New fangled techniques

12Feb2014This post is by Nancy Jardine

Today, some authors are a mite concerned about whether or not print books are going to still be around in the near future, the texts having been supplanted by the ebook revolution. We’re in that state of flux just now where many novels, and non-fiction books, are available only as eBooks.  Some are avilable in both formats- print and ebook – as mine are. Some older print books are being digitised to ensure the content is not lost, but that measure is also designed to make some precious books available to more readers. Giving more people the opportunity to read material that would otherwise only be seen by a select few in major world libraries has to be a fantastic thing. Technology means change and so it has been over the centuries.

On Wednesday 28th May, I’ll be quaking in my shoes when I’m T.V. interviewed  about my novel  TOPAZ EYES prior to sitting in my glad rags at the Awards Dinner in London for the finals of THE PEOPLE’S BOOK PRIZE 2014. The ‘black tie’ dinner is being held in the Guildhall of The Worshipful Company of Stationers’ and Newspaper Makers. That’s quite a mouthful so I set myself the task of finding out more about the venue. It’s often referred to as ‘The Stationers’ Company’– much easier to say and remember.
But what is it?

‘The Stationer’s Company’ is the City of London Livery Company for the Communications and Content industries.

insideThere are 108 livery companies in London, each representing a discrete profession or trade. Medieval tradesmen joined together to promote and protect their trades and formed Livery Companies to regulate this. The Stationers’ Company is almost unique for a 600-year-old company, in that over 90% of its members are actively involved in the Communications and Content industries. The majority of the members work in or supply the paper, print, publishing, packaging, office products, newspaper, broadcasting and online media industries.
Why ‘Stationers’?

600 years ago, London was full of itinerant craftsmen. However, the manuscript writers and illuminators decided to set up stalls or ‘stations’ around St Paul’s Cathedral. They became known by the nickname ‘Stationers’. In 1403, the Mayor and Aldermen of the City of London approved the formation of a fraternity or Guild of Stationers (booksellers who copied and sold manuscript books and writing materials, and limners who decorated and illustrated them). Printers, having come to England in the late 15th Century, joined The Stationers’ Company during the early 16th century. (It took a while for them to be recognised) By the mid-16th century, the printers had virtually supplanted the manuscript trade – a parallel with what is occurring now where ebook technology is supplanting print works.

In 1557, the Guild received a Royal Charter of Incorporation and in 1559, the right to wear a distinctive livery.

For more information try this  link

The guild based itself at Stationers’ Hall, in Ave Maria Lane, a step away from St. Paul’s Cathedral.

At the dinner will be 12 finalists, of which I’m one, for the FICTION category. There are also a similar number of finalists for each of the non-fiction  and children’s categories. Publishers and other dignitaries will be attending- author Fredrick Forsyth, as patron of The People’s Book Prize, will be officiating at  the event.

The PUBLIC voting for the finals runs from 21st to 28th May at 10 am UK time, at which point the votes are collated and kept secret till the dinner on the evening of the 28th. It will be a very nervous situation sitting there and waiting for that envelope to be opened. The finalists are interviewed in ‘The Green Room’ prior to the dinner so that is also a cause for some trepidation.

I’m awed that my ancestral dynsasty based mystery thriller TOPAZ EYES has achieved finalist status but for it to be the ultimate winner I need as many votes as possible. All it takes is an email address and a lot of supporters. The final round is a new count, so even if you voted for me in the earlier round, you can vote again for Topaz Eyes in the finals.

Thank you and feel free to share, the more votes the merrier I will be – of course, the champagne might help give a bit of buzz as well 😉

It’s only Saturday and I’m really nervous already…got to write that interview speech. (Thank goodness it’s for max 1 minute)

Enjoy your weekend.

This is the link to VOTE:

 Topaz Eyes is available in print and ebook formats from: PBP

Amazon US

Crooked Cat Bookstore
Barnes And Noble

Youtube trailer video:



22 thoughts on “New fangled techniques

  1. Nancy, all this is so very interesting and exciting! It’s like the Academy Awards for literature in England!! Much congratulations to you and I’ll be sure to vote again! Wishing you all the best now and always! You truly are an inspiration!!


  2. Fascinating history. So that’s why we use (or used to use) “stationery.” I wonder why the guilds became “livery” companies. I associate livery with horses and carriages.
    Good luck! Have fun.


    1. Sounds like you’ve given me a blog topic for tomorrow, Gayle. I’ve always associated livery with some kind of insignia as in on coaches etc but maybe there’s a little more to it. If I can quell the nerves I might have fun. 😉


  3. Nancy,
    What an honor be in such a historic place. The history makes it even more precious. Thank you for the information and best to you on such a stunning evening. Doris


    1. Thank you, Doris. it’s the kind of venue I would go to as a tourist, since I love historic places and I’m sure to love it when I get there. Your support is invaluable.


  4. I hope you are also writing an acceptance speech, (just in case), but at any rate, what a wonderful honor. I’m so proud of you. Congratulations and love sent your way. I shall go now and see if I can vote again. Thanks for the information too. I’m like Kate, I didn’t realize that about the stations. Cher;ley


    1. Nor did I know about the stations before I did some research, Cherley. Thank you for being such a staunch friend. 🙂 (My acceptance speech is in my head. 🙂 )


    1. Thanks Cherley. The registering with an email is to prevent people from doing multiple voting on purpose and skewing the results.


  5. Well-written post Nancy, full of things I had never heard of. I thoroughly enjoyed it but the best part is that you’re in the finals! I’m so excited for you and can hardly wait to hear that you are the winner! I tried voting, but like Cherley, I got the “already voted” message. Have fun at the big event and be sure to write about it in one of your posts. Oh, did I say I’m excited for you?!!!!!!!


    1. Thank you for trying, Linda. I’m now wondering if there is an issue with the voting system. Regardless, I’m delighted to be going!


  6. I was glad to give your book a vote. Hope you win. The column posted by you is very good. The medieval period in Europe is fascinating history. I wonder if the term stationery is connected with stationers. Probably. For my last book notes column for the North Carolina newspaper I worked for before retiring in mid-January, I speculated on what novels might look like in 2064. I delved through my hard drive earlier in the week and found it. Plan to post it on my individual blog or maybe hold it for a later Writing Wranglers post.


  7. Very interesting and I’m so happy for you! What an honor and what recognition for all your hard work and expertise! Am in the process of voting for you, (waiting for password) and have ordered your book. Been a little busy lately with husband having open heart surgery so a bit behind on things, but will try to keep up now and please keep us posted. You are blessed and talented! And an organization that old–wow. Neva


    1. Thank you so much, Neva. It’s great to have your support especially when your husband needs your attention. Best wishes to you both.


  8. How very exciting, Nancy! Like the others, I didn’t know this history, and it’s all very interesting too. Congratulations on this honor–and best of luck in the finals!


  9. Sherry – I enjoy it too when I see something I’m writing about, but don’t know the origins. I love the researching process and i’m often surprised by what I find out.


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