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.

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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.

Out and About this Autumn with the Book Guild

The autumn is a busy time for indie publishers, with the focus shifting towards the Christmas sales market and the final push on summer sales. On top of this we have lots of events coming up that we are attending or hosting. Here is our quick round up of what we’re looking forward to in the next couple of months.

Historical Novel Society Annual Conference (24-26 August)
Managing Director Jeremy Thompson will be speaking on a panel, running a workshop and hosting one-to-one sessions at the Historical Novel Society conference in Scotland this coming Bank holiday (24th–26th August).

Gardners Trade Show (9 September)
The annual Gardners Trade show (organised by the UK’s largest wholesaler) takes place in Birmingham and follows on from the Booksellers’ Association Annual Conference. The trade show features just 50 selected publishers, who display their new and forthcoming titles to the widest selection of UK booksellers – we’ll be there showing our latest books and all picks for Christmas sales.

IPG Autumn Conference (19 September)
As members of the Independent Publishers Guild, we try to attend as many of their publishing and bookselling events as possible throughout the year. An important date on the calendar is their one-day autumn conference in London, where we have a chance to network and swap knowledge with other hard-working indie publishers. This year’s conference sees many important speakers and issues being tackled; we are, in particular, looking forward to talks by James Daunt (Waterstones’ MD) and sessions on copyright, new routes to market, audiobooks and new ideas in podcasting.

Celebrating the 50th anniversary of one of the best British films of all time

Filming If…. is the first written memoir about the cult classic film, If…., which was directed by the very talented Lindsay Anderson in 1968. David Wood co-starred as one of the three rebel schoolboys in a public school, alongside Malcolm McDowell (Mick) and Richard Warwick (Wallace), and they led the revolution against authority – which was regarded by many as a metaphor for the social and political situation in the UK.

Photo: David Wood, author of “Filming If….” and star of If….

If…. celebrates its 50th anniversary today and this book is a perfect addition to the celebrations for this classic film. The book contains David’s memories, from the personalities involved, the day-to-day challenges, and the reception given to the film, including winning the Palme d’Or at Cannes. This book also reflects the brilliance of Lindsay Anderson and his team.

With a foreword by Malcolm McDowell and an afterword by George Perry, Filming If…. has been highly endorsed and enjoyed by many:

“…What a brilliant thing you have done, recalling what it was like being directed by the great Lindsay Anderson, and being part of this hugely important film and its dazzling cast.”Joanna Lumley OBE

“David Wood has written a wonderfully evocative insider’s view of the shooting of one of the best British films ever made.”Sir Alan Parker

“If…. is a classic movie – I was at the première in 1968 and we all sensed it then… I’ve a feeling this book’s going to be something of a classic, too.”Gyles Brandreth

Filming If…. is now available to purchase here.

Ex-Journalist Peter Evans launches his political memoir, Rebel with a Cause

Photo: Peter Evans by Hannah Couzens

Peter Evans recently launched his 12th book, which follows his award-winning career as a journalist on The Times for 30 years. Peter was one of the very few to anticipate both the Brexit vote to leave the European Union and the Tory debacle in the 2017 general election.

Rebel with a Cause exposes, with hard evidence, the complacency and sometimes arrogance which causes the government failure to meet its constitutional priority – to protect the realm and maintain the Queen’s peace.  In his career he was hijacked by knife-carrying religious fanatics, threatened with violence by the London Richardson gang, and saved Cardinal Hume, the Roman Catholic leader, in a rock-throwing Notting Hill riot after being attacked himself.

Today, Peter is a frequent commentator on The Times Online and shares his thoughts on current political and social issues. A campaigning journalist, Peter’s book exposes scandals in the National Health Service, and others, including the misuse of power by MI5. It included an intended coup by dissident officers to replace the Prime Minister and intimidation of Evans and others. Leading a six-man news team at The Times, Evans had an aeroplane immediately at his disposal to other disasters and other breaking stories. The book continues his on-going investigation since 1962, to explore the causes of terrorism across the world.

Guests from left to right: Tony Macer, Marion Hearfield and Garry Lloyd

Among those who attended his book launch were Gary Lloyd, whose investigation of corruption in the Metropolitan Police with a colleague, Julian Mounter, sent three policemen to jail and led to a clean up of the force by a new commissioner, Sir Robert Mark. Garry and Julian were both in The Times six-strong team, founded by Peter. Michael Knipe, another news team journalist who was among the first to unmask China’s imperial ambitions also spoke at the launch. Other guests included Marion Hearfield, an author and driving force behind the Stroud Local History Society, and she attended the launch with Tony Macer, who is also part of the society.

Guests from left to right: Sally Pearson, Arianrhod Pazzi-Axworthy and Ann Evans

 The event was organised with thanks to Arianrhod Pazzi-Axworthy whose father, George, left his birthplace and Mussolini’s Italy to come to Britain and broadcast news as part of the World Service of the BBC. Sally Pearson is the daughter of Jane Kilvington, a family that has benefited Peter’s for 200 years through education and other support.

