It is the dream of every aspiring writer: the moment when they receive a hardback copy of their work. But, for Bernard Roberts, the experience left a bitter taste.
He had become entangled in the world of 'vanity publishing', where the costs are borne by the author. He had sent his novel to James Lansbury of Cromwell Publishing - a man he now knows as Reggie Sharp, alias Reggie Byram, a leading figure in Huddersfield's Conservative Association.
The writer spent 14 months tracking down the publisher, who he says thwarted his hopes of literary stardom and cost him £3,000 in the process.
This month Huddersfield County Court found that Byram had breached his contract with Roberts and ordered him to pay back the money.
In 1999, Roberts offered his novel to Cromwell Publishers, listed in the Writers' and Artists' Yearbook. The company had changed its name from Random Publishing two years previously.
It was run from a flat above the Conservative Association offices in Huddersfield.
In May that year Roberts had a letter from a James Lansbury on Cromwell's headed notepaper saying that he was interested in publishing his novel, Borealanus
. 'It is clear, because you are an unknown author, that we would have to invest considerable amounts in marketing, advertising and other kinds of promotion. I am asking you, therefore, to consider the possibility of making a contribution to costs,' wrote Lansbury.
When Roberts received copies of Borealanus
a year later, they were littered with mistakes and his name had been misspelt on the spine. But this was nothing to the anger he felt on discovering that Lansbury was in fact Byram, a former chairman of Huddersfield Conservative Association.
He had used various addresses, including mailboxes, and had done little to promote Roberts's book or to supply retailers.
In his defence, Reggie Sharp Byram said he had been given both surnames at the age of five.