One year to publication

It is one year until The New Sylva is published in April 2014 and several milestones have been reached.

Gabriel Hemery has finished drafting the manuscript; before editing the word count stands at 125,000 words. Sarah Simblet has completed more than two-thirds of the drawings with just 60 (out of a total of 200) to go before the ultimate deadline of November, when the book goes to print.

The publishers Bloomsbury have now ‘launched’ the book internally, meaning that a whole team of people have joined the Senior Editor during this pre-production stage, including a copy editor, designer, publicist, and marketing manager.

The authors have been developing with partners exciting plans for the book launch, and afterwards a national touring exhibition during 2014 that will visit some of the most prestigious arboreta around Britain and Ireland. We will announce more details soon.

Designing the book

Today the authors held a meeting with editors at Bloomsbury to discuss book design in detail. Editors Richard Atkinson and Natalie Hunt were joined by Peter Dawson of Grade Design Consultants (www.gradedesign.com) who has been appointed as Book Designer.

Bloomsbury editorial meeting Aug2012

Bloomsbury editorial meeting August 2012. Authors Gabriel Hemery (top left) and Sarah Simblet (far right) discussing some finer points of the first batch of completed illustrations with Natalie Hunt (left), Peter Dawson (centre) and Richard Atkinson (right)

Sarah Simblet also handed over the first batch of 30 completed drawings, which is a major milestone. These will be scanned at very high resolution (400dpi) and then test printed using different techniques and on various paper types with a view to reproducing the drawings of the very best likeness and quality.

Over the next few weeks the first mockups of a chapter will be designed, combining both text and drawings. This will be an exciting development for the authors and the publishing team alike as to date we have been dealing with text and images separately. Bringing together the two elements on the page will enable us to consider in detail the fonts for headers and main text, allow us to estimate word count accurately, and to hone the finer points of layout.

Bloomsbury editorial meeting Aug2012 - discussing the flatplan

Sarah Simblet presenting, with Gabriel Hemery, the latest flatplan at the Bloomsbury editorial meeting, August 2012

Book deal secured for The New Sylva

We are delighted to announce that a book deal with major publisher Bloomsbury has been secured by authors Gabriel Hemery and Sarah Simblet to write The New Sylva.

The New Sylva aims to be a seminal book about trees and forestry for the 21st Century. The book will be published in 2014 to coincide with the 350th anniversary of John Evelyn’s original Sylva published by the Royal Society in 1664.

The New Sylva will bring the essence of John Evelyn’s most celebrated work to a new readership. It will integrate sensitively parts of his original, visionary and very beautiful prose, with a much-needed contemporary review. It will deliver authoritative scholarship in a style that is brief, clear, accessible, and pleasurable to read, and for the very first time, it will be copiously illustrated. The New Sylva will celebrate mankind’s relationship with trees through a creative integration of history, science and art. Read more about the book.

We (the authors) will be posting news about progress with the book in this blog. You will also be able to follow progress with the twitter hashtag #newsylva.