Regular readers of this blog will know that the authors have not posted for some time. We’ve been working flat-out to meet the demanding publication schedule and progressing through several major steps in the editorial cycle.

Copy-editing was completed at the end of August. This is the process in which the manuscript is checked for accuracy and for consistency in formatting and style. We will explain more about this process in a post to follow soon.

During the summer several meetings with designers Grade Design have taken place in London, involving both authors, the design team, and Senior Editor Natalie Hunt from Bloomsbury.

Working on The New Sylva with Grade Design. Louise Evans inserts some text on a spread in the Ash section. Note the author’s copy of Evelyn’s Sylva in the foreground – a constant inspiration.

The original hand-drawn flatplan, created by Sarah Simblet, has been superseded by a digital version. Louise Evans from Grade Design, overseen by creative director Pete Dawson, has been keying in the manuscript, provided in Microsoft Word, into the professional software Adobe InDesign. As each new drawing is submitted by Sarah to Grade Design, it is first roughly scanned in so that its position can be decided. Later all the drawings will be photographed at very high resolution and these will be used to create the final book design.

Creating this working design of the book revealed instances where text was over-long or too short for a spread. Dealing with the latter meant writing additional sections so that text on any single page did not fall too short. A working design of the book has also permitted the writing of all cross references, and the table of contents. Fine adjustment of the design is ongoing but it seems likely that book length will be 400 pages.

The authors are currently proof reading through the manuscript twice, with improvements made between each version. Once the final text is agreed it will be checked by a professional proofreader and indexed by a specialist. Sarah will be working on remaining drawings until the end of November.


  1. It’s great to hear details about the publishing end of this project. I look forward to hearing more.

  2. If that is Evelyn’s copy of Sylva constantly on the counter, I’d be a bit nervous having a drinking glass nearby.  Bill Schneider


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