But they have not disappeared! This is a catch-all message for anyone I didn’t manage to notify individually (sorry!). The press is still running, and the books are still available but we will no longer be using the Creative Media Centre address.
For now, if you need to get in touch with me, or have a query about any of the books or authors, please CLICK HERE to send a message.
Why are we moving?
Frankly, because everything else has moved too far from us!
It feels like a lifetime ago, when Gordon Brown’s local area regeneration schemes brought so much money and opportunity to Hastings, and I was one of many who got involved with the training and support schemes for small businesses and arts and education projects. It really did seem to be a time of free lunches – well, UFOs they called them – Unidentifiable Fried Objects – but I did rather like the breakfasts at the ebiz Centre, where we all used to go before the working day started for free IT and marketing training and advice – and across the road was the Creative Media Centre, a friendly, personal-service set of meeting rooms, tech and mail facilities, with a receptionist always on site.
I learned to work as a small trader, and became a registered publisher as well as a book trader, applying the skills I had learned as a materials writer and producer for an international school. I taught courses and workshops in the (at that time well-funded) community centres to fund myself while we were busy with the production of stonkingly low-profit-margin small press books. Those were the best times. I loved every minute, but that was back when shops took a 25% margin for themselves, and digital printing and contract couriers both cost about half what they do now, and the Creative Media Centre set their prices according to what little creative businesses could afford.
Ah well. The last glimmers of that world were knocked out over the COVID years – but no regrets – thanks to all involved, it was amazing! Meanwhile, the ‘Creatives’ never did find it easy to remember that reading and writing were creative skills – and when they did, they rarely remembered that could involve your actual books. Bit distressing that, as the schools I visit are still desperately trying to find ways of enthusing kids about reading and writing, whilst all the available ‘creatives’ want to do groovy, high-tech things instead (yes, I know you can read and write on computers – that’s what I’m doing right now, but it’s not what they do).
An address at The Creative Media Centre now costs more than twice what it did back then, and does not have a receptionist on site who knows and chats to all the local business and project workers. It has an entry phone, and post left on the counter by the postman, and looking down the list of ‘tenants’ now, I do wonder if they remember why the building has the name it has.
But never mind! The press is still here and if and when it achieves a new print-fund, more books can and probably will happen. In the meantime, most of the books we produced are still available – through the pages of this blog and also through the national distributor (it’s Gardners UK – if you want to order a book from your bookshop, tell them it’s at Gardners).
These are strange times – we’re all trying to find out how to live on air but I promise this blog-site will be absolutely the last thing to go – and – huge thanks here to readers and supporters – it won’t go, for as long as donations cover the price of the site and server space. I know that support is coming largely from those who follow my political work but, even if this isn’t you, please give some thought to whether putting an X in a box once in four years or so is really enough to get us out of all these troubles.
Good luck, and please support the Demand Better and Enough is Enough campaigns. To get ourselves into a workable position, we really need to come together and demand a government that works for us.
With love, thanks, and all the best,