Catch up with what’s happening on our social media feeds, and find out about the latest authors to publish with The Book Guild… there’s also company news, the latest author events and a round-up of our latest reviews and media coverage.

Video introductions


Catch up with what’s happening on our social media feeds, and find out about the latest authors to publish with The Book Guild… there’s also company news, the latest author events and a round-up of our latest reviews and media coverage.

People are falling in love with Isabel

Paul A. Mendelson writes a piece upon reflection of his recent book signing for “In the Matter of Isabel”.

The best-book-written-almost-entirely-in-Costa award

Forget the Costa Book award. This was the real thing. A launch of my new novel, In the Matter of Isabel, in the place where most of it was actually written – Costa of Pinner.

It was meant to be a small, intimate affair. To kick-off BookShuk, the book-site of a friend, who actually specialises in books of a Jewish interest. Mine isn’t, although happily quite a few Jewish people have been interested. But it was a lovely opportunity for me to sign some books and do a reading.

And that’s where the nerves began.

Firstly, what words do you actually use on the signing page? And, for that matter, on what page do you actually sign – the title page, the dedication, the cover? Even more crucially, how should your signature look? Wildly imaginative as suits a storyteller – or suitably distinguished as befits a man of letters? I tried out a few test-signings at home and my disturbing scribble looked like a cross between late primary-school and early serial-killer. How would I ever manage “to Geoffrey, with warmest wishes”, or “hope you enjoy it Doreen, cos you’re not getting your money back”?

Then of course there is the reading itself. A lot of people know me from my TV work, which has been predominantly long-running comedy series for the BBC. So the expectation – unsurprisingly – is laughter. Yet as well as ‘wonderfully funny’ (The Independent) my novel has been variously called, by gracious advance reviewers, a ‘cracking courtroom drama’, ‘deeply touching’, a ‘sexy coming-of-age story’ and a ‘legal thriller’. As you can’t very well cry out ‘spoiler alert’ then happily read a passage that gives away one of the many plot-twists, the reading for the day seemed obvious. That moment early on when my young legal hero (and narrator) meets his client, the exotic and enticingly more mature Isabel Velazco, for the first time. With all the comic yet raw awkwardness that ensues.

Happily, all went well. People listened, laughed, clapped and bought. I bowed, smiled and signed. The lovely staff at Costa, who had nourished me throughout the process, served coffee and cakes to Pinner’s thirsty readers.

And the next day I absent-mindedly signed one of those electronic machines delivery people bring to your door, “warmest wishes Paul A Mendelson.”

So I’m clearly a natural.


Photo credit: Asher Dresner

An interview with Robin Le Mesurier

Philippa and Jack went to visit Robin Le Mesurier in London to discuss his auto-biography, “A Charmed Rock ‘n’ Roll Life“, and to find out a bit more about his publishing journey with The Book Guild:

Hi Robin, thank you for joining us today. Please tell us, why did you decide to write the auto-biography?

I’ve been nagged…so many people, my friends and my remaining family said “Why don’t you write, you’ve got such a great story to tell?” Then, after Andy wrote my Mum’s biography, it was so good and he did a lot of research, so I decided to ask him if he would help me… and he did.

How did you find the experience of putting together the book?

When I was on the road and on tour I used to make notes all the time, and then I just started writing it and would send Andy transcripts, and he’d say “That’s great, can you elaborate on this little bit…” and then he said “Why don’t you write a letter to your brother?” I thought this was a great idea. Andy put it all in chronological order and did a lot of research and interviews. I never found myself with writer’s block; I just used to write for hours upon hours on my iPad.

How did you decide on what to put in the book? There must be plenty of things that didn’t make the cut.

There were so many things that I forgot to put in the book that I’m still thinking about now, great experiences etc. I find myself saying “Damn, why didn’t I write about that?” I think I knew when it was time to stop, but since it’s been published I’ve thought about so many stories that I could have put in there.

I can imagine that it was very difficult to remember everything from your past and childhood, and put it down into words.

It was cathartic actually – it opened up a lot of memories and one would lead to another, and that would lead to another story and I just took it from there.

There are lots of lovely photos of you and your family in the book, what was it like to arrange these and sort through them?

Well, I see a lot of them in our hallway at home so they’re there already. One photo that I hadn’t seen before was of my great-grandfather, Robin, who sadly died in a plane crash.

One of our favourite photos from the book is the one of you with all of your guitars – which one’s your favourite and how do you pick names for them?

