Well the latest book, Backgarden Chickens and Other Poultry is hot off the press and I must say the publisher has done a nice job with it. You can find out all about it from the link but I thought it might interest you to know what goes into writing a book.
Since this was written with my daughter, Cara, the first thing we had to do was decided what we were going to cover. Then we broke it up into chapters and agreed who would write what. That makes it sound easy – but believe me, it isn’t as simple in practice.
Then we write away and bounce things back and forth, altering the text (and back!) along the way. Eventually we end up with a bunch of chapters that we’re reasonably happy with, so put them all together in one document.
Then we realise we’ve missed various things so more writing, bouncing and alterations ensue. Next we send off the draft to a few friends to look at who come back with some suggestions. So yet another debate and re-writing. By now we’re on draft 6!
Finally we think we’ve got it about right and send it off to the publisher. The editor there comes back with pages of queries and questions so it’s more re-writing, head scratching and grumbling before we get to about draft 9. At this point we realise we’ve forgotten something else.. so panic writing follows. More back and forth with the editor, whose contribution is vital. The unsung hero behind any book is the editor.
Whilst all this is going on the artist is producing the illustrations and we’re sourcing the photographs. The final draft done, the publisher produces a proof copy which we read through and check.
Final copy approved, it all goes quiet for a weeks as it’s at the printers until the great day arrives and it appears on our doorstep. So now you know what goes into writing a book.
Storing & Jamming
I’m happy to report our other books are doing quite well still. How to Store Your Home Grown Produce has zoomed up the charts both here and in the USA which has really cheered us up and Easy Jams, Chutneys and Preserves is breaking last year’s records.
Sadly for us, being up in the charts for our sort of book doesn’t earn the same kind of royalties as J K Rowling gets. Not much hope of selling the film rights either! I might not have a private jet but I have got a smashing lawnmower.