With a couple cracks of thunder, a light hail baptism, and an enthusiastic welcome from an amazing crowd, At the Waterline was launched into the world (and onto the Powell’s staff picks shelf!). If you’ve been following our journey, you already know what Team Rivers has been up to. We helped Brian edit his manuscript, we added maps and diagrams, we dreamed up a killer marketing campaign, and we planned a citywide celebration to top it all off. At the Waterline is sailing smoothly into readers’ lives, with lots of fun stops planned for the future. It’s the nature of the publishing process that eventually we have to let one book go and turn our attention to the next. But before At the Waterline slips over the horizon on its world tour, I want to take a moment to acknowledge the crew that helped make her seaworthy.
One of my favorite aspects of being a manager of Ooligan’s editorial department is the short class we hold every Wednesday. We cover various roles that an editor plays and tasks that they may be expected to complete. During one of these classes, a fellow Ooligan student asked me about other classes they should consider taking if they want to pursue a future in editing. My answer was quick and to the point: design.
If you’re of the bookish persuasion (and if you’re reading this blog post, the odds are probably good), you may also be of the mappish persuasion: when you pick up a book and discover it contains a map, a little piece of you erupts in excitement over this double-page spread that promises a literary quest is waiting inside.
Book marketing is a funny business. First of all, it’s impossible to predict what will sell and what won’t. You just have to put everything you can into attracting an audience and getting the word out, then hope to everything you believe in that people buy your book out of the millions that are already out there. These difficulties are only increased when the book you’re working on isn’t new but, in fact, has been published for twenty-five years.
What is XML, anyway? Is it some fancy new coding language I have to learn? Why do we use it? Why is it part of the editing department?
The design process is always a lesson in refinement.