I am so excited to tell you about this fabulous new website and magazine that is dedicated to not only everything historical but will also showcase the very best in Historical Fiction.
It is with the greatest of pleasure to welcome the co-founder of Aspects of History, historian and archaeologist, Oliver Webb-Carter.
Mary Anne: Welcome, Oliver, to The Coffee Pot Book Club. Would you mind telling us about your fabulous new website Aspects of History, and also explain where the idea for the venture originated from?
Oliver Webb-Carter: Aspects of History is a new website and magazine dedicated to history and historical fiction. The magazine will be published bi-monthly and feature articles, interviews, short stories, and book reviews by established and new authors alike. The website will contain additional content and be updated on a regular basis. Readers can download an illustrated version of the magazine from our website. The magazine will also be available as a Kindle and print edition through Amazon. People can follow us on Twitter and sign-up to our mailing list to receive info on news, special offers and submissions. Readers can also download our first issue for a special price of £1.99/$2.99 and arrange an annual subscription for just £9.99/$9.99. Issues and subscriptions can also be gifted for Christmas presents. We are of course grateful for any and all support and welcome feedback.
One of the features of Aspects of History, as opposed to other magazines and websites, is that writers can arrange an Author Platform with us and promote themselves in an ongoing, long-term way. Authors will be able to write blog pieces each month, review books and interview other authors to help raise their sales and profile. A number of bestselling authors – including, among others, Simon Sebag Montefiore, Ben Kane and Anne O’Brien – have already arranged platforms in advance. We want to be an engine to sell books – to, like a good historical novel, educate and entertain.
Aspects of History’s genesis was partly borne from my personal interest and passion in relation to history and historical fiction. “Books are the proper study of mankind,” to quote Aldous Huxley. After working in the City for several years I wanted to return to my first love. Our advisory board and staff have a similar passion for history and working with authors.
The site and magazine are a product of my speaking to writers. Authors need platforms to showcase their books. Aspects of History will hopefully marry up authors to readers, and pool audiences. Although the site promotes established, bestselling brands – we are also mindful of giving new historians and novelists a shop window.
As well as providing a platform for published writers, I also want Aspects of History to be a hub for unpublished novelists. There are designated sections of the website devoted to students, historical societies, and creative writing groups. We want to assist authors, from pitch to publication and beyond. Should you have an unpublished historical novel in the drawer – or be interested in promoting yourself through Aspects of History – please do get in touch. Also, should you be a graduate or academic keen to distribute your dissertation or PhD, then Aspects of History could be a home to help publish and promote you too.
Mary Anne: Aspects of History really does sound wonderful. Can you tell us a bit more about your first issue?
Oliver Webb-Carter: Thankfully, through the generosity of authors and the contacts of our advisory board, we were able to arrange several coups for our first issue. Among other features, we have exclusive interviews with Ben Macintyre and Harry Sidebottom. Anthony Riches, Anne O’Brien and Saul David have also contributed articles. The latter has written a fun piece on his hero, George Macdonald Fraser. The magazine also contains short stories by EC Fremantle and Antonia Senior. There are plenty of book reviews too, for those interested in some Christmas reading recommendations.
Mary Anne: Can you explain to my readers how the submission process works?
Oliver Webb-Carter: Yes. We will be accepting submissions in January, for content for our 2021 issues. We recommend that you read the magazine and check out the website, so writers have a sense of what we are looking for. For anyone interested in submitting a short story, I would also recommend reading the HWA collections of Rubicon, Royal Blood, By the Sword and Victoriana as a guide. The magazine is a broad church in terms of covering fiction and non-fiction based around a variety of periods. Ideally, we like to help authors showcase new publications, but we can cover backlist titles too. There is understandably limited space when it comes to the magazine, but the website has additional scope to host articles, interviews, short stories and book reviews. As well as following us on Twitter, to keep abreast of news and submissions, I would recommend people sign-up to our mailing list for additional info. There is no immediate rush to get in touch. We intend to have a long shelf-life, like the books we promote.
Mary Anne: What does the future hold for Aspects of History?
Oliver Webb-Carter: Aside from sleepless nights and piles of books on my bedside table, the future is hopefully bright and expansive. Authors and publishers are getting in touch to arrange Author Platforms as word spreads. Charles Spencer, Steven Veerapen and Theodore Brun have recently joined our stable of writers. We would like to host more authors from the US over the coming year. Our long-term aims are to arrange a YouTube channel, run writing competitions, and organise book awards. We have taken the first step in a long journey and would like others to join us.
Mary Anne: Thank you so much for stopping by and chatting about your exciting new project!
If you would like to find out more about Aspects of History, then head over to their website!