During the month of February I will be celebrating UK publishers and the books they publish. There will be posts from editors and publicists revealing some of their upcoming titles for 2011 as well as giving us a glimpse into their working lives. I will also be reviewing some of their titles and there will be lots of UK giveaways too. Enjoy!
Well, hello – and how exciting to be asked to write a guest post on this great blog! I’m Louise and I’m Publicity Assistant at the Orion Publishing Group, an Hachette publishing house which comprises of Orion, Weidenfeld & Nicolson and Gollancz.
Working in Publishing
It often strikes me that book publishing is a weird and wonderful little world of its own, one which people tend to idealise as being terribly glamorous. And while there is a steady stream of cakes (and occasionally the odd glass of bubbly), we’re always working doggedly, making sure we’re doing everything we can to make sure the next book release is even better than the last. And all the while the publication schedule rolls on…
The Role of Publicity
In Publicity, we get very excited in-house about future projects about a year prior to release when we are briefed by the Editorial department on upcoming titles. We’ll get the manuscript as early as possible and (very important) give it a read. We then have to sit down and think about where the book and the author sit in the current book market. You can do this with any book by asking yourself a series of questions:
• Which already established books/authors does it remind me of?
• What makes this one different?
Once you know this, you can go on to seek out your audience:
• Who will the book or author appeal to?
• What do they read, listen to and watch?
• Who influences them?
• How do they like to be approached?
We write up our thoughts into a publicity plan, which is a sort of wish list setting out what sort of coverage we aim to get in terms of feature pieces and reviews. We’ll also start trying to place the author at literary festivals and arrange book tours, talks and singings up and down the country.
Hopefully by now we’ve made a pretty well researched review list, targeting journalists and producers who we think will be interested in the book, and send them proofs/copies with a press release. We’ll also pitch separately for features in magazines and newspapers and interview slots on radio and TV that we think might be suitable. As I’m sure you’ve figured out by now, it’s really all about getting the book and author out there as much as possible on the run up to the publication date.
Then comes really great part of my job – seeing the coverage come rolling in. Whether digitally or in print, it’s really what makes it all worthwhile.
Being a Publicity Assistant
My job in the Publicity department is really about communication – with authors, with journalists and increasingly directly with you, the readers.
As Publicity Assistant, getting coverage for Gollancz paperbacks and Urban Fantasy titles is only part of what I do. I’m also involved in publicising our audiobooks and attending recordings, organising our prestigious annual author bash, making sure our books are featured trade press like The Bookseller and of course I’m also a general administrative bod who takes great pleasure in cracking the whip and keeping my department in line.
The best thing about being in publishing has to be working with something as lovely as books – you won’t find a person here whose first love wasn’t the written word. Working at the Orion Publishing Group is fantastic because we cover such a great breadth of genres, but I particularly enjoy working on Gollancz titles because the readers/bloggers/reviewers who I deal with are all so passionate. It’s a pleasure to tell them all about the new releases and to hear their thoughts.
Books to be excited about
Gollancz is already well established as the home of British Sci-Fi, publishing SF heavyweights like Joe Abercrombie, Patrick Rothfuss and Terry Pratchett, but we also have a thriving Urban Fantasy list and that’s really what I wanted to shout about in this post.
So, first things first. If you haven’t read Charlaine Harris yet, shame on you! The Southern Vampire Mysteries series is a real phenomenon and has just grown and grown – it inspired the amazingly successful True Blood TV series. The books (there are 10 currently out now) about telepathic cocktail waitress Sookie Stackhouse and vamp Bill are super addictive and if you haven’t read them before, I promise it won’t take you long to catch up. Her latest paperback, Dead in the Family is out in March, with the eleventh book in the series, Dead Reckoning, due to be a publishing event in May this year.
If you’ve been on the Sookie bandwagon for a while now and you’re craving some more Charlaine, give The Aurora Teagarden Mysteries Omnibus 1 and 2 a go. These short but sweet mysteries follow Aurora ‘Roe’ Teagarden as she attempts to get to the bottom of various deadly happenings… The second omnibus is due to be published on 17 February, so you still have time to squeeze first one in.
Other than Charlaine, our biggest success is probably Dark Fantasy author Nalini Singh. Her books are incredibly intense and easily devoured in one sitting. Now is an especially good time to start reading her we’re releasing one book a month from her sexy, sassy psy-changeling series, which will lead up to the international hardback release of Kiss of Snow in August. Kick off with the sizzling Mine to Possess, which out on 24 February.
Chloe Neill’s latest and second in the Dark Elite series, Hexbound, is also one to look out for. Snarky Lily Parker makes a bewitching heroine as she tries survive the brat-packed elite boarding school of St. Sophia’s while also struggling to control her newfound magical powers.
Just a quick word too for my favourite British UF writer, Suzanne McLeod. Witty, sexy and funny, her books create a unique world that’s always a pleasure to get lost in The Bitter Seed of Magic, the third in the series, is out on 17 February.
Get in touch
I’d love to hear thoughts, especially about any of our Urban Fantasy titles. So if you want to contact me with feedback, a review or a query, then you can reach me on Twitter @louisecc
Louise and Gollancz are kindly giving away FOUR (4) books! They are:
1. Bite Me if You Can by Linsay Sands
2. Mine to Possess by Nalini Singh
3. Archangel’s Consort by Nalini Singh
4. The Bitter Seed of Magic by Suzanne McLeod
All you have to do to enter is the following:
1. Leave a comment for Louise
2. Read Book Chick City’s giveaway policy
3. Fill in this form
4. One entry per person
This giveaway is for UK Residents Only and ends 28th Feb 2011!