Book Review – The Confessions of Becky Sharp by David James

April 25, 2013

Becky Sharp is possibly the first most rounded woman character in literary fiction. Originally created by William Makepeace Thackeray in Vanity Fair she is a woman of low station forced to survive in a world of status and snobbery dominated by the whims of wealthy men. Thackeray describes her warts and all with a tinge of sympathy but she is one of several such characters paraded in his famous novel. David James takes her character a stage further as he explores how she became the woman she is.

When the book opens she is old and reflecting on her life as she writes her memoirs and counts herself among the literary contemporaries of her time, Charles Dickens and Elizabeth Gaskell. She is motivated more by money than by any ambition to be a great novelist as she hints that for the right financial rewards she can leave out some of the more scandalous exploits of her much richer acquaintances and endeavours to put right the injustices done to her by Thackeray in his novel. It is a fascinating device used by a skilful storyteller and the book is well worth the read.

Becky Sharp Cover

The Confessions of Becky Sharp by David James is published by Vanguard Press.

Keith Jahans,
Editor, Peatmore Press


April 23, 2013

The London Book Fair has seen the trade launch of a new campaign to promote books and bookshops – BOOKS ARE MY BAG.  The bags look to be cloth and recyclable and not plastic.

The BOOKS ARE MY BAG campaign launches to the public on September 14th 2013 and will run through to Christmas.  There are two elements: a PR Campaign and a Street Campaign

 Street Campaign

The trade launch of BOOKS ARE MY BAG at The London Book Fair got across just how massive the campaign will be.  Booksellers at the fair were placing their orders there and then, and the Book Sellers Association reports already that many independent booksellers are now ordering in good supplies to last the campaign period of 14th September to Christmas.  WH Smith, Waterstones, Blackwells and the large independent sector have signed up.

 PR Campaign

PR will centre on the passion well-known people share for books and bookshops, and a major element of the PR Campaign is a celebrity-led Photo Campaign featuring celebrities and authors.  These have all agreed to be photographed without imposing any fee.  As well as forming the centrepiece of the PR Campaign, all of the celebrity images – as well as those featuring members of the public in bookshops, on the street and in the workplace – will be available for booksellers and publishers to use.

 If you have a A-List UK or Irish celebrity on your books that you would like to be put forward for consideration to be photographed, please e-mail Caroline Hutton, the Campaign Co-ordinator on

Tips for proof reading

April 18, 2013

  1. Use Spell Checker
  2. Start at last page and read back through manuscript.
  3. Use find and replace tool on wordprocessor to search for sound alike words (
  4. Get computer to read manuscript text aloud to you (Free software online eg

London Book Fair Embraces the Digital Age

April 16, 2013

I spent a fascinating day yesterday in The London Book Fair’s Digital Zone.  Today’s technology means that the reader can access a variety of interactive media across a range of mobile platforms.  Reading will be an exciting new experience in the 21st Century.  Video, audio and 3D images can be integrated into ebooks and there are wonderful opportunities for authors, film makers, photographers, sound engineers and distributors to collaborate.

London Book Fair 2013

 The London Book Fair

If you are going today or tomorrow Peatmore Press recommends that you check out: Tercio Publishing, Blue Fire Reader, Young Digital Planet, Epub Direct and Bookwire.

Spring in Windsor Great Park

April 13, 2013

Spring in Windsor Great Park

Signs of Spring at last in South East England

Mind Boggling Quiz

April 8, 2013

Peatmore Press has posted a new general knowledge quiz.  This time the questions are all about Spring and Springtime.  Entrants have the chance to win a download of the Jack Lindsey audio book, “The Queen’s Screech”, (four available).  The answers will be posted on 8 May.

Queen's Screech Cover with Border


Result’s of Last Month’s Quiz

April 8, 2013

The answers to the March Mind Boggling Quiz are available at  There were too few entries to award a prize so no one has won a download a download of Luke Johnson and Jack Lindsey’s ebook, “Crime and Passion”.

A Trip to Busbridge Lakes

April 3, 2013

Despite an exceptionally cold day for April I visited Busbridge Lakes near Godalming with members of the Society of Biology to view the flora and fauna there.  It is a micro sanctuary for water fowl but somehow the small environment seems more natural than the large compounds at the more well known preserves such as Slimbridge and Arundel offering plenty of picturesque photo opportunities for the Amateur Photographer.

Busbridge Waders

The sanctuary is innovative in the way it rears its birds by keeping the chicks with both male and female parents whenever possible.  A practice now copied by other wildfowl rearing establishments.

Busbridge Mother & Chicks

Amongst the flora are the “Restoration” chestnut trees which were planted in 1660 and are the oldest known in England.

Busbridge 16 century horsechestnut trees

The gardens contain a number of man-made caves, grottos and follies left behind by previous inhabitants, and an intriguing ghost walk.  All of which add to its charm.

Busbridge Folly

The icy cold day meant that it was not a good time to linger but I will definitely return once summer comes and we can put this harsh early English spring behind us.


First steps in self publishing

April 3, 2013

Treating your writing as a business is a must for anyone taking first steps in self publishing.

New technologies in printing have made it possible to produce books in small quantities at low cost.  Authors can be their own boss, have editorial freedom, be responsible for pricing and advertising and keep all the profits.  The disadvantage of this means that as they have no track record in the publishing industry they become a small fish in a big pond and their publications thought of as “vanity publishing” and inferior.  They can make basic editing errors and are responsible for all losses.

Self Publishing

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