Men's Institute - Inaugural meeting a great success

The inaugural meeting of the Norwich Men’s Institute took place last Thursday.  It was held in a room in the Wellbeing Centre and ten of us sat in a slightly elongated circle around a coffee table.

The topic for the evening was The Publishing Revolution.  Charlie Watson, the founder and director of Singular Publishing, gave a brief presentation about the changes which have taken place in the publishing world in recent years.  He then fielded questions and guided an open discussion on the subject.

We had among our number, besides the merely curious, a man who had self-published a number of books on drama education which sell in large numbers and have given him teaching gigs around the world, a religious poet looking to find an outlet for his work, and a man wishing to create an autobiography as a memento to leave to his children and grandchildren.

What became clear is that the traditional channel of author-publisher-printer-bookshop-customer is no longer the only possible way of getting one’s words in print.  No longer is it necessary to take your work around publishers who themselves need to have a minimum of a thousand copies printed, distributed and hopefully sold in order to turn a profit.  It’s economically viable to print just one copy, and with Print On Demand it is now common practice for on-line distributors only to print a copy of a book when a customer wishes to buy it.  Gone are the days of having boxes and boxes of your magnum opus being used as makeshift sofas.

Next month’s guest speaker will be Tim Taylor, author of Mantle of the Expert.  Why do some boys in primary and early secondary education struggle so much?  Why are members of some groups more likely than to be excluded from school or simply drop out than their peers?  What can be done about it?  And what are the consequences of inaction? 

The next MI meeting is on 28th February at 7pm The Wellbeing Centre, Chapelfield East, Norwich NR2 1SF

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Jonathan Lambert