Release of City's history book hits short glitch

'It's unfortunate we just had to stop sales to make sure all the paperwork was done'

Michele Young / Kamloops Daily News
December 24, 2012 01:00 AM

Sales of the City's bicentennial book Kamloops Trading Post to Tournament Capital were suspended for a short while this fall after they started hitting shelves before the revenue split was sorted out.

City parks, recreation and culture director Byron McCorkell said printing costs ran around $60,000 by the time the book was complete. Between 1,500 and 1,600 copies were made of the hardcover, 382-page publication.

"When it got to the final strokes, we had a couple of issues with paperwork," he said.

"We didn't have a contract completed before the books went out on the street. So we put things on hold, got the paperwork done and made sure everyone was on the same page in terms of revenues."

The book was co-authored by museum director Elisabeth Duckworth, freelance writer Sherry Bennett, museum tour guide Sylvia Gropp and Thompson Rivers History and Heritage Society president Ron Hatch.

None of the authors were paid, but Duckworth did do some work during office hours. However, nothing had ever been pinned down in terms of contracts, and the historical society wanted a share of the proceeds for its contribution, McCorkell said.

The final deal gave about 200 books to the historical society for them to sell, give away or use however they want. He said it was reasonable for the group to get some copies since the society contributed a lot to the book. The remaining books are being sold with the proceeds going to the City and being directed to the museum and archives.

"The book is fabulous, it's got lots of character histories, and photos and such," he said.

"We expect it'll sell well. It's unfortunate we just had to stop sales to make sure all the paperwork was done."

Hatch said the society gave away 25 books for promotions and has already sold the others. That money is going toward some of the costs for copyright, editing, legal costs and the back cover photo of the authors posing in rented historical costumes.

"The authors are not recovering anything personally from this project."

Duckworth said the book has been about 13 years in the making. Some summer students were hired to do research that has been compiled over the years. Many of them were paid through Young Canada Works grants.

The rest of the effort has been volunteer, including collecting hundreds of oral histories from locals, she said.

Next on the agenda is a children's history book that was launched during last year's bicentennial. It's expected to come out early next year and it, too, is funded by the City.

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