October pub date, and how far we’ve come…

Today is our official October pub date – when we unleash A World Between Us, Constable and Toop and Under My Hat into the world – and it feels a bit of a landmark. We still have more books to come, but traditionally in publishing October is THE big month, and the official start of the lead in to Christmas. And it still surprises me to think that a year ago, nearly all of us were in different jobs, working for different publishers, putting out different books in the run up to Super Thursday.

It was a very strange thing to move from not having books out for 8 months, to having books out EVERY month. I have come to think of it as BEFORE and AFTER. We stood there on that first pub date with a sense of excitement, and a little fear. We loved all the books on our list but would anyone else? Would people find our books in bookshops? Would we be able to keep up this blog every day? Would Reg still get attention? (okay, not such a big worry)

I won’t lie and say we are all as calm as we were six months ago, but I can say I have never worked anywhere where everyone is so personally involved in the books that are published. Every review that is posted, every tweet we receive, every time someone tells us they have bought and loved one of our books honestly means so much to us. People speed type emails round the ‘HKB Staff‘ with a lovely piece of feedback from an author/ reviewer/ bookseller, ring each other at weekends when we see one of our books in the paper, and jump up and down every time a shiny new book comes into the office.

In the ten months so far we have made paper books, ebooks, interactive iBooks, audio books, book marks, bookplates, blogs, activity sheets, song sheets, video recordings, video trailers, posters, postcards, stickers, google ads, magazine ads, hosted events, spoken at events and attended more events than I can remember…

And yet I know we go home everyday asking ourselves, have we done enough? What else can we do more of/less of/better?

I have learnt SO MUCH this year, but if there is one thing that sticks in my mind it is that the Question is King (thanks Sally Gardner!). It’s much better to ask, even if you know you can never find the final answer. As most answers lead to asking more questions. But in my mind, that’s always a good thing.

So today, as our October titles are out there in the world, we hope you will welcome them with open arms and tell us what you think of them, as ever. As you see, all your comments really make difference to us, so please keep them coming, and tell more people about the books you love.

Because next month we will do it all again, and still I will ask myself ‘Have we done enough?’, and you know what, I won’t mind at all.

P.S. For a sneak peek at one of next month’s titles watch this great little video from Katherine Marsh, author of Jepp, Who Defied the Stars:


4 responses to “October pub date, and how far we’ve come…

  1. Dear Sarah, You and this blog post are awesome. From, Sara

  2. I agree. This blog post is awesome. I’m sure you’re awesome too.

    I think you guys have done a tremendous job so far, and have done more to interact with the community (Young Writer’s Prize, Twitter responses, blog posts every weekday, guest posts, fans and author interaction, etc) than anyone could have dreamed or hoped for.

    Of course, this is just the beginning. Although I think you guys have done an excellent job, I wouldn’t be mad at you if you guys did even MORE in the future. 😛

    I love your book covers. I love the way Maggot Moon was put together (the only book you have released I’ve gotten my hands on since I live in the states),and of course what was inside of it. I love the looks of your interactive ibooks, and you seem to be doing more to innovate in the ebook department than is asked of you. Instead of fighting it, you are embracing it, realizing that ebooks, and ibooks, and real books can all exist with one another in perfect harmony as long as people aren’t prejudice and spitting and going “YOU’RE GROSS!” to one another.

    Basically, so far, it’s wonderful, and I thought I’d let you know because you’re deserving to know. But don’t grow stagnant. Keep going. I look forward to what you all do next.

  3. This blog post is made of awesome, HKB has come so far in such a short amount of time and this post sums it up perfectly 🙂

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