Making a book #8


I mentioned my book was being professionally editorially reviewed in early January. Late January the book came back, with lots of encouraging and useful advice. Well worth the cost. I know some people dislike their work to be criticised, but I love it. it is easy to get too close to your work and think that it is great, whereas an outsider can see the flaws more easily. The two editors who read the draft – Sonya and Alison – made some very good suggestions. Essentially they proposed a restructure of the chapters and taking out some extraneous material.

I found the Mac very good for opening up the original, the edited version and the overview.

Book editing
Editing the book

I restructured as suggested and have finally been through all of the edits. Many of these proposed referencing every quotation and fact (which I rarely do with the blog) and raised a few questions – what is Normcore? Mattress stitch? A Dirndl skirt? A tenant leader?

I feel very happy that I have more or less got the book written, and while I will keep on polishing it and eliminating any cliches and wasted words, I think it has legs.

I will now be focusing on “making” the book.


Although I had suggested I might be ready to print by Easter I now realise that is hopelessly unrealistic. I am really struggling with photography. At the moment I don’t really understand it and am finding it hard to get a good result with a digital SLR camera. We are being taught to avoid the Automatic setting.

My first efforts of the lake at different times of day are rather disappointing. I think the focus and ISO was wrong but I am trying to take in so much new information I have no real idea of what is happening here.

Dusk Lake
Dawn Lake
Dawn Lake

I know there is tons of information on the internet but as ever I get quickly overwhelmed. I need much more practice with someone who knows what he or she is doing. It will also be alot easier as the weather improves to spend lots of time outside, taking pictures.

Book design

While photography has not yet clicked for me I have made good progress with InDesign. We previously bought the Adobe CDs when one of us was a student so I didn’t need to make the difficult decision to “rent” the software from the company which seems very expensive. Although there is a one year discount for students subsequent months are charged at about £50 a month, which is far too much for non-professional users.

The course ended last night and over six weeks I have made posters, business cards, a 30 page magazine, flyers, post cards and a CD cover. I feel confident enough to do these basic jobs and I look forward to building on my skills.

With the Indesign, Photoshop and Illustrator I know that (like dressmaking) practice makes perfect. Luckily Charlotte is coming next weekend. Her cover is coming along well and I am hoping she will give me some one to one tuition on designing the inside of the book.

And between all these classes and homework, and the challenge of learning new things I have been reading and knitting. Two self help books which I snapped up at 99p on Amazon were really interesting and I would recommend them, if the topics interest you.

Why we sleep by Matthew Walker and

The Unexpected joy of being Sober by Catherine Gray.

And the knitting? I made another EZ yoke sweater and used the same motif that Kerry used on hers. Navy and white cashmere. I love it, although it still needs finishing. May or may not enter the SWAP, as I have a red Perry Ellis cardigan on the go.

Yoke sweater
EZ Yoke sweater with“Rusty” motif

11 Responses

  1. Chris

    You seem to be making good progress with your book Kate, it’s interesting to see all the steps involved. I used to dabble a bit in photography after college. I found controlling lighting to be difficult and so have no useful advice unfortunately!

  2. Jenny

    As always I’m left thinking how you fit everything in given your demanding day job which is hardly 9-5. I so agree about being open to good quality feedback. I suspect most people who reach senior level have that trait and it’s certainly a limiting factor if you don’t.

    Re photography, by coincidence I’m just about to purchase my first DSLR camera. Enthused by my daughter’s enjoyment of this subject, we had a professional photographer who offers tuition spend the day with us yesterday going through the theory of in effect not using the automatic setting and how all the elements of f numbers/shutter speed and ISO blend together. Then a session in the field, well local lake. It was well worth it. I was starting from absolute scratch so may well join one of his group workshops for more in the field tuition. But as you say it is all about practice and that takes time. Just some one to one help on the specific type of shots you are after just might save you time…..

  3. Sue

    Glad you are happy with the way your book is progressing; a good editor is worth their weight in gold. I’ve struggled with photography and could totally relate to your “dawn” photo. It made me smile.

  4. Vancouver Barbara

    Your Dusk Lake photograph is exquisite. I don’t see Dawn Lake on my computer but then I wonder if perhaps they’re the same.
    You are simply amazing and a perfect example of the adage “give a job to a busy woman if you want to get something done”!

    • fabrickated

      Thanks for your sweet remarks Barbara.

      Opps. I didn’t upload it correctly. I have now done so. While I think the subject matter of the lake is exquisite I know the photograph isn’t. I haven’t got used to what the dials do yet. A sewing machine is much easier and more instinctive. But I will get there eventually.

  5. Monica Wright

    Regarding the photography, I loved the book “Understanding Exposure.” It is an information overload on the Internet. The way the author (whose name I cannot recall) described the way aperture, shutter speed, and iso work together really clicked for me.

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