How an Idea Becomes a Dream – Colors of Naples and the Amalfi Coast

I’m so excited I can hardly stand it.  Colors of Naples and the Amalfi Coast is complete and available for pre-order on Amazon! The printing company will not have the books ready until the end of May, but everything else is complete.

Colors of Naples and the Amalfi Coast by Margie MiklasFor at least ten years I have had a dream of publishing a book of my travel photos. When I travel I love to capture the moment with my camera and create memories forever. So many times I have been asked if there are photos in my books.  Since the answer is no, my blog has been the place where anyone can see these photos.

My other two books are published through CreateSpace, and my research has shown that photos do not print with high enough quality by CreateSpace. In addition, the paper is not appropriate for photos, so I have always opted to not include photos in my books, other than the covers.

Many of my friends have always encouraged me to include photos or create a photo book, but the price point for sale has always been too high. I knew that I couldn’t sell a book of my photography if it was priced at $50 or $60.

Thanks to my friend Jill Farrell and author Sherry Rentschler, I decided to check out some companies who specialize in printing photo books. Even Blurb, which I have found to have wonderful quality, could not price a book in  the range I needed. Enter JoAnn Locktov and Dream of Venice.

As soon as I had my first hands-on experience with this wonderful hardcover work, edited by  JoAnn Locktov, with photography by Charles Christopher, I knew that this was the kind of book I wanted to publish and I hoped that I could feasibly do it.

I sought out information from JoAnn, who was more than gracious and helpful, responding to my inquiries about the printing company,  Friesens from Canada, and the publishing process. This is offset printing, a completely different process from print-on-demand.  Thank you so much, JoAnn, for all of your help.

That was  in January, and once I realized that I could publish a photography book with a reasonable selling price, I had made a decision. I knew I needed to set a deadline before my trip to Italy. After  discussing this with Almut, my editor, we thought we could achieve the goal together. I had earned from experience that once the writing is done the editing process can take months. Thank you Almut, for your effficiency.

After talking with Brad,  the ever-knowing and patient technical support person at Friesens, I realized that I needed to learn how to use Adobe InDesign in order to create my book. That process can be another entire blog post. Suffice it to say that with the help of online tutorials from,  and many phone calls to Brad, I achieved the goal.

So here we are, a few months later, and I am elated! What I am really thrilled about is having created a book which features the people, streets, traditions, places, and history of Naples and the Amalfi Coast. Naples rarely receives its due, and the Amalfi Coast has become my favorite place in Italy.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Tina, from Discover Napoli Destinations.  She wrote the foreword to this book, and if it weren’t for her, I never would have visited Naples in the first place. After  experiencing  Naples with Tina, I was inspired to write a book which focuses on the good aspects of Naples. Grazie, Tina.

Stay tuned for my next post, which will feature Tina. Ciao.

14 Responses

  1. M. Bernadette Higgins

    Hi Margie. I’ve been reading your blog for over a year now and enjoy your writing style and travels. My husband, Steve and I , have just returned from our second trip to Italy in Oct. We love to travel independently so reading blogs and travel articles by seasoned travelers is high on my reading lists. We will be planning a third trip within the next year and a half focusing our time mostly in southern Italy. Since my family background is Neopolitan I have always wanted to visit the towns where my grandparents where from. However, like you, the recommendations from people more experienced in traveling to Italy were far from encouraging and all remarks were pretty
    negative. I am really delighted and encouraged to hear that your experiences with DND and especially Tina was such a success and put a whole different light on your opinion of Naples and the area. I’ll be looking forward to getting your book so that I will be expecting to see a different side of Naples and it’s surroundings. Having a contact such as Tina to help get around and see Naples as a native is just the thing that we love and enjoy most about being in Italy. Thank you for sharing and writing your book. So looking forward to reading and enjoying it.

    • margieinitaly

      Thank you so much for leaving a comment here…And I am happy that you will be going back to the home of your ancestors in Napoli. It will be well worth it. I’m afraid Tina no longer is doing the travel advising..She decided to close the company last year when her family life took more of her time…If I can be of any help, please do not hesitate to contact me by email at

      • M. Bernadette Higgins

        Thank you for responding to my comments on your last post. It was disappointing that Tina is no longer working in tourism. However, I will continue to read your blog as well as your new book to gather information and inspiration for our next trip to the land of my ancesters. Thank you also for your spirit of sharing with us all the wonderful things that you’ve discovered about Bella Italia. This exceptional and extraordinary country has a lasting and increased pull on the heart strings of those who have the good fortune to visit long after being there. Can’t wait to get back! Looking forward to more from you. Grazie Mile.

        • margieinitaly

          Thanks so much…I appreciate it…and yes, Tina was a wonderful resource…I’m excited for you that you are planning on going back…

  2. Jill

    Congratulations, Margie!!! Your photography is so beautiful and spirited with the great beauty of people and places and landscapes. It was such fun encouraging you 🙂 I’m so looking forward to receiving my copy on order now!!!!!

  3. lorapat

    Congratulations on making your dream become a reality. I hope orders pour in. I’m certain it is a lovely book; your photography is so excellent. Lois Patton

  4. fragmeo5

    MARGIE!!!! I am SO SO happy to read this wonderfully exciting news!!!! Congratulations, me dear friend!! I simply cannot wait to receive my copy! You’re amazing! And I’m so delighted to call you Friend! Can’t wait to see it 😃😃😃

I'm always interested in your thoughts, so please leave a comment.