Thursday, September 21, 2006

Party planning

Lots of thought has gone into the launch of DOWN THE ANGEL. (Best say this now in case that’s not how it seems on the day.) I was working late tonight, firming up on dates and venues, when Aisha, who cleans the building, came clanking along the corridor with her bucket and mop, so I asked if she fancied coming. She’s cool, Aisha; she’s often last in the building and she’s never bothered about locking up on her own. The bit I dread is the struggle with the dodgy padlock while people pass by right behind me — makes me feel like I’ve a target sign on my back. This morning at the cashpoint on Seven Sisters four women pelted past, chasing some bloke who’d nicked one of their handbags. They hurtled into a sidestreet yelling and screaming at him. He was a fast runner though, I think he got away. Aisha is no more afraid of booklaunches than she is of street thieves, and said she’d love to come. She’s even bringing her kids, so I guess now we have an excuse to buy crisps...

Thursday, September 14, 2006


The printers accidentally made a few hinged copies as well as the unhinged ones we specified, and are making us a present of those extras... Books will arrive very soon. Meanwhile, I am feeling a little unhinged also. The venue we planned to use for launch has fallen through. We need a local launch venue, because some of the contributors can't travel very far. Where??

Monday, September 11, 2006


I visit the printers before they move on to binding, since I happen to be in the area. The site is huge, in a kind of business park set-up (it is the print division of CUP). I hide my bike outside, not wanting to look too scruffy, and wait in a palatial reception area for what seems weeks until my contact, Ken, arrives.

The unbound sections and jacket he shows me both look fine. There's some under-inking, but that may be the matt paper stock. Overall I'm happy enough, it's getting there. Ken insists on sending a bound sample, because he’s convinced the cover should be scored. But I hate score marks. On my personal list of all-time print crimes, they are up there with shiny white inside pages, gloss laminate covers, and embossed gold titles or author names. Ooops, am I being too book-geeky here?