Book covers…. book titles

So I’ve been working on finishing my new book.  I’m on the 3rd sweep through it now and I feel like I know it off by heart.   I got the idea about a year ago based on my very successful My new tour – Sacred, Secret, Gardens of London   but even I didn’t know how big a job it would be.

Who would have thought that there would be nearly 130 parks and public spaces in the mile or so between St Pauls Cathedral and the Tower of London?

Normally at this stage I would have at least settled on a book title.  I could title it The Secret, Sacred Gardens of London but that would be technically wrong as this guide is only for the 1 square mile of the City of London, not the 600+ square miles of ‘London’.  But would Secret, Sacred Gardens of the City of London be too lengthy?   A Guide to the Secret, Sacred Gardens of the City of London is lengthier still.

How perplexing it is!  I’d think City of London has to be in the title as that is the part of London that is dealt with.

I’ve also got my thinking cap on about the front cover.  At first I wanted something arty but a guide even at the level I am aiming at should really have a photo based on the subject.  To pick but one photo and one garden would almost be impossible though and I’d feel bad about the over 120+ gardens that weren’t on the front cover.

So then I thought of a collage of photos of different gardens but I thought that might be a bit too messy and even obvious.   Currently I am thinking of a map of the City of London with 5 or 6 photos over the part of the city where their respective gardens can be found.  Ideally I had a particular old map in mind, one almost 300 years old but would you believe it is copyrighted or at least the use of the images of it may well be.

I still like that idea though and that’s what I will go with if I can find a good map.  If only I was so certain about the title!

One of the last things to decide also is how many photos to include.  It’s not a photo guide but I feel there should be some.  Originally I was going to have a handful of photos and the rest as sketches but that was before the book grew to a size and complexity I hadn’t imagined it would do. Some publishers also place a limit on the file size of books and having 120 high resolution colour photos would likely blow everyones Kindles!

So it seems the nearer the completion of the project, the more complicated it gets!



About Stephen Liddell

I am a writer and traveller with a penchant for history and getting off the beaten track. With several books to my name including several #1 sellers. I also write environmental, travel and history articles for magazines as well as freelance work. I run my private tours company with one tour stated by the leading travel website as being with the #1 authentic London Experience. Recently I've appeared on BBC Radio and Bloomberg TV and am waiting on the filming of a ghost story on British TV. I run my own private UK tours company (Ye Olde England Tours) with small, private and totally customisable guided tours run by myself!
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