Scratching Shed reveal plans for at least three rugby league books in 2012

Scratching Shed Publishing will release at least three rugby league titles in 2012, director Tony Hannan has told Rugby League Books.

Malcolm Alker’s autobiography The Devil Within has already been confirmed as part of their plans for the coming months.

Now Hannan has revealed that Scratching Shed have agreed a deal for John Kear’s autobiography, while a history of schools rugby league will be published this summer.

Hannan said: “We’ve signed the contracts with John Kear and Peter Smith, so that’s definitely happening. We’re delighted to be working with them both on what should be a great read.”

He added: “Ron England has written the history of schools rugby league, looking back at the story of the sport’s development including photographs and accounts from people who played the game at that level before achieving professional success.

“A lot of the modern-day professionals started out playing schools games at Wembley or the Millennium Stadium as part of the Champion Schools tournament, and in Ron we’ve got a really authoritative author. Only last month he was added to the RFL’s Roll of Honour.”

Enjoy this? Make sure you don’t miss a thing from Rugby League Books by signing up to our free email updates or liking us on Facebook.

FEATURE: Full steam ahead, insists Scratching Shed boss as book publisher celebrates its third birthday

From Hull to Hell and back... Lee Crooks' autobiography

From Hull to Hell and back... Lee Crooks' autobiography

Scratching Shed Publishing is approaching its third birthday, with co-director Tony Hannan telling Rugby League Books that there will be no let up in the company’s prolific output of rugby league titles.

Lee Crooks’ autobiography, From Hull to Hell and back, is among the books Scratching Shed are set to release in the imminent future.

And Hannan, who along with colleague Phil Caplan has helped to establish Scratching Shed, is busily preparing the company’s next moves after their recent launch of Forty-20, a new monthly rugby league magazine.

Hannan said: “If we’d have known we’d be where we are now when we first launched Scratching Shed then we’d have been very happy, because we’re still going for one thing. That’s an achievement in itself bearing in mind the market we’re in and the ongoing recession. [Read more…]

NEWS: Book publishers just 24 hours away from launch of new rugby league magazine ‘Forty-20’

Rugby League Books speaks exclusively to Scratching Shed Publishing on the eve of their new rugby league magazine ‘Forty-20’ hitting the shelves for the first time.

Forty-20, issue one

Forty-20, issue one

They say there’s nothing like diversification to keep a business fresh – and book publishers Scratching Shed have taken that on board as they prepare for the launch of their new monthly rugby league magazine ‘Forty-20’.

Issue one of Forty-20 hits the shelves on Wednesday, 13 July, and marks a major change for Scratching Shed, who until now have been known as the publishers of a range of books – including many rugby league titles.

Scratching Shed co-director and Forty-20 editor Tony Hannan told Rugby League Books: “It’s an exciting time. [Read more…]

NEWS: Rugby league authors to feature in literary festival

Rugby league authors Ray French, Tony Hannan, Dave Hadfield, Tony Collins and Phil Caplan will all talk at the Leigh and Wigan Words Together Literary Festival, it has been confirmed.

All five authors will be present as Scratching Shed Publications host their first ‘In League With Literature’ event of 2011 on Wednesday, 4 May.

The quintet will be appearing at Ashton Library on Wigan Road for an evening of chat about rugby league.

French, who was awarded an MBE in the Queen’s New Years Honours List, has most recently penned Ray French… and rugby.

Hannan, a former Rugby League World editor and a co-director of Scratching Shed, wrote the widely-acclaimed Being Eddie Waring while Caplan, another co-director of Scratching Shed, was Jamie Peacock’s ghost-writer on the England captain’s autobiography No White Flag.

Dave Hadfield’s books Up and Over and Down and Under are two of the most humourous works on rugby league culture and the places it is played in, while Professor Tony Collins is one of the sport’s leading historians. His titles 1895 and All That and Rugby’s Great Split would be worth a place on any league fan’s bookcase.

Tickets priced £5 can be booked by calling 01942 727119. Click here for more information about the Leigh and Wigan Words Together Literary Festival.

NEWS: Scratching Shed Publishing reprints three rugby league titles

Scratching Shed Publishing has reprinted three recently-released rugby league books, co-director Tony Hannan has revealed.

Demand from buyers has meant Ray French… and rugby, Reluctant Hero: The John Holmes Story and Dave Hadfield’s Down and Under have all been reprinted in recent weeks.

'Reluctant Hero: The John Holmes Story' is one of three books Scratching Shed Publishing has recently reprinted

Hannan told Rugby League Books: “The fact that we’ve had to produce these reprints is very encouraging.”

He added: “Times are tough in the book trade generally at the moment. In the last few days Waterstone’s have announced that they’ll be closing 20 stores, and small independent stores have also been struggling. On top of all of that, it’s only last year that we lost Borders.

“For something like rugby league to continue to perform well – albeit in a niche way – is very helpful, especially to smaller publishers like ourselves.”

Hannan cited the strong feelings of many rugby league supporters as one of the key reasons behind the continued success of rugby league books across the market.

“In some ways, they are more passionate than fans of other sports,” he said. “Perhaps that’s because it’s very hard to read about it anywhere else. Coverage is shrinking in certain parts of the media and people get very hungry for information.”

In the reprinted version of Ray French… and rugby, author Ray French has written a new page about his recent MBE award.