Saturday, 24 May 2014

New fangled techniques

This post is almost a copy of my post today at my alternate Saturday Writing Wranglers and Warriors blog.

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 older print books are being digitised to ensure the content is not lost, but the measure is also designed to make the 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, 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. I set myself the task of finding out more about the venue. It’s often referred to as ‘The Stationers’ Company’- or 'The Stationers' Hall' -much easier to say and remember.  

But what’s that?  - ‘The Stationer’s Company’ is the City of London Livery Company for the Communications and Content industries. Medieval tradesmen joined together to promote and protect their trades and formed Livery Companies to regulate this. There are 108 livery companies in London, each representing a discrete profession or trade. 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.
Wikimedia Commons
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.

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

I'm awed that I'm a finalist and look forward to the event. It will be scary sitting waiting for the envelope to be opened before the WINNER is declared but for that name to be mine I need to have everyone possible voting for me. Even if you voted before in the first round, you can vote again for me in the finals. All it needs is your email to register- and I assure you, you won't be inundated by spam stuff.

Vote here please: 

Thank you.

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