Bookmarking a place in online revolution

Belinda Hunt mardibooks
Belinda Hunt mardibooks

A teacher is helping pioneer a new way of publishing and blazing a trail for up-and coming authors.

Belinda Hunt and Martin Godleman are celebrating a highly successful first year after setting up web-based mardibooks to publish and promote writers with talent but no access to the closed publishing world.

It’s a very eclectic set-up, with what they call ‘mardiwriters’ from as far away as Bulgaria and America, though most contributors are closer to home, including Tring and Watford.

Belinda, educated at Berkhamsted School for Girls and now head of English at a Mill Hill school, said: “We know a lot of people who can write but they are frustrated because the publishing industry is a dinosaur and we thought ‘We can do better’.

“We aim to be a vibrant and exciting outlet for writers who have talent but haven’t the time to deal with chasing up publishers and editors.”

Mother-of-one Belinda, now of Wingrave, said mardibooks provided time and expertise free to writers, offering advice, support, editing and proof-reading.

The aim is to hone their writing and prepare texts for publication as an ebook or hard copy.

She has written a book of poetry called Windows and Doors and co-authored another title while Martin penned We’re West Ham United, We Play On The Floor.

There are currently 30 contributory ‘mardiwriters’ and during the past year 14 titles have become ebooks, with five in hard print.

One of the authors is Abby Fermont, of Tring, co-author of Mrs Godbothers and Unexpected Tales From The Ends of the Earth.

She said: “My stories are inspired by everyday life. I love people watching and wondering – what if? imagining the secrets hidden below the surface and plotting what will happen to the characters once they are out of my sight.”