There is a well-worn saying that everyone has a book in them. Well I feel incredibly fortunate that I found that out for myself in 2013!
Back in the spring of 2012, the idea was mooted by YTFC chairman John Fry that we should bring out a book to celebrate ten years of Yeovil Town Football Club in the Football League. A fantastic idea and after much discussions, media manager Adrian Hopper decided I would be best placed to write it, a wonderful boost for my potential career.
The original plan was to bring it out in time for Christmas 2012 but it simply didn't feel right. A book needs a good three weeks to be "finished off" so it would need to be completed by mid-October 2012. YTFC would be halfway through the season then, so basically the moment the book came out, it would be pretty much out of date, particularly the statistics section. In addition, what would happen if the 2012/13 season proved memorable.. a good cup run or, dare I say it, a play off campaign.
The decision was made between myself and the book producer/editor Jonathan Hopper to postpone the book for several months to then write about ten complete seasons in the Football League. When the Johnstone's Paint Trophy run happened, it made our decision look the correct one but what then transpired over the final three months of the season made me look a little bit like Nostradamus! With the fantastic play off success at Wembley against Brentford and the two semi finals v Sheffield United, the book turned into a superb keepsake of the last ten years, a decade of fantastic achievements.
The book was published on, coincidentally, 10th November 2013, priced at £29.99. Thankfully, all 500 limited edition copies of the book, signed by Gary Johnson himself, were reserved ten days before the book was released. Immediately, it was decided to print a second edition; this time a perfect bound version that would be unsigned and retail at £10 less, at just £19.99 and at the time of writing, nearly all of these have been sold. The book was also nominated for the 2014 British Sports Book Awards in three categories; "Best Football Book", "Best New Writer" and "Best Illustrated Design".
Yeovil Town manager Gary Johnson begins the hand-numbing job of signing the first 500 copies of my book!
Pete M - "Martin. your
book '10' was worth the wait!! It really is outstanding, brought back so many
Amanda - "Brilliant book. Thanks for all the time and effort that's gone into it. Great quality."
Dan L - "I've only read 25 pages of '10' but I can tell its going to be a great book!"
Elliot W - "Picked up my copy of 10 today. Looks class"
Aaron W - "Looking forward to picking up '10' tomorrow! Well done for a great achievement!
Andy C - "Picked mine up today. Got to say looks brilliant. Looking forward to reading it from cover to cover!"
Rob C- "Already read quite a bit of '10' and its fantastic. Thanks for taking the time and putting in the effort, its appreciated"
Cazzer - "Just got the book amazing I'll read it more after the game tomorrow."
YTCST - "Saw the book in all its glory today. All I can say is Wow! Well done to everyone involved."
Mike D -"Your book is awesome - have only read some snippets and flicked through the rest so far in the time I have had, but congratulations on the execution of a superb project."
Phil - I collected my
book yesterday and just wanted to say what a brilliant book it is. Well written
with some great photos. I even managed to get Lee Johnson and Paddy Madden
to sign my copy!
Simon - "Just a quick email to say you have well and truly outdone yourselves with ‘10’. A book I’ll cherish for a long time. Thank you for all the hard work you guys have obviously put in to the project, well and truly a labour of love and I’ve enjoyed every moment I’ve spent reading it so far. Evokes some wonderful (and not so wonderful) memories. It almost seems destiny that the project was to end with our outstanding achievement of promotion in May. There is really no need to thank the supporters that bought the book; I am sure I will not be alone in saying ‘the pleasure is all ours’."
Steve G - "Hi Martin, I am not a book reader, can't remember last one I read - this evening I read "10" from cover to cover - fantastic!"
Simon C - "Can I say what an impressive book it has turned out to be; both the content & graphics are brilliant, worth every penny."
Sally - "Picked up my copy yesterday and absolutely delighted. What a brilliant tribute to YTFC in a superbly presented book. Actually bought it for my son for Christmas but trying not to crease it too much while looking through it so I can still wrap it up! Thank you very much and well done."
Hannah W - "I went to the Club Shop yesterday and picked up my book that I pre-booked (its fantastic). Once again you have done a fantastic job, it brings back many happy memories from over the years."
Mark B - "I have my copy thanks and would like to echo other peoples comments… what a lovely book which I will always treasure. Thanks so much for writing it."
Paul D - "I got my copy of the book yesterday.I must admit that I had no idea what to expect, and have only leafed through it so far but: as a Yeovil fan it is an awesome resource, hugely interesting and a great stack of memories. As a former school mate I think you should be tremendously proud of what you've achieved. I've spent my whole career doing stuff that doesn't really light me up and I've tried a few times to do things I'm really passionate about but never got anywhere with them. You're making a living as a writer and writing about stuff you clearly love which is a magical achievement - and not only that but this book you've produced is really amazing - I hope you allow yourself the time to be proud of it. I know that we didn't know each other too well at school, but I'm proud of you! I look forward to whatever projects you busy yourself with next!
Chris C - "Got my book (well my Dad's) on Friday and it is simply fantastic! Well done you are a credit to the club. Thank you so much."
Rob - "I picked up the book last week and may I congratulate you on producing such a fine book. I have not had the luxury of sitting down and reading it in detail yet, but just by flicking through it I can see the quality and time that has been put into this book. I look forward to relaxing with this and reminiscing about some of the highs and lows of supporting Yeovil Town over the last ten years, with some truly memorable matches that I had the privilege to attend brought to life again by your words! Thanks for your communications throughout and well done again for such an amazing book - I shall treasure it dearly (and guard it with my life from my jealous Bristol City supporting girlfriend!)
Iain S - "Fantastic present from Jemma, well impressed with the quality. Really nice job done, well done."
Chris B - "Mrs surprised me with it. Haven't put it down since"
Alex O - "Chuffed with my '10' book for Christmas. Top, top stuff."
Andrew - "Got '10' for Christmas. What a superb effort, looking forward to getting engrossed and totally lost in it."
Andrew B - " Had "10" for Christmas , it's an absolutely brilliant book."
Alex D - "Just finished '10'. What a book. And what a phenomenal few years it's been in TFL."
Elliot W - "Just a quick email to say I love the book, I think it’s absolutely brilliant and have enjoyed flicking through all the different pieces in it. Worth every penny and it even shocked me quite how brilliant it was. Many congratulations.
Dean W - "Many thanks again for meeting me at half time yesterday and for signing my copy of "10" and patiently waiting for a photo to be taken. I just wanted to congratulate you on the absolutely fantastic job you did with the book. It definitely falls within the "can't put down" category and kept me up way too late for a school night last night bringing back so many memories in the process. I even spotted myself and my dad in one of the photos at the City Ground on "that night" when Marcus Stewart is proudly showing us his toned stomach after having just done something rather pleasing to us all! I was also blown away by the sheer quality of the book. It's not just Championship but more Champions League in its production values and I couldn't imagine Man United or Barcelona being able to put together anything better as one of their own publications. Yet another example of anything to do with the Glovers punching well above its weight and it will now be one of my prized possessions."