AN Alresford writer hopes to raise nearly £5,000 to publish a new children’s book in a bid to boost the publishing trade.

David Clement-Davies, from Tichborne, has been writing children’s literature for the last 16 years, but said the slump in book-buying has forced his hand to sell his own.

Despite selling more than 400,000 copies of various novels, including Firebringer, The Sight, Fell and The Alchemists of Barbal, which have been translated into five languages, he says the development of e-books has hastened the end to paper- and hardbacks.

Now he has set himself the task of making £4,500, through fundraising and promotions on social media, in just 60 days to create a new platform for selling books which will be sent in the post.

“The whole landscape of publishing has shifted,” he said. “It’s been made much more competitive for writers. I’m unhappy with the big publishers who are more concerned with their own careers than supporting their writers.

“There’s nothing like holding a book, and that’s why I’m trying to bring it back. This is about telling people you can use it as a platform — publishing on demand.

“It’s about the principle of the thing. People get excited about getting a book in the post.”

The book, Dragon in the Post, tells the tale of Gareth Marks, a troubled 12-year-old who receives an egg box in the post from the farm of this godfather, Pendelion Pumfrey, and out of it hatches a firecutter — a little blue she-dragon. Her breath cuts a doorway into another world filled with magic and mystery.

Mr Clement-Davies hopes it will fill the void between online-reading and bookshops and has resorted to crowd-funding to finance his exercise.

The idea is that a couple of chapters are read online, via Wattpad, and then the whole book is ordered, printed and sent to the reader in the post.

“This is very much a personal battle for me. I want to see if this can be done by social media, and I’m trying to do something quite different and it’s a great learning curve.”

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