Monday, November 04, 2013

I've been asked to write a book....

It's nice to start a post with the fact "I've been asked" - rather than "I've decided" - to write a book!

That's because, following a meeting with representatives of a publisher last week, I'm currently going through a formal process which will lead to me being formally commissioned to write a book by an international publisher of practical books for visual artists.

The invite to consider writing a book for this publisher came out of the blue and is on a topic I absolutely adore - drawing and sketching!

Title and the name of the publisher are under wraps for the time being until we've 'done the deal' and tied up loose ends.  I'll let you know more as an when I can.

Below there's an invite to get involved and maybe have your images in the book!

What goes around comes around

This year I started contributing to books and magazines for the first time.  In the next three months I've got:
The process of making these contributions prompted me to think again about writing a book - which is something I've been saying I want to do for a long time.

Consequently when I was suddenly asked to write one, it didn't take too long to think about it - and I was ready to say "Yes"!

It wasn't the payback I'd expected - but I guess it was the one I hoped for - but didn't expect!

It goes without saying I'm very excited about it!

So - what's the book about?

I hear you ask....... ;)

It's about drawing and sketching - but
  • it's NOT a "how to" step by step type book 
  • nor is it a showcase type of book.  
Hopefully it's also not going to read or look like any other book about drawing and sketching which is currently available!

Instead I'm going to be writing about detailed and practical tips and techniques for a variety of topics related to drawing and sketching.  If you've read any of my "tips" posts about drawing on this blog or guides you'll know the sort of thing I do.

Drawing from life as practiced in the past - it's progressed since it was a gents only activity!
Drawing from life at the Royal Academy - a plate in Microcosm of London

I need a lot of images!

The book will include a LOT of visual images relating to drawing and sketching. My aim is to show images which inspire and show the diversity of drawing and sketching but also to ground expectations in terms of what can be achieved by people at different skill levels.

Hence this very definitely isn't going to be an "all my own work" book - although it will include a fair number of my own drawings and sketches.

drawing and sketching in the past

I'm also hoping to include some images of drawing from the past. I've been hunting around for some good ones - see the example above!

Tips as to ones worth looking at will be very gratefully received!

contemporary drawing and sketching

In terms of contemporary drawing - I'm likely to asking a LOT of people if they'd be interested in contributing images. I'm going to be very specific about the sort of images I need - but can't be specific about that as yet until I have the book planned out - which is what I'm doing this week.

I've started a list of people whose drawings I would like to see in the book - but I haven't yet finished the first round of invites to contribute as yet!  However, to date, almost all of the people I've already asked have said 'Yes' - which is very pleasing! :)

I now need to think about the best way of moving forward. I'm thinking one option is to invite people who read this blog to suggest people who they think would be good to see in a book. That might be yourself - or others whose work you think deserves to be seen.

There's no guarantees obviously at this stage as to whose work can be in the book - but I'd love to have a great range of work to choose from.

Interested in having your drawings or sketches in the book?

If you think you're interested in knowing more and would like me to see your work please:
  1. Leave a a comment - with your name
  2. PLUS leave a link to where I can see a collection of your drawings or sketches e.g. a Flickr account or set or a website page with a collection of images
  3. PLUS tell me the best way to contact you.
Alternatively contact me - you can find out how to do this in the side column.

Writing a book

Writing books is easier to think about than do!

I say this having had an idea for a book on a niche topic that nobody else has written about a while back.  I've got it about half written.  This is because the only person expecting delivery by a certain date is me - and I committed the cardinal sin of not having a project delivery plan set up at the beginning and an end date in mind.  This despite a career which involved many years of delivering long, complex reports to clients by impossible deadlines!

I'm already revving up my project management knowledge and skills and setting up the checklists for  keeping track of what I've done and what needs doing.  One is a list of contributors.......

Publishing a book

What I'm going to get out of this process is an insight into the process used by professional publishers when producing a book. Plus I'm going to learn more about whether I enjoy the process and want to do it again OR am glad I did it , but won't want to be doing it again in a hurry!

I know something about the commissioning side - having commissioned publications in a past life.  However being on the other side of the fence and delivering the whole package will be a new experience for me.

This week I'm drafting the Flatplan of the contents and what goes where.  This is a map of the whole and a guide to the parts. It helps me think about how much to devote to different topics and helps me identify what I've left out and need to include.

I've developed a template in Word which will keep me organised and on track with the numbers relating to what I need to produce!

What this means for my blogging

Inevitably there's going to be some impact on my blogging - but I'm not quite sure what that will be as yet. It may be that there will be rather fewer posts while I get the book underway and then maybe no posts at all for short periods. It's difficult to say.  However I'm not giving up blogging - except for this next week!

I'll be back on the 12th November.