The Random acquisitions meeting didn’t solely deal with what the neighbour wrote. In one hour the Random ladies and their honorary Random male went through a tremendous number of numbers and things. I felt as though I was attending a cattle auction. You know, the kind of place were people in the know call out odd numbers and everyone else looks like they understand exactly.
I suspect they did. And after an explanation I almost do, too.
As these Random people (I’m getting to the end of my Random tales, so must get in a few more Random ‘puns’) told me, it was an interesting and varied meeting. They rushed over a lot of topics on the agenda, with Philippa Dickinson firmly in control.
‘Could we change the title of the book?’ They could, and it sounded a lot better. ‘How quickly could we publish this?’
Font size and number of words to the page? Can we have more money for this? How to persuade the big chain that they’ll want this book. January would be a good month to publish this in. Will need an extra attractive cover for this one. Film rights?
Keeping up with what happens on YouTube, for which you may interrogate young people near you. Maybe publish a book about this one? How soon? And another in-house idea on a fact filled book on a popular subject. A lot of homework has gone into these suggestions.
More money now, or maybe pay some later? There is apparently something called a ‘refresher advance’, and perhaps they can persuade so-and-so to write a new introduction in return. And this person from television; will he/she actually deliver the goods while there is still interest in the project? And they’ve asked for more money.
So the lesson on how to acquire new books is a good one. It’s not just the neighbourhood hopefuls, scribbling in garrets (or Starbucks). Publishers start books, too, and they persuade big names to write something special, hoping they’ll deliver. You adapt an adult bestseller to a children’s version.
It really is like cooking.