Next Steps

I did promise to keep the Journal going this time around, I used to stop them around now, but this format (supported by Twitter and FB) is much easier to use, and the issues surrounding a book don’t stop just because touring has.

The immediate next step is the UK release of River on July 18th. There’s particular interest, over and above it being an important market (though one under great pressure at the retail store level, what they call ‘High Street shops’) because of the rebranding HarperCollins have done with this book. The very different (to me, very beautiful) cover and the change of imprint create an intriguing situation.

Beyond that, my agents are engaged in some fairly intense discussions as to film possibilities on different titles. I have called this process endless foreplay in the past but it matters – obviously – and demands a degree of attention through emails and phone calls and decision-making. Yes, of course, if anything specific emerges everyone will know, here and elsewhere.

This is also the stage when decisions start to be made about the paperback edition for next spring, even though it seems far away, with the hardcover just two months out. But the industry works on long lead times and a lot of considerations go into this. The major chains, for example, are often consulted as to format (trade paperback or mass market?) and cover design (stay with the same one, commission a new look?). Different covers are considered suitable for mass market than the ones judged best for a trade paperback. And different markets have very different looks, too.

The marketing teams have now assembled a ‘quote sheet’ which basically puts chosen excerpts from all the best revews in one place. I have to say, it looks pretty wonderful. River was very generously reviewed. These quotes are important. They end up being culled for the paperbacks, to go on front jacket (most important) back jacket (next most useful) and in the front pages of the book inside.

This is where jokes are often made about cheating. You know, the review says ‘A monumental piece of rubbish‘ and the jacket says ‘Monumental!’ The unexciting truth is that I really don’t know many instances of this happening in the professional book world. We do see it in the film business, though, along with, sometimes, ‘fake’ reviewers created to offer glowing praise to “I Know What You Had For Dinner VI” Hmm: ‘Tasty!’ Sasquatch Forks Scream and Gossip. (Yes, I liked using ‘forks’ here. You know why.)

The Scream and Gossip has never reviewed me, actually. An ongoing sorrow.


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