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Anne has finally decided that after her notional sabbatical year in 2006 during which we still produced three books she will "retire" in 2007 and only produce her own work. She has so many things she wants to do - local history projects in England and France, family history and much more - and no time at all to do them with a clear conscience, when we are working on other people's books.

We will, of course, continue to sell all the books that have already been published, and we will continue to keep them in print.

If you have a Cheshire and Borders local history-type book that you wish to submit for publication, we suggest that you approach our friend Mark Bevan of CC Books. You can see what he has done on his website www.cheshiremagazine.com. He can be contacted at CC Publishing, Martins Lane, Hargrave, Chester, CH3 7RX. Tel: 01829 741651.

Otherwise, for books of a more general nature, we suggest that you try publishing via the Internet. Check out what is being offered extremely carefully and be on your guard against self-publishing facilitators who charge the earth for their "services". Be aware that a paperback book that has sold more than around 300 copies has done well so don't be tempted to have a lot more printed to reduce the price per copy. It does do that but the total amount you have to pay out is a lot more and you are unlikely to sell them. Books are heavy and need to be kept warm and dry and so you could end up with lots under your bed for the rest of your life!

Be brutally realisic about your baby. What would someone else be prepared to pay for a copy, don't forget any trade outlet is going to require a substantial discount - they have to make a profit too, don't forget that if you are going to post copies you will need padded bags or book boxes which aren't free and postal prices are rising all the time. Cost the enterprise completely and see if you can really afford what it will probably cost. Having the baby is fun and holding the first copy a great thrill but the pleasure can soon dwindle away if it has become a financial nightmare.

Although we haven't tried them ourselves we would suggest that www.lulu.com/uk would be a good site to check out but you must make your own decision about them. Lulu was founded in 2002 by Bob Young, who was also the co-founder of Red Hat, the world's leading open source company. Open Source software, such as the operating system Linux, put the users rather than the massive corporations in control of the technology and this is what they have done for on-line publishing - providing you with access to the technology to publish your book and access to a marketplace.

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