History in perspective

When Jean Collins wrote her book about South Kelsey, she included research that stemmed from her interviews with current residents as well as a lot of painstaking research in the archives of a great many institutions. By adding genealogical information as well, she personalised what could have been a very dry book. Her anecdotes lifted the historical interest, but it was the photos and the stories behind some of them that really ‘iced’ her book for us, as publishers.

I was already persuaded to consider her book as one of general interest – but seeing the photos persuaded me that there was something that would have great appeal, beyond the straight forward historical value.

If you are considering writing historical reference books – what key feature will make your book stand out from the rest?

Is it about a previously unpublished subject?

Is it a new slant?

Will it have pictures never published before?

Does it feature information that is presented in a unique and original fashion?