Yesterday I received my copies of "The Ruy Lopez: A Guide for Black". You might think it should not be too exciting to see a book that you have written yourself, but it actually is!
First there is the physical appearance of the covers, the indexes and those small things you never see when you are working on the content. I really like this one - Wolff Morrow's cover illustration is visually pleasing as usual and the theme at least somewhat relevant. You may argue that Black rarely goes for an immediate attack on White's king in the Zaitsev variation of the Closed Ruy Lopez, but the spark of aggression definitely is there. See this page for some of Morrow's other covers with his brief comments.
Then it is always exciting to see how many of those last-minute corrections and amendments the editors actually managed to include. I have not yet had time to compare the book with the correction tables we forwarded or to discuss it with my co-author, but I can see that most of it actually found its way into the book.
But most of all it's about holding the book in your hands - imagining that you are a potential buyer, flipping through the pages considering whether the book is worth its money or not.
- Is the words/moves ratio acceptable?
- What about the pages/diagrams ratio?
- Is the variation numbering intimidating, or are most readers comfortable with the occasional 'b2222)'?
Well, it really is too late to worry about this now - I am now eagerly awaiting the first reviews.
I will mainly be watching these sites:
- Checkpoint at http://chesscafe.com/: Very good monthly reviews, but far from all books get a mention.
- Silman: Probably the biggest and best collection of chess book reviews, but Gambit books usually are released a month later in the US than in Europe.
- Seagaard: Usually quite thorough reviews but there seem to be fewer new reviews now than a couple of years ago.
- Chessville: Thorough reviews with the amateur's needs firmly in focus.
- British Chess Magazine: Usually very short and to-the-point monthly reviews.
- John Elburg's reviews: A huge number of reviews every month. Unfortunately the English is awful, and the reviews usually so gentle that they are uninformative.
- Phil Adam's reviews: I like this site - but where does he dump the older reviews? My London book is now nowhere to be found.
- Sean Marsh' reviews: Another growing collection of good reviews. I must however say that I frequently disagree with the evaluations.
Addendum 16th February 2007
I forgot the "Week in Chess" reviews by John Watson - possibly because no new reviews had appeard for almost one year. But now he appears to be back in combat with three new columns in less that a month. Watson's reviews generally are quite gentle, but very detailed and well researched. I am not sure about the relationship with his reviews at Silman's site, but there seems to be considerable overlap.