Sunday, 13 March 2016
This week at Valley Press: spotlight on 'The Boy in the Mirror'
Back in September, we published The Boy in the Mirror by Tom Preston; a hugely original memoir about being treated for stage 4 cancer, written in the second person. It's become clear since then (and I had a suspicion at the time) that this is one of the most important books VP has published so far – you might remember one reviewer saying it "should become the go-to recommended reading for the friends and family of a cancer sufferer", which is quite a statement.
Unusually, the book is about to have a second round of publicity: it's been shortlisted for the East Midlands Book Award, as announced yesterday at a festival in Leicester. For our international readers, I should explain: the East Midlands is a region of England between Yorkshire and the south – you could have guessed that much, I suppose – and the award was for literary work by writers who live in that region.
With a prize of £1000 at stake, I hope we'll all have our fingers crossed for Tom when they announce the overall winner in June (date to be confirmed). If you live in that region, keep an eye out for any displays relating to the award in bookshops, and let us know.
There's been another development too, coincidentally at exactly the same time – an audiobook version of The Boy in the Mirror has just been released; the very first Valley Press audiobook, ever. This is the result of months of work, not by us but by an audio production company called Storytec (whose director is called Jaime, and went to the same tiny university as me – lots of coincidences today!) It's been expertly narrated by Alex Wyndham, who you might have seen on TV in Rome, The Crimson Field etc; we did auditions and everything. It's been really exciting to see it all come together.
So: let me do you a deal. You can get 20% off the paperback of The Boy in the Mirror all this week, with the code BOY20; and anyone who buys it using that code will get a free copy of the audiobook – I'll email you a voucher which can be used on Audible.co.uk (I can't do the same internationally, sadly). If you need a little more convincing, you can read the book's first chapter here and listen to it here. It's not for the faint-hearted, obviously, but if you want to be challenged by some non-fiction this week, this is your chance.
I don't want to overstay my welcome, but I can't leave without a last plug for The Wild Gods launch event, which is happening tomorrow (Monday 14th) from 7pm, at the Genesis Cinema on Mile End Road in London. Oh – and this was also the week I started a new series of articles, over at Medium.com, which (when read in full) will work as guidelines for making a living as a self-employed literary publisher. If you don't plan on doing that, it may not be of much interest; but 500 people have read the first part already, so it might be more relevant than I thought...
Jamie McGarry, VP Publisher