DB Publishing has a long reputation for football. Sadly we no longer publish new titles in our flagship Complete Record series unless the club makes a large commitment to purchasing the finished product, but there are many other subjects that you may wish to consider as an author.
We produce general interest football books, but our main expertise is club specific books.
Potential Authors of club specific football books:
Programme and fanzine contributors
Local newspaper sports writers
Local radio commentators and pundits
Club specific website contributors, both official and unofficial websites
Bloggers on the club
Self-styled super fans with big followings on Facebook/Twitter
Maybe you could ask for contributions from a number of potential ‘authors’ to make a full book. Matches to Remember, Cult Heroes, Fans memories would be good for this.
See the Commissioning page for details on how to submit your idea.
This could be the whole history of the club or just an era history, maybe a decade, or ‘Between the Wars’, the Early Years, or a specific time frame, e.g. The Clough Years at Forest. This will be mainly a narrative but you will need some illustrations, maybe some programme covers, memorabilia, newspaper cuttings and photos of the key players and staff. There needs to be between 40,000 and 80,000 words depending on how many illustrations you have.
Do you have a lot of archive photography of the club that could be reproduced in a book? Usually a picture/caption book, you could weave in a narrative around the pictures. If the pictures are unseen, this is even more interesting to fans.
Captions need to be about 20 words per picture, and 300-400 pics.
Matches to remember
This looks at the pivotal matches in the clubs histories. Usually matches of great significance such as cup final appearances, play-off wins or first/last games of iconic characters in the clubs history. It could be the last game at Highbury for Arsenal, or the first game that Ryan Giggs played for Man United. It could be the record win (or defeat) for the club, or an individual scoring record, E.g. Shearer’s last goal for Newcastle. There needs to be approx. 20 games in total, each of about 2500-3000 words. Include the match facts – line-ups, attendance, date and score-line, scorers etc. But remember to make it atmospheric so that people realise why it was so important. If you have the programme for the game, that can be used to illustrate the match. This could be for the whole club history or era specific.
This will look at the grounds that a club has played at over the years. It could be about one stadium if the club hasn’t moved, or a look back at all of the places the club has played over the years. Include any illustrations you can find of the grounds – plans and architects visions, archive crowd scenes, even just pictures of the iconic club clock, or the statue outside the ground. Maybe you could look at an old stadium and concentrate on this (e.g. we have published books on Ayresome Park, Layer Road, Belle Vue and even one of the stands at Ashton Gate). You can include fans and player memories of the old stadium. This is really down to what you want to achieve. The book will be 50,000+ words, depending on illustrations.
This will look at the top 15-20 players that have captured the fans imagination. It could be for the whole life of the club, or a particular era, e.g. since 1980. They aren’t necessarily the greatest player to have played at the club, but the fans loved them. Think Robbie Savage at Leicester or Vinnie Jones at Wimbledon. In the more modern era, what about Mark Noble at West Ham or Kevin Nolan at Bolton. Each player should be approx. 2500 words of narrative plus a picture or two. If you can get an interview with the player, then even better. The text should focus on the club mainly with a bit of biographical background on the rest of the career. It shouldn’t though be a regurgitation of matches played and honours won, it should be a study on why the player achieved ‘Cult’ status.
Player of the Year
Each year, a club will announce its Player of the Year. This is usually chosen by the supporters. This book will look at all of the players that have won the trophy with an analysis of why. Look at the season, was it a stinker, with the player being the best of a bad job. Or was it a cup winning season or promotion winning performance with the POTY being the standout performer. Each player should be approx. 1500 words of narrative plus a picture or two, maybe a couple of match programmes from key games he featured in. If you can get an interview with the player, then even better. The text should focus on the season mainly with a bit of biographical background on the rest of the club career of the winner, e.g. was he a one-season wonder, or a regular performer. It shouldn’t though be a regurgitation of matches played, it should be a study on why the player achieved the award.
Legends of …
This is a look at the top 100 players to have played at the club (in the author’s opinion). You could be very prescriptive and look at the top 100 appearances for the club, after all this is a pretty good guide, but would Man Utd not include Eric Cantona or Duncan Edwards who had fleeting but seismic impacts on the club. Possibly pick 80 based on appearances and then freestyle the last 20. Each Legend needs to have a photo and a narrative of approx. 800 words. Please concentrate on why they are a legend at that club, but bring the whole career into context if necessary. E.g. A Leyton Orient book may include Peter Shilton, who only made a handful of appearances at the club, but he is the England appearance record holder and he made his 1000th club appearance whist at Orient. The club record is negligible but the career one is why he made it.
My life as a fan of …
A social history of growing up as a fan of the club. Do you remember going to the match in the 50’s, 60s etc. What was it like? Who were your favourite players? Who did you go with? What do you remember about the atmosphere, stadium, specific seasons? Were you a ball boy or a steward? Were you just a fan, or did you have behind the scenes access to players, maybe your dad ran the social club, or your mate was one of the player’s children? It could be about a specific match, a season or when you saw your favourite player from another team for the only time (e.g. Eusebio, Cruyff, Best, Beckham), or about your affection for your favourite club player. Make it as personal as you can, but remember that this book will appeal to people who are interested in the club, not necessarily in you as an individual. They want to use reminiscences to rekindle their own and they want to be entertained. Humour is definitely needed for these books. Approx. 50000-80000 words. Illustrations are not as important for this title.
Diary of the …
Did you keep a diary of going to matches? Did you write about your experiences, travel, the fans, the atmosphere, the catering! If you did, you could see whether it is publishable. The funnier the better. Approx. 50000-80000 words. Illustrations are not as important for this title.
Specific Players or positions
Maybe you want to look at the greatest strikers a club has produced, or the greatest keepers, defenders etc. Maybe you want to look at a particular squad, maybe a Championship winning side, or an FA Cup winning side. Think about how many players you want to include and adjust the word count to suit this. You will need a couple of photos per player, and if you can interview the players then even better.
A-Zs or Miscellanies:
These books are A-Z’s or Miscellanies of your team. It should include snippets of facts, funny stories, drama and pathos. Each story needs to be a paragraph only and organised around certain themes, maybe by year or subject matter (fans, goalkeepers, stadiums, WWII, etc.)
This will suit anyone who is a bit of an anorak on their club or someone who can bring together lots of different stories and make them entertaining and informative.
Non-club specific football books?
Are you an expert on football, maybe a journalist who has covered the sport over the years? Do you have a specific interest in a period, a person, or a subject area (maybe cheating in sport, the international game, stadia, statues, owners, chairmen etc.)? If you have the credentials for writing the book, then we are happy to consider your submission. The books need to be approx. 80000 words with some illustrations.
Who could write these:
Ex-players, national journalists, well-read fans, contributors to all media, celebrities.
Anything you can think of that hasn’t been mentioned. You could spawn a whole series.