Thursday, 6 November 2008

Happy Birthday - again!


Because the computer has currently got the heebie-jeebies, this post should have appeared last Thursday and didn't - so it's a bit out of date, but I'm sure it won't matter and anyway it's only a bit of trumpet-blowing really. Soooo...

Hurrah! At last! Happy Birthday is published today! Well, in paperback (the hardback in August doesn't really count as it was for libraries and book clubs and not for general sale in shops) and I'm so pleased with it. Well, not with the writing of course, because that would be showing off, but with seeing it as a real book in its lovely, lovely Ella Tjader cover. Digressing a bit here - I emailed Ella to thank her when she did the stonking cover for Heaven Sent, and she replied and said she'd done a lot of book jackets but I was the only author who had ever said thank you. I couldn't believe that. She's brilliant - and unless you're a huge name it has to be the cover that makes readers pick the book up in the first place. So here's another massive thank you to the lovely Ella - a genius par excellence!

Hopefully, Happy Birthday will be on bookshelves in shops soon, but I never go and look any more just in case it isn't. There's nothing more gutting than excitedly tiptoeing towards the alphabetical lists in WH Smith or somewhere only to find that I'm not nestling cosily between Erica James and Belinda Jones...


This was another of my early and naive writerly assumptions - that every book published just automatically ended up in book shops. Wrong! The publishers have reps who trawl the stores for months, wheeling and dealing and trying to get/buy shelf space for their latest titles. Some succeed, others don't. I've had two books that never appeared anywhere. They were available on Amazon etc, but as for real shops - not a sniff. I've no idea why this happens - but it does and has, and hopefully it won't happen with Happy Birthday...

Oh, and as a bit of good news after all the recent rejections, today I've sold two more stories to Allers in Sweden and a longish, youngish romance to People's Friend. Three hits in one day - this has cheered me up no end I can tell you. People's Friend also asked for more young rom coms - so if any of you have anything remotely suitable languishing on your pc maybe PF is the place to try??? I'm certainly going to have another go.

If the computer behaves and stops crashing and freezing, I'll post again tomorrow about my book launch party on Saturday which was great fun and quite funny (especially the bit with the photographer and the balloons, oh and the town crier and the mayor in full regalia - oh yes, and especially the man who thought he knew me intimately and that I was someone called Mrs Townsend...).

14 comments:

Jan Jones said...

Um, actually, Chris, I DO buy books simply because they have your name on the cover..

Congrats on the short stories. Shall now have a look and see what I've got languishing!

Christina Jones said...

jan- thanks so much for that, you're very kind and I'm preening a bit now - and we joneses have to stick together, don't we??? I still think I sold more copies of Heaven Sent than any other book because of the fab cover - fingers crossed it'll work for Happy Birthday too.

Christina Jones said...

ps - jan - sorry! brain not in gear - good luck with the shorts for PF. I've just sent them another 3. Not holding breath though...

Mummy said...

I also buy them because they have your name on, you muppet! lol I know I'm in for a fantastic and magical read :o) I'll be sure to look out for Happy Birthday when I'm in town next.

Good news on the PF front too. I still haven't found the confidence to send anything, anywhere...oh dear! Well done you though!

Christina Jones said...

mummy - thank you so much - but if you don't see it anywhere please don't tell me... and send stuff!!!! Just send it!!!

CrazyJaneDesigns said...

I spotted 'Happy Birthday' in WH Smiths on saturday in Salisbury, so you are out there.
love all your books, can't wait to start this one, and I must say I do love these covers, so well done to Ella Tjader.
and thank you for the wonderful books,

Mummy said...

It sounds so easy when you say it like that but I honestly keep trying and failing....I can't work out where to send it too....I read the guidelines, change it round a bit and then the guidelines change or the mag says they don't want any more for months and months...and so it goes on....and on....

I suppose if I was sitting on a pie of things it would be easier but fiction is fairly new to me so I only have a few short stories and some personal articles as well.....oh blimey. Just thinking about them overwhelms me! I'm a lost cause!

Christina Jones said...

crazy jane designs - (er, I was going to address you as cjd, then thought that probably wouldn't do!) - thanks so much for telling me Happy Birthday is in WHS! My publishers haven't told me that so thanks a million. Phew! It's actually Out There!!! And thanks so much for saying such lovely things about my books (if you could see me now you'd notice the smug simpering...)

mummy - now I'm going to be really fierce here - don't faff around! Send the features to My Weekly, send the stories to People's Friend and just see what happens. DC Thomson are brilliant at taking stuff from new writers and also great at telling you why it's not right for them (if it isn't) and how to make it right. Bite the bullet - now!!!!

Mummy said...

I'm just not sure the stories are right for people's friend.....they're not romance at all, more twist in the tail..... No one has read them who has written for the mags, that's why I'm so confused and overwhelmed by it all. OK, I know, you're going to be fierce again! lol

Christina Jones said...

mummy - noooo, I'm not going to be fierce now. No, if they're t-i-t-t (sorry - no offence meant!) stories then they definitely wouldn't be right for PF. PF don't like t-i-t-t. MW like t-i-t-t but they're not taking any more stories until Jan. WW like t-i-t-t too - and they're currently *off* romance - so why not give WW a whirl????

Mummy said...

Tee hee - loving the titt titles, very funny. Ok I'm off to re read the guidelines for WW. :o) Thanks again. (((HUGS)))

Christina Jones said...

mummy - send your titts to Woman's Weekly sounds truly obscene...

Phillipa said...

Chris

I've got HB on my Christmas list and I SO symptahise with the books on shelve sthing...

The worst part is the astonished and indignant questions from 'friends'.

"I went into WHS in Outer Mongolia last week and YOUR book WAS NOT on the shelves. Why not?"

Soemone to say every time. "OH It must have sold out."

:)

Christina Jones said...

phillipa - I do hope you'll enjoy Happy Birthday at Christmas - thanks so much! And yes, that's going to be my line to the "why isn't it on the shelves?" question from now on - "it's sold out" sounds so much better than my usual "dunno.."