Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Countdown to publication

As the long-awaited (by me, at least) publication date for Hocus Pocus Diplodocus approaches, the sense of anticipation is building and lots of exciting things have been happening to prepare for the book’s arrival. 

I received my first two advance copies in April, which was just about the most thrilling piece of mail I’ve ever received. I’d seen the book many times in pdf form, but nothing had prepared me for the joy of holding that first copy in my hands. Here it is:

The rest of the books have now been printed and are due to arrive on these shores any day. They will be despatched to the warehouse ready for distribution and should officially be released by the end of May. 

Earlier in April Maverick Books and I put together a press release about the book, spoiled slightly by a full colour picture of my grimacing visage, but rescued by some lovely images from the book itself. This has already been sent out to various press, and more will be going out nearer the publication date. 

The whole book-publishing experience still seems somewhat unreal to me. To reinforce these disconcerting feelings, I arranged my first book-signing event (what?) in the York Waterstones store. It will be on Saturday 21st June, 1pm-3pm – if you’re in the area! Even if you’re not, I’ll still be there. There’ll be colouring-in sheets for kids and, of course, copies of the book to peruse, and even buy! Steve Bicknell, Mr Maverick Books himself, will be there to mark what will be the book’s official ‘launch’. 

Once the book is in stock, Maverick will send a couple of hundred copies out to reviewers to start getting it talked about. Good reviews, I’m told, are essential for getting the book noticed and ‘in demand’. I can’t wait to start reading people’s reactions to it.  
While most reviewers like to have a physical book to read, some are happy to review from the pdf files. One of these is ‘Reviews4kids’ which, I’m delighted to say, were the first people to review Hocus Pocus Diplodocus. I’m even more delighted to say that they liked it! You can read their review here: I also did an interview for them, which will be on the site soon. 

As a life-long bookworm, I was overjoyed to be able to attend the London Book Fair this year – for the first time. It’s the UK’s major trade fair for the book industry. I spent a blissful day wandering around, browsing new releases, goggling at the extravagant stands of the big publishers and attending some useful seminars offering tips to authors. Of course, I also met up with the Maverick team on their glorious stand. It was great to catch up with Kim, Steve and Karen, and meet some of their other authors, as well as some of the sales agents who will be promoting my book. As a new title, Hocus Pocus Diplodocus featured prominently on the stand, as you can see below – so hopefully it got noticed by all the right people.

All in all, it’s been a magical couple of months. Next stop – publication day!

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