Chris_Baker, on 05 July 2012 - 08:28 AM, said:
It's all very well saying there should be more books - but someone has to be motivated to write them and publish them. Are they?
Personally, I don't think there's enough interest to make it worthwhile either. The British (and, I suppose, the English speaking world in general) can be very insular as regards their interests in the Great War (obviously,the Western Front didn't just run from the North sea to the River Somme, but just watch the faces glaze over if talking about anything further south than this... other than Verdun... to the average Brit with a general interest). How many English language books are there out there that are, supposedly, about the 'Western Front' or the Great War in general but just go into depth on the British area or the British contribution and simply gloss over the rest? ... Most?
Elsewhere, and any other subject than the British, seems to appear to be 'specialist' and, so, have a far lower saleability in book format. Its a risk that, I suppose, many publishers aren't willing to take (and leads to a vicious circle where if the public don't know about the subject, they won't have an interest and so nothing will be published. If nothing is published, then the interest and knowledge won't be there and, therefore... etc, etc - so it goes on!)... and this is from a nation that whinges about (for example) the Australian 'take-over' of Fromelles and Gallipoli, then often does the same themselves to the whole war!
As an example of interest... take the Trench Map CDs that I peddle. Within the English speaking world (namely the UK, USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand) by far the biggest sellers over the past couple of years have been the Somme and Ypres CDs (in that order). Orders of these two alone outstrip the others combined whereas I'd have personally thought that the French Trenchmap CD (covering Belgium to Switzerland) would (and should) have had the most interest. Outside of France and Germany, these rarely sell on their own and are usually only bought as part of the Western Front multi-pack (though a few do go to the USA due to the AEF interest).
Basically then, if its not about the British, or doesn't invlove the British sectors of the Western Front, then the chances are that a book would be far from being a best seller in the UK (though there is a little glimmer of light from the ex-colonies across the Atlantic) and would, in a UK publisher's eyes, probably not be a risk worth taking.
(though the steady increase of British registered cars that I've seen in the more southerly sections of the Western Front over the past decade or so, does give me hope that the Brits are at least beginning to take the blinkers off!