Geanette (Gean) Young is an industry analyst who specializes in the alcoholic beverages business. She has recently taken over the company she has worked with for many years from her retired boss.

Gean is also a horse rider – side saddle her favourite seat – and as a Hong Kong-born former consultant to the British Equestrian Federation she was inspired to write her illustrated The Horses of China following a visit to horse-breeder friends in Kentucky.

However, the publication process proved very challenging. Initially excited at being awarded a grant by the Hong Kong Arts Development Council for pre-publication expenses, it took Gean several years to find a publisher. The grant was then taken from her when no one in Hong Kong would take on the niche topic and her eventual US publisher was disqualified as being “overseas”!

Photo sourcing the 100+ images was time-consuming and complicated as copyright had to be fully observed. Gean spent over a year making dozens of phone calls to reach appropriate contacts. On one occasion, she productively couriered a letter on image licensing to a museum curator found incidentally from internet news.

The publisher’s own editing and typesetting services proved unsatisfactory, and Gean had urgently to find her own editor and teach herself InDesign to manage the layout. Fortunately, the publisher had a solid distribution network and a reliable printing partner.

What at times had seemed an ordeal, Gean says, has not been without considerable pleasure. She has received plenty of help from friends, WiPS members and strangers, and has learned a rewarding amount. Her unique and beautiful book, meanwhile, is proving a winner!