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Our Publishing Adventure Turns a Corner

July 2, 2022

2 July 2022

A slow day on the market but it’s impossible to predict. If we market stallholders could, we would only come out on good days and become rich. In real life we take the good with the bad and just make a living.

As always, see my theory of a couple of days ago, poetry came to te rescue and I sold nothing but poetry books today. It reinforces my impression that poetry lovers are the more adventurous readers and hence better buyers.

However, an important domestic issue is dominating everything at the moment. Brother Arnold and dog Harry are staying with my brother’s ex girlfriend and her dog Nelson. None are getting on well, the dogs are fighting, well Harry is being challenged by Nelson, and don’t even mention the human angle.

The upshot is that Harry is temporarily staying with delightful friends, he is happy enough, but we are not. Arnold is having to look for a new home asap. The answer is that we need more sales: order from our website or support #MakeTheseBooksHappen. Very much appreciated!

1 July 2022

I was out again today to work towards #MakeTheseBooksHappen. After another long but scenic bus ride from Malmesury (Wiltshire) to Cirencester (Gloucestershire) followed by a second even more scenic bus from Cirencester to Stroud, I did more or less open the bookstall on time.

It’s always good to see the lovely entrance to the Shambles Market.

I put up an extra display to celebrate the fact that an option has been taken out for the Film and TV of Hold Still, a novel about the muse and mistress of James Whistler and Gustave Courbet, by Cherry Smyth.

I also received a lovely blog post from Michael Dean about his forthcoming novel A Diamond in the Dust about Charles I, putting this king in quite a different light.

In addition, I think I have arranged for Jeremy Worman to be interviewed for an important series of author inteviews podcasts about his forthcoming memoir The Way to Hornsey Rise.

All in all a productive day, but marred by the fact that brother Arnold and dog Harry are still in a spot of trouble in the Netherlands. I very much hope things will be sorted out soon. To be continued on, hopefully, a more cheerful note.

30 June 2022

Last day of June. I can’t quite believe it, half of 2022 has gone already, and I have still so much to do this year.

A few more preorders came in for our new books, but we need more orders for all our books through our website. I’ve been busy drunning up support by emailing people.

Tomorrow I will be selling in person again on Shambles Market, something I very much enjoy, especially as my pop-up office is also up and running, so I can tackle people by email and social media at the same time. Be prepared, but it will be lovely to be in touch.

If you want to make a difference support #MakeTheseBooksHappen and enable more deserving authors to get their books published.

I leave you with some tricks of the trade.

29 June 2022

I sent out a lot of emails to generate support for getting our four new books published. We need to add to our beautiful collection of covers and they need editing and their layout sorted. It’s not that much money, but I don’t have the ready cash at the moment, so any contribution is very much appreciated.

I miss my dog Harry, it’s my first dog, and he understands me, look at his face, don’t you agree?

I also miss my brother Arnold, he is in a bit of a pickle at the moment, so I think about him and phone him a lot. Here they are they both on an early morning walk because it’s hot in the Netherlands, I wish we could say the same.


I can’t really publish books with these holding covers. Just a few pennies will enable me to commission four new lovely covers from our wonderful designer Andrew Cox of Reactive Graphics. With your support for #MakeTheseBooksHappen I can do this. Thank you very much!

28 June 2022

A couple of days ago, the lady on whose farm we store our books told me they had to be moved and it would be useful to know for how much longer they needed to be stored. I wish I knew the answer. I told her I needed storage until at least the end of the year, but in truth I don’t know. They can only come back if I have a place of my own again with enough room. Will this ever happen?

This picture shows only two out of six bookcases in my old study. I very much miss my books, yet I’m in the business of publishing books. Isn’t life full of surprises? But at least I provide lots of people with new books, and that’s very important, because books record the history of humanity, and it’s one of the things that we leave behind when we are gone.

So, in a way, I was cheered up, by pre-selling four more copies of The Way to Hornsey Rise by Jeremy Worman today. At least I’m earmarking books for other people even if I’m bereft of my own copies. Moreover, you can pre-order all of our forthcoming books and thereby contribute towards the costs of publishing these wonderful novels, memoirs and poetry collections. This is absolutely essential to #MakeTheseBooksHappen.

27 June 2022

Today brought two unexpected preorders for The Way to Hornsey Rise by Jeremy Worman. That’s what we like to see. You can preorder all our new books from this page.

