Wednesday, 30 May 2012

The other side of the publishing fence...

So Lonely Scribe has booked a launch event for Breastfeeding: stories to inspire and inform. This is great news, but it's a new departure for me. As a career editor I've been involved, on the fringes, with many book launches. I've attended plenty of launches of books I've edited as an in-house copyeditor. But I have never had my own name on the cover before, and it's somewhat nerve-racking. Perhaps the problem is that I know what can go wrong: double-booked venues, publicity printed with wrong dates or times, or, worst of all, the book isn't ready and the launch has to go ahead without printed copies.

This time (with my publisher's hat on) I've had to organise the event down to the last detail (most authors are not in this position!). I researched venues, eventually booked one, decided about catering arrangements, picked the date, and am sending out all the invitations and collating replies. I've got to invite newspapers, magazines and radio, and prepare a press pack; I need to order copies of the book for the event. I've also made a list as long as your arm of small but important items I need to take with me on the night (stapler, copies of lists, tablecloth, cash box, promotional postcards, digital camera...). Last but not least, I need to come up with a short speech to make to the assembled company. Yikes.

At the same time, in the background, we've completed the final stages of the editorial process - we've uploaded the finished, corrected book file and jacket to our print-on-demand publishing partner Lightning Source, and now we have to sit back and wait (impatiently) for a proof copy to drop through the letter box. Once we approve that, the book can be ordered - by us, by bookshops, and by the general public (via Amazon or other websites).

So, exciting times. I suppose I should be relishing the fact that I'm so involved in every aspect of my book's production and promotion, but at times it all feels like quite a responsibility. I'm looking forward to a glass of wine at the launch!

Breastfeeding: stories to inspire and inform will be launched on Wednesday 27 June 2012, at 8pm, at the Strutt Centre in Belper, Derbyshire. If you're interested in attending the event, or know someone who might be, get in touch.

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