If I don’t blow my own trumpet nobody else is going to do it for me*, so I’d like to announce that — TA RA! — today is the publication day of my latest book Follies: Fabulous, Fanciful and Frivolous Buildings. It’s published by the National Trust and it has lots of lovely photographs and just four by fotoLibra members. Out of my hands, I’m afraid.

This is what it looks like, and if you’d like to read the story of how it came about, I’ve gone into a lot more detail on my personal fotoLibrarian blog, right here.

This is a hardback book and has nothing to do with our own Heritage Ebooks on follies, except sharing an author.  fotoLibra members who supplied images of follies under the advanceImages scheme will be getting notifications and sales data built in to the new fotoLibra Version 5.0 website, shortly to be launched. There will be an announcement on this blog.

This little book is what is known in the trade as a Slim Volume. But it should make a pleasant present. It’s a tiny hardback, with lots of pretty pictures so you don’t have to read too much of my text. Available of all good booksellers, is what they say. ISBN 978-1-907892-30-1

One note of naked self-interest — if you are kind enough to buy it, please try and choose a retailer other than Amazon, where deep discounts mean someone has to be cut out of the equation if the publisher and bookseller are to make any money. And yes, you’ve guessed it — it’s the author. But I can supply signed copies for £8.99 plus £2.20 postage in the UK if you email me, or let me know in a comment to this post.

* certainly not the publisher …


Add your comment


32 Responses to “Follies: Fabulous, Fanciful and Frivolous Buildings”

  1. Good luck with the book – as a published author with some niche ‘bestsellers’ (over 100,000 copies) I don’t make enough to give up my day job.
    Amazon’s domination of the market isn’t good for anyone but Amazon. It’s not just the discounts, it’s the destruction of bricks and mortar bookstores. Books like yours need to be seen in the flesh to sell.
    If authors don’t make more then they’ll stop writing and it’s that simple. I was interviewed by an author who writes good sci-fi novels (with some excellent reviews) – he had made £47 from his last book. .

    • Gwyn says:

      My day job doesn’t make me enough to give it up either. I think I’m doing these books for love or stupidity — certainly not for money or peer group approval. £47’s not bad. If this book makes more than that for me in publishers’ royalties over the next year I promise I shall add to this comment in 12 months’ time. Assuming I get told, that is.

  2. Peter Cope says:

    Why not blow your own trumpet?

    Pleased to say I saw this on the ‘New for You’ feature on Amazon and I’d ordered a copy. Sadly not received it yet – but that’s because I’m too mean to pay for postage and opted for free xxx days delivery. Looking forward to it though!

  3. Gwyn, I’d love to buy a signed edition of your book.
    p.s. You will buy a copy of my forthcoming book won’t you? “Never Buy Anything On A Whim: Even If It Is A Book By A Friend You Admire”
    p.p.s. Work on my next book is almost complete “How To Be An Ingratiating Little Bath Tub”. I’m just waiting to get the foreword written by Nick Clegg.

    • Gwyn says:

      If I believed you Trevor, I’d be in touch.
      — The Man Who Purchased “Digital Diagrams” by Trevor Bounford.

  4. Denise Ryan says:

    Gwyn, I’d love to buy a copy of ‘Follies: Fabulous, Fanciful and Frivolous Buildings’. I’m in Australia so I may have to purchase it via Amazon, but I don’t want to do so if I can avoid it. Maybe your kind post person could work out what the postage would be to Melbourne AU and then we could work what to do next.
    With best wishes

  5. Nick Jenkins says:

    I would love a copy Gwyn! Can pay by cheque or Bank Transfer, as preferred.

  6. Michaela says:

    Well done, hope you have many sales

  7. Brenda Skinner says:

    ‘Ta ra!’ indeed. Who better to say that than the creator? What a wonderful feeling, to see your creation in all its finished glory. Well done, Gwyn!

