BOOK WORLD: Yeppoon's Chapter cafe co-owner Rhys Davies has started his own publishing company, Hammer and Tongs. He is pictured here with copies of  Nene Davies' latest novel,  Whitethorne.
BOOK WORLD: Yeppoon's Chapter cafe co-owner Rhys Davies has started his own publishing company, Hammer and Tongs. He is pictured here with copies of Nene Davies' latest novel, Whitethorne. Contributed

Ex-army man launches his own book publishing company

THE Capricorn Coast is full of avid writers and creative types, from successful authors to artists.

Tapping into this market is Rhys Davies who in 2018 started up his own publishing company, Hammer and Tongs.

Being involved in the book world is in his blood as his mother, Nene Davies, just published her fifth novel featuringYeppoon.

Yeppoon woman Nene Davies has released her fifth novel, Whitethorne. Her and her family own book store cafe, Chapter in Hill St.
Yeppoon woman Nene Davies has released her fifth novel, Whitethorne. Her and her family own book store cafe, Chapter in Hill St. Sarah Davies

It was this book, Whitethorne, that was "utterly the inspiration” behind Mr Davies founding his own company.

Mr Davies and his siblings, along with their dad, were always heavily involved with helping their mum publish the book, from helping with the cover design to marketing.

Even as children the siblings were surrounded by writing, with a brother now a "very smart” writer and mum always reading and writing. Growing up, their dad worked away and he used to record books on audio for the children to listen to.

"With Whitethorne we wanted to get a bigger reach and it's hard to get it in front of people without a publishing company,” Mr Davies said.

COME AGAIN: Customers have begun flocking to Yeppoon's long-awaited Chapter book shop and cafe.
COME AGAIN: Customers have begun flocking to Yeppoon's long-awaited Chapter book shop and cafe. Contributed

So Mr Davies sought to fix that issue and just took up the publishing himself.

"It's turned out as a bit of a company for people who finish their book and don't know what to do,” he said.

"Just the process... the formatting... the documenting... it's crazy and it really takes pressure off people if someone does it for them.”

Mr Davies was previously in the special forces with the Australian Army, a far cry from book publishing.

He learned the ropes of the publishing through a lot of "mistakes, trial and error and google searching”.

"Be honest with other companies... asking advice... learning from those people,” he said.

He is in now in the process in producing another book for a local author, Elaine Barben.

With publishing on the side, Mr Davies also a day job - working alongside his sister Sarah, in their family-owned Yeppoon cafe and bookstore Chapter.

"Leaving special forces to come run a cafe was a bit stressful to start with but I got to grow beard and drink coffee,” he said.

Mr Davies says it is surprising how many creative types there are around the coast.

"There is a lot of people who work remotely.... a lot of art.... a lot of passion from council to champion art in the area. There are always events and workshops to go to. It's amazing what they are doing,” she said.

"I was in the Army in Melbourne and Melbourne is known for its culture, but Yeppoon is really stepping it up.”

His mum is also the festival director for the first Capricorn Coast Writers Festival to be held in the last weekend of May.

Mr Davies' partner has a multimedia creative agency and they will both be holding a workshop during the festival.

"It's nice because there is nothing like it. They are in the major cities but not in the rural areas... it's exciting,” he said.

Offering advice to avid writers, Mr Davies said the number one thing to do when you have finish is to celebrate, go out for dinner, have a drink.

"Have your friends and family read your work and let them be honest... be open to criticism and volunteer your work,” he said.

CAPRICORN COAST WRITERS FESTIVAL

  • May 31-June 2, 2019
  • If you would like to donate to, or sponsor, email info@capricorn coastwritersfestival.com.
  • For more head to Facebook and Instagram.


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