Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Time for a Catch Up

Trying to publish a book, when you own a bookshop and have two children under 5 is a piece of cake. What makes it even easier is that there are 48 hours in a day and 24 days in the week. I don't need sleep, the Internet provider that I use is excellent and never 'outs', I remember to reply to every email I'm sent and everyone always replies to my emails immediately too.

Yesterday the proof copies of 'Splinters' arrived.
 I hope you like the cover. We're really pleased with the way it turned out.
When I spoke to the printers a few weeks ago to get the pricing for the review copies, not having anything printed on the cover saved about £50. I thought that, as our budget is about a grand, saving £50 would be wise.
Putting together the PDF to send to the printers proved pretty tricky in the end too. My computer at home has a pathetic connection and so trying to do any editing work took about 5 times longer than it should as the screen kept freezing because the document was so big.
In the end I sent it to the bookshop and spent a day there polishing it off.
The proofs look OK. here's a sneaky peek inside...
There are a few glaring font related mistakes which need correcting and other bits and bobs which hopefully will be spotted by our crack team of proof readers, but the stories themselves are pretty much perfect.
The original price we were quoted to have the 500 copies printed also increased by about 10%. That's because I stupidly didn't take into consideration that, in order for the book to be paginated correctly, I might have to add a few more pages to the size of the book. It's still a very good price for what we're getting, but it means that I'll have to buy 10 less bottles of Champagne for the book launch (I'd budgeted to buy 10 bottles).
I still haven't ordered ISBNs. 
ISBNs are International Standard Book Numbers, and if you want to sell a book through more than your own house/website, then it makes sense to get one. Each number is unique and makes cataloguing a lot easier. You can read more about the exciting world of ISBNs here.
They cost about £120 for 10. You can't buy individual ISBNs, so it looks like I'm going to have to publish 9 more books.
The bookshop I co-own with Tim is called The Big Green Bookshop. We open 7 days a week and both of us have to work most of those days in order to keep up with all the stuff we do there. When there isn't anything happening in the bookshop of an evening (which is rare), there's all the marketing, website updating, reading (a necessary perk of the job) etc to be done. My kids like to help me with this.
Squeezing in the time I need to publish Splinters has proved somewhat of a challenge. So much so that I've just reached an agreement with Tim that allows me to dedicate one whole day each week for the next 7 weeks to Timeline Books. This is the first one of those dedicated days.
.....sorry, please excuse me, my daughter wants to play snakes and ladders. Oh and she wants a jammy sandwich. And a Fab. And she wants cuddles.... 
I've managed to do more Splinters related stuff in this one day, than I have in the last 2 months and it feels great.
We have now set a date and a place for the glorious launch of Splinters. There will be a London launch the week after, but on Saturday November 3rd, Joseph and I will be jumping around and exploding with book launch joy in Lowestoft, where we will be taking part in Horror in the East.
I spoke to Emma, the organiser, earlier today and it looks like it's going to be an amazing convention.
I hope she doesn't mind me not bringing any Champagne.
So, we now have a product (almost finished) and a launch venue. Right, we need some pre-orders now. So for the next 6 weeks I am going to shamelessly (but in a rather lovely way)  plug, push, market and encourage people to get behind this utterly brilliant collection of stories.
So go on. Buy one. It'll make me very happy. x

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