Sorry I’m late – in fact, I’m very conscious that I’m so late this week it’s nearly next week . . . It started because we had a couple of really urgent non-moveable deadlines (those are the ones where if I don’t get my act together we’re going to have to move publication dates, rather than just requiring a substantial amount of schmoozing to persuade the typesetter (No, not typo-setter, as I originally wrote), or production to squeeze in an extra manuscript …
And because we at JFB are such a small team, that invariably has a knock-on effect: so dropping everything to turn around a late-delivered copy-edited manuscript so it can go to the typesetters on time means the editing planned for that day now has to happen the following day – but that didn’t work, because of an important meeting, which then got cancelled at the last minute, and—
Well, you get the picture: it’s now Friday and I am just starting on Monday’s work …
So I’m keeping this very brief and instead of sharing with you some more deep and meaningful publishing insights, I’m going to tell you about something we’re planning for next month – and for which we need your help.
April 23rd is World Book Night: an annual celebration of reading and books, when people who are passionate about books go out into their local community to try to inspire people who don’t normally read for pleasure, or who don’t own books.
World Book Night is run by The Reading Agency, and the charity’s highly laudable mission is to give everyone an equal chance to become a reader. They, like we, know that everything changes when we read.
According to the World Book Night website , a whopping one in three people in Britain do not regularly read. Personally, I think that’s shocking, and so we at JFB would like to do our bit to help introduce those thirty-five per cent of non-readers to the joys of books.
We’d like to play this year, and we’ve decided the best way is to give free books to schools. As we’re publishing three YA series right now, we’re going to donate a selection of those books – so we’ll not just get kids reading; we’ll get kids reading SF, Fantasy and Horror!
Just to remind you, we’ve got SF in the form of Ian McDonald’s Everness books, about Everett Singh, Sen and the crew of the airship Everness. Using an app on his iPad called the Infundibulum, Everett and his friends travel the multiverse looking for his kidnapped dad.
Frank Ryan’s The Three Powers quartet is a classic quest fantasy story, following four children who find their way from Mount Slievanamon in Ireland to the enchanted but war-ravaged world of Tír.
And of course we have Tom Pollock’s The Skyscraper Throne: urban fantasy at its best. Beth and her best friend Pen have discovered a London they never even dreamed of – but with all the wonder of a secret, magical city comes terror too, for Reach, the King of the Cranes, is intent on taking the city, and only Filius Viae, London’s ragged Crown Prince, and his human friends stand in his way.
And that’s where you lot come in. We’d like you to nominate schools, please – the name and address, and one line on why you think that school deserves to win.
And between 7pm-midnight on April 23rd, we’ll draw a new winner every hour to receive a bumper hamper of JFB YA titles.
You’ve got six weeks: so start nominating now!