Welcome to the Pub Dates newsletter! We’re so glad you’re here.
This newsletter is released as a companion to each podcast episode, and we use it to share the visual elements of our discussion — from mood boards to design sketches, from photos to secret giveaways just for subscribers.
In episode sixteen, we talked to the wonderful Gillian Levinson, Director of Paperbacks and Publishing at Random House Children’s Books, about all the different teams that contribute to getting a book out into the world. Once we authors hand the book off, it goes through a mysterious alchemy that turns it from a Word document into a finished, physical item sitting on a bookshelf.
Gillian took us along on the journey each book makes — many parts of it invisible to authors — and told us about the teams who touch it, and some of the things that go on that we don’t get to see. If you’re a reader interested in how books reach you, don’t miss this one.
While we were chattering before the interview, we promised you sundry pictures of behind-the-scenes things, so here we go!
First up, the small inspirations that we keep in our offices, mentioned in the icebreaker question. Here are Amie’s — an ammonite (a fossil of a small cephalopod that died out around 66 million years ago) and a piece of a meteorite. How wild, that she can just keep them on her desk! And how incredible that the world is both so old, and so vast.
And here’s Kate’s indomitable Onward! poster — a reminder that when she needs to, she can summon all kinds of strength, and press on over the next hill.
Is there anything you keep around that inspires you? We love hearing from you — leave a comment and let us know?
We also promised you a picture of some of the books Kate’s worked on behind the scenes as an editor — here you go! They run the gamut, subject wise, from the history of particular beer styles to climbing Mount Everest to how far we are from inventing real Star Trek tech.
And since we’ve both had the chance to hit the US recently, we thought you might like to see a behind the scenes peek at that, as well!
Here’s Amie with our literary agents, Tracey and Josh Adams, doing one of their joint favourite things in the world — and then with her co-author Meg Spooner, who she’s about to introduce to the miracle and gift that is Six the Musical. (Amie got up to some other hijinks with Meg in New York — you can get a hint about their next project in the latest issue of!)
And here’s Kate doing her best Fall Girl Vibes, and steering a ship around Annapolis Harbor! Look at that girl in her natural habitat! Did you know that Australia only has one native deciduous tree? If we want a display like this here in Melbourne, we need imported species!)
That’s it for this episode — was there anything in the explanation that Gillian gave us about the book-making process that surprised you? Let us know in the comments!
I love the meteorite and poster you guys use for inspiration! My room is basically a hodge-podge of inspiration cause I just collect things that I think look cool. On my trip to Disneyland this summer, I got a pirate hat resembling Captain Jack's which now hangs off my bookshelf. I also recently found a German stein at Goodwill that sits amongst my things looking neat.
There’s always more room for ice cream... I’ve always loved old items that feel like they have a history. When I left my 9-5 in the wilds of 2020 and went full time as a freelance writer I bought myself a typewriter as a marker of a season of life change. The previous owner’s child used it to dream up and write their stories. It was beaten up and covered in different hues of paint flecks and clearly had been very well loved.
While I did clean some of the paint flecks off, it’s still a happy orange and makes all the satisfying clacking sounds... but it most importantly it reminds me that pursuing a love of stories isn’t childish at all and that the journey is long with many words still to be written 🧡