Photos at the event were taken by Ann Hall, wife of Frank Hall, a former chief assistant to the head of the International Monetary Fund and senior adviser to the Bank of England. Peter launched the event with a personal speech, which enclosed further details on his research and findings, as well as acknowledgements to those who have helped him along the way. His final words were “in reading this book I would ask you to see the escapades I got up to as a small child in the context of my future campaigning as a journalist I describe. Do we really change?”

Rebel with a Cause is available to purchase and was published on the 28th November 2017.

Peter J. Farmer shares an inspiring blog post to help you to kick-start your dream business

“Are you building your dream?”

A leader once wrote to some of his team that being a “know-it-all” makes us feel important but what is really needed to build a team or project is love.

Love? What’s that got to do with building your dream – you might be asking?

Well love is what makes the world go round…It’s what motivates people to get out of bed in the morning, it’s what compels people to start up businesses and projects when the odds seem stacked against them and it’s the starting place for everything we do. It’s the glue that keeps the very fabric of our society together and what binds people together in families, teams and communities. It’s the key to unlocking purpose, potential and productivity – both personally and amongst teams.

“What do you love?”

As I’ve travelled Europe training entrepreneurs and business owners I’ve started by asking one simple question – what do you love? For some ‘know-it-alls” it appears a strange question!

But in a world that is increasingly communicating through short tweets and statuses and looks to apps and organisers to maximise productivity – could we be overlooking the most powerful force for motivation and change?

As you embark on another year – take a few minutes to ask yourself the question – “What do I love?” and write down your thoughts…

Maybe you’ve grown disillusioned in your current job and are seeking something different? Maybe you’re looking to launch or grow your own business?

Our Newforms Business Path Journal helps people harness their passion and what they love to start up their own business. It’s all about understanding passion and purpose and ‘picturing’ the business and future of your dreams.

What are you passionate about? What do you love?

Build your life, business and dreams around that

Peter J Farmer
Author of the Newforms Business Path Journal


Liz Parker reflects on the year that her book was published

Liz Parker writes a blog post to reflect upon the year in which her memoir, A Life Lived was published:

I am astonished and delighted to have reached my 83rd year. Astonished, because, during my youth and time in the theatre I led a riotous life! This was curtailed when I developed Cancer. I am delighted that I have a few years left to live. When I visited a Palm Leaf Reader in India many years ago, he foretold the year that I would die – I haven’t reached that date yet, so I have a lot of living left to do!

Liz Parker meets visitors at her book signing earlier in the year

I am fortunate to be able to spend most of my time in sunny Greece and have tranquillity, which enables me to think about some ideas for my next book. However, the disadvantages about living in a country where English is not the common language, is that I cannot do book signings to promote my book. I have sold several copies to my English-speaking friends, but the majority of Greeks who have bought my book do not read it immediately. They save it up until they are not busy, when the summer season has finished. One friend dropped their copy in the bath and it’s still drying out.

In England this July I had a successful book signing at a pub in the area where I used to live and was included in my book. On the 23rd January 2018 I will be giving a talk at the Library in West Molesey. This will hopefully bring more interest in A Life Lived.

Reviews of my book have been in the 5-star category, which means that many readers have already appreciated it. My favourite reviews include the following:

“A life fulfilled as well as lived… I couldn’t put it down”

“Liz has a zest for life…what an extraordinary life.”

“…Made me laugh out loud and reach for the tissues.”

A Life Lived: Memories of the Famous and Infamous is available for purchase and shares extraordinary memoirs, which cover a myriad of topics and tragedies. Liz’s memoir is in turns harrowing, uplifting, fascinating and bittersweet. Stories of her flamboyant lifestyle during her time in the theatre and films, where she met famous starts are contrasted sharply by a life of struggle and hardship.

Peter Lyon receives prestigious Mountbatten Maritime Award presented by the First Sea Lord

On Wednesday 8th November 2017, author Peter Lyon received the Maritime Foundation’s “Mountbatten Maritime Award for best literary contribution Certificate of Merit”, at the Institute of Directors in Pall Mall. The award was presented to Peter by Admiral Sir Philip Jones, First Sea Lord, and highlighted his great work in his book, Merchant Seafaring Through World War 1, 1914–1918.

First Sea Lord Admiral Sir Philip Jones presents Peter Lyon with the Mountbatten Maritime Award Certificate of Merit for best literary contribution at the Maritime Media Awards 2017 in London on Wednesday, 8th November 2017.

The certificate thanks Peter for his dedicated work seeking to establish not only the contribution of British seafarers during the First World War but also their sacrifice. The British Imperial Mercantile Marine was an essential strategic arm of supply and defence, but the threats, privations and tragedy experienced by British seafarers are here documented through first-hand accounts and archive research. With 3,154 ships sunk and 14,428 lives lost to enemy action, this civilian aspect of maritime history has never been fully presented. This book makes an outstandingly original and disturbing contribution to maritime awareness.

