In which there is more wrestling

Really good meeting today at Penguin Canada with Nicole Winstanley and the marketing team, headed by the Tag-team Wrestlers. (Beth and Charidy are easy to tell apart, one loves soccer and the other loves musicals. Since I like both, they manipulate me easily.)

Beth showed up with a 7-item agenda and rolled through it.  A couple of them surprised me. A few elements are going to start soon, but I shouldn’t do more than tease (here’s me, teasing) for yet.Seriously, at this stage they have some clear ideas as to timing and sequence, and I wouldn’t want to mess that up. A book does best when editorial, marketing, pubicity and sales all see it as their baby, too.

We will do, all going well, one of my favourite small things: a charity auction of the first book off the press. We usually use a literacy charity, and it is a fun process to watch. The same man has won the bidding for the last three auctions.

Tour was discussed, spring author festival gigs (and fall as well), the launch night here in Toronto (even which bookseller to have selling books). The marketing trio really wanted the ARCs to go to press immediately, as in today, since the monthly magazines are already doing their April issues, and they need to read it.

I came home and did the good soldier thing, finished my fast scroll through the typeset ARC, wrestling it into submission (I freely admit I used ‘wrestling’ here purely for the echo of headline and opening paragraph). Only one killer error (a poem set with all words jumbled together, no spacing at all, and as prose). I asked the production editor on the phone when I called it in, ‘How did that happen?’ A pause. ‘I have no idea.’ It was fixed. It will be printed asap. Nicole said these will be the most handsome galleys they’ve ever done, which is obviously nice. She sees it as emphasizing book-as-artifact, which suits the setting and story.

I am doing the same thing in NY next week, another set of meetings there.

There’s more in the works, I’ll save some for later. I’ll also have a U.K. announcement here soon. Again waiting on others.

Anyone see that News Corp (HarperCollins) is in discussions with Simon and Schuster? That was always going to happen once Random Penguin was done. Twitter has a few of us playing the name game (how can one resist?) One guy is offering a recipe for a Simon Collins (usual Tom Collins ingredients + agent and author tears). I think the gamesmanship involved just about demands SimHarper as a name. Gamers, get in the comments thread and tell me you laughed!

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