Balsham, a village story, 1617-2017

"There simply wouldn't have been a book without Berenice's involvement in the project, we're so pleased with the result. It's more than we ever dreamed of - we're the envy of so many history groups!" Margaret Creek, Balsham Map Project 
 
"A stunning book! Well done." Sue Marchant, BBC Radio Cambridgeshire
 
"Haven’t been able to put this fabulous book down . I’m so proud of our village. It’s great looking back in time. With having such a long standing family in the village. Very well done all."  R. Scotland
 
"Hugely impressed with the book and by those that have clearly taken so much time to put it together. Fantastic that the book launch was so well supported, the presentations were excellent!" D. Langford

I am thrilled to report the publication of a book that I've been designing and coaching (more on that later) on for the past year. It's called Balsham, a village story, 1617-2017 and it celebrates the wonderful world of mapping from the work of Elizabethan surveyor Thomas Langdon to the latest GIS technology by CEO of GeoSystems International, Dr. Seppe Cassettari. 

 The full cover of the book screen shot from Indesign. I published a series of show and tell videos on the website that I designed and maintained for the group to keep them informed of progress.

The full cover of the book screen shot from Indesign. I published a series of show and tell videos on the website that I designed and maintained for the group to keep them informed of progress.

This book was inspired by a talk given a few years ago by Dr. Susan Oosthuizen at the University of Cambridge about the 1617 map. The community of Balsham thought this was a wonderful idea and began an extensive period of research. Alongside this they fundraised and asked for my help, as a former resident, with the design and general sharing of book publishing. I was delighted to get involved.   

The team, all largely unexperienced authors, asked for my help with the publishing process and design. The role I took quickly developed into a lot more and included the following services:

  • Book cover design
  • Text page design
  • Production (advising and coaching the team on the necessary steps to take the book from research to publication including scheduling and page planning)
  • Copyediting
  • Coordinating the proofreader
  • Collating and taking in proof corrections
  • Marketing collateral design
  • Print buying and supply of file to press
  • Social media account management
  • Organising the book launch
  • Website design and development
  • Pre-book launch publicity, securing interviews with BBC Radio Cambridgeshire and Cambridge 105 FM and newspaper articles
  • Presenting talks throughout the publishing cycle and at the book launch on how to publish a book.

Book launch

 Extract from the talk I gave at the launch, the words that go with this 'it all looks so very simple!' I then explained what each stage meant and I have been delighted to be told on several occasions by the audience at the event and by email that they have learnt a lot from the information I shared in this short talk.

Extract from the talk I gave at the launch, the words that go with this 'it all looks so very simple!' I then explained what each stage meant and I have been delighted to be told on several occasions by the audience at the event and by email that they have learnt a lot from the information I shared in this short talk.

I wanted to explain a little more about the book launch. A launch is a great way to get feedback on a book and with some gentle encouragement, I persuaded the authors to consider a 'do'. The team considered many venues but having held many meetings at the historic and beautiful Black Bull pub in the village (featured in the book), it seems appropriate to ask the owners if they would oblige us with a venue hire. They agreed and offered free room hire in their gorgeous restaurant and snug area providing we bought the refreshments. This was a perfect arrangement as we literally were doing this on minimal funds! I have to say that the management team and staff excelled themselves. 

 

 Another extract from the book launch talk, tips we wanted to share with the audience who comprised of authors, writers and experienced historians. 

Another extract from the book launch talk, tips we wanted to share with the audience who comprised of authors, writers and experienced historians. 

At the book launch I was one of two speakers. Dr. Seppe Cassetarri was the first speaker. He has been a joy to work with and as the only experienced author in the team, a good support too. He's a global GIS system expert and CEO of GeoSystems International... and a resident of Balsham! With access to the very best technology and aerial photography, his maps have been critical to the success of the book. He was happy to speak about the maps in the book and really engaged the audience with the content. 

Book coaching

My talk was about the process of book publishing from knowing when to stop research, all the stages required to the lessons learned. I also shared a few tips on the complex process of book design and how way finding in maps also applies to books and page plans! It was wonderful to have so many compliments but also to hear that my talk was useful and to receive enquiries from groups and authors who would like my help. I am currently transcribing this entire project and the experience and considering the publication of a ebook or running a course - watch this space! 

We were thrilled when the audience was so huge that we needed to run the talk twice! Our headcount for a toast at the last hour was over 90 people and in both a morning and evening launch, we arrived to find queues. 

The book is being stocked by two local outlets and the team are aiming to do more events and locate other independent stockists in the Cambridge too. I can tell you that it's selling very well with the team on track to almost recoup all their printing costs.

Please do feel free to contact me if you would like any advice on your book or a quote on how to use my design, marketing and coaching services to help your project go from an idea to full publication.