Peter Lyon’s book begins by looking at the low status of the mercantile marine and the seafarers at the turn of the 20th century. Particular emphasis is given to the relationships between the merchant seafarers, the ship owners, the British Admiralty and the Government, with the consequential heavy losses of British, Allied and neutral merchant ships at the hands of German U-boats.Following this, Peter looks at the strain this put on Britain and how this affected their continuation in the war. He draws on various experiences including individuals’ accounts, ships’ logs, crew agreements, consular reports, press cuttings of the day and other publications, to create an authentic and fascinating insight into this area of history.

Merchant Seafaring Through World War 1, 1914–1918 is available to purchase!


Portsmouth’s rich history explored in historical novel

Author Tony Foot reflects on an evening of history with Portsmouth Waterstones…

I was delighted when Waterstones Portsmouth asked me to do a talk about my book, The Fortunes at War to accompany a book signing on Thursday 21st September.

Although much of the action in The Fortunes at War takes place in the Crimea, there are solid links with Portsmouth. It is from there that regiments sailed to the Crimea. Two regiments of the Light Brigade, the 13th Light Dragoons and 17th Lancers left from there, the latter causing quite a stir among the crowds whose numbers were swollen by Easter visitors, as they trotted through the town.

The Rifle Brigade were temporarily housed in the old Clarence Barracks within the original town fortifications, and also set sail on the Orinocco from Portsmouth Harbour. Each year in the 1890s, the mayor of Portsmouth would preside over the St. George’s Day Crimean Veterans Banquet. In 1904 for example, 115 survivors of the conflict attended where no doubt talk of the old campaigns and fallen comrades was very much part of the evening.

I included this in my talk as well as introducing the reign of Victoria as very much part of the change affecting not only the country generally but Portsmouth in particular. Portsmouth has an incredible history – from small Saxon communities, it grew as the potential of its harbour was noted to be one of the strongest most heavily fortified towns anywhere. I relayed to the audience that Portsmouth, in the time of the Fortunes, would in places still be recognisable – including the Round Tower, Southsea Castle and HMS Victory (the latter in the harbour rather than in dry-dock as now).

It was back to Portsmouth where many regiments returned including the Rifle Brigade. I informed the audience that among the survivors, was not only one of my book’s heroes, but my own great-grandfather, who would later settle in the town and attend those special banquets.

I was pleased that several of the audience members remained behind and offered their thanks for such an ‘interesting and informative’ evening, and the staff at the branch were also very complimentary with their comments over the way the evening had gone.

The Fortunes at War is available to buy from our bookshop.

When Freedom Fails by Sean Notyeats

In celebration of National Poetry Day, Sean Notyeats shares a poem called “When Freedom Fails”:


Sing a song of silence

For those about to die

Now no chance of seeing

Earth or sea or sky


Sing a song of silence

For those that ne’re were born

Never reached their mother’s breast

As from her body torn


Sing a song of silence

For the zealot with no eyes

Devoid of all compassion

For all those wasted lives


Sing a song of silence

For the child a soldier made

A pawn in power politics

His being now depraved


Sing a song of silence

For faith enforced by power

And the plight of the apostates

For whom all relations sour


Ring aloud redemption

Truth will find a way

Time will be the healer

Society will still pay


Sean Notyeats is the author of From Small Beginnings– a debut poetry collection!

Choices by Mark Cox

In celebration of National Poetry Day, Mark Cox shares a poem called “Choices”:


Make your own choices

Is how we all should be

Whether you have millions

Or live your life in poverty

The decisions that you make

Are only a chance really

But the right to make them

Is the thing that makes you free


If you don’t have this chance

Then you may not be free

Unless you were being guided

When you were only tiny

To be loved and protected

When you were more carefree

Helps you to not make mistakes

And learn more responsibility


But if you get to adult age

And choices are stopped constantly

Then you are being repressed

And being denied your humanity

A human should not be enslaved

Either physically or mentally

We should all have our freedom

No one should stop us being free


Mark Cox is the author of The Human Ape: A Magnificently Minute Moment – a debut poetry collection!

Freedom by Chloe Lee

In celebration of National Poetry Day, Chloe Lee shares a poem called “Freedom”:


“Birds born in a cage think flying is an illness”. – Alejandro Jodorowsky


Steadfastly, stubbornly,

The prized nightingale stood

Behind the open window,

Shaking its fine, groomed head.


Its saviour, harbinger of freedom,

Flapped its wings continually,

Allowing the winds to exhibit

A few escaped feathers

A reminder of higher values,

Other than panem et circenses.


In a desperate, final attempt,

The dove dragged the nightingale

Away from its captivity,

Right into the open air,

A triumphant, proud expression

Gliding across its face, though


Almost immediately frozen in horror

As it realised, when the nightingale

Peacefully laid permanently

On the few scattered white feathers, that


Not every one might be the same.


Chloe Lee is the author of The Metropolis of Glass – a debut poetry collection!