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Reflecting on a year at Hammersmith Health Books…

It is the time of the year for taking stock of what the Hammersmith Books team and our brilliant authors have achieved over the past twelve months. The year seems to have flashed by so fast it is hard to remember that 12 months ago we were waiting to launch Dr Sarah Myhill and Craig Robinson’s Underactive Thyroid: Do it yourself because your doctor won’t. That book has had an excellent first year, both in the UK and North America, thanks to our ongoing collaboration with US publisher Chelsea Green. The second edition of Myhill & Robinson’s Ecological Medicine has likewise seen great interest, supporting Dr Myhill’s ongoing programme of workshops and talks.

Vicky Fox’s excellent second book, Time to Repair, has been taken up by a host of readers looking for gentler ways to promote healing and better health and finding that just five minutes of yoga a day can indeed make a world of difference. Along with her 2022 book, Yoga for Cancer, Vicky has shared with a whole new audience her specialist expertise in supporting individuals post surgery and other treatments.

In September, HHB was invited to provide the bookstand at Veg Med 2023, a remarkable gathering of health professionals interested in the benefits of a plant-based, whole good diet for health and wellbeing. We were delighted to be able to present our latest Plant-Based book, The Plant-Based Dietitian’s Guide to Fertility by specialist dietitian Lisa Simon. Her book sold out on the back of her excellent talk, as did conference organiser Dr Shireen Kassam’s Eating Plant-Based. There was great interest also in textbook Plant-Based Nutrition in Clinical Practice (edited by Kassam and Simon), Sandra Hood’s Feeding Your Vegan Child (also sold out!) and the life-changing Living PCOS Free by Nitu and Rohini Bajekal, who likewise gave an inspiring talk on restoring hormonal health with a plant-based diet.

September was an exceptionally busy month as we also took books to the Association of Naturopathic Practitioners annual summit, selling out of all Dr Sarah Myhill and Craig Robinson’s books and making links with many potential new authors. We have already booked to return to their 2020 Summit.

Other highlights of the year have included the unashamedly plain-spoken The Gut Chronicles: an uncensored journey into the world of digestive health and illness. Author Sandra Mikhail has been in demand on radio and in a variety of magazines to present her no-nonsense approach to improving gut heath. Meanwhile, the wonderful Honey Sapiens: Human cognition and sugars – the ugly, the bad and the good has proved as thought-provoking and contentious as we had hoped. The ‘honey-good/honey-bad’ debate looks set only to gain momentum through 2024.

We have been honoured also to take on the work of therapist Noah Goldhirsh, publishing new editions of her successful Power of Colors and Power of Animal Messages and launching her Power of Bach Flower Remedies for Children.

2023 has seen quite a few changes in the team supporting all these wonderful new and existing books. For social media we have been pleased to welcome Lydia Rowan and Harry Aitken (as ever, part of Action Group). On the PR front we are particularly sad to be saying good-bye to Sophie who has done amazing work for our books over the last three years but delighted to be continuing to work with the team at Katie Read Media, now joined by Grace Pilkington and Gabrielle Smith. We are also thrilled to say that in the US we will now be working with Kim Dower of Kim-from-LA for PR coverage there, who will be liaising closely with the KR Media team. On the distribution side, we were very sad to say good-bye to Lindsey Oakes, who retired from Combined Book Services in July, but have been pleased to welcome Rita Lai. Sadly too, at the end of this year, we will be saying another good-bye, this time to Deborah Wehner who has been Head of Production for the past three years. She is due to hand over to Angela Young at the start of 2024 and that process is already under way. Her final assignment is getting the third edition of our bestseller – Diagnosis and Treatment of Chronic Fatigue, Myalgic Encephalitis and Long Covid: It’s mitochondria, not hypochondria by Myhill and Robinson – safely to the printer.

As Hammersmith Health Books’ founder and director, and I must thank all these innovative and hardworking people, and all our many thousands of readers and followers, a huge thank and very best wishes for 2024.

Georgina Bentliff.

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