I make books for two reasons. First of all I am fascinated with the process of making books in this modern digital age. I have become almost addicted to experimenting with different formats, alternative approaches and competing publishing firms in order to discover which is the most effective. In the past I have used Lulu and Blurb, and now I have started using Amazon's own dedicated publishing service, CreateSpace. In some cases these require the use of different software and therefore the challenge is not just to overcome the technical problems posed by the publishing process, but also to become reasonably competent in the use of desktop publishing software.
The second reason is a belief that, despite the obvious and many advantages of digital media and the libraries of books that can be slipped into your back pocket or browsed from your mobile phone, there is something solid, reliable and lasting about physical books. I sometimes think of books like Edwin Muir thought of horses - you may know the poem where he tells of a time following some apocalyptic war when all the modern machines are of no use and the horses return, "stubborn and shy, as if they had been sent / By an old command to find our whereabouts". When all the Kindles have crumbled and the tablets have run out of power - these physical books will still be around tempting some great-grandchild to discover what some old fool wasted his time doing.
Anyway, all this is a preface to announcing that my latest book has hit the Amazon shelves. It is called "Pictures From Nowhere" and is a collection of the lost and orphaned photographs that have provided a stimulus for my imagination over the first half of this year. I can't claim that it was a book that I have slaved over for years: I collected the posts together last Thursday, proofed it on Friday, ordered it on Saturday and it was delivered to me on Sunday. But it is cheap (£7.50p including free postage if you are an Amazon Prime member) and reasonably cheerful. And as an experiment in relative simple and painless desk-top publishing, I like to think it has been successful.
Pictures From Nowhere is available from Amazon.Com and all the various local manifestations of that monolith (just do a search for "Alan Burnett Pictures From Nowhere"). It's cheap and it's cheerful and for every copy sold I get enough to buy myself half a pint of beer!