It's always amazing to get a book you worked on. The miraculous way all those Word files and hours bent over a keyboard are transformed into a real book that might even end up on people's shelves is an odd sensation. Today in the post I got an advance copy of The Big Trip sent from the printer and it's a real shot in the arm.
By the time a book becomes an object rather than the manuscript, you've forgotten a lot of what was good about it. Like the contributions of some really generous folks including Jane Ormond, Rose Mulready, Vivek Wagle, Sophie Cunningham and Matt Firestone, plus a million others who I haven't forgotten but this paragraph is already sounding like an Oscars speech. They all wrote these 'My First' boxes where they talk about the first time they travelled somewhere or did something that seemed like a big leap at the time. They were one of the first things I noticed as I flipped through the glossy pages.
Oh and it looks really good. I knew it was going to be 300+ pages but that doesn't mean much when you're thinking in terms of how many pages you have to do before the deadline. In print it looks really substantial - encyclopaedic almost. And all in glossy colour with full-bleed photos and some snazzy design by Mark Adams and a few others at Lonely Planet. It's all very impressive and seems to not have a lot to do with the Word files I submitted a couple of months ago.