There are some very lucky writers in the world, there are those who make it rich, there are those who have a long and varied career and then there are those of us who are published in big print and audio by Magna Large Print Books.
The first thing you notice about it is that they so obviously aren't in London. Magna is based in a gorgeous little village not far from Skipton amidst some of the most wonderful scenery with which God thought fit to grace the earth.
It was founded in 1974 by Margaret and Derek Cressey. Originally the firm was born in Litton,set back in a very remote area of the Yorkshire Dales and then for a brief time in Lancashire at Bolton in Bowland. However, it was soon obvious that the firm was going to grow and succeed and so needed good transport links. It was then that Magna moved to an old wool warehouse upon the village green in the centre of Long Preston. It was bought by Ulverscroft Large Print, still to be under the name of Magna, to be a library supplier of large print and unabridged audios.
Presently it has sixteen full time staff with the longest serving member over 22 years and the shortest serving four years. When Margaret and Derek left in 1991 their son John was made manager. In 2000 John left and was replaced by Diane Allen, who is to this day the manager of Magna along with rights assistant, Helen Bibby and deputy manager David Mellin.
Over the years Magna has grown from back in the 1970s publishing two large print titles per month to the present day publishing of fourteen hardback titles and six paperback titles per month in large print. To complement their large print list they publish eight unabridged audio titles per month in cassette, CD and MP3 CD format. At present they are looking at the possibility of downloading their titles for use by the libraries. They supply all libraries throughout the UK and in partnership with their parent firm supply America, Canada and Australia.
Ulverscroft Large Print is thriving and is now known as The Ulverscroft Group which includes Unlvesrcroft Large Print, Isis Publishing, Soundings and Magna Large Print Books. Details of which can be found on http://www.ulverscroft.co.uk/.