War on the grand scale: 1914-1918 (And how to publish a weekly part-work successfully in 1936)

In the Editorial from Sir John Hammerton written in 1936 we learn that during the Great War there were 15 part works published each week to follow the war as it played out but only 4/5 stayed the course (two of them published by him).

The answer, if readers need persuading is to have

An Editorial plan:

1) Does it have a market?

  • Based on experience and instinct

2) Choice of letterpress

  • Choice and placing of illustrations
  • Taking pains, described as genius.
  • Well produced.

3) Keep promises.

4) It must be well advertised.

  • (The £15,000 Sir John Hammerton mentions spending  in 1934 might be £825,000+ ! in 2012)
  • The right balance between pictures and text or “harmonious proportions”.

‘War on the grand scale’

I am reminded that just as we look back 100 years authors looked back to conflicts of the previous century.

In the 50 years between 1864 and 1914 there had been far more changes in the mechanism of naval warfare than in the 4,000 years that elapsed between the time when the first Greek galleys hugged the rugged shores of their homeland and the encounters of St.Vincent, Trafalgar and Navarino. (1936:95)

Triple entente vs Triple Alliance

Stories that intrigue me include the 500 Turks waiting to board the battleship Reshadieh at the Armstrong yard on the Tyne at the outbreak of war. What happened to them and the ship?

What’s the history of Heligoland the tiny islands in the North Sea. Weren’t they British for a period?

Did Germany really feel threatened? Was it a trade war with England?

About these ads

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s