I have all of the pictures, I have the text, I have decided on the page format (portrait, A5), and I will be composing a mock-up of the whole project and contacting York Publishing Services tomorrow.
This seems to bode well for my intention to get this project published before the London Book Fair. It won’t do to get too far ahead of myself, though; I still need to get a quote…
Still, I’m feeling very optimistic about this project right now 🙂
I’ve finished polishing the photos intended for the collection, as well as scanning and polishing one of my grandmother’s watercolour paintings to be used as a front cover illustration. I am very happy about this, naturally. ^^
There’s still one picture left to do, of course; I’ll be searching for reference pictures today and tomorrow, and working on it during this week. I intend to make it a colour-pencils-on-paper work, rather than digital art like most of the rest of my cartoons, as this will help it to fit more easily with the style of the rest of the collection. Should be fun! ^^
In other news, I’ve been getting some encouraging nibbles on LinkedIn about future proofreading work. My networking efforts are starting to pay off 🙂
Speaking of networking, I’m planning in earnest various aspects of my intended trip to the London Book Fair. I know that I’ll be attending on 15th April, but it seems to be a very good idea to start planning now, so as not to be blind-sided by unexpected turns of events. In any case, this should, hopefully, result in some work. 🙂
I’m also planning an article about my experience with self-publishing, for the York Alumni Association Writers group. As the plan currently stands, I’ll be recounting my experiences at various stages of the self-publishing process and putting forth some advice for people considering self-publishing. As I’m still a week or so away from actually asking my intended self-publishing firm for a quote, I have only planned that section of the article in the vaguest of outlines. I should be able to properly plan that section in a week or two, though, and after that the actual article will follow. I will almost certainly have to trim the final piece down quite a lot, as a second article on the subject of how to work with freelance editorial professionals seems to be taking shape within the first. This article is turning out to be a pretty enjoyable project, actually; approaching it in a similar way to how I approached essays during my degree seems to be contributing to this.
In short, many things are happening and they are mostly good 🙂
I’m about half-way through tweaking and polishing the photos for the collection. It’s pretty fun, actually; one thing that made me quietly happy was successfully painting out an intrusive telephone pole. It’s a small thing, I know, and the clone tool is a very basic item in the photo-manipulator’s armoury, but I’m still happy with how it turned out.
Most of the polishing is really just erasing artefacts created by flaws on the film that was scanned, and tweaking the saturation and colour balance. Easy enough, and quite a soothing process. 🙂
I have my short-list of photographs with which to illustrate the collection, as well as a watercolour painting of my grandmother’s, which will go on the front cover. I am very happy to have gotten to this stage so soon!
Next on the to-do list for this great(ish) project of mine is to select one definite photo for each poem; this should be pretty easily done, since there are only five or so poems which have multiple possible photos associated with them. After each poem has its corresponding photo, I’ll be running the pictures through the GIMP (short for Gnu Image Manipulation Program) and touching them up so that they will look their best. This will mostly involve adjusting the colour saturation and colour balance; with a couple of the photos, I’ll be selecting details and blowing them up (e.g. taking an oval-shaped cut-out centred on a vase of roses) rather than including extraneous parts of the picture.
Once the outright photo-manipulation is complete, I will be drawing from scratch a small cartoon of an eagle seated at a radio production desk, to go with a short, humorous poem which gently riffs off Tennyson and was written in honour of one of my grandmother’s friends. As this particular picture will be (c) me rather than my grandmother’s estate, I feel more comfortable with posting it to this blog as a preview of some of the collection’s final content.
All in all, this project is moving into a very artistic phase. I’m looking forward to it!