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  #1  
Old 16th January 2018, 18:00
Jukka Juutinen Jukka Juutinen is offline
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Hull, Hell and Halifax/Blanchett

Is this book any good?
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  #2  
Old 16th January 2018, 21:34
SteveB SteveB is online now
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Re: Hull, Hell and Halifax/Blanchett

The key measure of this book is that it was published by Midland Counties Publications. Elsewhere you have raised questions about the quality of British aviation magazines (which are abysmal) and, in my view, the quality of British aviation book publishing died when MCP were bought out by Ian Allan.

I would say that, back in the day, any book published by MCP was worth having. I am not a serious student of Bomber Command activities but I bought the book because I thought it was a very serious and complete study of all aspects of 4 Group.

Steve
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Old 17th January 2018, 11:25
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Chris Goss Chris Goss is offline
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Re: Hull, Hell and Halifax/Blanchett

Jukka: Book was first published in 1992 and then republished in 1997/8. It is now a bit dated but I have never seen it and never used it for my history of 102 Sqn.

Steve: All are abysmal? British aviation book publishing died? Bit of a sweeping statement at which some publishers (Red Kite, Wing Leader, Front Line, Grub Street, Crecy, Classic et al) might take offence. Don't forget that MCP were bought up so continued under another name. I would disagree that it has died otherwise I am wasting my time putting pen to paper!
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Old 17th January 2018, 13:01
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Re: Hull, Hell and Halifax/Blanchett

Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveB View Post
[...] in my view, the quality of British aviation book publishing died when MCP were bought out by Ian Allan.

Steve
OK, Steve, here's the skinny. Tell me about your intimate knowledge of British aviation book publishing from, say, the year 2000, and I'll tell you about mine. That includes your own personal writing, and having things published.

Deal?
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Old 17th January 2018, 18:19
SteveB SteveB is online now
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Re: Hull, Hell and Halifax/Blanchett

John I am not sure I fully understand what you are saying but if you are saying that if I have never written a book and had it published I have no right to comment that seems a bit odd…I am the consumer after all? My points were brief and off the cuff but, Chris, they were directed at publishers not at writers. If you have good relationships with publishers I am pleased for you.

For the record I have had fairly substantial contacts/friendships with a number of published authors during the last 40+ years. I have been involved with/on behalf of research friends in discussions about trying to get a book published. In that time:
  • I have been regaled with tales of publishers starting off discussions by deciding on the price for the book (before it is even written) and then working back from that…how many pages will that buy…how many photos etc.
  • I have heard of long meetings or phone calls with page designers who have no awareness of the significance of or the relationships between important text and illustrations.
  • I have been present at exhibitions, for example, when an author friend has been talking with a publisher who wanted him to write a book but showed no ability to take part in a discussion about the possible content…the book could just as easily have been about quilting or curry recipes.
I realise that there are important business decisions to be made in being a successful publisher but in my view MCP represented a particular commitment to enthusiast publishing which is now largely long gone. Yes there are still some specialist publishers around like Wing Leader (but I wish their books were not perfect bound). Yes some imprints are still around having been hoovered up by other companies. But if you take Hikoki for example none of the books published now under that imprint show a glimmer of the ambition shown by Barry Ketley…take “Eye of the Phoenix” for example.

One my first contacts with an admired author was a discussion with John Rawlings at the time he was bitterly disappointed with MacDonald/Janes over the decisions they had made on the layout of “Coastal, Support and Special Squadrons”. JDR had wanted the layout to be the same as “Fighter Squadrons” but MacDonald segregated all the photos into separate sections and they had only included less than half of the photos he had. I don't think we will ever see books with that kind of ambition again.

Why is Roger Lindsay publishing his Cold War Shield series himself…?
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Old 17th January 2018, 21:43
debowa debowa is offline
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Re: Hull, Hell and Halifax/Blanchett

SteveB If the only fault you can find with our (Red Kite/Wing Leader) books is that they're perfect bound then I've got some good news for you, they're not perfect bound, they're always thread sewn. Perfect binding is a cheaper alternative which we don't usually entertain unless absolutely necessary!

Mark P
co-founder Red Kite/Wing Leader
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Old 17th January 2018, 22:03
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Re: Hull, Hell and Halifax/Blanchett

Steve,
You don't understand what I'm saying? You taking the piss? Intimate knowledge of British aviation book publishing is clear enough English, is it not?

This is what you posted: "...in my view, the quality of British aviation book publishing died when MCP were bought out by Ian Allan..." Utter rubbish!

And I did say you had no right to comment? Do NOT attribute words to me that I did not say!

I wanted to know what your INSIDE KNOWLEDGE was of the British aviation book publishing world was, since you made such a broad, damning, statement.

Your three bullet points are just generalisations that have no factual substance presented with them.

Another generalisation: "...MCP represented a particular commitment to enthusiast publishing which is now largely long gone..." It is the easiest thing in the world to come up with glib generalisations...

Let me give you one example of a book from 2000 which set a brilliant standard in its research and critique of its subject: 'The most dangerous enemy' by Stephen Bungay. This singular example blows away your point about 'British aviation book publishing' dying at a stroke. There are numerous other examples right up to present, but I'll leave what I have written here as enough for the present.
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Last edited by John Vasco; 18th January 2018 at 00:12.
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Old 17th January 2018, 23:53
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Re: Hull, Hell and Halifax/Blanchett

Aside from the usual plea about overheated arguments, could I recommend all concerned to take a look at Neil Page’s interview with Jean-Yves Lorant: http://falkeeins.blogspot.co.uk It contains a number of interesting comments about the state of aviation publishing, and I hope we can agree that J-Y L is a serious author.
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Last edited by Nick Beale; 18th January 2018 at 14:22. Reason: typo
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Old 18th January 2018, 12:43
SteveB SteveB is online now
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Re: Hull, Hell and Halifax/Blanchett

I am embarrassed to have generated such vitriol by not giving sufficient thought to what I was writing. I will not be adding anything else. I apologise to Mark and Wing Leader for misrepresenting their books...a number of which I am pleased to have purchased...
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