Every year here on the Osprey blog we run an Advent calendar style feature on the site. We started off just revealing our favourite pieces of artwork taken from Osprey books. Then, last year we decided to tell you a little bit about the 25 best selling Osprey titles of all time. As part of these bestselling posts we included a strange or surprising fact about each of the books.

These quirky facts proved to be so popular that we decided that this year we would focus our whole countdown to Christmas on some of the oddities that have cropped up in Osprey books over the last 41 years or so.

The Holiday Snap That Became A Book Cover

Often one of the hardest things to do when putting together our books is choosing the image that appears of the cover. Do we go for a spectacular photo or illustration? Or should we use some of our specially commissioned artwork? Quite often we will have a look at three or four different options before settling on the image that we like. Back in 2006 though, a holiday snap somehow found its way on to a cover, and we loved the image so much that we decided it simply HAD to appear on the cover.

If you have a copy of Fortress 47 Fortifications of the Incas - turn to the imprint page - and at the very foot of the page you will see a small note that reads "Front Cover: The Inca mountain stronghold of Machu Picchu (Copyright of Edward Moore)".

Now if the name Edward Moore sounds a little familiar to you, it is probably because Ed is one of our very own bloggers. Before becoming the Osprey Website guru and occasional blogger Ed working in the Production and Design team, and was responsible for the Fortress series. He had recently been travelling in Peru and had been to visit Machu Picchu, where he had taken the brilliant photo that appears on the cover of the book - an image which he placed on the cover as a place holder while everyone else was trying to come up with images. But someone spotted the cover with this photo on the front...and the rest is history!

I had hoped to follow in the footsteps of Ed and provide a photo of Durham Cathedral for the reprint of the Shire book Discovering Cathedrals, but I seemed to lack Ed's photographic skills...