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Storytelling on CD


Sherie Holder-Olutayo

Storytelling on CD

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ASK ANY PUBLISHED AUTHOR and they will tell you that the cost of publishing a book can be very hefty.
No one knows this better than William Anderson Gittens, who has published 11 books already but decided to do something different this time around.  
Instead of a hard copy, he’s publishing this book on CD, which works out at a considerable savings, and paves the way for updated editions.
“It’s very costly to self-publish, which I did with my first two books,” Gittens said. “I had to find a way to publish and  do it within reason. The idea came to me to use the technology to burn the information on a CD. Doing it this way gives m e access to more people.”
This book, Established In Barbados Vol. 11, takes a look at the history of the island and its different stages of evolution.
“It’s a historical educational book which will comprise all the national heroes, traditions of yesteryear, monuments, statutes, the legislation that governs print and electronic media, the history of all the media houses,” Gittens said.
“It’s very concise and I’m sure that people will be able to use it for research work. Even for tourists, having this CD in their hand will be very helpful, because it’s like a synopsis of Barbados.”
The book was the brainchild of Gittens when he realized there was a deficit in the information that chronicles Barbados’ history.
“For the short period I’ve been living in Barbados, I’ve recognized that a lot of our people seem not to document things that are relevant,” Gittens said.  
“Then later they find themselves in a tizzy. By doing this I hope I can challenge people to pay a bit more attention to detail. Some of us like to wait on other people to do things whereas we should do things for ourselves.”
Gittens wasn’t waiting for outside interests to tell about the island where he was born and bred. He was determined to do it with the flair and understanding that only a local person could bring.
Gittens, who was educated in the United States, came to miss the comforts of home and returned to the island in 1996.
“Gathering the information for this book took a few years,” he said. “But compiling the information, which I had in a database, took me a few weeks to pull it. I would work when I got home from work on evenings. After doing my chores, I would arrange the information in the place where I wanted it to go.”
All of this book came out of being methodical and getting things done systematically.
“I’ve discovered that management of your time is essential. You decide what is priority and what is not priority and you don’t waste time with things that are not essential,” he said.
Along with writing the book, Gittens also did his own photography and illustrations.
The book covers not only the historical aspects of the island, but lifestyle trends, proverbs and sayings that are intrinsic to the heritage of the island. Since this book is in its second edition, Gittens decided to make it far more comprehensive.
“When you think of the word established, you think of a brand, and Barbados is recognized,” Gittens said of the title of the book.  “A lot of our people really don’t know what they’ve got living here in this country.”
Gittens hopes the book on CD, which was launched recently at Cloisters, will become a resource that people, especially students, can turn to so it can aid them in their history studies.
“I enjoyed doing this book,” Gittens said. “This book represents a journey which highlights culture and tradition and it has a lot to offer.”

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