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The Casemate Group publishes as many as 50 titles on
military subjects annually, so company president David
Farnsworth speaks from experience when he says that many
books about war are too specialized for a general readership.
The result, Farnsworth says, is that publishers “run the risk of
forgetting that new people are coming into the interest [area]
In order to reach those readers,
Casemate is launching the Casemate
Short History series, a line of single-sub-
ject introductory volumes. Unlike the large,
detailed, and often expensive titles many
readers associate with military history,
these paperbacks retail for $12.95, are
each about 160 pages long, and are
narrative-driven. Each book contains break-
outs, sidebars, images, and quotations to make it more
inviting and less dense.
The first four volumes publish in August:
Tanks by Oscar E. Gilbert and Romain
Cansière, Big Guns by Angus Konstam,
Fighter Aces by John Sadler and Rosie
Serdiville, and Sharpshooters by Gary Yee.
Four more follow in October, with another
eight titles slated for release in 2018.
Casemate’s editorial team came up with
the books’ subjects and commissioned
experienced authors to tackle them. Tanks
coauthor Gilbert, for example, is a retired U.S. Marine Corps
artilleryman who spent over three decades working for the
U.S. government. He and Cansière wrote an earlier volume for
Casemate, 2015’s Tanks in Hell (Casemate, 2015), which won
the 2016 General Wallace M. Greene Jr.
Award for distinguished nonfiction.
The publisher is taking a reserved
approach to marketing the titles in the
near term. A larger push is planned after
the first eight titles have published,
because once the series is well underway,
Farnsworth says, Casemate can present it
as a whole to readers
and to booksellers: “There are eight books
out already, there are eight books next year,
and we’ve got the sample copies.”
Already, he says, preliminary discussions
with Barnes & Noble have been encourag-
ing. “They get what we’re trying to do.”
The opportunity to publish for a general
audience, says Farnsworth, a 20-year
veteran of military history publishing, has
obvious benefits for business. With their consumer-friendly
format and price point, he says, “There’s a wide possibility of
markets for these books.” —A.G.