It has to be said that searching out sponsors to underwrite the books we publish is hard work. All those in the Turnpike Press pipeline deserve the audience sponsorship will help them reach. But explaining that investment is repaid as a book sells can be surprisingly hard.
Of course when I founded Turnpike Press I didn’t expect it to be easy and not every day can be filled with challenge. So this year I’m going to balance the hard slog with the pleasure of writing some books of my own. They will also be sponsored, but those that underwrite each title will also be the catalyst to introduce the subject.
These books will be collective biographies. The stories of people who share a place or project, but perhaps don’t all see it in the same way. Each book will provide a unique portrait of that place, containing interviews with both obvious and less than obvious people.
Each will be fun to research, a pleasure to conduct the interviews and I hope, a joy to read. The first of these will I hope feature a cooperative project, with many people buying shares to save a historic community asset. The second will feature a market town, challenging both residents and the wider world to see it more positively.
I sense that this is a style of writing I will continue over the coming years. It will give me opportunities to explore and excuses to gently question the status quo.
Have you a place or project that could usefully be profiled in a collective biography?