This is the business side of being a writer, of being an academic and of being a partner in a publishing house. I enjoyed an extremely productive day yesterday – and managed to sell ten books to boot.
My first meeting was with an enterprise organisation with whom I’m going to work at St Patricks High School, Eccles. I’ll be involved with two groups of children who are going to produce a modern version of a traditional fairy story. It will be all about working in team. I met with a representative of the enterprise organisation and one from the school yesterday morning. We sat and sipped coffee at the bottom of Crescent House. It’s remarkably quiet at this time of year. I’m so glad they changed the layout there. It is now conducive to those types of meetings. They seemed thrilled with my ideas. They’ve to buy ten of my books – five for each group as prizes. I’m offering The Prophecy, Nick’s Gallery, Scum Bag, Scream and Gentle Footprints. I’m actually really looking forward to this day.
At lunchtime, I joined a working lunch with the Aimhigher team. This time we were in the Old Fire Station. It’s a great building – even if you can hear the A6. There was a lot of lunch and not much team – I even managed to take some of the food for my pre-choir snack. The lack of people did mean those of us there could thrash out much of the detail about the courses. Again, I find myself looking forward to this. I’ve done it before. I know what I’m doing. I can do it even better this time.
My third meeting was with a lady who wished to pick my brains about forming an independent publishing company. I explained the Bridge House model.
“We’re not really in competition, are we?” she asked.
I think we are, actually, but it’s healthy competition: we’re not deadly rivals. I wonder what our mission statement really is. On our site we have “passionate about new writing” but I actually think it’s a bit more than that – maybe it should be “producing beautiful books in a way that is fair to the authors and the workers”. However, that is terribly clunky. All suggestions welcome.
The new company will be a women’s press. Some of us may even find ourselves submitting to them.
The day was extremely satisfying and was what it is all about.