In publishing, we have the privilege to breathe life into a book many times over through editing, design, and marketing. We get to guide a manuscript through many transformations and make many choices that affect its future. We decide how the edits will shape the story, how the design will frame it, and how the readers will see it in stores. At the end of all this, a book exists in the world that might not have otherwise.
We’re often faced with the following questions: How do I get it all done? How do I make myself write? In that vein, I’ve compiled a few tips for creating or maintaining productive routines to better face the trials of working in publishing.
After you decide on basics such as the length, the size, and the audience, you need to think about the whole look. Fear not! Higher standards can easily be met. Design is a big part of making your efforts look professional. Although booklet design is more than just picking a fitting cover image, it doesn’t have to be onerous or complicated, and it doesn’t even have to require specialized software such as InDesign.
Regardless of what type of book is being promoted, the decisions a publishing company makes when planning a launch party can have an impact on the sales of a book as well as on the perception of what that book stands for. Given the importance of these considerations, the sheer number of lists that one finds when simply googling “book launch party” shouldn’t come as a surprise, but these results can be quite overwhelming to sift through.
From the beginning, the goal for Odsburg was to make this book unique, successful, and as beautifully odd as the story it contained. We all had similar ideas about where this book should end up; getting there, however, was an entirely different matter.
The Bad Sex in Fiction Award teaches us several things: first, many novels contain profoundly cringeworthy sex scenes; second, even great writers often flounder when they try to write about sex; and finally, there are plenty of editors who (perhaps begrudgingly, or perhaps because they too are at a loss for how to approach this subject) are letting these giggle-inducing scenes sneak through to publication. This state of affairs might lead us to wonder, Why is it so hard to write about sex? And, more importantly, what can editors do to help?