That’s difficult – the Strat’s and the James Trussart’s are my favourites. They’ve all got names. It’s funny actually, I didn’t even realise when we listened to Keith Richards’ book that he named all of his guitars too. I just think of the first names that come to mind – Norman, Ernest etc.

How did your friends and family react when they knew you were going to publish this book?

They were so pleased and couldn’t wait to read it!

How have you found working with some of the “big names” in the book, with some of them providing contributions to the book too?

I just asked and they said yes! I love the foreword by Rod Stewart – it’s very funny.

How have you found the response so far?

I’m very happy; everybody who has read it or is reading it loves it. It’s got some great reviews, which I’m really happy about.

What are your next plans?

Well, if everybody has got time we’ll do a Faces reunion, but that really depends on Rod and Ronnie – everybody’s up for it. Next year, I’ll be out on tour with Johnny Hallyday again which will run until 2019. April and May is going to be international – we’ll do Canada, hopefully the Royal Albert Hall again, and the Far East. Then we’ll have a break, before doing the festivals in France in the summer and then we’ll start up again in September. I love touring, it’s my life and it’s my favourite thing to do.

I’d also like to record classical hymns, but without the vocals, using the guitar to play all of the melodies.

Thanks, Robin!

K. A. Lalani takes to the skies

Author K. A. Lalani shares his experience of the Croydon Airport Society open day… 

Last weekend, I participated in an open day event which was hosted by the Croydon Airport Society, to sign copies of my book Unto the Skies: A biography of Amy Johnson. Having the event take place on July 2nd, the day after Amy’s birthday was especially poignant, as she features heavily in the society’s documented history of the airport, which in its heyday was the Airport of the Empire.

Amy set off from Croydon as a virtual unknown on the 5th May 1930 – returning to cheering crowds of a million three months later.

I was enthusiastic about the event as the Airport Society promoted my book to visitors as they came in to look around and take the guided tour, and the volunteers pointed out that they had the author of the book in attendance.

Many browsed through the book and those who did purchase a copy were happy for me to sign it for them, while others came to talk to me about Amy, and what inspired me to write about her life and her enduring legacy.

Out and About…

The Book Guild has been in attendance at events this year, the most notable being the London Book Fair and Winchester Writers’ Conference. The London Book Fair again took place at Olympia, but a month earlier than usual in April. The Book Guild had a stand in the Writers’ Block, a stand opposite the Authors’ Centre upstairs in the main hall. Our Managing Director, Jeremy Thompson, was part of a discussion panel looking at alternative ways to get published, including Partnership Publishing and self-publishing. The general consensus was that there are many different routes to publication, and that an author has the responsibility to choose what is right for their own circumstances and aims.

Winchester Writers’ Conference is a well known highlight of the writers’ calendar. The Book Guild shared a stand with parent company Troubador this year, showing off some of our latest titles and discussing publishing in general with delegates.

We also exhibited at the 5th Self-Publishing Conference in April, again with a display of books and constructive discussions with authors and other suppliers. More to come later this year!

WIN a book deal, plus £1,000!


Want to see your book in print, and net a tasty advance too? Writers Online are offering a special deal…



  • The winning author will see their book published in 2017 by The Book Guild, and get £1,000 cash, courtesy of the David St John Thomas Charitable Trust.
  • The Book Guild will provide a copyedit, cover design, full text design, and layout, one set of proofs, for author to check, ISBN allocation, bookshop sales representation, marketing to the trade and media and distribution to the book trade for one year.

How To Enter

To enter, you must have a novel manuscript of 60,000-100,000 words finished and ready to go.

We need to see:

  • The first chapter
  • A one-line elevator pitch or tagline
  • A 500 word synopsis of the entire story
  • A brief account of your publishing and writing experience to date
  • A 500 word plan of any promotional opportunities and how you see your book fitting into the marketplace

Competition Closing Date

Entry to this competition has now closed.

Self-Publishing Conference 2016

Self-Publishing Conference 2016

The Book Guild was a co-sponsor of the 4th Self-Publishing Conference, held in Leicester in early May. As the company doesn’t offer a self-publishing service to authors, it may seem to be a strange thing for the company to do; but in these days of ‘authorpreneurs’ and author-led book promotion, the ethos of the event shares much with what The Book Guild does do.

In any form of commercial publishing nowadays, whether under a wholly traditional model or a partnership model (both of which The Book Guild offers), authors are key to the success of any new book. And authors are an essential part of the marketing mix; those authors who are active in promoting and marketing their work will generally se far better sales that those who sit back and expect the publisher to do everything. Sponsoring the event helps to encourage authors of any publishing background to get ideas and experience to make their publishing project a better and more successful one.

