Tuesday, 30 June 2020
Into The Tangled Bank
Funny old world, publishing.
Here we are, just over two years since the launch of Music To Eat Cake By (which was at that time known as The Long and the Short of It), and still nearly five months away from its publication (12 November, in case you missed it), and I’ve only gone and written another book in the interim, and it’s only going to be published next week.
What’s that all about?
Well. Sit down and I’ll tell you a story. It’s a story of two different books and their two different stories.
Music To Eat Cake By was, when we launched the campaign to fund it, just an idea. It needed to be funded, and of course, because of its very nature, with the funding came the ideas that I would find myself writing about.
The funding took longer than I’d hoped: Why Do Birds Suddenly Disappear?, my first Unbound book, funded in three months flat. The second visit to the well, for various and understandable reasons, took just under a year.
(This is not a complaint, by the way. It’s just the way things are. I’ve been beyond grateful for the support of both books, and owe all my supporters a debt I’ll find impossible to repay.)
Having funded it, I then had to write it. And once written it went through all the usual stages of editing and design and whatnot. All of which accounts for a good chunk of time.
But there’s one more factor, and it’s to do with the kind of book Music To Eat Cake By is. It is (and I apologise for sullying the midsummer air with the word I’m about to write) a Christmassy kind of book. A collection of humorous essays on a variety of subjects is firmly in 'oh that looks like just the thing for Uncle Mike' territory. And as it wasn’t ready for last Christmas, this Christmas it has to be.
Into The Tangled Bank might be a good Christmas book, but what with it being about all the naturey stuff it also counts quite strongly as a 'summer read'. And its publisher, Elliott & Thompson, produces rather fewer books than Unbound each year – they operate according to different models – so a quick turnaround is, I think, more feasible for them. (Again, this isn’t a criticism of anyone. It’s just the way things are. Both publishers are brilliant, and I feel privileged to be associated with them.)
So there we are. All of the above is by way of both an apology and a plea.
The Apology: sorry it’s taken so long to make Music To Eat Cake By. I hope it’ll be worth the wait.
The Plea: while you’re waiting... you can read about Into The Tangled Bank, with links to pre-order, here.