Tuesday, October 8, 2013

A Series of Fortunate Events

Advance/Proof copy edits
I had a notion that once I signed a publishing contract, a swarm of print fairies would descend upon my manuscript, buzz and wave wands, and presto: Distributed Novel! In fact it is a slightly more involved, drudge-laden, costly, and time-intensive process. There are many decisions, and numerous uneventful spans of time to be endured with as much calm and maturity as I'm capable of mustering. (Hint: not capable of mustering calm and maturity)
     As an introvert I prefer a bit of quiet routine. Therefore each step forward has felt foreign, even uncomfortable. It just keeps coming, so I've been forced by happenstance to stop internalizing these steps as 'weird' and instead label them, 'new and fortunate.'
     Here are a series of events that have transpired quickly and nearly simultaneously:
1) I completed the final edits to the proof copy of GFN. Now, it really is mostly in the hands of talented publishing fairies.

Brandum P.I.
2) Skyscraper has been very open to my input throughout the design process. It's been more perfect than I could have imagined. I helped with selection of the cover illustration, had input choosing a typographer and in the typographic choices, and had a tiny say in the cover design. 
     This mustachioed god you see before you is not Magnum P.I. It is instead part of a failed pitch I made to my publisher. It made me laugh so I shared it.
     Printing an extra item to insert into proof copies going to bookstore managers can grab their attention. I was inspired by a scene in which the protagonist, Flip, gets a shave and haircut, I suggested an excerpt along with a series of facial hair stickers. The bookstore employees could then deface my image in the About the Author section. Who doesn't like to put mustaches on people? It was rejected due to printing costs.

3) Happily and to my surprise, when I cracked open JAB34 I discovered a small, pamphlet fold zine (quoteUNquote) I produced earlier this year had been noted and reviewed. That was followed by news from my book dealers that they'd sold a good number of this zine, as well as numerous issues of the collaborative book ROOM.
unexpected review

Agents away!
4) This week is the Frankfurt Book Fair; it's the largest international publishing event of the year. My intrepid agents (bless them) have two tables, many meetings, are in a panel discussion, and selling book rights. GFN made the "Hot List." Simply put, they've prepared extra materials, have proof copy at the ready, and are promoting GFN heavily.
5) The specific publication date of the hardbound, UK edition of GFN is still slightly soft. Most likely it will go to press at the end of October and will be available for purchase in November. As it is largely out of my hands now, I am trying to move ahead with the next manuscript, which would make me a happier introvert, indeed. 

6) Numerous people, inside and outside the publishing industry, have read the proof/advance copy of GFN have started sending me feedback. It is gratifying, overwhelming, and truly humbling to try and process all the kind words and support. 

7) Lastly, I was digging through my dresser and found this authentic image of me in a performance, with costumes designed by members of the Bauhaus. There I am in the back. I was so young then.
My early work

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