When I finished my last book at the end of December, I thought I was done writing for a while, but then at the Vancouver Boat Show in late January, I was prompted to write another. While talking with the marketing manager of the largest of the canal boat rental companies, she told me that many of their renters ask for recommendations on a book or books to read to prepare for their boating adventure. She had none to recommend, and so it began.
I decided to focus on France, where last year there were more than 150,000 canal boat renters, fifteen percent of whom came from the English-speaking world. I figured that this should provide me with a sufficiently large focused market to provide a few sales. The book quickly came together as an overview of the geography, history and culture of the main inland boating areas of France, followed by a chapter that gives a cross-section of the boats that are offered by the four major companies.
I added some background on the canal system and an examination of the types of locks and how they function.
Then there are chapters on Basic Boat Handling
, on Line Handling and Safety in the Locks
and on Rules of the Road and CEVNI
. The book contains the essential information to enable a neophyte to decide on a region to explore, to choose a rental company and to safely and confidently head out on the French canals. Hopefully it will make things a little safer for the rest of us on the canals.
I sent the copy and the cover layout to the printers on Friday, I received an electronic proof of the book on Tuesday evening and this afternoon the printed proof arrived by DHL. It looks good, so I have just approved it and sent it to print. It should be available from Amazon next week and from other online retailers in the following weeks. I love the speed and efficiency of the modern world of publishing.
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