Happy Publication Day! Today, SHRUNK! makes its debut on shelves (both wooden and virtual) around the world. In keeping with this week’s back-to-school theme, I have decided to draw a rather tortured analogy on how publication day is a lot like starting school. I plan to include other tenuous ideas as well. And maybe a bit of observational comedy.
SHRUNK! getting ready for school…
The tortured analogy starts at birth, when the author finishes the manuscript – it’s been gestating away for a number of months and finally, after a lot of pain, there it is. A brand new book. The author/parent then starts the process of helping the book grow up. Helping it find its voice, its personality if you will. Teaching it to walk (finding an agent), helping it feed itself until its old enough to use a knife and fork (editing it, and editing it again, and some more).
So what are Publishers in this scenario? I think we can be imprecisely likened to grandparents – we get involved once the book is ‘born’. We pass on our knowledge from our own ‘children’, and we suggest helpful stuff (at this point I should clarify that we are lovely grandparents with pockets full of Werther’s Originals).
And so to SHRUNK! and it’s first day at school. We’ve helped Fleur dress it in its uniform (cover), given it some dinner money (marketing and promotional space) and waved it off tearily at the school gate (printed it and delivered it into the warehouse), hoping it makes friends (gets bought by the public) and doesn’t fight the big kids (or rather does – head to head with 50 Shades. That’d be ace).