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Thread: book publishing - help needed.

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    Default book publishing - help needed.

    Hi All

    Can anyone help me?

    I am after any help in finding out how to go about getting a book published about my great Uncle - the book is finished and self printed out. It is regarding the life of C E Hill who was a police constable proir to and during th4 first part of the war and later pilot of Lancaster DV329. The book details his original police file documents and reports contained in it all original including his disipline records!, along with numerous letters from his time in the RAF during training in the USA and when on combat operations, right up to the point of his death. The book also covers my finidng the crash site and recovery of bits of the plane and history of how, why and where he was shot down and the fates of the crew. To the erecting and of a memoral at the crash site last year as well as finding long lost relatives of mine - namely the son of Charles who now lives in France

    Does anyone know of any potential publishers who would possibly be interested in such a title, as I think it would not only appeal to the RAF veterans and Arnold Scheme pilots but the Police too?

    Any help or pointers would be greatful. I have tried the 44 sqn assn but had no interest and very little response at all. I'm really out on limb on this one.

    Thanks in adavance.

    Fred Hill

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    Fred.
    This is not as easy as many people think, feel free to contact me as I may be able to help. www.colinpateman.com will provide some information for you.
    Last edited by colinpateman; 1st May 2014 at 11:44.

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    Fred,

    It is clear you have completed a lot of work and research, but have you really thought through the logistics of this? Your summary suggests most (all) interest will come from your family and friends, but it is difficult to see there is anything new that would spark interest in the wider community.

    You say you 'think' the story would appeal to RAF veterans and Arnold Scheme pilots, and the police, but have you undertaken any market research - 'thinking' is not the same thing? How many of your target market (wartime aircrew) still survive? Numbers are decreasing all the time and they probably have their own stories as memories - except they were fortunate to survive the war.

    I suspect your last paragraph answers the questions.

    Please do not misunderstand me, I wish you every success, but would hate to see you disappointed.

    For what it is worth several years ago my wife and I decided to put together an anthology of verse and photographs of golden retrievers, our intention being to raise funds for the Berkshire Downs & Chilterns Golden Retriever Rescue Group. We always intended to self publish (otherwise known as 'vanity publishing'), but before proceeding we conducted a fair amount of market research to see if the project would work and how many units (books) we would sell. Having previously contacted a number of small printers as regards cost, the research allowed us to decide on a unit price and break even number.

    I think the unit cost was 2.50, so decided the unit selling price would be 5; our calculations suggested a print run of 1500 would cover the cost and give a reasonable 'profit', but if it failed we would not be too much out of pocket. Much to our surprise we had to order a second run of 500; most were sold, and even now, 10 years later, we still receive the odd request for a copy.

    That's not bad for a collection of poems, BUT we would never have gone ahead had our market research suggested the book would fail. That it succeeded was due to four factors

    1. It was for a good cause
    2. The book was unusual and, at the time, unique in the golden retriever world
    3. It was different in that each contribution was a true story in verse and although several of the authors were well known their contributions were balanced by 'ordinary' people - including a young girl with learning difficulties
    4. Finally - market research.

    I apologise if you've already been down this path, but if not you might find the comments useful.

    Brian

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    Gentlemen

    Thanks for all the replies, it is clear indeed that I have a big hill to climb so to speak. I understand there are many books out there in the public domain on the subject of WW2 aircrew and thier experiences. I thought my book may appeal to the Police side of events seeing as the book has many original documents from when CE Hill joined the Police in 1933 including his initial application papers. I have his original and whole police records - which are extremely rare and as a Policeman myself found them to be incredible reading.
    As for the RAF side of things I have at least thirty hand written letters from the USA right up to his death in November 1943 detailing his life and the life of a Polit in Bomber Command. These have been copied and transcribed into the book. Along with this I have documented the finding of the crash site, recovery of items from it and erecting the memorial in Germany where it crashed along with accounts of three eye witnesses and the Germany newspaper reports from my visit. I think this may have appealed to the RAF side of things and thought why not kill two birds with one stone.
    I am not looking for profit or reward and would be willing to donate all profits to the RAF benevolent Fund and Police Charities respectively.
    I do agree though that it would possibly appeal only to my family and friends?
    Thought it worth a try though as someone may wish to publish it.

    Thanks again
    Fred

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    Hi Fred

    It can indeed be a big hill, but do contact Colin Pateman (above) due to the Police angle, but also because I suspect the advice and direction he will provide you will be the same as mine as we use the same publishers. So as not to repeat anything that Colin will doubtless tell you, I just urge you to contact him directly, as he's offered, if you've not already done so.

    Regards
    Steve
    41 (F) Squadron RAF at War and Peace, April 1916-March 1946
    http://brew.clients.ch/41sqnraf.htm

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    If its of any help - I know a (Vanity) publisher in India who can help bring a book to print. had a reasonable success with this guy at bringing out an Osprey style aviation history book that sells at a ridiculously low price in India. It retails 3.5 GBP including shipping to anywhere in India - so I suspect that the actual out-of-pocket unit cost is somewhere around 1.75GBP. The book is a paperback glossy finish about 96 pages are so. It is only when the books were shipped to the US that the retail price doubled to around 7GBP (Retail).

    PM me if you need the publisher's contacts (And this goes for anyone on this board).

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    Default book

    Quote Originally Posted by Jagan View Post
    If its of any help - I know a (Vanity) publisher in India who can help bring a book to print. had a reasonable success with this guy at bringing out an Osprey style aviation history book that sells at a ridiculously low price in India. It retails 3.5 GBP including shipping to anywhere in India - so I suspect that the actual out-of-pocket unit cost is somewhere around 1.75GBP. The book is a paperback glossy finish about 96 pages are so. It is only when the books were shipped to the US that the retail price doubled to around 7GBP (Retail).

    PM me if you need the publisher's contacts (And this goes for anyone on this board).
    Hi Jagan
    Thankyou for the info andhelp. I will most definately bear it in mind should all other avenues come to nothing. If you could forward the detailsonto me I would be greatful my email is: bigf "at" techemail "dot" com
    Thanks in advance and toone and all who have assisted me with wisdom and advice.
    Fred

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    Hi Fred

    May I suggest you contact Jay Slater, Commissioning Editor at Fonthillmedia. I believe he is seeking authors and may be able to help. His email address is j.slater@fonthillmedia.com

    Best of luck
    Brian

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    Fred,

    Good luck with your project.

    It is a real balance between closing your research and publishing in a book or keeping it as a running project and putting it on a web site.

    I hope that people who were involved with my Father or had similar experiences at the same time, or their Friends and relatives, who have a story to tell, get in contact with me and we can add their Fathers/Grandfathers/Uncles stories so that everyone can see what these guys went through. I can not see my research ending so cannot close and publish a book lol The thing that makes a good book for me, what ever the subject matter, is the personal story, told in their words. In the case of my Father, l lost that opportunity and had to write 'My Father would have' rather than 'My Father did'. There are clearly far fewer guys around now that can tell us their stories and many have spent too long trying to forget.

    Best of luck, l wish you well.

    Regards,

    Nick
    KenFentonsWar.com

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    You can self publish through Amazon.com - the American site not the British version. My father has recently published one of his books through them.
    Then marketing becomes just recouping your costs.

    My father's book: (shows the publisher's name)
    http://www.amazon.com/Devilry-Histor...dp/1470136635/

    Mark

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