Countryside Books is an independent, family-run, publisher of local interest books, spanning subjects as diverse as dog walks, pub walks, British architectural styles, Second World War aviation and lost railways.
The company was started in 1976 by Nick and Suzanne Battle working from their dining room table. Their first book title, Walks Around The Downs, included a walk across Watership Down, the place made famous by Richard Adams' book about a family of rabbits.
Tales of Old Berkshire by Newbury author Cecilia Millson followed shortly after, in 1977. Fired with the success of these two books and plans for future book titles, Nick gave up his job at a London publishing firm in 1980.
Since then Countryside Books has moved out of the Battles' home and grown to its present mix of full-time staff and part-time freelancers. It is still based close to the centre of Newbury.
In 2016, their daughter Alex joined the business so the company will continue for another generation. Since then, her husband, Rory, has become part of the team too.
Over the years Countryside Books has also published books in partnership with the County Federations of the Women's Institute, the Federation of Family History Societies and private individuals.
In recent years we have been approached by a growing number of people who are interested in publishing their own books – some of them private memoirs intended for family members only; others special-interest or niche titles that the author intended to sell on Amazon. In each case, we were able to use our 40 years of publishing experience to guide the authors through the process of getting their book published. You can find out more about this arm of the business here.
Approximately 10 new book titles are published each year and at any one time a nucleus of around 400 books are available from the backlist.
Note for Retailers and Buyers of Historical Publications Ltd. books
We are sad to announce that Historical Publications Ltd will not be publishing new titles from January 2019. Countryside Books has been their distributor since 2008 and has enjoyed working with them and the many retailers we've come into contact with as a result. Some retailers may still have stock, but stock is no longer available from Countryside Books. For further information please visit the Historical Publications Ltd website.