A GROUP of North Oxford authors have started their own publishing business for local writers who have been overlooked by bigger firms.
Blank Page Press is the joint-enterprise of Dennis Hamley, of Elizabeth Jennings Way, and colleagues Kamal Lathar, Cherry Mosteshar and Frauke Woenig.
Mr Hamley, who has published multiple books of his own and currently re-publishes out-of-print novels as e-books, said: “We are still in the process of setting it up, but the idea is to work with some of the many writers in Oxford who have been happily published for some years only then to be dropped as they get older.
“Or in other cases, their books sell quite well but not well enough for the larger publishers.
“That sort of book is what we hope to specialise in.
“We will be very selective with who we sign, but we want to give people who may have been overlooked a chance.
“We also hope to re-issue some books which are currently out of print but that we think should not be.
“There are quite a few in the pipeline and I am currently in the middle of writing two myself.”
Mr Hamley added that the business would focus on creating e-books, digital copies readable on portable devices such as tablets, of its clients’ work.
He said: “And we are also hoping we could do high-quality limited runs of certain books, like the sort of thing you get with limited edition art prints.
“We will start out as an e-book company first, but that is our long-term ambition.”
The firm is also working in partnership with Writers In Oxford, he said, the city’s society of published authors.
It was set up in 1992 as a branch of the Society of Authors.
Writers in Oxford member and former Reuters foreign correspondent Marcus Ferrar said that exploring different ways of publishing was useful for local writers.
He said: “I think it is a very good idea. E-books open the way for more people to get published because they cost much less than paperbacks.
“They are one of many ways of going about the publishing business now and I know many of our members will be interested.
“I have published three books, in both formats, and I think they complement each other well.
“I do not think e-books will take over paperbacks, but they are encouraging people to read who normally don’t like to carry around books.”