A trip to Ludlow

Ludlow is the home of the publishers Merlin Unwin Books who I hope will be publishing my book about woodlands and their wild flowers.

Merlin Unwin  ‘Britain’s finest publisher of countryside books’ Their description not mine but if you click on the link you will see that they do have a range of fine books  on offer.

I have visited twice once back in April 2019 when I was hugely encouraged and dared to dream that publication might well be a possibility. On the back of that we celebrated with a smart meal and some sort of bubbly white stuff. I cant remember if it was Champagne or Proseco or indeed my favorite which is Cava.

Then things went quiet for  bit, there was communication but  with longish gaps in between. I am given to understand that this is par for the course with publishers. Be that as it may for authors it can be quite frustrating.

Recently things have moved along a bit and I was asked to go over the pages relating to the flowers, as opposed to what I call background which is more general stuff about woodlands, their history, structure, environment and such like.

The problem with the flower pages was that they were too much like a blog and not so much in the style of a book. Fair comment as I had originally written it as a blog. Anyway it is now I hope in a book form and it was all on a little memory stick along with lots (over 1000) photos of wild flowers and woodlands. Not that they will all go into the book but some will so the publishers have a choice.

The memory stick was delivered to the publishers last week ( October 2019 )and we had another good meal.

This was at a restaurant just a few doors down from from the publishers called Mortimers. They do a lunch time menu but several of the options had accompaniments which I am not that keen on. Notably Beetroot and sweetcorn. I occasionally go fishing and sweetcorn is a good bait so I tend to equate it with maggots, worms and spam which are also good baits. So we went for the full menu and it was excellent, well almost. I thought my line caught cod had a hint of ammonia about it, my wife did not agree though. I am quite fussy.

Whilst at the publishers, some discussion took place and it was suggested that maybe a hard copy of the book would be useful, and that if two could be produced then I could retain one and they could have one and then we could communicate about changes and alterations as and when needed. This has now been done but it amounts to quite a stack as our printer is quite primitive and printing on two sides of a sheet is possible but very time consuming and I am not really up for it. So that gets posted off today.

I never realised how much was involved in getting a book published and I think there is still a considerable way to go. If as has happened so far we have a good meal and a bottle at every step forward then I hope the book achieves some good sales figures so that we can recoup some of the money spent on premature celebrations.

January 2020; Well a rough timetable has been proposed, it involves a contract in the near future, followed by myself and Merlin going through my photos to decide on which ones pass muster and which ones could do with some improvement. This will need to be done soon as already some flowers are beginning to bloom. Then Karen will go through and edit the book starting in the late summer, through to the Autumn and then decide on the order of the chapters.  It will go off to the printers in December and the book will be launched in April 2021.


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