Thursday, July 31, 2008

Publishers' Catalogs

Posted by Lynne Griffin

Prior to April 2007, I didn't give publishers' catalogs any thought. I suppose if someone asked me about them, I would've known they existed, but I didn't know much more than that. In Eckstut's and Sterry's, Putting Your Passion Into Print, a great book that walks you through what to expect when your book is in production, the authors say the catalogue showcases your book; they tell you to think of it as your book's coming out party. The catalogue is printed roughly one season ahead of your book's publication, and it will be what the sales force uses when connecting with libraries and bookstores. Your spread can be anything from one half page to a full page, or two, and in a few special cases more when a book is excerpted; it's available in hard copy and online.

Back when Negotiation Generation was in production, one day a lovely glossy catalogue announcing the fall books for Berkley, a Penguin imprint, arrived at my door. There in color on a full page was a picture of my book along with nuggets of information aimed at getting my book into bookstores. My editor at Penguin wrote a great piece.

For Life Without Summer, I had a better sense of the production timeline and had planned to contact my editor at St. Martin's early in the process to see if I could have input into what went into the catalogue. Why not ask to have input? I didn't need to. Before I had the chance to ask her, she included me. Long before the copy was due, she showed me a draft of what she'd written and together we discussed it. Over the course of one afternoon, we went back and forth for a few hours over email sharing ideas and editing it until we were satisfied it captured the tone of my novel.

So here it is, the St. Martin's Press winter 2009 catalogue. Life Without Summer begins on page 98.

And one more thing about catalogues. When it's out there, sales can begin. Your book, once it makes it's catalogue debut, begins to show up online at places like Amazon for pre-order. It's a bare bones page that gets fleshed out once you have reviews and a final cover. Speaking of covers, the one you'll see in the St. Martin's catalogue is not my final one. My gorgeous new cover is still being fine-tuned. I'll post it here once it's finalized.

8 comments:

Joanne said...

Hey Lynne, How exciting to see this! It seems like it's what makes the dream real, proof it's really happening. Congrats!

Anonymous said...

It truly is fantastic! Congratulations!! Great blurbs too. (Though I wonder if Pat's has a typo in the last sentence-- sorry to be picky but it grated on me instantly.)

I'm off to pre-order :)

The Writers' Group said...

Thanks, Joanne and anonymous! I appreciate your well-wishes and your pre-order. :)

Seeing it in print sure does make it real. Lynne

Judy Merrill Larsen said...

Each step makes it more real, doesn't it? Great catalog spread!

The Writers' Group said...

Judy,
You are such a great support to me. Thanks for the kind words. And yes, it's getting more real by the day.

Hope all is well with your revision. Lynne

Kristy Kiernan said...

Wonderful! How fun, huh? You reminded me that I've not seen MY catalog, and the book is out on Tuesday. So I e-mailed my editor and am looking forward to it getting here :-)

I'm so pleased you're having such fun right now, Lynne :-)

The Writers' Group said...

Thanks, Kristy. I will be first in line to get my copy of Matters of Faith. I love Catching Genius and can't wait for your next.

And yes, it is a very fun time in my life. Lynne

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