Thursday, 3 September 2009

Still On The Sound - launch minus seven weeks

I was late for a meeting with the publishers this morning as there was so much rain last night the rowing boat had sunk (this can happen when the level of rainwater reaches a little hole halfway up one of the buoyancy tanks) and the dinghy was half-full of water - so there was half an hour of manhandling and baling to do before I could leave the island. Apologies to Helen and Sarah of Blackstaff.

The meeting was productive though; the new book is launched in seven or eight weeks and we were going over the schedule and planning the marketing effort. Blackstaff recently took on a new rep/PR company for mainland UK so that may make it more straightforward to get the book stocked in the chains there - that's certainly a goal of mine, as I've always encouraged bookshop managers to see The Blue Cabin as a book about island life rather than about Irish island life, having potentially wider appeal. Likewise with Still On The Sound - the obvious market is Northern Ireland as so many people here are interested in Strangford Lough, but that should only be the starting point.

We're at the stage of looking at press releases and putting together a list of print and broadcast media to whom the book can be sent; also planning a launch event, provisionally at Ross's Auctions in Belfast during Lynn's exhibition in October.

The sub-title has been a long time in gestation - we agreed Still On The Sound as the title months ago - but we're now looking at something like 'A Seasonal Look at Island Life' as the sub-title. A little prosaic, but it does it's job which is to explain the title and describe the narrative of the book. Sub-titles have to work quite hard! My agent Isobel Dixon came up with the strap line Living by the Tides on Islandmore for The Blue Cabin, which had more poetry perhaps (then again Isobel is an accomplished poet) but hopefully the actual title of the new book, Still On The Sound, has a poetic ring.
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