A bit of a plug about Britain’s history

Last updated on August 23rd, 2023 at 11:32 am

Simple history of BritainThis is (mainly) an unashamed plug for ‘A Bit about Britain’s History’, the book.  (No, no – the film’s not out yet, thank you for asking).  So if you know all there is to know about British history (because you’ve read the book, or possibly paid attention at school), look away now – an article about an Interesting Place will follow eventually, probably by the end of the week.

Single volume British historyAnyway, I’ve been playing with some software, new to me, to produce a series of book adverts.  These will be featured on Facebook and Twitter, along with extracts of some of the lovely reviews the book has had.  Being the nice, considerate, sort of chap I am, I’m giving you a sneak preview.  You will also be able to spot them over on Twitter and Facebook; did I mention that?

British history for beginnersIf you have bought the book, in paperback or as an e-book, thank you very much indeed.  If you’ve bought more than one, thank you more than once.  And a further thank you if you have left a kind review, on Amazon, Goodreads, or elsewhere.  Reviews are important for all authors, of course.  But to the self-published author, bereft of the benefits of a publisher’s marketing machine, they are like rocket-fuel to a Mars mission.  Urban legend has it that once a book achieves 50 Amazon reviews, Amazon starts to take it seriously.  No one outside Amazon knows if this is true, but go on – humour me.

A history of BritainSomeone mildly chastised me the other week, for suggesting books could be bought from Amazon rather than from a bookshop.  They were right.  And they were wrong.  They were right because of course on-line sales are helping to kill our high streets.  Yet Amazon provides benefits that bookshops do not, currently, match – not least the ability to publish your books.  By the same token, you cannot beat browsing through a really good, independent, bookshop and splashing out on a couple of items – new, or second-hand, it doesn’t matter. I know a wonderful bookshop exactly like that, the Book Lounge, which also offers the luxury of good coffee (and possibly a little something to nibble as well), to be enjoyed in a comfy chair post-purchase. Moreover, the proprietor is discerning enough to stock ‘A Bit About Britain’s History’ and, consequently, we help promote each other. I’d like to do more of that – so if you own a bookshop in the UK, and would seriously like to stock ‘A Bit About Britain’s History’, get in touch via the contact page. Please don’t forget to include your bookshop’s website address.

Introduction to British historyClick on the links to buy A Bit About Britain’s History from Amazon in the UK, or from Amazon.com

Reviews from Amazon and Goodreads:

“Multum in Parvo…a super overview of the history of Britain.”

“Would highly recommend.”

“Britain’s history should be fun – this book makes it so.”

“A fascinating, accessible, and often amusing look at British history.”

“You will enjoy every delightful sentence.”

“A well-crafted book, a great read, and fills in a lot of gaps.”

“An indispensable read for those interested in Britain’s history.”

“An engaging romp through the history of Britain.”

“Beautifully written, engaging from beginning to end.”

“A great little book that describes Britain’s history in an easy to understand and likeable way.”

“History with a Dollop of Humor.”

“A Bit More about Britain soon please.”

“Very readable history.”

“A great book to gain an insight into the fascinating history of our little island. A fun and enjoyable read, would highly recommend.”

“Stringing Britain’s story together.”

“A wonderfully succinct but rich timeline of British History.”

“A bite size history lesson.”

“Unique take on the fascinating history of our land, ‘from a long time ago until quite recently’!”

“An indispensable read for those interested in Britain’s history.”

“Serious History with More than a Bit of Wit.”

“Essential school core history reading list addition.”

“The touches of a Bill Bryson wit was just enough to amuse me while I pondered the reality of “One Damned War After Another” It was a book I looked forward to returning to each night.”

“Everything you learned at school and forgot and much more in a very readable entertaining form. Recommended for anyone interested in Britain’s fascinating history.”

“An amusing and informative history of Britain.”

“A great way to learn more about the history of Britain.”

“This book should be required reading in all schools!”

“Written in a most entertaining style this book moves effortlessly between humour, hard facts and an interpretation of those facts. Whilst it will appeal to the serious historian and would not be out of place in a university library it will also tempt the casual reader to want to learn more. I thought I knew a little about our history but kept opening this book at random and after reading a couple of paragraphs got absorbed so that eventually I read it from cover to cover.”

“Loved this crash course on British history!”

“Refreshingly concise, it breaks Britain’s complex and often dramatic history into fascinating chunks, without the unnecessary and let’s face it – often relatively dull detail that so many history books give us.”

“Good book full of great stories.”

33 thoughts on “A bit of a plug about Britain’s history”

  1. I love books, I love independent bookshops and I love that Amazon provides the facility for people to publish their work.

    I recently bought a walking book written by some one local to me. He used Amazon to publish his book.

