New Book Day!
It’s Friday, the sun is shining, the humidex is tolerable and we just got five boxes of brand new books from the printers! Needless to say, the Fernwood offices are delighted.
Mr. Big; Missing Women, Missing News;Rumours of a Moral Economy; About Canada: Health Care, Class Dynamics of Agrarian Change, A Legacy of Love and Leaving the Streets are still warm from the presses. You should be able to order them any day now.
It’s interesting and exciting getting to actually hold a finished book in your hands. As publishers, we spend a huge amount of time working on these books. Beginning as a proposal, the editorial process of re-writing, revision, and editing is long and arduous. I think much of our excitement for the finished product is due to the fact that for months and months, the book leads a primarily digitized existance - a swath of MS Word pages and track changes that grow like spiderwebs as authors and managing editors swap files with the ease of a click. Even though they know the book inside and out, no one really knows what it will actually look like.
The design and layout of our front covers helps to convince everyone, especially our editors, that yes, the manuscript you’ve been picking apart in minute detail is actually going to become a phyiscal book. The feedback sessions for the Mr. Big cover were lots of fun to be a part of, and the creepy, intimidating man on the book’s cover still haunts our dreams.
However, the process is much more than editing and cover design. We spend hours in meetings discussing budgets, marketing campaigns, who we want to read our books (short answer: everyone), and for those who aren’t directly involved with the development of the book, it remains somewhat of a mystery.
Of course, we all work hard for each of our books. We promote them, design ads, find appropriate reviewers and so much more. But such tasks occasionally feel isolated from the finished product. It’s only once we cut open that box of books and see our logo on the spine that we all realize what we’ve been working towards.