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The Secret Cevennes - articles by Samantha David


Jacket Hell 

      It's all go here.  I can hardly believe how busy life has become in the whirlwind leading up to the publication of my Pirate story.

      For one thing, my email box is clogged with reminders about blurbs and puffs.  These little babies are a nightmare because no-one ever agrees on them.  For example we're all - the publisher, the publicist, the agent, the editor, the bookseller and me - all arguing over whether or not to use the phrase "the jolliest rogering she's ever experienced". 

      Personally, I don't think it's funny.  Just tacky and cornball.  Not everyone agrees however.  Certain Persons (including naturally, the author of this gem) think it's fresh and funny and quirky.  Certain persons have even used it on the back cover of the review copy.  Duh!

      All right.  Pass on that one.  What do I know anyway?  But the press release is no better - is scarlet lettering really original or just Too Desperate?  And once we get onto the vexed question of the jacket design, we really start wheeling out the big cannons, because everyone hates it but no-one can agree why...  my inbox is even more stuffed than Paris Hilton.  (Ha ha - I'm sorry but the mental image of this Daddy's Princess in the clink does make me laugh.  God, I'm so horrible.) 

      Is all this pre-publication argy-bargy normal?  I don't know.  I'm probably more opinionated and difficult than most, but if you knew Dearest Ed like I do..!  No, that's not fair.  He's not half as bolshy as me.

      I can't say I wasn't warned.  Other writers did describe The Publishing Process as time-consuming and tricky.  They did mention that it was impossible to write whilst correcting proofs and sending out review copies.  So perhaps it's always a nightmare.  And in the end the book will be published.  With or without the terrible blurb, with or without the terrible cover, it'll be out there on the shelves.  So I guess the details don't matter very much and I ought to grow up, calm down and stop emailing people in capital letters. 

      Except that I can't because getting the wretched book published isn't enough.  I want to sell it.  I mean, I want to see people reading it in the tube.  No, I know there's no tube up here in Moisson.  I have noticed that... but I dream of seeing people reading it on the tube next time I go to London.  Wouldn't that be a buzz?  Just imagine it.  No, not being accosted by a mad author... oh, you know what I mean.

      So I've been ringing round bothering people, suggesting articles, begging for reviews, emailing and knocking on doors for all I'm worth.  I even managed to blag my way onto Radio 4, which was a laugh but will it sell any books, that's the question.  (Probably not.)

      I mean, I know what sales will be.  There's one for my mum, one for my daughter and I'll probably send one to my sister for Christmas.  So that makes three copies definitely sold.  But will anyone buy it apart from me?  Well, Bella says she'd buy a copy if she wasn't a dog, and I'm reasonably sure my dentist will buy a copy (he's a charitable man).  But that's not enough.  I lurve my ludicrous tale of romance and high jinks in the Caribbean, and I'm desperate for other people to lurve it too.  So the quest for publicity goes on.  I've bought a stripy t-shirt and I'm wondering about getting a parrot.

      Or is that a Pirate too far? 





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