Essay collection: A
-- After 24 weeks, the book has sold over 4600 copies.
This does not sound like a lot in the grand scheme of bestseller lists and mass printings of 100,000 copies of name brand writers. But, after a recent conversation with another book designer from the West Coast who seemed very impressed by the numbers, it is a very big deal. Many publishers will print 10,000 to 25,000 copies of a debut author and only sell 10 to 15% of the inventory. Plus, they have huge ad/marketing campaigns promoting the books. So 4600 copies sold with minimal advertising in a national magazine is a very big accomplishment.
Essay collection: B
manuscript proof book
--The book is on press. Not too long ago I approved the final manuscript proofs for production. Some call it galley proofs which isn't entirely accurate (Galley proofs are text copy pages before mechanical layout. Since I did the layout using Quark Xpress, I can't call it a galley proof. I didn't do pre-press setup for signatures (Signatures is a sheet of printed pages for publication; usually 8 to 16 pages per sheet depending on the size of the printing press.) so maybe some would call it a galley proof. Due to digital pre-press production the printing terminology is a bit fluid.)
I check to make sure the manuscript doesn't have odd text re-flow issues, or out of order pages, pagination errors or other assorted potential design/ production defects. Further, margins around the copy blocks are inspected to make sure the final book design maintains its integrity. Keep in mind that the book is to be considered a gift book of sorts and the overall design (page layout, font choice, cover art and binding) must be correct. Also, there is always a widowed word or line that is often missed in the final stages of page layout and needs to be corrected before final press approval.
book cover color proof
The cover was selected by a committee of persons of which the author and myself dissented from the final decision. It is not that the illustrator did a poor job; nor the final decision was a poor choice. But, given the half dozen potential cover designs that I prepared, an executive decision was made and therefore made by the CEO who is the final authority on the matter.
So the color cover proof is approved and I now move onto the national ad campaign planning, production and introduction. Fun, fun, fun. Book is available in November and already there are hints of pre-order sales. Anthology
-- This book launches on the same date as the Essay Collection (B). It will be interesting to chart the success of these books as to their difference in audience and appeal.
A national ad campaign is planned and will focus on the books content as it relates to the targeted niche audience. It is being referred to as a "limited 20-year anniversary edition" in order to add urgency to this specialty product. Further, it will be co-marketed with another entity for further distribution.
The book collects 48 feature stories (as in magazine features articles) in 360 pages from almost a dozen noteable journalists plus a bonus for aspiring writers. That's all I'll say for the moment.