It is that time of year. The tubes are hot and sticky, London is preternaturally quiet, you can get a lot of apricots for £1, and the key account buyers are seeing publishers to look at their January to April 2011 books, and work out what – if anything – they might want to do with them in terms of promotions.
This is necessarily an opaque business: the buyers have to see everyone before they decide what books make the grade, so you show them what you have and you then try to decode every little comment that they make.
This is Nosy Crow’s first season, and, to tell the truth, it’s been years and years since Kate’s done a key account presentation. All in all, it’s pretty nerve-racking.
Here, for your eyes only, is a glimpse inside The Suitcase that Kate’s trundling around. You’ll see a folder of New Title Information sheets (the top one’s for Small Blue Thing); some little brochures that we’ve had printed up; and laboriously hand-made dummies for Bizzy Bear: Fun on the Farm, Mega Mash-up: Romans v Dinosaurs on Mars, Mega Mash-up: Robots v Gorillas in the Desert, and (open) Pip and Posy: The Super Scooter. You’ll also see a rather fine Nosy Crow mug which is one of a few little presents that we give them, sort of like trying to tame tigers by throwing them small scraps. The presents all get wrapped individually in lime-green (the same colour as the border round this post) tissue paper. Honestly, it’s the most enormous faff getting the whole thing ready.
But, so far, with three down and many more to go, it’s been worth it. It’s another step towards our proper launch next year (Small Blue Thing publishes in January 2011 and is our first title), and the feedback, or at least such feedback as we’ve had, has been positive. In fact, we have our first order, which is a bit of an exciting moment.