3 March 2020

Happy Birthday Lady Anne's Way

It's 25 years since Sheila Gordon created Lady Anne's Way, a 100 mile long distance trail from Skipton through the Yorkshire Dales and Eden Valley to Penrith in Cumbria. The route follows the route that Lady Anne Clifford might have taken as she travelled across the north of England restoring castles and building almshouses in the second half of the C17.
The route of Lady Anne's Way

Pendragon Castle

In 1605 Anne's father George Clifford, the Earl of Cumberland, died and left his vast estate to his brother. Lady Anne and her mother spent the next 38 years trying to get it back. Finally in 1643 she succeeded and at the age of nearly 60 she set about restoring the properties which had suffered years of neglect. She travelled between them in a litter accompanied by a huge entourage. 

Lady Anne in her horse drawn litter
Today thousands of walkers follow in her footsteps, enjoying both the history and lanscape of the wild open country of Yorkshire and Cumbria.
Sheila Gordon's guidebook
On Saturday 16th May Sheila Gordon along with Friends of Lady Anne's Way will lead a walkalong the Highway starting at Garsdale station at 11am and climbing up to the Highway, an ancient track used by travellers through the ages including Lady Anne.

Details of the walk and the route can be found at https://www.ladyannesway.co.uk/about

2 February 2020

This Time Next Year

As publishers of walk guide books, Skyware Press, we've always had a love/hate relationship with Amazon. As a retailer they squeeze profit margins till the pips squeak making it almost impossible to make a living unless you are selling to them in pallet loads. On the other hand our customers, the walkers we want to reach with our books, expect to find what they want online and if it's not there they will buy something else. After all, guide book A looks much the same as guide book B until you're lost on the moors and by then it's too late. 
 
As well as producing guide books I also write short stories and last year I decided to bring out a collection. Our traditional route to publishing means that we have a couple of thousand copies of a title printed at once at a substantial cost. A couple of thousand books that require storage, marketing and distribution. I did not want to go down the same route with a slim volume of stories so turned to Amazon to investigate self publishing. We were able to follow the online instructions, upload my documents and produce a book for sale both as a Kindle e-book and a hard copy print-on-demand. I was able to design the cover myself using one of my paintings and order author's copies to give to family and friends. It wasn't just a single click but it wasn't difficult either and best of all it was completely free. There was no huge financial outlay, there are no boxes of books under my bed but I do have to do some publiciy to encourage sales.

So to anyone who would like to see their work in print it is an option worth considering and if you'd like to see the results click here