Thursday, 4 April 2019

So I wrote a book

Edgcote has been a bit of a theme over the last year or so for me and the Northamptonshire Battlefields Society. Together with Phil we've given a presentation or two, we've walked the field and painted a few figures. We've even done a few games.

Why all the Edgcote activity? Well this year is the 550th anniversary, and the Society has been organising things under the umbrella of "Edgcote 550". As it is a not well understood battle it seemed like a good idea to use the anniversary to promote our understanding a little bit.

One of our aims was to publish a book on the battle, like we have already done on the Battle of Northampton. As I worked through the research for talks we were giving a number of questions came up that needed to be answered that it didn't seem that earlier writers had dealt with. What I ended up doing was writing a series of essays on things like the historiography, the size of the armies, the location of the battle and so on which then linked together to make a coherent description of the campaign, the battle and the aftermath. Whilst doing that I also assembled files of pretty much all of the primary sources (and go some of them re-translated) so I had a decent sized appendix of what we know.

Having assembled all of the text I then visited a few of the locations and took photographs then laboured long and hard over putting together some suitable, clear, maps.

The book is being published under the auspices of the Society, through the Amazon print on demand service ("Kindle Direct Publishing"). Rather than upload a Word file I fired up my desk top publisher and learned how to use the book publishing functionality. This let me send a printer ready pdf to the printer.

I then got several people to read and comment on the text before ordering a proof and asking Mrs T to check for errors. Getting the proof was irrationally exciting, and so important. I'd got the page numbers for most of the book offset by 1, for a start. And there were a lot of typos I hadn't seen on the screen. Once it (the proof that is) had been passed around the Committee for comment I was in a position to order the first printed batch, - which arrived today!


Confusingly the box said "Amazon Pantry" on it. Mrs T wanted to know why I'd ordered a box of jam.


But, no, inside were books!! That means that now, if you visit our show stand, you can buy a copy and get it signed!!! By me!!!! For only £9.99!!!!!

In the meantime if you can't wait you can order it direct from Amazon, where you can also read my "Authors Page". Well, there are at least 2, if not 3, other Graham Evans' who are writers, and they sort of write history books, so it is important to distinguish me from them. (This shouldn't have come as a surprise, - there's another Graham Evans who is also a wargamer, although we've never met to my knowledge).

The Society is also organising a full day conference on Edgcote in July, details of which are on our website. I'll be talking about the way the sources have been used to describe the battle, and we have several other distinguished speakers as well from the Society, the Battlefields Trust and the University of Wales (well, lots of Welsh people did die at the battle). It would be good to see some of you there, - but I wouldn't hang around if you want to come. We've already sold over a third of the tickets and there's still three months to go.

Now I'm off to the Post office with the review copies.

14 comments:

  1. Trebian,

    Congratulations! It looks like they've done an excellent job of turning your manuscript into a book, and I hope that it sells well.

    Self-publishing can be a steep learning curve, and everyone has a few problems along the way. You sound as if you had fewer than most, and having good proof readers are an absolute must. Even then, typos will slip through the net, but as long as they are few and far between (and I'm sure that yours will be), the vast majority of your readers will not even notice them.

    There is something exciting about getting your first proof copy, followed by the joy of the first batch of finished books arriving in the post. I hope that this will be the first of many books ... and I certainly think that some of your rules would be worth publishing.

    All the best,

    Bob

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    1. Bob,
      For some reason you dropped into my spam filter. Can't say why, but I wasn't ignoring you. Anyhow, I found the Kindle publishing page okay to use, and it looked easier than the LuLu one. It certainly helped having a good desk top publisher, rather than relying on Word.
      You are right, - it is exciting getting your first proof, and the first box of book. I hope it goes down well, as it isn't just my book, but an NBS book too, so it needs to be as perfect as it can be.

      Thanks for your encouragement. There's a couple more ideas in the pipeline, one of which will be a rules/period guide, I should think.

      Trebian

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  2. Trebian,

    I decided to take the plunge, and I have just bought a copy from Amazon. You never know, you might just convert me to fighting battles set before the arrival of the musket!

    All the best,

    Bob

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    1. Well I hope you enjoy it. If you want it ruining with my handwriting, bring it along to CoW.As for converting you to earlier periods, that is not my aim, but if it lifts the veil a bit on what can be a bit of a murky period, then I'll be pleased.

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  3. Congratulations. A proper book too. Not like mine where I can just make stuff up. Hope it goes well. Would it clarify for me whose was the red and whose the white rose? I'm a bit of a non starter on the WotR.
    Cheers
    Andrew

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    1. The book will not clarify the rose thing, as the battle is "in" the Wars of the Roses, not "of" the Wars of the Roses. As such you can happily read it without worrying about all that John of Gaunt stuff.

      I will have copies at COW, if you can wait that long.

      And York is White, and Lancaster Red. As Lancaster ends in "R".

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  4. Congratulations are in order! Quite an accomplishment. Well done to you!

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    1. Thanks. It's available in Amazon in all regions, too, so you have no excuse not to own one.

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    2. So, it is! Happy to support your effort.

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    3. Thanks. If you enjoy it, please spread the word. I think the chapter on the size of the armies is of relevance to anyone interested in medieval warfare.

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  5. Replies
    1. Thanks. It's available through Amazon.co.jp too!

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  6. A most enjoyable and illuminating read. I've been inspired to write a brief review over on my own blog.

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    1. Thanks very much.And post a review on Amazon, if you don't mind, please.

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