  2. I think I would be blown away if I were to walk into a local bookstore and see a pile of ABAB stacked in a prominent corner. Of course that being blown away would be vicariously on your behalf as it were. Not that I live in rural Kentucky but even in the comparatively literate New York City commuting belt (which is where I do live) the disappearance of local bookstores over recent years has been depressing, distressing and a downright nuisance. And yes I use Amazon like pretty much all of us these days. I have already procured my copy of ABAB and it sits, after being duly read from cover to cover, in pride of place in one of the bookshelves close to the main entrance (i.e. not the servants and trade’s-persons entrance) of our house. Thus all visitors (excluding the aforementioned riffraff) see it. After turning the last page of said tome, reflecting on the contents for a respectable period, I also count myself among the privileged few to have knocked out a review of sorts. Not sure anymore what the point of my comment is, I seem to be losing the thread. Ah yes, of course since mid-March the actual visitors to our house have been none, except again for the aforementioned who tend to approach gingerly, suitably masked and gloved and leave packages at the end of the driveway, turn heel and scarper pretty sharpish if you know what I mean. So there you go. I will leave a more meaningful comment on another occasion when I have something of real value to say.
    Smiley face!

    1. Thanks, Andy. It’s certainly warming to see your own book in a bookshop and I’ve had that experience several times now – but not all bookshops are easy to do business with, of course. I appreciate the prominent display position in your elegant pile, the wonderful review – and, frankly, the fact that you bought the damn thing in the first place! Lots of smiley faces!

  3. I really enjoyed it and learned a lot, too — and did a review on Amazon. It’s well worth anyone’s time who loves or wants to learn more about Britain.

    As for bookstores, I agree on both counts. Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to send someone to the bookstore for it? I love real bookstores. I can spend hours there. But you have to print a pretty big run to get into one and have a good agent — unless you are willing to front the cost and schlep them around to any store that will consign them. I will say that a friend of mine has done that with some of his books and with some degree of modest success — perhaps you’ve already done that in areas where you have connections. In any event, during these times, as much as I want to go to the bookstore, I’m not even going to the grocery store. Amazon is the lifeline!

    Good luck with it, Mike. It’s well worth having!

  4. Just bought the Kindle version – look forward to reading it!

    And I agree about how wonderful bookstores are; good luck developing some relationships with some of the owners!

  5. Mike, you are on my TBR list for your book. One I can hold in my hand and see on my bookshelves. I also wish to do a review and interview when I’ve read it (no, blushing now!). I’m just a bit behind…yet, I will get there. All sparkly best with this and your ads. Well done on wrapping your head around the graphics software… Xx

  6. As you probably know, Mike, I have far more books than I will have time left to read, so I won’t be buying, but I do wish you every success with what deserves to be a popular choice. I do of course relish your blogs.

    1. Thank you, Derrick. The idea, of course, is to fill your bookshelves with works you’d like to read and, more importantly, impress your visitors with by simply possessing them, let alone the possibility that you might have read them as well. This strikes me as a very good argument to rush out and buy a copy of ‘A Bit About Britain’s History’ immediately.

  7. mekslibrarian

    Your book is on my kindle but I have not yet gotten round to reading it. However, knowing your writing from your blog, I dare say I will enjoy it greatly, and can already highly recommend it.
    When it comes to buying online versus buying in a shop, I think there is room for both. There are things I like to buy in person, but shopping has become less fun since wearing a face mask has become mandatory. Also, I do all my shopping on foot (don’t drive, don’t have a car) and so I prefer heavy items to be sent to me. Plus I can download to my kindle only from the internet, and I use both forms of reading – physical books as well as ebooks. Nothing is as practical and lightweight as my kindle when it comes to travelling, which I do a lot of, but nothing beats a physical book when I am reading at home on my comfortable armchair or in bed.
    My favourite bookshop is “The Little Ripon Bookshop” in – surprise, surprise! – Ripon, but as I can not come to England this year “thanks” to corona, I won’t be able to visit it. I have ordered a few books there earlier this year as a gift for one of my nieces who lives just outside Ripon, and that worked so well and the service was so friendly that I shall do it again.

    1. Thanks, Meike – much appreciated! Please don’t be shy about leaving a review on Amazon after you’ve read it. Personally, I prefer a book. But Mrs Britain would be lost without her Kindle.

  8. artandarchitecturemainly

    Great idea. Hope it goes well.

    Could I ask for a favour – could you publish the contents page/chapter headings in this blog?

    1. Thank you! The material that inspired the book is in the history section of this site. But I can do better than that: if you look at the details on Amazon, you’ll see a complete list of chapters and will also be able to preview sections of the book before you buy.

  9. I bought the digital version of this book when it was published and highly recommend it. Content is well pitched and it is written well with the right amount of humour and sarcasm to keep ones attention. Buy it and no I don’t have a commission agreement with Mike (yet!).

  10. I bought from bookshops when living in the U.K.,,,and used Better World Books until the blasted bug put a stop to deliveries…but otherwise, if I want to read something new, it is Amazon…my only practical alternative.
    I hope that more small bookshops will stock the book…it is a real treasure.

    1. Thanks, Helen, you say the nicest things. It’s certainly been good to see the book in a few shops already, but most of the sales have been online so far. To my surprise, paperbacks are currently out-selling e-books.

      1. Given the choice, I would orefer a book – easier to use for reference than trying to find a page on Kindle – but beggars can;t be choosers.
        It is a super book, in whatever format.

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