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!
I started out working for an independent bookshop in Brighton while I was at University. Then when I finished I carried on working for them full time while first working out what the heck I wanted to do with my life, and then doing some work experiences with publishers. I was lucky to be at the right place at the right time for a part time job with Penguin (basically doing the filing!) which I juggled with the bookshop job, commuting back and forth from Brighton to London. After a few months of that I got my first proper full-time publishing job as a Publicity Assistant at Little, Brown working on the commercial titles. And then they offered me the Orbit and Atom imprints and I jumped! I’m now responsible for publicity for these imprints’ sci-fi, fantasy and young adult titles. Which is way fun!!
Publicity involves… a bit of everything really! I’ve always thought of it as being the most exciting part of the publishing process. You get to take a book that’s been slaved over by the editorial, design, production etc departments and launch it into the world at its most crucial moment. We work with the authors directly, the editors, the marketing and sales people, journalists, bloggers, bookshops, festival organisers… everyone really. So really my job involves talking to all these people and selling the book – enthusiasm and communication is key.
The different strands to a book’s publicity campaign might be reviews and interviews in national newspapers and magazines, online buzz and features on blogs, broadcast opportunities on TV and radio, author tours to festivals and bookshop events and signings – just any time we get a chance to make people talk about our books and authors we do! It’s very busy but I love it – especially in the YA and SFF worlds as readers of these genres are just so enthusiastic. There’s never a struggle to make people interested – mostly I have SFF journalists and bloggers clamouring for copies of my books! Overall, the main themes of SFF publishing tend to be plenty of alcohol, rather too much cake, and lots of geeking out! In fact I just got back from the SFX Weekender convention which had all wonderful amounts of all three
I’m obviously *so* excited for all of the books coming up from Orbit this year (check our catalogue at www.littlebrown.co.uk/catalogue) but here are some selected highlights…
Equations of Life by Simon Morden, April 2011
Welcome to the Metrozone. Please mind the gap… This is the start of a hugely exciting new trilogy of science fiction thrillers, set in the decaying urban jungle of a future London. Featuring rival gang lords, exiled yakuza, crooked cops, crazed prophets and gun-toting warrior nuns! The cover style has divided people but I love it precisely because it is so different. Simon Morden is pretty cool too – he’s a bone fide rocket scientist, and is one of the few people to have held a chunk of Mars in his hands. Books 2 and 3 are publishing in May and June.
The Rogue by Trudi Canavan, May 2011
Trudi Canavan was the bestselling new fantasy writer of the last decade with the Black Magician trilogy, and she is still a massive commercial fantasy favourite. The Rogue is the second instalment in the direct sequel trilogy, Traitor Spy. And we’ve got Trudi coming over from Australia to tour the UK during May! I’m currently working on confirming all the dates but she’ll definitely be doing a launch event at Forbidden Planet on Thursday 5th May. (I’m also doing a short tour for Iain M. Banks’ paperback of Surface Detail during May so it’ll be a busy month!)
Echo City by Tim Lebbon, July 2011
‘Surrounded by a vast, toxic desert, the inhabitants of labyrinthine Echo City believe there is no other life in their world. Some like it that way, so when a stranger arrives he is anathema to powerful interest groups.’ This is such a tense and atmospheric novel. The opening scene is of a creature crossing the desert, repeatedly dying and birthing a new version of itself to continue the journey. The city setting is an intriguing mix of science fiction and fantasy – a backward and religious society with strangely advanced genetic manipulation. Looking forward to this one! Beautiful cover.
Heartless by Gail Carriger, July 2011
‘From the delightful, tea-sodden, steampunk-fueled imagination of Gail Carriger comes the further adventures of Alexia Tarabotti and her parasol.’ This is one of my absolute favourite urban fantasy series ☺ I love the central characters of Alexia and her werewolf husband, Lord Macon – and the cast of other characters are a hilarious bunch. The steampunk, Victoriana world Gail Carriger has created is great fun and doesn’t take itself seriously at all – though the paranormal mythology is actually very original. Highly recommended and I can’t wait to read the 4th book myself!
Spell Bound by Kelley Armstrong, August 2011
Usually Kelley Armstrong moves around in her Otherworld universe telling the stories of different characters each book; but not only is this one a direct sequel, picking up almost exactly where the last book left off, Spell Bound actually sees all the Otherworld characters coming together! For what purpose I can’t say… Kelley is a wonderful author and has an extremely dedicated fanbase. Waking the Witch was a top-ten Sunday Times bestseller last summer – and left us on a total cliff-hanger for Savannah! Spell Bound can’t come quick enough to continue the story – and it looks set to be a key instalment for Otherworld fans.
Edinburgh Dead by Brian Ruckley, August 2011
This looks like a really interesting set-up from a great Scottish author. It’s part fantasy, part crime novel – set in an alternate Victorian Edinburgh. Mad Frankenstein-esque alchemists, a criminal under-class, a newly formed police force, intellectual high society and undead hounds… like a Scottish, steampunk Sherlock Holmes!