Friday, January 13, 2012

Day (off) in the life of a

publisher author…
  • wake up and think about new comic novel in progress, switch on light and see Sebastian Barry’s On Canaan’s Side on the bedside table, waiting to be read, and realise shan’t be able to read it now have started writing a new book
  • read emails from co-author of new comic novel and laugh at her suggestions
  • read email from wholesaler requesting more copies of latest book and groan. Why have they sent three smallish orders in the last ten days, rather than sending one big order? Every time the printer/warehouse fulfils an order it costs you X, no matter how many books they send. This means you have paid 3X to the printer instead of X to the printer. As the wholesaler in question is already taking 55% discount on your book price you feel – in the words of Sally Howe, heroine of new comic novel - “well pissed off.”
  • ring manager of friendly independent bookshop who also publishes and get some inside info on how wholesalers (and independent booksellers) think.
  • ring wholesaler and suggest (as you already have the last two times) that they up their order this time to save you money, with persuasive argument that your book has been featured in Guardian Readers’ Books of the Year, that it was only published six months ago, and that it is a specialist title (give details) and will continue to sell. Wholesaler promises to talk to manager and email you response.
  • practise two tunes on sax and then see that the gales have stopped and decide that as you only have an hour before going to Sheffield, you will walk round the village with husband instead.
  • drive to Sheffield for lunch with friend. Talk about lots of things, including death, and how sometimes when you are sitting with a dying person, they choose the time when you pop out to the loo to die. Speculate on why this is: one theory being that your love is holding them back and only when you leave the room can they get on with what they know they have to do.
  • arrive at daughter’s house early before she is there and sit in her kitchen with feet up, thinking how nicely she arranges her house.
  • make cup of tea for tired daughter on her return and then drive to school together to pick up the boys.
  • watch Shaun the Sheep on the telly (excellent) and The Ooglies (appalling). Childrens’ telly is fab, but that programme is not funny, has no plotline, no words, and has an obnoxious soundtrack. Wish with whole heart that younger grandson (5) still liked The Octonauts.
  • play Smuggle with daughter and elder grandson (7). He wins. He plays Smuggle like a Las Vegas professional poker player and has you in stitches with his minimal facial expressions – the twitch of an eyebrow, the tiniest pucker at the corner of his mouth.
  • come home and find email from wholesaler saying they would like a BIG order of your books. Yay!
  • collapse in front of the fire, talk to husband about things that are bothering you, and then watch M*A*S*H together for prophylactic and life-affirming dose of humour.
  • write blog and curse cos you can’t make the bullet points do what you want them to do. Realise it’s those damn OOglies queering the pitch.


galant said...

Not looked in for a while ... not, at least, since Christmas, so Happy New Year! We've had a dose of something which wasn't quite as bad as full-blown flu (had the jabs last October, anyway) but was nasty nonetheless and all behind, like the donkey's tail, playing catch-up now.
Margaret P

Sue Hepworth said...

Happy New Year, Margaret, and good health from now on!