The final pre-publication meeting has been and gone. The news is good. Representing what’s left of the high street Waterstones and WHS have ordered in decent numbers, and of the supermarkets Asda and Sainsbury’s have confirmed orders. Tesco look likely to do the same but have not committed to a figure yet. Supermarkets don’t take many hardbacks, so this is a really impressive achievement by the UK sales team. The book wholesalers have taken a thousand, and these will go out to whichever of the independent booksellers think they can shift a few hardback copies. Finally, the mighty Amazon is considering it for one of their big promotions of the year.
In all, twelve thousand hardbacks have been ordered pre-publication for the UK market.
(This is about as good as it gets, without writing about wizards or bondage.)
Real, actual, printed copies will be coming in in the next couple of days. This is always a special moment, to hold a finished book in your hand after so long.
My publicist has lined up a good spread of reviews and feature coverage around publication, I’ll be visiting bookshops and appearing at literary festivals, and the publishers have promised that they will promote the video trailer my nearest and dearest and I made to showcase the novel. Here’s the link again if you haven’t viewed it yet….
Selling! This is how it works in the modern book world. I love the meetings with sales and marketing executives. They have their own language… FSSU’s, ‘gifting units’ (that’s a cardboard box to you and me), ‘dual face out’, ‘bespoke POS’ and so on, and this level of professional and (frankly) quite hard-nosed skill makes me feel both woolly-minded and apprehensive. (‘Yes, but what if the book isn’t actually, you know, any good?’)
And then at the end, when we have wrapped up the day’s business, someone asks, ‘by the way, how’s the next one coming along?’
Seven pairs of eyes immediately turn to the author. The usual vague feeling of being a grain of sand under a massive inverted pyramid of expertise and expectation sharply intensifies.
‘Oh, really well’, I lie. ‘Flowing like a river’.
Everyone smiles and packs away their electronica before the next meeting. This time next year we’ll be here, talking about the as-yet-unwritten new Rosie Thomas title. I cross my fingers in my pockets and pray. Then I shuffle off for a posh lunch with my beloved agent, after which anything seems possible – even another book.
Here is a preview of the cover design for the Canadian edition. Interesting how diverse the approaches are for the two different markets? We have just agreed a deal for the US market too!
Rosie, when you know, please, please let us know what bookshops you will be appearing at because, as I said before, I would like to have a signed copy so, so much! Do you feel a sense of relief now that it’s all done and dusted or will there be more to come? Is the new book going well?
A signed copy is already yours, Rosemary. I just need to know how to get it to you. Are you on Facebook?
Yes I am, Rosie – and a ‘regular’ to your page! 🙂
I`m with Rosemary and would love a signed copy Rosie, trouble is I live in Australia. How do I get a copy please? Congratulations!
Hi Fran – I’m having a think about this. HarperCollins Australia should have some signed copies to give away, so I’ll see what can be done.
Otherwise I’ll just have to hop on a plane. Have you got a spare room??
For you? Always!
I’d be delighted to deliver it for you, Rosie, if you can’t spare the time! 🙂
Girl`s you are both welcome, Australia is a great place to visit and explore. Its a very beautiful country and few people realize that as our overseas tourists are often of the beer drinking “yobbo” type and it puts folk off getting to know us.
Francesca, it most certainly IS a beautiful country! I have been there twice but only to WA, and I have promised myself at least one more trip to discover a lot more of it.
Nearly the big day for you, Rosie! Thinking of you and wishing you good luck for tomorrow. (Not that you need it, though! 🙂
Funnily enough Rosemary I have just come back from the post office – so your package is on the way. Enjoy it….
Thank you so much for your good wishes, too. Fingers crossed for a good first week’s sales. Sixteen and a half thousand copies out to the UK trade. Someone will buy one, won’t they?????
Rosie, thank you so much! You have no idea how your kindness has affected me! As for fingers crossed for book sales – to the initiated, your books sell themselves, and to the uninitiated, I am doing my best to initiate them! 🙂 I already have designs on my two daughters-in-law; my sisters-in-law; various friends etc. etc! I am willing to bet that pre-orders are already pretty good, and by this time next week, your publishers will be ordering more copies to be printed. Bless you, Rosie.
It’s here already, Rosie! 🙂 I’m so excited that I can hardly unwrap it! 🙂 ‘Thank you’ doesn’t even cover what I feel but, until someone thinks of a better way of putting it, thank you! xxxxx