!
Eventispress says: ‘An Unassuming County ‘ was a success Brian, for yourself and us. It is one of those books which appeals to a local audience and has been seen for sale in many bookshops in the home counties, but your greatest achievement has been building such a wide network of places to give author talks ~ and yes, this has been an excellent channel to sell more books. Well done!
So, you have just published your book: possibly your first – and it looks great. Congratulations! It is time to savour the moment. You have in your hand – or on your screen – the output from months, or perhaps years, of hard slog. Sure, there have been some good moments but it mostly has been about gritted teeth and working at it. You deserve to enjoy the moment, but don’t become lost in the euphoria, and not think about how to sell it.
No matter how often you tell yourself it is not about the sales, or money, or recognition, it would be nice if someone read it, or better still bought a copy or even better lots of copies. Yes of course you have thought about a launch, and you have set aside a pile to pass on to friends and family and those who pitched in and helped along the way. They deserve a free copy – but not absolutely free. Perhaps a review could be encouraged. A beer and sandwich session in a local pub with a book priced at a small mark down on Amazon, will start the process. Worth the cost of a few beers?
…but remember, you are a new author to the block and you need to reach out to others but how?
Would your new readers and friends take a small pile of flyers to leave with other friends, or in the pub? Are they a member of a book club and this is a good time to ask if book clubs are active in your area? Make sure the organiser of the club is aware that there is a published author on the doorstep. Book clubs will often give an author a few moments if only to have a new voice in the room.
For some people the business of networking is second nature and dropping in a reference to a new book would not seem intrusive. For others the idea of self-publicity is cringeworthy. Many neighbourhoods have shared WhatsApp groups and you can be sure that a reference to a new author with an invitation, ‘to look it up on Amazon’, will be more interesting than a moan about the parking of the need to find a plumber.
The list of useful initiatives worth a try is lengthy and can be exhausting. Do you have presence on LinkedIn for example? This can be like a ripple in a pond? Worth a try but be aware this will also attract offers of all types of publicity service, at a price. These may be tempting as you may want to move on to a new book or simply playing more golf
There are lots of ideas out there and it is worth making a list and dipping your toe in the water. Many ideas will not appeal but you may be surprised at how the doors do open.
Before you finish the champagne a few sobering facts. In 2020 UK book sales rose to exceed 200 million. The figure for new titles is more difficult to pin down: in 2018 there were 185,000 new ISBN numbers issued. That would mean that, if my calculator copes with all the zeros, you need sell more than 1000 copies to beat the average unit sales.
Time to go and sell!
Eventispress adds: “It’s hard to begin at ground zero without a huge marketing budget from your publisher, but even those authors published by the large companies have to start at the beginning.
Best of luck!
It is important to acknowledge bookshops and give them thanks, because all of our authors now have the same treatment on bookshop websites as they do on Amazon, with author bio, descriptions of books and reviews.
It is harder for small presses like us to be visible in actual bookshops up and down the country, especially following the pandemic shut down, because we are in competition with all the huge publishing companies. This is an area we are working on both by email and by physically visiting and supporting bookshops ourselves.
Let’s look at author Brian Kerr’s books:
Please check out his pages on:
Hive is an on line bookshop where you can give a percentage of the sale to support a local indie bookshop of your choice. Ignore the ‘OUT OF STOCK.’ It is the cheapest site on the market to purchase the book and it will take a few days for the order to come through.
Brian’s books have always had orders from bookshops, especially locally in Bedfordshire, with whom we have a good relationship.
Author IAN K PULHAM’S debut novel
Ticket to Eden is on the WATERSTONES
Author DIANA JACKSON has several books on WATERSTONES including Riduna, Ancasta, Murder Now and Then, her latest mystery Missing Past and Present
and The Healing Paths of Fife, which is also on WH SMITHS.
Diana Jackson’s books have been stocked in bookshops in Bedfordshire, the south of England and on the Channel Islands.
However, all of our books can be ordered from any good bookshop.
We’ll let you know the progress we make in changing attitudes and acknowledging the contribution to publishing small presses like us make.
As most businesses we at Eventispress have ‘met’ regularly on Zoom during the last couple of years, both as a whole group and in two’s, for particular in depth discussions, guidance and support. These meetings have been vital and energy giving, when the author’s life, especially during this pandemic, has been quite a lonely one.
‘You are the only people in my life I can really talk about writing issues with. My family and friends care, but they just don’t really understand,’ remarked one author.
We are pleased to say that our first ‘face to face’ meeting of our Bedfordshire contingent is taking place shortly. We hope it will help to:
The list could go on and on. Joining a writer’s group is similar but has a slightly different focus. More about that in another post. All of us at Eventispress have a goal to promote the Eventispress brand, as well as our own books. This is far easier than purely self promotion, where everyone benefits and everyone contributes.
MEETING THE READERS
“It may be spring but if you are charged with the task of lining up a list of speakers for your club or society next winter, this is the time to be active. Suddenly face to face meetings with tea and biscuits, or perhaps wine and cheese in more affluent parts of the country, is back in fashion and speakers are in demand. Church groups, Rotary clubs, University of the Third Age, WI gatherings are all fruitful contacts.
In the last few weeks, I have spoken to a gathering of geologists in a school – only about a dozen; and a U3A group – in excess of fifty in a room at the back of a pub in Luton. This does generate book sales on the day – making the books a round price of £5, £10, or £15 helps otherwise there is a messy problem of carrying old fashioned coins as change.
Book clubs are interested in meeting a local author and many people have an interest in self-publishing which they have read about but few understand. There is also an informal network of speakers and your name often is passed on generating more speaking engagements.
Some groups with sound finances will even pay for a speaker. There is usually an acceptable scale of charges so it is best to find out the going rate before they pose the question.”
Brian Kerr’s latest release is How to Value a Skylark ~ The Countryside in a Time of Change
available in Waterstones
We are pleased to say that Author Brian Kerr is out and about again in Bedfordshire in spring 2022..
He has been invited to speak to a meeting of the Geologists Association in March on how we begin to place a value on landscape and the countryside.
This invitation stems from his most recent book How to Value a Skylark: the Countryside in a Time of Change and reflects a rising interest in how we gain access to and protect green spaces and the landscape.
One aspect of this is the possibility of estimating the true value of what policy makers call ‘ecological services’ and how to be begin to attach a real value to the benefits which we gain from nature. This approach has both advantages and real dangers.
It should make for an interesting evening!
See Brian Kerr’s Page for more information on Brian, his books and where you can buy them.