Sunday, December 07, 2008

Stick to the script!

Memorizing my speech feels a lot like running lines back when I used to do children's theater. Only this time I won't have to wear a blonde wig and facial hair (I was Buffalo Bill in Annie Get Your Gun one year---there's no business like show business).

I'm still ridiculously nervous, but the more I remember of my speech the better I feel about it. It probably doesn't give off the image of unmovable professionalism that I should probably be trying for, but heck...I'd rather be real and honest on here. And hey, I'll still be a basket of raw nerves on Tuesday afternoon, but hopefully I can at least do as well as I did in those musicals. I was always a bit stiff, but I never forgot my lines or blocking.

Oh boy, though. If this is anything like theater, that means the forgotten-lines nightmares are going to make an appearance. Fun is!

I'll leave you with this image: me (tall, brown hair, slightly awkward, baby face) wearing gray face paint, a shiny silver jumpsuit and a funnel on my head. If anyone can guess what that costume was, I'll send them an ARC of something fun.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Editor's First Acquisition: Preparing for Focus

This weekend I'm preparing myself (both mentally and emotionally) for our Fall 2009 Focus Meeting, which is where we introduce key sales folks to our list. I'll be presenting Hate List, as well as one of my boss's titles, and I am EXTREMELY nervous.

I'm not sure where the nerves come from. I regularly go to karaoke with some of my friends and colleagues and I love to sing. When I have a microphone in my hands, I might get a little nervous, but there is also a confidence. An "I can do this" surge that rushes through me. But giving a speech, even one that's only 1-minute long, is not singing. I think it's mostly a mentality. I was nervous when I first started doing karaoke, but the more and more I did it and saw positive reactions from everyone there, the more confident I got and the better I got. So maybe that's all I need for this---to do it a few times and see that I'm not bad at it, get more confident, and soon I'll be speechifying with the best of them. But for now, it feels like there is fire pumping through my veins and I can't wait until it's over.

I am excited to present Hate List to a wider audience though. Until now, the only folks who have read the manuscript are the people who work directly on the book (the designer, the copyeditor), the people who read it when we were buying it (the publications committee and a few editorial readers) and me. So to be able to share "my first" with more people is just so exciting. Terrifying, but exciting. I'm so proud of this novel and what a great job the author did, and I'm excited for more people to discover her---just like I discovered her---and fall in love with this book.

And they'll get to see the cover too, which I am glad was approved in time to make it into the powerpoint slide. It evokes such a great response and completely matches the gritty, emotional feeling of the book and it'll provide a great visual backup while I'm presenting.

So now, back to my speech. My boss suggested I read it 40 times to myself and then practice 20 times in front of the mirror. On Monday, I'll be practicing in front of her and I want to have this mostly memorized by that point. Wish me luck! And of course, I'll let you all know how it goes once it's over.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

An editor's first acquisition - blog series | Cover Approved

Ya know, it's funny -- I post about not knowing what to blog about and then it occurs to me that I had the perfect opportunity this year to post something really interesting. I acquired my first two books this year and one of them (Hate List by Jennifer Brown) has already finished being edited and is working its way through the design process. How interesting would that have been, if only I had thought about it? An editor's first acquisition, step by step.

Well it's not over yet. We still have to make it to publication. So I'll be sure to come back and update when there are things to share. That'll be my first step toward making this blog something worth reading. I'll also start at the beginning and post a few "blogs from the past" to catch you up.

But right now, I have the first update. A very exciting day. Today the designer took his cover ideas to our jacket committee meeting. Jacket committee consists of key people in sales, marketing, publicity, design, editorial, and the publisher and they look at the cover ideas, discuss their thoughts, likes, dislikes, etc. and either approve a cover/sketch or give feedback to move forward. My boss and I had met with the designer, the awesome Mr. Dave Caplan, previously and he had shown us three ideas. While they were all amazing, one direction resonated with me more than the rest and I immediately said so. It turned out that it was his favorite as well. Luckily the jacket committee agreed and it was approved.

Now, my boss had told me not to get my hopes up. The folks on the committee are very opiniated and for good reason---they know books and they want to do what is best for each title. But it was too late at that point. I had my hopes WAY up. It didn't help that I had a copy of the concept hanging in my cube to look over at since before Thanksgiving. So now I feel like melting. Adrenaline is rushing through my veins and my head feels light. I'm so excited that another milestone has been passed for my first acquisition. And I can't wait to share the cover with the outside world. I have no idea when that can be, but I'm sure I need to wait until the catalog and ARCs comes in (March). At the very least I have to wait until I share it with the author and agent. But as soon as I'm able, you know it'll be up here.

Now I must get back to work. Title factsheets AND catalog copy are both due by end of day today and there is a Longstockings get-together I don't want to miss. Meanwhile, my heart is going out to anyone who received bad news today. Layoffs suck and while it seems like our company is safe at the moment, to hear about stuff like this happening in an industry that feels more like family than work is disheartening and sad for all of us.