Bonville author writing, printing and publishing locally on gold prospecting in the Coffs Coast hills

Alan Melbourne, Bonville author, with some prospecting treasure.


BONVILLE resident Alan Melbourne is on his way to becoming a successful author.

Having written and self-published ‘Veins of Gold’, his memoir of gold prospecting in the hills around Coffs Harbour since the 1980’s, Alan’s third edition is heading for the shelves.

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“Many books are churned out by large publishing houses purely to make money – quite understandably – but this results in excessive output from favoured authors, often good scripts by unknown authors are simply rejected,” Alan told News Of The Area

“I was asked to write my memories of prospecting in the Coffs Harbour hinterland.

“I remarked that it would be better written by one of the Old Timers… ‘but you are one of them,” my children said.”

Alan decided to do it and to make it a totally home-grown book – “about our area, published and printed in our area”.

He wrote about the adventures of a group of old chaps searching for the abandoned mines, their history, their geology, their romance.

“And, of course, about the gold we found,” he added.

“For illustrations I asked my prospecting mate, Neil Vaughan, to do pencil drawings of the sites because photographs didn’t always capture the feeling of many places.

“After six months of writing and trying chapters on Neil and my dear wife, Lori, I felt ready.

“My son-in-law, Oliver, agreed to do secondary editing, formatting, cover design and joint publishing.”

Alan got a quote from Mid Coast Printing in Coffs Harbour for printing and binding 100 copies.

“It was within my reach, so I decided to go ahead – there would be enough books for family and friends, and a few to try selling.

“When I collected the finished books, I was astounded at their wonderful appearance, the superior quality paper (recycled too), and the non-curl covers.”

Now, on the third edition, hundreds sold – Alan is encouraging others to go local with their own stories.




A prospector’s dream: maps, models, minerals.

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