Three years on from the publication of Jura Wine, I'm preparing my second book, 'Wine of the French Alps, Savoie, Bugey and beyond' for publication before the end of this year. I've launched a Kickstarter project to help fund publication to the same standard and to give me the motivation to get this book delivered on time, as I did for Jura Wine.
Will you be part of this and show the huge support you did for my first book? Just click on the photo below to go to the project page.
I launched the project last week in New York with a spectacular Savoie wine dinner at Craft (in conjunction with Flatiron Wines), followed the next day by a fascinating in-store tasting at Chambers Street Wines which included wines from Savoie, Bugey and Isère. At the same time I sold several copies of Jura Wine (now towards the end of a second printing) and it's wonderful to see that there continues to be great interest in both the wines and the book.
I feel sure that Savoie and Bugey wines - very much in tune with our tastes today - will benefit from my future book and it will encourage more importers worldwide to seek out wines from these regions. One of the main focuses of the book will be the rare grapes grown in these French Alpine areas, several of which are being revived.
I would be very grateful if you could support this new project in any way, whether by kicking in yourself for a book, choosing one of the other tasty rewards or by sharing the project with friends and colleagues.
It's 15 months since the publication of the book and I'm delighted to say that it has received plaudits galore and sold well - through my website alone, it has been dispatched to customers in 33 countries. For anyone needing a copy, keep on reading for a special discount ...
The Jura wine region, its producers and its wines have also received more column inches than ever, and by all accounts the past year has seen a significantly increased number of foreign visitors coming to discover the wines and vineyards. Some wine producers tell me that visitors arrive in their tasting rooms clutching the book - how gratifying is that?
Formal recognition came a few months ago when I was awarded the André Simon Food and Drink Book Awards prize for Best Drinks Book 2014. As I was based in New Zealand from June 2014 to March 2015 (where I worked temporarily as acting editor of the magazine at Wine Searcher) I was unable to receive the award personally. However, Mick Rock, principal photographer for the book, took my place and received the award from author Julian Barnes, who was the chief assessor for the wine books. He said that I had "produced a personal and deeply committed guide to this often intractable region." The judges described the publication as exhaustively researched, packed with information and full of good photos. Along with the honour, the award came with a cash prize of £2000, which I have put towards a second print run.
On my return from New Zealand and travels in the Americas, where I presented the book in Dallas, Chicago and New York, there were fewer than 50 books remaining. I decided a second impression was essential, adjusting the cover to show the prize on the front and with quotes replaced by real book reviews on the back. I have taken quotes from reviews by Eric Asimov in the New York TImes, Jon Bonné in the San Francisco Chronicle and Adam Lechmere in Decanter. I also made a few minor corrections, changed a few small photographs and added some very small addenda about major changes to producers - you will be able to read more about changes on a forthcoming post on my Jura Wine blog.
I have not, and do not intend to make the book available directly from Amazon - simply said, they take too much commission. But, it is available through Amazon Marketplace on the .co.uk site and will be soon on the .com and other Amazon sites, supplied and dispatched from a UK distributor - for this a reasonable commission rate is levied. And of course, it's on Kindle. I would be very grateful to anyone who adds a good review onto the Amazon page.
Yet, I'm keen to spread the word that buying on Amazon remains a more expensive way to purchase the book than by ordering direct from my website, where although I sell at the cover price, I subsidize the mailing costs. It's a heavy book at around 800 grams (1.75 pounds) so expensive to send around the world. The alternative, of course, is to purchase the electronic version in Kindle or or ePub (iBook) versions.
A Special Summer Offer
For anyone looking to buy a copy as a gift, or as an extra copy, here is a coupon code offer for buying the book directly from my website. Just use the code summer1520 to receive 20% discount off the cost of the book, valid until the end of August. Applicable dispatch costs are in addition. Please spread the word!
And, if you want to buy 3 books or more at a wholesale price to sell on, please get in touch with me directly.
