Cambria Book Matters - April 2024

Cambria Book Matters - April 2024

Articles, Reviews and Comment on books, publishing and writing. This post: publishing issues in Wales. AI trends. Featured book.

6 min read

Articles, Reviews and Comment on books, publishing and writing.


As a book publisher based in Wales, we keep a 'weather eye' on some of the issues, developments and the climate that affect writers and publishers in Wales.

We are totally 'independent' and not reliant on funding or support (such as it is) from government funded bodies such as the Wales Book Council. We have never sought such support believing that the hoops to be jumped through and criteria that have to be met are constraints not worth the time and investment needed to satisfy them.

At Cambria, we know and have always understood that it is the talented authors and writers that provide the 'content' and that we as publishers only provide a vehicle and professional services to them. Although the financial rewards are and have always been weighted towards the 'service providers' (publishers, printers, distributors, bookshops), technology, the internet and access to it, has changed this fundamentally. A new paradigm is emerging.

The traditional 'gatekeepers' of the literary world are also disappearing or changing and this is especially true for the Wales literary scene - as evidenced by the recent, badly managed, 'culling' of the much admired magazines Wales Arts Review and New Welsh Review. Nevertheless, the over reliance of these outlets on government funding via the various Arts Councils has led to their demise, amid anger and frustration from the community of writers that depended on them, wrote or published them. Combine this with the propensity for infighting, navel gazing and clique forming we are all prone to, the outcome was sadly predictable.

The question now becomes; how do we get the original writing of talented authors to a world-wide readership and how do we showcase them directly and without the usual rent-seeking intermediaries? Original writing also needs to be 'protected' from AI bot scraping, copyright theft, media algorithms, aggressive corporate monopolies and all the other rip-off merchants that scour and pollute the internet. This should be the proper role for government and Arts Councils - protection from predatory forces not meagre politically influenced/corrupted rule-bound financial subsidy. Our role is to continue to provide services and help to authors in getting published and provide a living for the many professionals who put books together. It is up to the various 'review' entities to figure out a justification for their existence and new independent ways of delivering their material.

Pob lwc!

More shots fired at the Books Council of Wales
A damning indictment from Gwen Davies, editor of New Welsh Review.


It is essential, for writers and publishers, to understand and keep up with the all-consuming impacts of AI. You can read and learn from our reference collection of 30+articles on this topic below.

The AI Content Backlash is Beginning
Ironically, a massive AI company is leading the charge
Credtent – Take back control of your content from AI
List: Artificial Intelligence AI | Curated by Cambria Stories | Medium
33 stories


A year of Living Dangerously by Del Hughes

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Tanked Up Del Hughes en v2


This book should come with a health warning: will cause you to spontaneously guffaw, giggle and involuntary laugh out loud in public. Del’s tales of her adventures are honest, poignant, life-affirming and killer funny. I can’t wait for the sequel!’ Bev Rogers, Gower Lore

Funny, feisty and fearless, this exuberant collection is blessed with both a boundless curiosity and an incurable fascination with the sheer strangeness of human nature.’ Alan BiltonThe End of The Yellow House

In “ A year of living dangerously “ Del Hughes has made the ordinary extraordinary , turning the mundane into the magical and everyday occurances into once In a lifetime events. A truly wonderous journey through a year in these uncertain times that is never less than thoroughly entertaining . Del Hughes has a voice and that voice is very special indeed. A fantastic read..Owen Staton – storyteller 

Before you enjoy Del Hughes’ dangerous adventures it’s best to strap yourself in, as reading about them is quite the roller-coaster ride. You’ll meet druids in unlikely places, immerse yourself in gong baths, and see the future, albeit dimly, in the company of psychic seers. In following her own unorthodox life-enhancement regime she also enhances the lives of her readers. These award-winning features are laceratingly funny but they’re also warm, attentive, and intuitive accounts of putting yourself out there, of being fully open to experiences of all sorts, and of being brave. How brave? Well, having a bloody great tarantula walk over your arm when you have a phobia of spiders. That’s fearless. Hold tight because it’s going to be a wild ride.’  Jon Gower

‘Being lucky enough to have heard some of these adventures from the horses (or should that be stag’s?), mouth over coffee and cake, I can confirm that what you read is what you hear. Del’s unique voice makes her storytelling a joy, and her derring-do means there are few places in this world, or beyond, that her curiosity won’t take her. Here lies magic, mystery, moments of mirth-inducing muckment, and LOLs aplenty. So dive into Del’s world and prepare to be inspired.’ Sarah Morgan Jones

‘Pagan rites, shopping expeditions, child labour, cookery tips, and nostalgia, all mixed with humour. It can only be Del Hughes.Reg, Nation.Cymru reader

Buy the book!

A Year of Living Dangerously - Cambria Books
With her signature blend of wit and warmth, A Year of Living Dangerously presents Del Hughes’ award-winning, Nation.Cymru articles in one hilarious and heart-warming book. Print ISBN 978-1-7384231-3-2 276 Pages with B&W illustrations and photos. Cover by Josh Morgan.

We collect useful advice articles and resources for writers in our Medium account. You might find them useful.

List: Writing Advice | Curated by Cambria Stories | Medium
19 stories