Mammoth Pike – The Update 2004-2012 – Neville Fickling

Mammoth Pike – The Update – 2004-2012, Neville Fickling

The world’s changing at a ridiculous pace. It is unlikely that magazines and books will be printed on paper for much longer. It’s almost inevitable that we’ll be doing all our reading on electronic tablets and other similar devices. I’m sure the odd one will still be published, for a while, but the writing’s on the wall I’m afraid.

My wife is an avid reader but I cannot remember the last time I saw her with a book. She just downloads whatever she fancies onto her Kindle. Will she ever buy another novel? Probably not. Improve Your Coarse Fishing will be available as a download by Christmas. Newspapers are already there. The future is in digital media, not ink and we are standing on the edge of a new dawn in angling books.

As print runs get ever smaller, a clear sign the market has shrunk dramatically, publishing books becomes an increasingly risky gamble. Paper costs rise, postage on some books can be as high as a tenner, everyone wants a cut from the profits and the author ends up with not a lot. In some cases, especially those following the self-publishing route they end up with a heap of unsold books and a big red line under the balance sheet.


Nev Fickling was reluctant to invest in an update to Mammoth Pike, even though the material was there. Then Steve Rowley stepped in with a proposal, let’s do a digital download version… Steve clearly has the necessary technical skills and the project has come to fruition. You can download it to a reading device, to a computer, save it in PDF format, print it and so on. Nev can even update it should he wish. And what will this cost you? Just £4.99…

That’s roughly the same price as a single issue of Carpworld. You don’t have to leave home, visit the newsagent, there’s no delivery charge and access is instant. I suspect this is where the future lies.

Steve Rowley already publishes an online piking magazine, EsoxWorld, which can be downloaded free of charge. Every angling forum user seems to have a shoulder chip about the weekly papers and monthly magazines. They think everything should be free. Well maybe they’ll get their wish. With no distribution costs, no newsagent, no paper or printing costs, perhaps advertising revenues can deliver similar profit margin. What’s more the advertising can be interactive.

If you’d like access to Mammoth Pike then simply follow this link.

Somehow I can’t help feeling that I’ll be doing a lot more ‘extracts like this in the future…

5 thoughts on “Mammoth Pike – The Update 2004-2012 – Neville Fickling

  1. This is a history book and as such should be published in a paper format. If the authors don’t want to invest for whatever reason then leave the project for someone else that will. Maybe a good project for the PAC. I won’t be buying this electronic version for this reason and I urge others to do the same.

    • Bit unfair Alybaba.

      I think the reasons why Nev took his decision not to publish as a book are quite clearly laid out. No-one else would be willing to do the research he’s done and then invest their own cash in a whimsical project so unless it exists as a download it’s not going to exist at all. By all means don’t buy a copy if the format doesn’t appeal to you but why urge others not to buy it?

      One thing’s for certain the days of purchasing magazines and books in printed format are numbered. Before very long all this kind of stuff will be in digital format only. To think otherwise is folly.

      Ebook sales were up 188 per cent in the first 6 months of 2012 as hard copy sales continued to fall. Newsweek magazine is about to go digital only – who would have thought that 5 years ago? 13 percent of people in the UK now own a tablet. Make that 25 per cent in the US and growing. Whether you like it or not, best get used to it because complaining will not stop the march of progress.

  2. An extract from a previous review:

    ” A hundred years from now your great grandchildren might be asking, ‘What’s an eel?’ Hopefully there will still be copies of this book kicking around, maybe preserved in museums”

    That’s the thing. A hundred years from now there WILL still be copies of Barry’s book around. Can we say the same for Nev’s? Digital information gets lost. Whilst I have no problem at all with many books being published in a digital format I too feel it a great shame that Neville decided to go the same route with his book – a history book based on a subject that he has dedicated a lifetime to and acquired probably more knowledge than anyone else alive today. I wish he had printed this book and I know for a fact that there are publishers who would have made it happen.

    • Whilst I’m prepared to allow ‘Luke’ his opportunity to respond it is equally Neville’s irrefutable right to choose how he publishes his own painstaking research. As for ‘facts’ the only certain fact here is Luke didn’t have the courage of his convictions to provide his full name so we can only assume he is called ‘Luke’. Whether a publisher was prepared to turn this manuscript into hard copy or not is speculation. I’m sure if a publisher was prepared to do that and pay NF what he felt was commensurate with his efforts is quite another issue.

  3. I was expecting to pay a lot of money for this, but £4.50 is a bargain price!
    Unfortunately I can’t get it due to problems with my ancient paypal account which no longer works, and it won’t let me set up a new one, so I’ve given up!
    Gary Hodd reckons Nev got my name wrong anyway!
    Good luck to anybody else attempting to buy it, I’m sure its well worth the money whether you’re in it, or not.