For the past week, while the editing department copyedited the final manuscript, Kelsey and I worked on Sales Kits. For those of you who are quietly scratching your heads and wondering why I am capitalizing such simple words…I was once you. If you had asked me a month ago what Sales Kits were, I would have laughed at you (politely) and then distracted you with a tangential question about your plans for Spring Break. Unfortunately—or fortunately, if your glass is half-full—Abbey (Ooligan’s Publisher) could not be distracted. As it turned out, Kelsey and I were responsible for assembling and mailing nearly eighty kits before the first of April. So as soon as we were finished with our end-of-term projects and presentations, we got busy.
The first step was to ask Abbey what Sales Kits are. She explained to us that Sales Kits are sent to the sales representatives at Ingram (our distributor), who then use those kits to familiarize themselves with our press and our book. Since The Ninth Day is a young adult novel, we sent kits to the reps who specialize in children’s and young adult books. These reps—who are spread all over the US and Canada—go to bookstores and try to sell our book to the store’s book buyers.
Knowing the why of Sales Kits was helpful, but we still didn’t know what went inside them. Well, we found out pretty quick. You can see in the photo below five stacks of paper. From left to right, they are: an introductory letter from Kelsey and I summarizing The Ninth Day and thanking the reps for their future hard work; an informational sheet introducing Ooligan Press; a two-page tipsheet for The Ninth Day; a full-page printout of our beautiful cover; and Chapter 1 of The Ninth Day, which the editing department copyedited for us to include as an excerpt.
The whole thing took us about eight hours—including the time it took to write the cover letter, proofread everything, print almost a thousand pages, staple everything that needed stapling, and then pack each of the almost eighty black folders into envelopes, which were addressed to the reps and sealed. Here is what the final stack of Sales Kits looked like:
I’m sure Kelsey will agree with me when I say that the most difficult part of this entire process was forcing the computer and printer to cooperate with us. In the end, we managed to finish the kits in time. It was close, but Kelsey and I worked our tails off, sacrificing more than one crisp morning and beautiful afternoon to work indoors. (To be fair, we did order Thai food to boost our spirits.) Hopefully, our hard work—as well as the effort put out by the editing, design, and marketing departments over the last few months—will make a difference in the long-term sales of The Ninth Day.
Next, we will be working with the marketing and design departments to create collateral for the book. Ruth will review her copyedits, and then editing will sign off on the manuscript. Plus, the design department is working on the back cover.