  8. Mike Mumford says:

    Good luck with your book “Follies: Fabulous, Fanciful and Frivolous Buildings”. Someone should follow it up with a modern version “Fanciful and Frivolous Buildings” like the the Scottish Parliament Building, decked out like a WW2 camouflage. The acid test, do people really like it, is it practical to maintain against the elements. Most of these architects must be on acid to design our latest London 2012 Olympics: ArcelorMittal Orbit sculpture opened on Olympic Park but concerns over price
    Turner Prize-winning artist Anish Kapoor has called for the entrance costs to the ArcelorMittal Orbit sculpture he designed on the Olympic Park to be as low as possible. Due to all that scaffolding and the overall mess left behind, ready for the scrap-man to collect when finished. I do feel better with that off my chest, “Waste not want not” is my motto to every architect.

    • Gwyn says:

      Thanks Mike. Hazel Jackson does an entertaining blog on modern follies like the O2 and the Arcelor Mittal Orbit (definitely a folly, to my mind, like the lost lamented Skylon) called The Folly Fancier.
      As an oldster I could have got a ticket for the Orbit for £8 plus £6 postage. £6 postage? Come on! Bollocks, frankly.

  9. Ann says:

    Congrats on slim book, Gwyn; condolences on slimmer royalties when sold via Amazon.

    Re below, I’m assuming you mean the author makes Closer to — but not quite, FWIW — $0 when book sold this way, but the publisher’s cut isn’t similarly, uhm, cut, right?

    “…please try and choose a retailer other than Amazon, where deep discounts mean someone has to be cut out of the equation if the publisher and bookseller are to make any money.”

    • Gwyn says:

      The author rootles around at the bottom of the food chain, I’m afraid Ann, along with the independent bookseller.
      And I also have to confess I was the first person in Britain to interview and publicise Amazon’s boss Jeff Bezos, back in 1996, for The Times. A lot of water has flowed under his bridge. Not mine, alas.

  10. twigs way says:

    Looks fantastic!

  11. Well done, always nice to see your work in print..out of interest which are the member images the NT decided to use?


    • Gwyn Headley says:

      Apologies for the delay, I’d run out of copies. Shamhenge by Liz Mitchell; St Michael’s Tower by Shaun Dymond; The Temple of the Winds by William John Haggan and Mow Cop by Greg Daly.

  12. Victoria says:

    Congrats! looks lovely.

    bring some to Frankfurt…showing “not available until November” at amazon in US (sorry, had to check!).

    are you on a diet? I love the references to slim, naked, tiny, little, deep, cut…I’m just saying.

  13. I’ve ordered my copy from UK’s wonderful Waterstones.com (they’ll dispatch to most countries), and I’ve opted for their (free) delivery to my local bricks ‘n mortar branch of Waterstones, where I’ll no doubt spend a few additional GBP, willingly, while collecting your book Gwyn.

    I hope you sell many more.

    I’m a big fan of ‘buildings’ photography, but I had to quell my cognitive dissonance and my ironic dissent just long enough to buy this, a National Trust book, published by that same organisation who tantalize me with their image-rich domains while simultaneously fettering my photography of the same.

    • Gwyn Headley says:

      I’m with you Colin. But they have to raise money any way they can, and inevitably there will be differences of opinion. See my many, many earlier blog posts on the subject.

  14. miriam says:


  15. Martin says:

    Congratulations Gwynne.
    I agree with you about the comment re Amazon and its deep discounts.
    Best wishes

  16. Vaffah says:

    I have not read your book, but from the cover picture itself I can judge how much a photographer you are. Thanks

    • Gwyn Headley says:

      Thank you Vaffah, but I wrote the book — I didn’t take any of the excellent pictures.The cover photograph was taken by Chris Warren of the NTPL.

  17. Mike Walker says:

    Just seen your bit on Channel 4 Restoration Man – a bit more than 15 seconds as well! Had you thought of a career in television?