The Self-Publishing Conference covered a wide range of topics of interest to authors, from aspects of production through to author websites, self-promotion and even audio books. An excellent Keynote speech from The Bookseller’s Caroline Sanderson concentrated on the need for quality in books, however they are published. A plenary session from Kingston University’s Alison Baverstock looked at the rise of the independent author, and the many different and perfectly legitimate routes to publication that have developed over the last 15 years.

Participants at the event could choose from a wide range of sessions, 18 in all, covering editorial development, erotic writing, cover design and embellishments, structuring a children’s book, self-promotion, using digital and social media, metadata, opportunities in ebooks… an excellent range of subjects discussed by some very enthusiastic and knowledgeable speakers.

One of the most important aspects of events like this is the opportunity for authors – who are often solitary in nature – to network with like-minded people sharing a common goal. The conference included plenty of time for this, and by the first coffee break there was an obvious buzz going around the hospitality lounge as the ice had been broken and people shared ideas and experiences. When the sessions had all ended, a drinks reception got underway and the obvious benefits of the day to authors were self-evident, if the level of noise ion the reception was anything to go by!

Now in its fourth year, this conference certainly delivered on its promises, and has received only excellent reviews across author blogs and social media. We hope to be a sponsor next year!

London Book Fair 2016

London Book Fair 2016

April 12th saw staff from The Book Guild on their own stand for the first time in years exhibiting at The London Book Fair. Held at Olympia this year for the second time after its move from Earl’s Court, the trade exhibition is the UK’s premier event for publishers, retailers and all things ‘book’. This year in particular the Fair seemed to have grown again, at least judging by the number of stands and visitors attending.

The three-day event is a long and tiring one, but is essential for any publisher serious about book retailing in the UK. We welcomed a steady stream of our authors to the stand to meet the new staff and view their book, plus numerous suppliers, agents and retailers. With a new look to the company — though still based on the Siamese cat logo — the Book Guild stand attracted a lot of admiring glances and positive comments.

The event creates an enormous amount of follow-up work for the staff, so please bear with us in the coming weeks! Thanks to all those authors who dropped in to meet us, including Daniel Pascoe, Angela Fish, Jaime Manrique-Palacín, Sylvia Stock and many others. And thanks to Lauren and Hannah, stalwarts of The Book Guild LBF16 stand!


Wide coverage for Jimmy Hill celebration…


Bryony Hill’s new book My Gentleman Jim received wide coverage in the national media in November following its release. Coverage in the Daily Mail inevitably concentrated on Jimmy Hill’s decline in the last few years from Alzheimer’s disease, and the effect that it has had on his relationship with Bryony. Yet most of the book is a celebration of Jimmy’s life with Bryony, a life spent at the forefront of football in the last twentieth century, first as a player and manager, and latterly as a ‘pundit’.

Following earlier media coverage, other nationals also published features, including The Sunday Times and The Telegraph. Follow-up articles also appeared in the Daily Mail and other media, and Bryony was featured on local BBC TV news discussing the book and her life with Jimmy. Other media coverage is planned and executed at the time of writing.

Troubador Publishing acquires The Book Guild…


On July 1st, Troubador Publishing Ltd acquired The Book Guild Ltd for an undisclosed sum. Troubador will continue to run The Book Guild Ltd as an independent company.

The acquisition of The Book Guild is a strategic move by Troubador to consolidate its position at the high end of the author services market in the UK. As well as several traditionally published commercial lists, Troubador also runs the highly respected Matador self-publishing imprint, which leads the market in the UK for high quality author-financed publishing. The Book Guild has a similar ethos in its successful partnership publishing model, and is a natural commercial fit with Troubador.

Troubador’s Managing Director, Jeremy Thompson, said: “With the Matador imprint, our goal has been to offer the highest quality self-publishing production, distribution and marketing services that an author can source in the UK. The Book Guild also has this goal, and has successfully been offering a different form of author-financed publishing at the highest level for many years. Together, Matador and The Book Guild offer authors the highest quality publishing services in the UK, and under the same Troubador umbrella the synergy they offer can only be of benefit to authors.”

The Book Guild’s offices in Brighton have been relocated to join Troubador’s offices in Leicestershire, where it will benefit from Troubador’s greater resources, including dedicated book distribution facilities. The company’s services will be developed in the coming months to offer a wider range of services to authors and greater support that a larger publishing group can bring.