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Passionate supporter of local books and authors to leave Island

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Martin Buckley, bookstore manager at Brown and Co, is to leave the island after many years (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

After almost a decade promoting local books and authors, Martin Buckley is set to leave Brown & Co and return to Britain.

Mr Buckley said that he came to the island after responding to a job advertisement in a trade magazine and quickly realised that there was a thirst for books from local authors.

“Bermuda has such a wealth of vibrant writing talent and there is a big market,” he said.

“On one level, it’s a great thing to do because you want to stimulate and encourage creativity. On the other level, this of course is a business and we want to sell as many books as we can.”

He said that as manager at Brown & Co over the years he has done what he could to help to support local authors and bring their books to market.

“On a number of occasions authors or prospective authors have come in and said they have this idea and asked if I thought there was any mileage in it,” Mr Buckley said.

“Of course you do everything you can to encourage them and perhaps give them some references to contacts here in Bermuda they might make use of and wish them well with the project and you will be there when the book is available.

“I have proofread a few titles for a few people. Then they go to print and they come into the store with the finished article, which is a huge moment for them, and we organised book signings, we get them on the radio or in The Royal Gazette.

“They benefit from it, and the whole community benefits from it.”

Mr Buckley said the highlights of his time on the island included the launch of two local books — Island Flames, by Jonathan Smith and Girlcott, by Florenz Webbe Maxwell.

He said that he believed putting books by local authors on the shelf would encourage other potential authors to put pen to paper.

“I think people perhaps are nervous about getting started, or they have an idea and they are not sure how to move that forward, and they take inspiration from seeing other Bermudians having their work published,” Mr Buckley said.

Asked what advice he would give to prospective authors, he said: “Make a start — no matter how slow or faltering the start, no matter how many drafts you have to go through to get the work to a point you think it’s ready, persevere.

“There is a market out there. There is a thirst for local material.”

Martin Buckley, bookstore manager at Brown and Co, is leaving the island after many years (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)
Censorship Book: Pictured left to right- Horst Augustinovic and Martin Buckley (Photograph by Akil Simmons)
Bookmart manager Martin Buckley with the new edition of the narrative of Mary Prince, alongside the forgotten story of Ashton Warner (Photograph by Jonathan Bell)

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Published June 27, 2022 at 7:57 am (Updated June 27, 2022 at 7:57 am)

Passionate supporter of local books and authors to leave Island

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