Wednesday, 3 September 2008

Publishing milestones

Matt just informed me that the paperback edition of Cover the Mirrors is now available on the 3-for-2 table in the Sheffield branch of Waterstone's (thank you!), and with all the recent talk on this blog about publishing experiences and milestones, I thought I'd ask you all what your own watersheds are or have been. Big or small, achieved yet or not - just writing-related things you consider worthy of note. A few of mine, off the top of my head and in no order:

* Getting a publishing deal (obviously).
* Visiting my publishers (Macmillan and Magna).
* Selling some subsidiary rights, namely large print, audio and Romanian translation. (Well, I personally didn't sell them, but you get my meaning.)
* On a related note: being translated into a foreign language.
* Working on one of my books with a professional editor.
* Doing a 'proper' interview.
* Appearing on live radio.
* Getting a book-themed tattoo.
* Holding a bound copy of one of my books in my sticky mitts.
* Braving my family reading my work - smut and all.
* Seeing my book in a bookshop.
* Being in a window display.
* Being face-out in section.
* Being on one of those cardboard standy things.
* Being on a special offer table (thanks again to Matt and Sheffield Waterstone's!).
* Having a launch party.
* Being shocked to discover that my scrawly signature is now an asset when selling books.
* Having my book sell out at several retailers.
* Meeting some fellow MNWers (Aliya and Alis).
* Speaking to a book group.
* Having my second novel accepted.

...I'm bound to have missed some, but anyway - can you add any more?


Ann Weisgarber said...

Faye, great list of milestones. Here are my top three:

Number One Milestone: the email from Will offering to publish my manuscript.

Number Two Milestone: realizing that people other than my relatives and friends are buying my book.

Number Three Milestone: realizing that my relatives and friends, who feel free to express their opinions, are reading the book.

Faye L. Booth said...

Ann, I was completely dumbstruck when I got my first email from Will. I'd had a bit of an enforced absence from my inbox (computer problems), and when I finally got back online, there it was. I had to re-read it several times because I was convinced I'd missed the part that always begins with the word "Unfortunately..."! Web Admin said...

Wow. Okay, publishing milestones a plenty (in date order):

*Macmillan publishers spotting my manuscript among 40,000 others in a writing competition (2005).
*The e-mail from Mike Barnard confirming that Macmillan New Writing wanted to publish The Secret War.
*Running through the cover designs for The Secret War with Will.
*Going over the type-set proofs and seeing my name and the ISBN number together on the same page.
*The publicity drive, including setting up my blog in 2005 and the website in 2006.
*The German rights deal with Random House.
*My first newspaper interview with the Star.
*My first live radio interview at BBC Radio Sheffield.
*Publication of The Secret War in January 2007 and the fantastic book launch in Sheffield (where Will informed me the book had gone to reprint already).
*Seeing a stack of 80 copies of The Secret War stacked up in the local Waterstones.
*The visit to a school in Surrey where a class of 11 year olds read out of the first chapter of the The Secret War to me.
*Being present while a random member of the public buys my book not knowing the author is standing nearby.
*Having my own interview at the Bakewell Arts Festival.
*Finishing the sequel to The Secret War and the e-mail confirming The Hoard of Mhorrer would be published in 2009.
*Being now eligible to join the Society of Authors...

I guess these are the main ones I can remember off the top of my head. There are other events such as meeting up with Macmillan New Writing crowd in April 2006 for the first time which I would place up there as well. Having my first lunch with a publisher/editor is also up there. I guess it's like being in the first serious relationship: the first time you hold hands, the first time you kiss, the first time you... well, you get the picture.

Faye L. Booth said...

Damn, how did I miss out cover designs?! I knew I'd forget something really obvious! I had a geeky moment of joy when I saw my ISBN as well. And I forgot the SoA...quite shameful really.

David Isaak said...

Working with an editor was great--though I suppose it could have been a different experience if I didn't have a good editor!

But the real milestones after the initial acceptance e-mail would have to be ISBNs, proofs, and covers. All that professional stuff that tracks the movement of a book from typescript to a bound copy on a shelf.

Seeing the book on a shelf ought to have been in the list, but since I didn't have that experience until nine months after it was published, some of the novelty had worn off...

David Isaak said...

PS I've thought about geting the bar code tattooed on my forearm, but I'm told by my tatt-riddden friends that bar codes are really hard to do and don't tend to maintain their definition over time. (Though one suggested this could be overcome by making sure the area between the bars was filled with a background color to "hold it from spreading.")

As an experienced skin canvas, how say you, Faye?

Faye L. Booth said...

Hmm...the first possible blurring hazard that springs to mind when talking about a barcode tattoo is size. When I had my seance done, the artist said that it couldn't have been done any smaller (hence the backpiece) because detailed images do blur over time if they're squashed into a small space. I don't know this for certain, but perhaps doing it a bit larger than barcodes tend to be might help?

Then again, a lot of people do seem to have barcode tattoos (, so you might be alright.

David Isaak said...

Thanks for that link. Though I must say, I don't think most of those would scan at the cash register...

At least my ambitions are more modest than an entire seance. I can easily see why your back art couldn't have been done any smaller!

Sion Scott-Wilson said...

You might want to look at QR Codes. I used them for my launch and had them printed on T shirts and cards. They're very popular in Asia and beginning to make inroads in the UK. You can print these things on anything at almost any size (they print them on prawn crackers in Japan)There's a bit more detail on my blogspot if you're interested - sionscottwilson.blogspot