Today's the day that The Gentle Art of Domesticity becomes widely and easily available via Amazon, Kobo, Nook and e-book stores. This is after a number of years of the hardback being expensive and difficult to find, and several publishing problems which were frustrating to watch from the position of author.
But now the book is mine again, and I am the publisher this time. It sounds grand, it feels grand, and I'm very happy to see it back on the bookshelf, even if that bookshelf is virtual. It would be very costly to reprint and I'd need to know there's a big demand for it to make that option worthwhile. While I appreciate many people love the feel and look of this title as a real book, I think it's better to republish it as an e-book and get it out into the world again rather than hold onto the idea of a physical book and have it hidden from view.
And I have to say I am pleased with the way it looks on a reading screen. I've worked with Acorn Digital Press who have done all the technical work, and from the start we agreed that the e-book had to look as good technically possible - with the added bonus of being able to adjust the font size to make reading even easier. As for the photos, they really shine and work well in this format as, of course, they were digital in the first place.
Although some authors might take the opportunity to edit when they are preparing a book for republication, I decided that the book needed to stay exactly as it was when it first came out. I have, however, taken the opportunity to make a few necessary corrections (typos etc) and add an index, but otherwise it's the original, UK edition.* (The book was 'americanized' for the US edition, unecessarily I thought, as I was and remain quite sure that US readers are more than capable of reading books by English authors exactly as they were written, but I didn't have a say in the matter.)
The e-book has a new introduction, the full original text, much-used and frequently requested recipes for rock buns, flapjacks, biscuits and more, an index and a search function so that you can easily look up, say, 'buttons' or 'quilts' or 'tulips', and an updated resources section with details of shops, books, websites, and sources of inspiration.
I'm so pleased that technology has made the publication of this book possible. It's a book with a history and a back-story of its own, and I know from what many people have told me that it has changed lives which is a pretty incredible thing for me to grasp. I'm delighted to republish it.
* there is only one edition of the e-book and this is the original, UK edition, so no matter where in the world you buy it, it will be the same edition, same text, same everything.