In no particular order:
- The rules for commas, or at least my understanding of them, is unacceptably wooly.
- Poetry books have a lot of white space at the bottom and not a lot at the top. It looks weird on screen but right on paper.
- A group of poems does not make a book. It took quite a few years (and many rejections) to learn this. Working with a group of good editors helped me order my poems into a collection.
- It’s a good idea to trust your designers, in my case The International Office. This meant I had to suppress my natural urge to offer ‘helpful’ suggestions. The final cover and type setting of the book are not what I imagined they would be, which is good because my design imagination is pretty limited.
- The poems in the book were written between 2009 and 2012. I wonder what my younger self would have thought if I’d told her it would take ten years to publish our first collection, and three years to write it. I’ve learned that my writing progresses slowly when I’ve got the business of life (husband, baby, work, Wellington) to enjoy. This isn’t a bad thing, but something I need to accept and keep in mind when writing the next collection.
- My mother is the best proof reader I know.
- Community newspapers will inevitably get your name wrong.
- Barcodes! We decided not to have one as my book is unlikely to be a massive international seller, and the design looked better without it.
- When a publisher puts out a book not only do they need an ISBN, but they need to register the book with the National Library of New Zealand’s Cataloguing-In-Publication (CiP) programme so a cataloguing record for the book can be created and shared with all New Zealand libraries. The publisher also has to give the Library a copy of the book under Legal Deposit so it’s available for everyone. How brilliant is that?
- Holding the finished book in my hands was surreal / amazing. I’m really proud that it’s mine.
There are three days until the launch – 10 August, 5.30pm, at City Gallery in Wellington. Hope to see you there!