In the weeks since our last update, we have made great progress in the earliest stages of book production. We have selected a publication date for this special collection: October 11, 2016. Our budget has been established, and our tipsheet is coming together with a finalized author bio, the book description, a few highlighted selling points, some comparative titles, and a pithy keynote to capture attention. Our team has gathered the contact information for various authors we will reach out to in the coming weeks to request blurbs from.
One of the greatest learning experiences this month has been the construction of the design brief. With Alex and Sophia taking the lead, our group discussed major trends for short story collections and how Heacock’s rich sense of place could best be captured. Imagining how a reader might first judge our book by its cover, we had to strip down our project to the basics. How could we create a cohesive image that distilled the grit and power of twelve unique tales? This task forced us to reimagine Heacock’s writing visually, a process that helped us get to know the collection even more intimately and with more nuance.
With an eye for search optimization and the power of metadata, our team also revisited the title for this project. Novices to these concepts, our team realized that Siblings: Stories was likely to get buried under millions of search results, making it hard for our book to stand out. Just as important as the cover, a title is one of the first chances to capture the attention of a prospective reader, and much thought and energy went into combing through the manuscript to pull out quotes and phrases that spoke to the complexity of human relationships and the bond of family. As Heacock has so beautifully said, “it is so strange sometimes finding the balance between creative and commercial, but I know it’s important to consider both.” There are many strong options in the running, and a final title is on the horizon, coming in before the end of our fall term. It feels like we just started to get to know the characters that populate Heacock’s pages, and yet here we are with a publication date on the book, a finalized title around the corner, and cover design submissions in the not-so-distant future!