I’ve always had a keen interest in the history of the Mediterranean and the Aegean and most of my history modules at university were focused on this area, so naturally I was delighted when the first book I was given to work on was Mike Carr’s painstakingly researched Merchant Crusaders in the Aegean, which looks at the changing nature of the crusade and its participants in the late medieval Mediterranean.
I had been learning the ropes for a week or so before being let loose on a title of my own and I couldn’t wait to get started. The first stages of the production process involved preparing the book for copy-editing and I can remember meticulously checking ‘the basics’, from the word count to the quality of the illustrations. One of the illustrations in the book shows Rhodes Town with the Turkish coast in the background and I got far too excited by the fact that I had visited Rhodes myself a few years before and had walked around the castle walls visible in the picture!
Having prepared everything and double-checked it a thousand times, I sent it out for copy-editing and it next appeared on my radar a month or so later, at which point I arranged for it to be typeset. It sounds a bit daft looking back on it now, but seeing the typeset proofs was genuinely exciting as the book edged its way to becoming ‘real’. It was, even more, satisfying a few months further down the line when the office file copy reached my desk and I had physical proof that I had successfully guided my first book through production! Seeing the file copies of books I worked on is still a source of great satisfaction for me three and a half years on!
One of my responsibilities now is to facilitate the transition of books from hardback to paperback, and fittingly Merchant Crusaders in the Aegean was recently released in paperback in June 2019!