A recent post on northumbrian : light indicates a target publication date of April 2014 – I am into the third round of editing before finalising the page count which, in turn, determines the spine thickness. Once I know this, it will be time to complete the cover design. By degrees, it is getting closer to being complete. The northumbrian : light post featured some text from the book and this image of my grandfather, standing on Egyptian sands as the distinctive smell of burnt castor oil fills the air.
Having finally bitten the bullet and subscribed to InDesign CC, the formatting of the book is slowly taking shape. Starting with a blank sheet of paper is quite a daunting prospect – it seems like it should be easy – the page size is pre-defined, there is guidance on fonts and margins but there is still much to decide. It has taken me three days to get this far – the chapter heading is intended to echo a golf flag and there must be space for all the various course names and quotes, all of which vary in size e.g. Selkirk & Innerleithen. Then there are header and footer/page number options, line spacing, font sizes, footnotes, dropcaps etc etc. The challenge is to be original but professional – it has to “look right”. Hopefully it does.
After several months of waiting around for promised responses from publishers – they never did – I am making steady progress towards self-publication. Finding an organisation that is informed, responsive, helpful and UK based has been a trial but they do exist, or at least one does. I am about to start detailed layouts with InDesign CC, I will finalise the text for the umpteenth time and worst of all I need to decide on the photographic content. When researching many of the courses I only got one opportunity for photographs and if that day was dreich, as it was at Durness, then the results could be less than satisfactory. This is one image that will definitely not appear in the book, simply because the course doesn’t – it is Hexham one bright but misty morning in June 2012. Commissioned by the Newcastle Journal to photograph Great Golf Holes of the North, it was possible to respond immediately once the weather conditions were ideal, the course being five minutes from home. Just popping back to Durness when the weather bucks up is not an option.
The search for a publisher goes on but in the meantime here are some encouraging words from the friend of a friend (both writers):
Very interesting – and not just because I like the book idea. I think I probably told you I’ve embarked on a similar operation – blog etc – to help market my books. I’m no expert but your pal’s looks very good to me. I genuinely like the sound of the book and all your friend can do from now on is promote it as vigorously as possible. Sadly it’s a fact that many, many good books don’t get the success they deserve and many, many crap books become best sellers. A novel by the topless model Jordan once sold more copies than the aggregate sales of all the books on the Booker short list. It’s also a fact that some books come out of nowhere and sell many thousands and your friend can only hope his book is one of these. It could easily be the case.
The kindness of strangers…..