There was also a donation via our PayPal donations page. Very much appreciated and if you like to see more derving exiting reads published you can do so too.

My brother Arnold is bravely soldiering on in the Netherlands. He’s likely to have to move soon again because Harry, our lovely dog, and Nelson, the dog of the lady he is staying with, don’t get on at all. Readers in the Netherlands, you can support Arnold by buying a signed copy of Schurft.

Thanks to support of the Malmesbury community and friends we’re still in business, so it’s only fitting to leave you with a picture of the iconic Abbey Church in Malmesbury on a midsummer’s night.

26 June 2022

Sunday is the day to catch up with manuscripts. I receive several each day and we promise to come back to authors 4 to 6 weeks after we have received their manuscript and I’m fully up to date with responses.

Did you know that you can send us manuscrips all year round and that we accept manuscripts directly from authors? Check out our guidelines for submission.

I’ve also been working on new plans to promote our books. We do need more sales and it really helps us enormously if you buy directly from our website.

I’m very much missing my first longed for dog Harry. This remarkable bilingual black labrador always made me feel better but he is now back in the Netherlands. That’s why the colour has gone out of one of the last pictures of the two of us together.

25 June 2022

Thanks to good friend Debbie who gave me a lift to Stroud, I made it to the Shambles Market. Thank you Debbie!

I actually had a good day, so a big thank you to all the lovely people who bought one of our books.

My brother Arnold, too, had a good day at Veterans Day where he sold and signed his books published by Holland Park Press.

He met and had good chats with fellow veterans he hadn’t seen for quite some time.

And, of course, sold and signed quite a few books.

If you couldn’t come in person to Stroud or The Hague, you can always buy books directly from our website. Thanks for supporting #SavedByOneBook.

24 June 2022

It was too quiet a day until late in the day when I suddenly realised why I always take the train for part of the journey to the market on Saturdays. Bus time are completely out of sync on Saturday mornings.

I put out a call for help on the social media and good friend Debbie came to the rescue, so I will be going to the Shambles market tomorrow.

Even better, my brother Arnold will be signing and selling his books at Veterans Day, @NLVeteranendag, tomorrrow in The Hague, the Netherlands.

Hopefully we will both have good days because we need it in order to carry on with our exciting publishing plans.

If you can’t come in person to Stroud or The Hague, you can always buy books directly from our website. Thanks for supporting #SavedByOneBook.

23 June 2022

Another day with lots of developments.

Promising feedback from yet another attempt at securing a grant. We’ve not been succesful until now, but I will keep trying.

Orders came in, but we need more. It’s so easy to order one of the lovely books from our website, surprise yourself and just give it a try. Thank you!

Readers based in the Netherlands: you can still order a signed copy of Schurft, a Dutch novel that caused quite some controversy and can be described as Knausgård meets Reve.

Tomorrow I will be multitasking: running the bookstall at  Shambles Market and raising more support towards our fundraising campaing to be able to publish four exciting new books: #MakeTheseBooksHappen.

A good friend recently made this picture, I wasn’t aware, but I must admit I think you can be alone, now my brother and dog are gone to the Netherlands but, for me, it’s impossible to be or even feel lonely, life is too precious, and there are too many books that need my attention.

Signs of ‘older age’: needing reading glasses & comfy shoes but who cares when you’re allowed to be an  eccentric.

22 June 2022

My boloved dog Harry, a adorable black Labrador who woke me up with kisses each morning, has gone to live with my brother in the Netherlands. So, from now on, I’m truly on my very own.

Maybe so, but I’m going to be vey busy. Today I signed the contract with Playground Television for an option to the Film/TV rights for Hold Still by Cherry Smyth. Colin Callender was very keen to obtain an option on the rights after having read the book. He called me from his office in New York to tell me.

I’m also very excited about the four new books we have signed up. Yes, there are four now, since Jeremy Worman told me he sigend the contract and it’s in the post. The Way to Hornsey Rise is a moving memoir about how the dawn of a new society in the late 1960s turned sour in the 1970s.

There is a lot to look forward to but we need your support to get there. I would be very grateful if you can check out and support #MakeTheseBooksHappen.

To give me strenght I draw on past experiences, hence this is me pictured in the dress I wore when I graduated cum laude in Chemistry at Leiden University in 1982. The hat belonged to my mother, it was a gift from my brother Arnold during a holiday in Brittany. The backgroud is Cross Hayes in Malmesbury on a beautiful summer’s day.