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.
There 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.
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: http://www.peoplesbookprize.com/finalist.php#fictionFinalists_1060