Our new office
At the end of April, in one week, Handheld will have moved to a new office, in a new house (late 1920s semi overlooking Little Solsbury) in a new city (Bath, in south-west England, actually rather an old city since the Romans built things there). Observe the current state of the Handheld office, and think kind thoughts about the men who are wrangling bookshelves, radiators, carpets, paint and boxes and boxes of books. We have every faith that they will work wonders in the next week. We‘ve already collected some book orders from the kitchen where the workmen stack the mail that has preceded us.
The London Book Fair
In mid-April Kate went to the London Book Fair for the first time, under the aegis of the Independent Publishers’ Guild, and had at least nineteen meetings over three days. (This is apparently a rather relaxed approach: Tito from Portugal’s Book Tailors was clocking up forty meetings a day.) She brought back a ton of book catalogues from a selection of Finnish, Dutch, Spanish, Catalan and Latvian publishers. She spent a day reading through them, tearing out the pages of the books she urgently wants to publish in English, and is now emailing all the agents to ask for a sample chapter or two to get a sense of the writing.
The thing that Kate was handing out to all and sundry was the new and first Handheld Press catalogue. Now that we have nine books either published or with firm publication dates, we’ve done an A5 leaflet with all the covers on one side, and some words on the back about who Handheld is, and how to get hold of us or our books. We’ll produce a fatter one at Christmas to include all the 2019 titles.
We also do bespoke leaflets for special interest groups and for conferences, often with enticing discounts for books that are right up their alley. This past month has seen special order leaflets go out to the conference of the Sylvia Townsend Warner Society, to the Women’s History Network West Midlands conference in the Black Country Museum, and to the George Moore conference in Galway in June. If you’ve got a conference coming up that you think would be interested in a book offer, let us know.
Neil Gaiman and Greer Gilman are our friends
The most exciting news of the month was that Neil Gaiman emailed us on a Saturday morning to say how much he loves Sylvia Townsend Warner, and her faery short stories Kingdoms of Elfin in particular, and to offer to write an endorsement and a blurb for the Handheld edition that will be published at Hallowe’en this year. He will be joining the hugely admired fantasy novelist Greer Gilman on the back and front covers, as she too has offered an expression of her enthusiasm for this book.
Naturally we were gobsmacked, elated, and hysterical with excitement. The website and the book’s Advance Information sheet were updated within minutes and our Twitter feed went a bit bonkers. We are looking forward very eagerly to reading what these mighty voices of fantasy writing have to say about this classic in the genre, sometime in July. We may slip you a sneak peek of their words in the August newsletter.
Spread the word
Now that’s a reason to send this Newsletter, or its link, to a friend. Choose carefully: do you know someone with eclectic, individual tastes, who likes excellent stories wrapped in beautiful covers? Let’s see if we can double our mailing list in a month. We always have good news, and we don’t waste too much of your time, since we strive to entertain as well as inform.
With springtime greetings,
Your faithful purveyors of literary delights,
Kate & David