I went to the first SCBWI meeting in the Hughenden Hotel on Monday night. Lots of catch ups with many friends such as Deb Abela and Aleesah Darlison…and of course a chance to share good news. Now I don’t know why but I feel like if I don’t have a book on the way then I don’t have any news. Is working on a book that will come out next year worthy of good news? I think it is hehe. But it’s nice to hear first timers getting contracts or seeing new books coming out in mere weeks or months. Felicity Pullman’s new book, a Ring Through Time looks like it’ll be a killer read!
We had a guest speaker, Lindsay Knight who spoke about her life as a publisher at Random House for yonks…she decided to leave and start her own little publishing company, called Pitt Street Poetry. She talks about the pros and cons of being in a big publishing company and a smaller imprint. Back in her day, you could simply publish a book because you loved it. If a publisher or editor feels for a story, that is all you need. Now it’s more of a group or committee who have to make these tough decisions.
Lindsay loves the fact that she can publish whatever she wants on the spot, there’s no delay in printing and design. Though distribution is a challenge.
She also spoke about author’s expectations on big publishers to have huge marketing and publicity departments. So they do all the heavy lifting. I dunno about that, I’ve always been proactive in my efforts to promote my books (shameless plugplugplug) and while I appreciate everything Penguin has done, I’ve never taken it for granted. I think you need to go out there and scream and shout about your books because you’re a living PR campaign.
Speaking of which, I’ll be seeing my editor soon for a chat about Bookish and Nothing’s Prefect. These are two books that I’m itching to get onto the shelves, funny and weird stuff!