It has been a while since my last update on the book. Fear not though it is coming on great. I have now, finally, finished the first draft of the book. Although still far from perfect I at last feel like I am getting somewhere and the work I have put into it is beginning to pay off. Already I feel rewarded because it has been a really fun process of going back over my trip diary, reminiscing, and then writing up in full what truly happened during the month that Tom and I were cycling around Europe. I feel that writing the book has instilled further passion to go on many more adventures.
However now the initial writing is over there is still an awful lot of work to do. At the moment I have an un-edited 60,000 word manuscript. Now I must begin the work of editing, proof-reading, and reflection so that I can change that manuscript into a half-decent book. This is the part I think I am going to find the hardest. Purely because it is a process I haven’t ever been through before. Up to this point I was merely remembering and writing down. Now I must edit and publish, two things I know very little about. For the initial editing I have given copies to Tom and some other people who have greater literature skills than myself. I have done this to get their opinions on the initial draft, so I can address any comments or criticisms I may receive. I thought this was a good idea as it means I can begin to receive some feedback on how it is. Also I have chosen people who will not be biased in their comments so hopefully I will get a true representation of what they really think.
After I have a draft of the book which I am relatively happy with I will then begin to start thinking about publishing. An area which I know almost nothing about! However I think it will be fun like it had been so far, hard work but fun. I will probably self-publish the book through lulu.com as I have done a little research into this. Lulu seems to offer just what I want and have good distribution channels too. I think I may try to get my book published by a publishing company first because there is no harm in trying. There are a few publishing companies which specialise in adventure travel writing so I think I will try to approach them and see if they are interested, although they probably won’t, it would be easier and maybe better. Each way of publishing has pro’s and con’s so I am sure I will be overjoyed whichever way I end up publishing the book.
The preliminary title for my book is ‘The Boys Who Cycled Europe’, it does what it says on the tin. However it is subject to change should somebody think of a better one! I have also been thinking about front covers and am pretty set on using the photo of Tom and I with our bikes on the Promenade des Anglais overlooking Nice. It was the turning point of our trip, the point we turned North towards home and the point at which the real mountains began. Nice was the first proper point in our journey where we could relax and reflect on what we were doing. It brought us closer together as a team. It is for those reasons why I think it is a fitting photograph to have on the front cover.
It seems that having crossed the first hurdle I am now faced with an even larger one. However I am finding it a lot of fun and I am dedicated to see this project through to the end. It would be great to have it published in time for Christmas. However I start University in a month so we’ll see how much time I have available to spend on it alongside my other commitments. I am aiming to get a lot of editing done in this coming month so who knows it could be ready sooner than I think. One thing I am pretty sure of though is that I am past the halfway mark in the whole process. A cheerful thought and I am so overjoyed that I have made it this far. It does finally feel that everything is coming together. I am looking forward to stepping out into unchartered waters with what I have to do next. So watch this space!