Peirene’s first novel, Beside the Sea, has just gone to the printers! Well it went there two days ago. Then last night I woke up at about four o’clock and I knew I had forgotten to write something on the cover. No – not the title – bad joke – the title was there alright. No, what was missing was the small reference on the inside flap announcing “Peirene Title No 1”. I like to number my novels. I like the idea that because I only will publish a few books a year Peirene will develop a core fan base who will make sure they buy all the numbers – like an up-market lit magazine really. And why not – as Peirene’s books are so slim they could almost be read as quickly as a magazines. That’s the idea anyway.
So first thing in the morning the printer got a delightful good morning angst-ridden email from me: Has the book already gone into production if not please please can we resupply the artwork for the cover. This printer has endured a fair amount from me during the last few months – at least five new quotes – different papers, different size, die cut, no die cut, sleeve , no sleeve. Patiently he obliged and again this morning we were able to send the corrected cover. The printer has certainly replaced Martin H as my top man of the moment. No question about it.
The longer I am in the publishing business – I’ve been in it now for over a year! HeyHo! – the more I realize that the people who are closely linked to production – writers, translators, editors, publishers, printers, typesetter, designers – are all more or less working to a common goal: the Book. And everybody brings in their expertise. But then there are others linked to the publishing world – agents for example. Yep, I had a bad agent week, those agents whose only raison d’etre it is to squeeze more money and concessions out of any small publisher like me who wants to publish a book that so far no one has even bothered to look at. They smell blood and go wild. Tough luck for them, though, my wounds heal quickly, I pick myself up and go somewhere else. It’s a pity, mind, because my little nymph is heart broken, she had fallen in love with a text and now she can’t get it. But hey, the world is full of books that will love a little Greek nymph.