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8 Put the sentences in the correct places in the text below.

a) Last week the Booker Prize award ceremony took place and another writer received a prize for his or her successful novel.

b) These five books have made over £3.4 million.

c) The publisher will probably then decide whether the book can be a success.

d) Today publishers don’t decide on a book because they like it.

e) What else is important for a book before it is published?

f) The last novel he published ‘How to be a dancer in five days’ sold 500,000 copies.

The Truth about Book Writing

0__a__ This is a time when journalists use such phrases as ‘groundbreaking’, ‘classic’, ‘incomparable’, ‘moving’ and ‘outstanding’ to describe books and the people who write them. Everyone seems to forget however, the armies of other hard-working people behind a book who make it the success it becomes.

Sometimes even the writer doesn’t think of the idea behind a book. A publisher may think of an idea and then suggest it to an author who will then usually send the publisher a plan or small part of the book. 1_____.

Let’s be clear on this. 2_____. In this world of consumerism, they decide to publish a book if they think it can make a profit. Only last week a publisher told me that in the last five years he had decided not to publish five books he loved. During the same time, he had also published twelve books which he thought were rubbish. Why? Because he knew people would buy them. 90% of the time he is right. 3_____.

If the publisher buys into the idea, they will agree to publish the book and then the author will write the whole book. This is not the end of the story, though. Once the writer has finished the book, the publisher, ‘readers’ and editors will read it and ask for changes to be made. Not everyone knows this but most of the time the book that is published is not only the work of the writer. It is also the work of the publishers, readers and editors. Yet, it is only the author that people hear about.

4_____. The cover and design of the book need to be carefully considered. Some books are bought by people simply because they love the cover or the pictures inside. It may be a terrible book, but unless they read a few pages, they won’t realise this. Also the ‘blurb’ has to be written. This is the description of the book that you find on the back cover. This is usually written by someone in the marketing department of a publishing company. Not the author. Again, a ‘blurb’ can be the reason why someone buys a book. Sometimes though, the blurb and the book are two completely different things. Do you believe every advert you see on TV? No? Then don’t believe a blurb.

As you can see it is not only the author who makes a book but it is only the author who receives prizes. Last week, I was invited to the National Publishing Dinner in Nottingham. Here, I had the chance to meet the people who are really responsible for the success of a book. Sue Parmenter, publisher at Acorn Books has published five books in three years. 5_____. Some people might say that this is a bigger success than winning the Booker Prize.

So, next time you buy a book and enjoy it, don’t only think of the author. Think of all the underrated nameless people who made it possible for you to enjoy that page turner.

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