Seen at the Festival of the Tree

...if you would be happy all your life, plant a garden ~ Chinese proverb

Sunday, 1 April 2007

Booky Wooks

I don't have a mega publishing deal... yet - contact me if you'd like to offer me one ;)

In the meantime I've had the opportunity to do a little light publishing and reviewing as follows...

First forays into publishing


I learnt a lot by about writing and the process of publishing with my contribution of a chapter to award-winning author Niki Jabbour's Ground Breaking Food Gardens

I produced a plan for producing year-round salads in the tiniest of spaces. You can read about how it all happened here.

I got quite emotional when I found the book on display in a tool shop in Toronto at the start of  2015's Garden Bloggers Fling. It was the first time I'd seen it in a shop, rather than my own copy.




My first foray into publishing was gathering up my posts about Chippenham into a Blurb book, called ABC of Chippenham.

Blurb is just one of the mind boggling number of self-publishing options available. This project was to satisfy my own curiosity about how self-publishing works and was an enjoyable exercise.

I wrote a blog post about it here.



In 2013 I was given the opportunity to convert a company blog I look after into a book. It celebrated their staff raising over a quarter of a million pounds for charity in just three years.

So Abseil to Zumba was born, which gives a flavour of the range of activities the staff undertook in order to raise their cash.

The book had a tiny print run, but unlike most book deals I was paid by hour to produce it.



And finally, I converted Veg Plotting into a Kindle book, just to find out the process involved. I don't expect anyone to buy it, when they can read everything here for free.



2016 Update


A couple of sparkly new additions for 2016...

Work in progress on the Sign of the Times book
In August I trialed Saal Digital's blog to book offering and selected over 400 photos to showcase from my Sign of the Times blog. 

Overall quality was good, but it didn't have the flexibility that Blurb offers.

I reviewed the process and result here.


Orchard Odyssey book cover
I proof-read and made suggestions to Naomi Slade's Orchard Odyssey, published in September 2016. 

It's interesting to see how the plain Word documents I reviewed chapter by chapter were transformed into the luscious result. 

In her Acknowledgements at the front of the book Naomi says:

"For their rigorous proof-check and brilliant ideas, Rose Ward, Michelle Chapman and Janet Angus must be gratefully acknowledged..." :)

It's also made The Guardian's selection of the best gardening books of 2016.


Book Reviews


In 2011 and 2012 I reviewed specialist books for Green Places magazine, a publication which specialised in the design, legislation and issues faced by the UK's open spaces.

The books ranged from a dark poetry anthology through to the consideration of the sustainable design of the 2012 Olympic Park, with lots more in between.

It was a pleasure to read, review and learn from the publications which came my way. 

An eight page pdf selection of my published reviews can be read here.


I also review books here on Veg Plotting from time to time sourced from good gardening book publishers such as Timber Press, Frances Lincoln and the RHS. All my reviews and related bookish activities are gathered under my Books label.

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