Years they have been in the wild!
Sore thirst plagues them, the rocks
Rising all round, overawe;
Then, in such hour of need
Of your fainting, dispirited race,
Ye, like angels, appear,
Radiant with ardour divine!
Beacons of hope, ye appear!"
- Matthew Arnold, "Rugby Chapel"
Here are some things I learned in my visit to Macmillan last night to discuss marketing plans for the book.
- My editor (and head of the Macmillan New Writing imprint), Mike Barnard, is a prince. Okay, well I knew that.
- He reports directly to the Chairman of Macmillan.
- His 23-year-old marketing assistant, Sophie, is a dead ringer for Sara Jessica Parker (but cuter).
- Also, she drinks white wine when her boss is around, but switches to beer when he leaves. ;^)
- The pub down the road from the Macmillan offices in King's Cross is (and was described to me by their Sales Director) as "like the Macmillan canteen except with booze".
- Something like 1100 people work in the Macmillan offices in London and several hundred more at other sites around the country.
- Both the Amazon Fiction Buyer and the Waterstones Fiction Buyer (whom I also met in the pub) are extremely keen on the MNW imprint, and are planning to do special promotions for it. Amazon wants me to do an online author/reader discussion thingy.
- The guy whose family owns the German media conglomerate that owns Macmillan, and whom I also met, albeit not in the pub, is Stephan from Stuttgart.
- Mike's son, who is a professional juggler, has a small part in the new Stephen Frears film Mrs. Henderson Presents (with Dame Judi and Bob Hoskins).
- The rights to my book, both hardcover and paperback, have been sold in Russia. I'm going to be translated. (Okay, I knew this, too, but it still boggles my mind.)
- An American publication deal, most likely through St. Martin's Press, seems blessedly very likely.
- I'll probably get to do a signing at a bookstore on Charing Cross Road, and probably London radio interviews.
- They're sending out review copies to the full Pan Macmillan list (of 150 reviewers). Yay.
- A critical Guardian article (which kicked off oceans of press) referred to MNW as "the Ryanair of publishing". Now Mike is trying to get Ryanair to do a joint promotion where Macmillan puts bookmarks with that quote in all the books, and Ryanair flies a bunch of authors, Macmillan people, and press folks somewhere warm for a day. 8^)
- The launch party is the sixth of April where, critically, there will be free booze and canapes. 8^)
- I will get to meet the other authors on the list at the launch. One of them is Roger Morris, who I discovered kindly (and totally unprompted) gave me a link on his blog, so I can hardly fail to return the favour. 8^)
- I now have an Amazon.co.uk listing. You can pre-order the book. And it's 30% off (off an already low low price)!