The hardcover edition of Tropical Horticulture and Gardening, published by the Academy of Sciences Malaysia and listed at RM260, is no longer available. I understand that the stocks were stored in a room that was too hot and humid for book storage. The pages got stuck together, making the books unusable.
I was provided with a number of hardcover copies of the book instead of royalties. Of these, 30 copies are still available. In response to requests, I have arranged to place autographed copies at the Hort Park Nursery in 1 Utama (next to Mamak Corner) to sell at RM 100 each. Hort Park Nursery does not have a place to display books so one may have to ask the shopkeeper, Nizam, where he keeps them.
The manuscript was originally offered to Times Publications to publish but it was politely rejected. I also made approaches to Oxford University Press and Timber Press but they declined.
I then worked with a designer to obtain the tightest possible integration of pictures with text. My aim was to provide maximum useful information in the minimum number of pages, while making every page a visual treat. Normally a designer works to a fixed template and leaves the text alone. By working side by side, the designer and I were able to arrive at a nice design solution for every page, sometimes by adjusting the pictures and sometimes by adjusting the text, making full use of the flexibility and power of modern publishing software to resize and move things around instantly. When everything was ready, I had a complete full colour sample hand-printed and bound, which I took to the Academy of Sciences Malaysia.
The Academy had received a grant from Government for publishing scholarly books. It published the book, but it had no marketing experience. The books stayed in its store room during the two years when it had the marketing rights. When that period was over, I searched for a new publisher. A friend took it to the boss of MPH and that is how the book finally made it to the MPH bookshops as an inexpensive soft-cover edition. All set up costs had already been absorbed by me and the Academy.
Thank you, John and Jacq www.jaycjayc.com and Autumnbelle http://www.mynicegarden.com/ for reviews of the book in your gardening blogs.