Apocalypse Reading: Helping the Little Guy

Physsil gestured around reception. ‘Why not sit here with me and drink to the end of the world? I’d offer you tobacco, but the tin’s missing.’

– Wise Phuul

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Most of you out there think of me as a blogger – and, to be fair, I am. Most of the traffic I get on A Phuulish Fellow is Tolkien-related, and, yes, I like to blog about him in particular. It’s a fun hobby – I’ve never actually made a cent off this blog, but it’s not about commercial considerations.

But apart from the blogging, I am also a writer in my own right. One novel (with another in the works), and a fair number of short stories. And being a writer is a pretty handy thing when the world is going to hell… it’s something you can do any time of the day or night, without having to break quarantine.

And as a writer, I also owe a lot to my publisher, Inspired Quill, the small British press who accepted Wise Phuul after it had been rejected some thirty-five times. The book publishing industry is a pretty cut-throat world, remember – there are only five major publishers in the English-speaking world – so small presses have to be very good at what they do. Inspired Quill also put a lot of emphasis on giving back to the wider community, being a “social enterprise”:

“Social enterprises are businesses that trade to tackle social problems, improve communities, people’s life chances, or the environment. They make their money from selling goods and services in the open market, but they reinvest their profits back into the business or the local community.” – definition from Social Enterprise UK.

Times are tough out there, what with the Covid-19 chaos. Many of you – like me – are currently stuck in government-mandated lockdown, waiting out the storm. I have previously pointed out Project Gutenberg as a source of free reading material to keep people going. However, if you want to help out a currently-operating Little Guy within the publishing industry, please also consider checking out the Inspired Quill catalogue (or following up the titles in question on the online book-seller of your choice).

The selection is mostly Speculative Fiction – fantasy, science-fiction, and various other imaginative fields – all produced by small authors through a small socially-conscious press. E-books are plague-proof, and there are certainly worse ways to spend your time in quarantine!

Meanwhile, thanks for reading. We will get through this. 🙂

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