All Things Victorian

All Things Victorian
Victoriana Lady Lisa

Saturday, July 9, 2011

How Is My Book Coming Along?

So many of you have asked me, "How is the book coming along?" Others may say, "What book?"
Let me give those that have just begun visiting here a little background. (By the way, I thank you ALL for visiting with me and all of your kind support on my endeavors.)

                                           Lace hat and jabot, circa 1900

The Fashionable Victorians will be a full color 350 page coffee table size book. I am honored that it will be the first hard cover book in this genre. Schiffer Publishing Ltd. is putting it out in the fall of 2012. I have been working on it since last November when I received the book deal. It's a dream come true for me, I have wanted to write a book for over a decade at least.

                                     Victorian baby photo and booties, circa 1880

Photographing an Ostrich fan on the backdrop table at Schiffer studio

There is a lot of technical work involved in writing a book, and a lot of money is needed. Those that believe you can simply take some photos, write a few stories and voila you have a book are not familiar with the time consuming process. Each photo, caption and text paragraph must have codes for printing and they must match according to each page, remember it's 360 pages, that's a lot of coding!! It's good that I didn't realize this in the beginning! It probably would have intimidated me and I would have been too afraid to give it a try. Now I am in over my head, lol!

An antique corset over a combination chemise/drawers

The costs are enormous, this publisher does not provide an advance, however they do help with the marketing once the book is done. People have asked what kind of costs could there be since John and his daughter Rebecca are taking the photos. I don't expect anyone to work for free so Rebecca is paid accordingly. Then there are fees for renting photo equipment, location fees at the historical societies, plus gasoline, food and lodging fees when we go to the various shoot locations and Schiffer publishing. It adds up fast!

I have set up a donation on Pay Pal for those who would like to contribute $5.00 or more. Send to through the Pay Pal site. All contributions will have the person's name noted in my book, if they desire. I am sincerely grateful to so many of you that have already sent in money, a little from a lot of people can add up fast. :)

                                  Lights! Camera! Action! An early brassiere pre 1920

At present time I am still finishing the manuscript and organizing photo shoots. There are many pieces left to photograph. The small accessories are being shot at the Schiffer studio, along with some of the underwear garments. The majority of the fashions will be shot on models, with a few elaborate and delicate gowns which will be on dress forms from local historical societies and private collections.

A beautiful Civil war era gown courtesy of Mark Tillson

My sweetheart, photographer/author John Thomas Grant, is my right hand man. I could never begin to do all of this work by myself. He photographs, processes and edits all of the photos, which means more hours of tedious work. His talented daughter, photographer Rebecca Grant, is also doing a lot of the photography for the book.

Artifacts circa 1900 donated to me, photos, a baby quilt & bonnet


Once my final draft is finished it goes to Schiffer editing, where it goes back and forth from me to them, ironing out any problems or corrections that need to be made. This often takes months to get it just right, then the design team will work on the book, which means more back and forth. Eventually it will go to production. It is nerve wracking yet exhilarating at the same time!

      A recent interview with Victoriana Lady Lisa and the art of Victorian afternoon tea

I do not want to seem as if I am complaining, I am delighted for this privilege. I thought it would be interesting for people to know just what goes into publishing a book.

The photos are are from the various photo shoots thus far. The book will encompass Victorian (1837-1901)  and Edwardian fashions (1901-1919). Chapters will include, bridal, children's, mourning, undergarments, accessories, immigrant clothing and much more. I began collecting antique clothing and accessories at age 15!

I will keep you updated again as things progress...


  1. The book sounds exciting. I will have to find a copy when it is ready. Richard at My Old Historic House

  2. this sounds great. Thanks for giving all the details, because it gives me a better idea of what you are doing :) :) Plus, I have a better idea of how I can pray for this project ;) :) It's going to be so FABULOUS when it's finished. I'd like to buy a copy when it's ready for sale ;) :)

    Oh, that civil war gown is the flower details all over it :) :)

    Have a great weekend. Love and hugs from Oregon, Heather :) :)

  3. Sounds really exciting. Will the book be published in Europe (Germany) too? I REALLY want to read it :) <3

  4. Thanks everyone for the kind words. The book will be out in the fall of 2012 and it will be available world wide. :)