Now that our move seems back on track again, although following a slightly different direction, I thought I’d share with you some details of a Kindle based publishing venture Debbie set up a couple of years ago.
Basically she publishes old handwritten diaries from the First and Second World War, usually from individuals in the military, but occasionally from the home front. These are not famous individuals, nor typically senior in rank, just ordinary people going about their lives in extra-ordinary times.
It all stemmed from my Great Uncle Reginald’s First World War trench diaries (1916, 1917 & 1918) left to me after his death. For my fortieth birthday Debbie and Alex transcribed the 1916 diary for me and gave me a printed copy. This was a fantastic gift that I really treasured, but work stopped there until my fiftieth when Debbie started on the 1917 diary.
I had the idea she should go back to the start and use the internet to research all the correct spellings of the locations and verify their accuracy, particularly of any casualties my Great Uncle referenced. Much to my surprise and very movingly there was nearly always an exact correlation between the casualty mentioned in the diary and the record the Commonwealth War Graves Commission site.
We then decided that rather than keeping the printed and electronic copies just to ourselves, we’d make sure they lasted forever (or for at least for as long Amazon exists) to be read by a wider audience by publishing them as ebooks on Kindle Direct Publishing. She uses the very small income derived each month to source other diaries aiming to preserve their memory which would otherwise be lost.
To be fair many of the diaries are very mundane and not as well written as Reginald’s, but they do give you a real sense of a different way of life in an important historical timeframe. To make the electronic version of the diaries more understandable we have inserted hyperlinks to Wikipedia for place names, historical facts and the CWGC site for details of casualties.