Throughout May we will be celebrating UK publishers and their books. There will be posts from editors and publicists revealing some of their upcoming titles for 2012 as well as giving us a glimpse into their working lives. Of course there will also be lots of fabulous giveaways!
So I’m staring at my blank word doc thinking about how to describe my daily life. To give you some visuals, my desk is by a big window with the sun blazing through, next to me is a wall of our latest covers that look gorgeous and beautifully tactile and the wall over the other side of the office is bright shocking pink, which is fun and makes me smile.
I’d have to say that no two days seem to be the same here –a cliché but it’s true. Some days are very unglamorous filled with scheduling and metadata and others are crazy and creative where we write cover copy all day and come up with pie in the sky ideas that sometimes turn out to be absolute winners!
We get loads of submissions from agents for potential acquisition and I spend a lot of time reading and discussing – there’s nothing more exciting than reading a new author that you can’t put down. I was on a flight the other day and nearly cried when I had to turn off my kindle for landing (can a kindle really bring down a plane?). It’s interesting to see what people are writing and how trends are changing. I like seeing what’s happening at a grass-roots level – when a unique plot or stunning voice can excite an agent and then an editor enough to take a risk on something new in the current climate.
If pushed I’d have to say that working with my authors is my favourite part of the job. Just today I was on the phone with Australian author Carol Marinelli who I never get to see because she’s so far away and we have to schedule our calls around time zones but it’s so fun to talk to her. We were really laughing about one of her characters and a story idea (not helpful in an open plan office but I know people were intrigued, glancing up from their spreadsheets!). I’d always prefer to chat over the phone, rather than email, because suggestions in conversations can spark and spin off into a completely unexpected direction.
Week to week we have a lot of meetings. We’re getting better though and trying to cut down on the time spent in the boardroom – although it’s so useful having everyone in the same room, from Sales to Marketing to Digital and Design, to discuss the list. A meeting highlight for me is ‘Covers’. I love seeing how someone has interpreted visually a book that I’ve worked on from an editorial point of view – and to see if it matches in any way the cover I’ve made up in my head.
Digital is a key focus for us as it’s such an important part of our publishing business. We get together regularly to come up with new and innovative ebook possibilities. For example, our ‘bonkbuster’ author Victoria Fox is writing five sexy, short stories of Temptation that all link into her big summer title Temptation Island and will be available exclusively online. They’re inexpensive and fab reads and are a great way to reach new readers and also give her fans a regular fix!
All this leads us to the MIRA list itself which IMO gets more exciting every year. We have a fantastic line-up with best-selling author Diane Chamberlain and TV Bookclub pick Heather Gudenkauf’s new titles The Good Father and One Breath Away coming out this summer. I send sets of books to a friend’s book club and she lets me know all their comments, good and bad! (But mostly good) – if anyone wants to tweet their thoughts after reading a book then get in touch @mira_booksUK. We also have a book club at work and people from every department get together to chat about our latest books and those of other publishers – we take over a local pub and drive out the locals we’re so vocal!
In July Gena Showalter’s brilliant new Fallen Angels series starts with Wicked Nights and features dark, dangerous angel Zacharel as he faces the ultimate damnation! It’s sexy and sassy and he’s naughtily irresistible. We’re launching Sophie Littlefield’s Aftertime just in time for Halloween. This post-apocalyptic zombie book is an absolute must read. She’s a brilliant writer – Cass, her heroine, just oozes cool.
Littlefield looks at the world after a government experiment’s gone wrong and, while my view outside of Richmond is all pretty and spring-like now, after reading this I was mentally accusing innocent shoppers of being flesh hungry walking dead. LOL, my imagination is easily overactive. For anyone who hid behind the seats in The Woman in Black (like most of us here) I’d urge you to read The Restorer by Amanda Stevens – it’s ghosts and graveyards and keep-you-up-all night!
In 2011 we launched teen imprint MIRA Ink, recently described by New Books Magazine as an imprint that’s ‘a badge of quality for young adult fiction.’ Our team love all things YA (the Friday Night Lights boxset is a MIRA staple – we’re all team Riggins). This year we’re excited to publish two powerful debut contemporary summer titles, the wistful and emotional Saving June by Hannah Harrington, following sixteen-year-old Harper’s life-changing road trip to California after her sister’s suicide, and Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry, a raw, edgy and heartbreakingly authentic story about loss, change and most of all love.
Of course there’s more from our stars such as Rachel Vincent, her spellbinding teen banshee series Soul Screamers is a must-read, and phenomenal New York Times bestseller Julie Kagawa’s hard-edged vampire dystopia, The Immortal Rules will have you asking, ‘Katniss, who?’
That’s probably the best perk of the job – there are so many amazing books to read!
Mira are kindly kiving away 5 copies of THE IMMORTAL RULES
This giveaway is UK ONLY and ENDS 31st MAY 2012
To enter please follows Rafflecopter instructions below