Poulsard is in very short supply this summer following three difficult vintages, most particularly for this variety (more about recent vintages will feature in my forthcoming blog post). Even so, I hope you manage to find some delicious Jura wines for summer drinking, or indeed for winter drinking if you are located in the southern hemisphere.
Thank you for all the ongoing support. Do keep following me on Facebook or Twitter - I expect to launch a Kickstarter project for my second book towards the end of this year or early in 2016. A clue: it's not a book about New Zealand wine, but it should not take you long to guess the main region of focus.
At last the Kindle and ePub versions of the book are complete. Thank you to those of you who Kicked-In and have waited for your eBook for so long. Not all of you accepted my offer of a printed book instead – that’s understandable, digital is the future – so I have felt under pressure, since I knew this was way past the deadline of a promised reward.
At first glance, creating an eBook from a PDF (the one you send to a book printer) is easy – find someone to convert it and you’re done. Well that is, I imagine, the case for a novel or most non-illustrated books. But add in images, and add in cross-references, as used in many non-fiction books, and things get complicated.
Those who already own the print version of the Jura Wine book will know that it has a large number of images, mainly photographs, but also maps and diagrams, almost all with captions. It also has a large number of cross-references. The formatting for images is not easy. For many users of eBooks, the whole advantage is that you can alter the size of the pages/text/images, however this makes it impossible to check in advance the many variables of how the pages look to the user. The captions are not ‘attached’ to the images, so they can sometimes disappear over the page. The cross-references which in a printed book go to a page number, all have to become hyperlinks and need to jump to the right place.
Whereas I would love to have had the time and funds to produce an eBook that added some extras that don't appear in the printed book, like videos etc. this simply has not been possible. The only differences between the print and digital versions are that I’ve made a handful of corrections - glitches that slipped into the print book (or at least those that have been brought to my attention or I noticed myself).
If you would like to purchase a copy of the Kindle version, find it on Amazon in whatever country you are in – the Amazon dotcom Kindle version of the Jura Book is here. On the page you will also find the very useful ‘Look Inside’ or sample feature. If you are a Kickstarter supporter who contributed at least £25 to receive the book or other rewards, and would like to have the digital version too in Kindle or ePub format, contact me (to wink[at]winklorch[dot]com) and I will give you a code for a 50% discount off the normal price of £17.49 (approximately US$28 or €22.50). Please email me to receive instructions as to how to purchase this and receive the discount.
The print book has gone well – I have had wonderful reviews and it’s been shortlisted as one of only five in the ‘Best International Book’ category of the Louis Roederer International Wine Writers Awards. Sales have been steady, despite not having time to sell to wholesalers or retail outlets unless they have come to me. I had 2,000 copies printed, gave about 150 away to producers, helpers and reviewers, but I have less than 400 copies left – not bad going. I’m still proud of it – it looks great! Do encourage friends and colleagues to buy the print book of Jura Wine direct from my site.
A side effect of my campaign is that my success has encouraged others to launch interesting crowdfunding campaigns to publish their wine books. Not all succeed – this is not for the faint-hearted. The most recent big success (though I have no idea whether it was inspired by my own campaign) was of Alder Yarrow’s beautiful Essence of Wine book. The latest interesting and worthwhile wine book crowdfunding campaign is Caroline Henry’s Champagne Terroir book, which she is running on Kickstarter’s rival IndieGogo for the simple reason that Kickstarter is not available for French residents. Do take a look at it.
Once again, thank you to all my Kickstarter supporters.
You may wonder what my next project is… Some of you will know I am temporarily away from Europe, working in New Zealand as Acting Editor of the magazine at Wine Searcher, based in Auckland, covering for maternity leave. Sadly it gives my partner, Brett Jones, and I little time to go deeply into learning about NZ wine, but that said, we are exploring regions at weekends and sampling many. We will be back in Europe in May 2015 and that summer I am very likely to tackle the next book project on Wines of the French Alps (mainly Savoie). Watch this space – my ideal would be to publish before the end of 2016.