Writing books

Discussion in 'The Book Club' started by OMD_80, May 3, 2007.

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  1. Why are people writing books about their time in the military? Is it to highlight a sense of achievement or to hide failure?
     
  2. Fact is - people of all kinds are writing books about anything.

    Self-publishing has never been simpler at any time since the invention of printing in c. 1450.

    The problem is the absence of good critics/editors, to filter out the dross.

    Any half-wit can "write" - or try to - and publish on the interweb; and we are consequently drowning in half-baked rubbish.

    Soldiers and other servicepersons, in my experience, do it rather better than most. But those who have been through most, tend to say and write least - which is understandable, but a great loss to us all.

    One trusts that a lot of very good, personal writing on ARRSE will be preserved, and that Good & Bad COs have taken archiving considerations fully into account. There's a helluva lot of good stuff on here, which really ought not to be allowed to vanish ephemerally.

    Care to respond with your Policy Statement on this, COs???
     
  3. I agree that some service men and women past and present have access to source material to write books. However some recent publications appearing on the book shelves these days resemble the incoherent drivel of a made ex store man who’s closest exploits to war were that of a cadet battle camp handing out 24hour rat packs

    I think the arrse should be serialised in a book as its good source for literature both fact and fictional (49 PARA as one example of excellent (nearly believed it myself) writing) a rather amusing thread which if managed properly would certainly make good reading as a book.
     
  4. My thoughts exactly Caubeen. Which caused Good CO to post the following....

    So I didn't push it.
     
  5. V. fine drills, CLC - and VMT for posting.

    I knew it'd be under control. Maybe a DVD of all of ARRSE to date, with a fast, efficient search facility? proceeds to RBL, perhaps? Easy to do.

    I'd hate, for example, for posterity to be denied the archive of my merry exchanges with Biscuits_AB; or, indeed, for him to publish them to fund his 3rd MSc, with the balance going to bribe an IQ assessor to boost his quotient still higher. 8)

    Can't be too careful . . . . . :roll: :wink: 8O :lol: :lol: :lol:
     
  6. The DVD is an interesting idea but would it not fall victim to the ownership issue as well? On the other hand how would that differ from calling it down over broadband? One to keep the legal eagles amused there perhaps.

    That said I think book format would be a bit of a goer. No batteries required in hot sandy places and all that. The hyperlinks and so on might present a bit of a challenge editorially though not to mention that it leads us back to ownership issue.

    Does PHP allow a summary of posters for a particular thread to be queried out?

    EDIT: Alternately, all profits to RBL and similar good causes?
     
  7. If I were the COs, I think I'd apply a version of Ockham's Razor and declare to all active and inactive ARRSErs that all their contributions (apart from photos, may of which must be copyright and posted illegally; and links/URLs) are deemed to be the copyright property of ARRSE, always provided that their publication in any other form shall be exclusively for charitable purposes to benefit the Services.

    I agree about book-format for sandy places, and print-on-demand is the obvious way forward.

    CD/DVD with fast search ought to be a doddle, I'm advised.
     
  8. Print on demand isn't that good at the moment - the quality is not as good as a properly bound and produced book. Caubeen is also correct in that the content, style, grammar and accuracy of the writing tends to be sub standard.

    As for those squaddies with the most experience not writing - maybe its because not everyone has the ability or education to be able to commit to such a large endeavour. It is hard enough for the average squaddie to write out a patrol report, let alone a letter home. An average sized book of say 80 to 100 thousand words can take up to a year to write. Just ask Steven McLaughlin (Squaddie), Les Howard (Winter Warriors – Across Bosnia with the PBI) or Steven Preece (Amongst the Marines: The Untold Story), I am sure they will tell you the same story – its bloody hard work and the rewards a few. The market for military books is very small, the financial gain minimal. You won’t get rich as you only get between 5 – 10% of the sales, and will only sell copies in the early thousands. You will probably earn more delivering pizza! Writing an account of your military service is firstly a labour of love, secondly to tell a story, and lastly to see it in print. Its not vanity, writing a book does not guarantee fame & fortune, wild parties and drug filled orgies. You will get some degree of respect, some flattery, and bucket loads of slagging from your former comrades who can’t bear to see a fellow squaddie actually achieving something in Civvy Street.
     
  9. Bad CO

    Bad CO LE Admin Reviews Editor Gallery Guru

    Guys,
    Just to reassure you that the ARRSE forum contains almost all the posts that have ever been made on the site. This has been done at considerable expense (very powerful database servers) and personal frustration (site admins dealing with huge databases!). At some point this may change and our thoughts are to maintain an archive by year which is accessible through something that looks like the current forums. Don't worry though we will never delete it!

    At some point we'd also like to put the older versions of the site back online as we still have most of them archived too! Currently limited admin time and security worries mean that we haven't attempted to do this.

    The problems with turning the site into a book are huge and once again precluded by time and security concerns ..... maybe when I retire!
     
  10. Gremlin

    Gremlin LE Good Egg (charities)


    Cue " The Untold Story of Arrse- A Soldiers Tale" :)