The authors met the publishing team at Bloomsbury yesterday, including editorial, design, marketing, publicity and sales.
Discussing artwork for The New Sylva in the Board Room at Bloomsbury. Right to left: Gabriel Hemery and Sarah Simblet (authors), Alice Shortland (Marketing), Inez Munsch (Sales), Pete Dawson (Design), Natalie Hunt (Editorial), Madeleine Feeney (Publicity), and Diana Kojik (Special Publications).
This was the first occasion that the authors had met the whole team. It was a milestone in the book’s development as it signified that from now on all of us will be working very closely to turn what has been a book project into a published book
We are working to a timetable dictated by the publication date of April 2014. Gabriel is working currently on the manuscript with the Copy Editor, with a deadline of the end of June. From July the text will be ready to be used to create the first graphically designed layout of the whole book. Meanwhile the drawings will continue to be worked on; Sarah has a deadline of October to complete the last of the drawings. The book will be sent to the printers in November. Planning for sales and marketing is now underway, and we hope to be able to say more soon about some exciting ideas for activities planned during 2014.
Sarah Simblet talking about her drawing of a hazel coppice stool to the Publishing Team
Sarah Simblet talking about her drawing of giant redwood trees to the Publishing Team
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.
Following the devastating news that the fungal pathogen Chalara fraxinea is rampant in the British countryside, our ash chapter requires now a major rewrite.
We had completed the section on ash (Fraxinus excelsior and other ash species) just one month ago, and had included a significant section on the potential dangers from this disease which was looming in continental Europe, little-knowing that within one month hundreds of British woodlands would be discovered to have trees infected with ash dieback.
Ash (Fraxinus excelsior) shoot with emerging leaves. Drawing by Sarah Simblet for The New Sylva.
We have now just a few months of writing and drawing remaining before the book is put together by publishers Bloomsbury. Let’s hope that the news does not get much worse for this beautiful and graceful tree species before we go to press in late 2013.
Read more about Chalara fraxinea
Earlier this week the authors visited Stourhead (Western) Estate in Wiltshire to study and draw a treescape in one of Britain’s most progressively-managed woodlands.
Gabriel Hemery writing The New Sylva in the woodland at Stourhead. An ipad and bluetooth keyboard provide a very mobile solution.
Thanks to the support of owner Nick Hoare, and his forestry consultant David Pengelly of Canopy Land Use, the authors were allowed full access to some of the areas of the large wooded estate where close-to-nature forestry is practiced.
Close-to-nature forestry drawing in progress by Sarah Simblet
It was stunning to see 100-year-old Douglas fir towering over multitudes of other broadleaved and conifer species of all sizes. Rain showers provided a challenge for Sarah but the raising of a tarpaulin allowed her to continue to work even as the drizzle turned to a downpour.
Our thanks to Nick Hoare and David Pengelly.
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 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.
Sarah Simblet presenting, with Gabriel Hemery, the latest flatplan at the Bloomsbury editorial meeting, August 2012