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Fiona Snyckers

@ Sunday Times Books LIVE

Reprints – Why We Heart Them

Every author greets the news that their novel has been reprinted with mixed feelings.

Okay, I’m lying. They don’t really. Unless by mixed feelings you mean joy, jubilation, delight and ecstatic relief. More like lightly blended feelings, really.

On the one hand, there’s the relief that you have escaped the cold clutch of the dreaded Pulping Machine. On the other, you can’t help but reflect that a whole lot more fodder has now been created for his possible future delectation. And by fodder, I’m referring of course to your babies, your treasured offspring, the fruits of your creative soul…

Still, you can’t help dwelling, with just a touch of complacency, on the undeniable fact that you have sold out an entire print run. Your sales are now roughly equivalent to those of John Grisham. On a slow weekend. In Boise, Indiana. In the middle of a recession. When half the population is on holiday. And the other half has been wiped out by a mysterious plague.

Yes, the sad truth is that South African print runs are nothing to run screaming through the streets about. I’m not saying that Spud isn’t sitting comfortably in the six-figure bracket, but the rest of us have to muddle along with a measly four.

I’m not complaining, though. A sell-out is a sell-out, right? Even if roughly two thirds of the first print run were purchased by one’s mother-in-law and foisted willy nilly onto the hairdresser, the dog parlour lady, the physio, the guy selling feather-dusters door to door, and the entire 50th anniversary school reunion of Afrikaans Meisies Hoër.

So Trinity Rising has gone into its second printing and no one could be happier than yours truly. I got to see the first of the new copies today. They look girlishly slim and frisky next to their chunkier first-run predecessors. Still 372 pages, but somehow, inexplicably, thinner. Like they have been on a diet or something. Someone with printing savvy could probably explain it to me.

Right now all I care about is that the ink is warm and the bubbly is cold. Salut!


Recent comments:

  • <a href="" rel="nofollow">Colleen</a>
    February 4th, 2010 @09:05 #

    Congrats Fiona. Different paper. They have paper that has bulking out qualities and paper that doesn't. It is a big deal and it means that you are a bestseller in SA terms.

  • <a href="" rel="nofollow">Fiona</a>
    February 4th, 2010 @09:09 #

    Ahh ... thanks, Colleen. I thought you were probably the right person to enlighten me :)

  • Ben - Editor
    Ben - Editor
    February 4th, 2010 @09:25 #

    I've actually seen people carrying Trinity Rising around with them - on planes, etc. Nice work, Fiona.

  • <a href="" rel="nofollow">Jassy</a>
    February 4th, 2010 @12:02 #

    That is such totally brilliant news, Fiona! Well done. And great timing with the launch of the second book so close now.

  • <a href="" rel="nofollow">Helen</a>
    February 4th, 2010 @13:32 #

    Yay Fifi! Trinity is on the way to conquering the world. Well, maybe the population of Boise, Indiana. Am so pleased. And now I am going to shameless hijack your post and brag that Strange Fruit has been reprinted THREE times. But in case you are imagining Colleen and I riding round in a limo, knocking back the Moet, and waving regally to you as you pass in your bright-pink Trinity limo, I must now confess that each time, the print run has been around 50. My publisher is a fox.

  • <a href="" rel="nofollow">Fiona</a>
    February 4th, 2010 @15:47 #

    I'm clinking virtual glasses of bubbly with you and Colleen across the ether, Helen. That is superb - well done!


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