A major student project in 2013 was the first book produced by a new publishing house, Escalator Press.
Escalator Press was set up by the creative writing programme at Whitireia. The publishing programme is closely involved with production and marketing, helping them produce and sell professional publications through the book trade.
The first book published by the Press in 2013 was Adrienne Jansen’s The Score. The author had already worked with one of New Zealand’s top fiction editors to polish the manuscript, so the publishing students began their project by carefully copyediting the manuscript, preparing a design template to lay out the pages, and briefing a cover designer. They produced both print and ebook editions of the book, and one of the students describes making the ebook below.
The other major part of their publishing project was to set up a marketing strategy for the book. This included working with a professional sales rep for sales through the book trade, online marketing and publicity through the media and social media.
Marketing The Score
Along with all the usual book trade marketing activities – producing sales material for the sales rep, providing information to booksellers, distributing review copies, sending news releases and personal approaches to media outlets for features about the book – the team of students looking after The Score put together some lively extra marketing material.
Students organised this book trailer, which was drawn and created by Esmé Hanton and Shinji Dawson.
They produced a chapter sample – a mini booklet featuring the first chapter of the book.
To make the review copies that extra bit special, they sent it with this piano belly band
Launching The Score
The launch for Adrienne Jansen’s The Score was a triple celebration. It acknowledged the 20th anniversary of the creative writing programme, announced the establishment of Escalator Press and launched the novel.
… and sold an impressive number of books at the event.
Making an ebook
‘Producing the ebook edition of Adrienne Jansen’s latest novel, The Score, was an interesting undertaking. I had previous experience of producing a novel for print in InDesign, but taking a print file and converting it for use on an ebook reader was something totally different, and certainly resulted in its share of challenges. Especially given I had never used an ereader up until that point!
‘The relief at being presented with the option to automatically export to an epub file from InDesign was quickly replaced with exasperation after running the resulting file through an online verification service and being presented with a lengthy list of errors and warnings. Of course it wasn’t going to be that easy … there’d be no need for us budding publishers if it was, right?
‘I set about addressing each problem, ferreting them out amongst the sea of code that the book had become, and through trial and error, some colourful language and a little luck, finally got a pass through the verifier. Though this was a time-consuming and far more manual process than I was expecting it to be, finding and fixing the problems became strangely satisfying, and seeing the file work smoothly on the devices made it all worthwhile.’
Richard Patterson, 2013