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A few weeks ago, in the hallowed setting of Meeting Room 1, Osprey Towers, we commissioned a bunch of new books for 2016: two New Vanguards, two Campaigns, and a very exciting Warrior. And once the debate was over and decisions made, web guru Michael K came to me with an idea.


‘Wouldn’t it be fun to track the life cycle of one of our books live on the website? How it’s commissioned, researched, written, edited, illustrated, designed and printed, from now until the day it hits the shelves?’

Michael is generally a bright lad, but this was plainly a stroke of genius. So, after a bit of thought as to which of the books would be most fun to showcase, and a chat with enthusiastic author Mark Lardas, we decided to let you in on the secrets of how one particular New Vanguard is created.

Right now, NVG 238: Seaplane and Aircraft Carriers of World War I is nothing but a page in the Osprey database, an ISBN, and a contract. But if all goes to plan, in exactly 691 days’ time she will slide gracefully off the stocks, down the slipway, to bob around tantalisingly in a bookshop near you. And between then and now we’ll be documenting what we do, in the world of authors, artists and editors, to create a New Vanguard.

The process of making a book can be messy at times, and there’s always the risk that something will go pop. Anyone who had hoped to buy a copy of COM 63: Aichi 99 Kanbaku 'Val' Units back in 2006 will know what I’m talking about. But the end result should be appetizing, and whatever happens along the way, you’ll get to see it – pretty much as it happens.

To kick off the story, Mark is going to explain what’s happened to get us this far. How he came up with the original idea for the book, and how the idea grew into a New Vanguard proposal that we wanted to commission. Look out for it next week!

Next: The Life Cycle of an Osprey Series Book