Monday, April 21, 2008

London Book Fair and the real launch

You're an impatient lot!

I said that I had some good news, but I had a party to orgainse and revisions to do on Santos's story. I've been busy. But you can't wait - I've been getting emails wanting to know what's happening, when I'm going to post the news . . . and what happened in London. . . .?

Well, one bit of news I still can't tell you. I'm waiting for the official announcement on that, but there's one bit of exciting news I can let you have this week.So watch this space.

And what happened in London - I can definitely do that . . .

I've never been to London Book Fair before but I knew it was big. It's held in Earls Court so that gave me some idea of what it would be like. But just driving up to the front of the venue, while impressive, doesn't give the full idea of what it was like inside.

Behind those doors it's a bit like a Tardis, opening out bigger and bigger. And what I didn't know at first was that there's Earls Court 1 and Earls Court 2 so there was even more of it! It's huge. Even the official guide to who's exhibiting and what they do was inches thick. I was glad that the Magnet and I had been sent tickets by the publisher of 12PGTWR2 - some people had to pay £35 to get in!

We didn't have a lot of time to wander round as we'd travelled down from Lincolnshire that day so we didn't get to the BookFair until the afternoon. But there was one exhibitor that I was determined to see, and that of course was the Harlequin Mills and Boon stand.

It was a particular thrill to see it this time because of course the displays were celebrating the wonderful 100th birthday that Mills and Boon are having and the centenary year logo was very much on display - as were hundreds of books from all the different lines. And there were a lot of visitors - this photo was taken at the end of the day, when everyone was on their way home so that you can see the stand more clearly.

At the HMB stand I was lucky enough to meet the lovely Anne Coquet, the Editorial Director of éditionsHarlequin - Harlequin France - who was over for the Book Festival.
We were able to have a chat and Anne tells me that there are four of my books coming out in France in 2008.
I already knew about the French edition of Their Secret Baby (Une rencontre troublante) as a copy came through the post only last month, but I didn't know that The Italian's Forced Bride (Un mariage en Toscane ) will be out in May - and there will be two more - I've no idea yet which titles those will be.
Harlequin France is also celebrating this year - they are 30 years old in 2008.

Congratulations Harlequin!

After talking to Anne, and to our own Editorial Director Karin Stoecker, I realised that I had better make my way to the launch party or I would be late. Studymates is only a small publisher and they are based in Wales, so this meant that we had to work out how to get into Earls Court 2 and then find the Welsh publishers stands. We managed it, with some help from one of the official guides, just in time to have a glass of wine and toast the new edition which was on display for the first time.

And I finally got my hands on the revised and expanded second edition. It looks just great - the reduction in size, from a trade paperback to a normal paperback edition means that it is more compat that the first edition, but it's also a lot thicker. It's a solid book, very nicely produced and with clear print inside. Excellent.

I was able to meet both the printer and the typesetter who had worked on the book and thank them for their work in getting it out on time after it had been delayed in editorial so that I hadn't been sure it was going to be out on the publication date of April 8th. The typesetter, Sandhar
had come all the way from India so I was happy to sign a copy of the book for him to take back and show his team there. You can see him in this picture with me, Graham Lawler the Director of Studymates and his wife and HMB's Editorial Director Karin Stoecker who was kind enough to come to the launch - as did M&B editors Suzanne Clarke and Jenny Hutton.

I met a lot of people - names and faces blurred at times but I know I talked with other Welsh publishers, with wholesalers, booksellers, distributors. There were familiar faces too - Hazel Cushion from Accent Press who I've met at Caerleon and even Johanna who was on my Writing Romance course in Fishguard in 2006 turned up. Congratulations on the MA Johanna!

I was given all sorts of snippets of news about the 2nd edition - let's see - Graham told me that they'd sold the Indian rights to the book just that morning. This will probably be as a result of M&B's expansion into India where The Greek Tycoon's Unwilling Wife was one of the launch books and Spanish Billionaire, Innocent Wife was also on sale last month. I understand too that M&B will be actively looking for an Indian writer so that may connect well with my book.

What else? will be listing it - they will also hopefully be stocking it directly in America which will mean it's easier for USA writers to get hold of it and you'll get it quicker - so if you wrote to Amazon to ask about it, then thank you! Also Barnes & Noble will be stocking it on their site and - hopefully - in their shop. But they want to take a look at the new edition first - so keep asking for it in B&N shops! The more word of mouth interest there is, the more likely it will be that it will be on general sale in America and so hopefully more writers will be able to find it more easily.
The launch was only supposed to be from 5pm till 5.45 but it was after 6.30 before I was able to get away, feet aching, mind spinning and jaw aching from smiling! It had been a great afternoon - and there was one more little thrill in store for me. It was
as we walked past the now empty Mills & Boon stand that I suddenly realised that there, right at the front of the shelf displaying the special 100th Birthday Collection was my very first sight of the cover of my own The Duke's Secret Wife which is on sale in August. So naturally I had to take a photo of that - it's the middle book here, the one with the blue top to the retro-style cover.
And that was my first day in London - more details - and some exciting news coming soon.
In the meantime, the cyber launch party is still going on for a little while. Until I hear from the authors who have donated prizes for the posting over the weekend, you can still post a comment there and be in with a chance to win - so don't miss out - visit Saturday's blog and be in with a chance of winning!
PS - Talking of good news - I can't actually announce it until they have done, but some of my lovely guests from the Laucnh Party have great news of their own to anounce - so keep a look out on Liz Fielding, Natasha Oakley, Trish Wylie and Holly Jacobs' blogs and be ready to give them special congratulations.
I'll just hug the secret to myself until they let you know - and say CONGRATULATIONS ladies!


Michelle Styles said...

Hooray on the selling of foreign rights!!!
Hooray that it will be listed on and fingers crossed for BN.
As Borders is going to start having its own distribution website rather outsourcing through, my fingers are crossed for that one as well.

juliemt said...

I'm pleased you had fun at the London Book Fair, and I'm absolutely thrilled that you sold the foreign rights.

And don't the M&B short stories look lovely? After all this time, I still associate those covers with M&B!

2paw said...

How exciting for you, to be at the big book event and see your own books!!! I am a little sad there is not more celebration here, but I shall content myself with living vicariously through others!!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations Kate, exciting times. Will be waiting with baited breath to hear your other news.

How nice to meet Joanna again, she and Audrey stand out in my mind vividly.


Anne McAllister said...

Well, I can see you've been busy! Congrats on selling the Indian rights. That's brilliant news. And what fun to get to go and be part of such a HUGE event. Thanks for sharing the pictures.

Virginia said...

Sounds like congratulation is in order for everyone. Congrts ladies!


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