I’m very excited about today’s post! Just before Christmas, I was lucky enough to receive a present in the post – a copy of a book that sounded wonderful! I was immediately captivated by the description of this YA contemporary set in the Alps and in a boarding school (perfect combination!), and so am delighted to be here on the blog tour for this book – The Year After You by Nina de Pass.
So, today is my stop on the blog tour, and I have something a little different to share with you! I really wanted to do a Q&A post, and something I was really keen to do was interview someone who works for the publisher, Ink Road. Luckily, the lovely lady who I’ve been in contact with was up for answering a few questions on Ink Road and The Year After You! So, without further ado, I’d like to introduce you to Sarah Barnard!
Hello Sarah! So first of all, I’d like to find out a little bit about you! What is your role at Ink Road and what sort of things do you do on a day to day basis?
I’m the sales account manager at Black & White Publishing (the publisher that Ink Road is an imprint of). I look after Scottish sales, and liaise with our sales teams in the rest of the UK, Ireland, America, Australia/New Zealand and South Africa. A lot of my day to day life is processing orders, and making sure everyone has up to date info on our titles. One of my favourite parts of my job is getting to visit bookshops and tell lovely booksellers all about our books. But I also do lots of other Ink Road things because I absolutely love YA: I’m responsible for the Ink Road Reads newsletter (pls subscribe), as well as helping with our social media, I attend events, and I have the excellent job of being in charge of Ink Road’s YALC adventure this year!
Your job does sound so varied and exciting! I’m looking forward to finding out more about what you’ll be getting up to at YALC; I’m desperate to go this year, for the first time!
Outside of work, what do you enjoy doing?
I spend lots of time immersing myself in Edinburgh’s publishing scene – I’m membership secretary for the Society of Young Publishers’ Scotland branch. We’re currently planning our 2019 conference, which will take place in Edinburgh on 15 February. I would really highly recommend coming along if you’re interested in getting into publishing. If you can’t make it to the conference, do think about joining your local SYP branch. It’s the best place to get insight into the industry and make great pals along the way.
I also try to convince myself my life isn’t 100% publishing, by singing in a choir, taking French classes, and cultivating a strong recreational interest in cake.
Très bien! French and cake really jump out at me there. That’s also some really useful advice for anyone who wants to go into publishing!
What’s your current read?
I just finished my namesake Sara Barnard’s completely gorgeous Fierce Fragile Hearts – UKYA at its heart-wrenching finest, and a beautiful, tender story about the many different kinds of love and how they help you to not only survive, but to live.
YES! I LOVE THIS BOOK TOO! Shamelessly going to plug my review here. That’s a beautiful summary.
Next up, I’ve got a few questions that are about Ink Road and The Year After You.
What made this book stand out as one that you [Ink Road] had to publish? What sets it apart from other YA books?
Cara’s voice is arresting from the very beginning of the novel: she’s so guarded and so vulnerable, flawed but engaging and deeply sympathetic. The writing is beautiful, and the setting is fantastic. I love the aesthetic of all the snow-capped mountains and the boarding school with its golden domes!
What makes an Ink Road book? How do you choose your books and authors to represent your imprint?
Ink Road has only just turned 2 years old, so we’re still a young imprint, but we’ve published some really brilliant books in those two years, starting with Pooja Puri’s The Jungle. We’ve developed a strong reputation with our fresh, contemporary YA novels (all of which have fabulous covers, too). We love finding new writers and helping them develop their voices; we’re very proud to be publishing Estelle Maskame’s extraordinary sixth novel in August!
What’s been your favourite part of being involved in the publication of The Year After You?
It’s the first Ink Road book I’ve followed all the way from manuscript to publication, which is super exciting! That’s what publishing is all about! My favourite part so far has been the wonderful responses we’ve had from everybody – from my fave YA authors like Sophie Cameron and Lauren James, to all the other brilliant bloggers – who has read it. I feel very proud to be sending it out into the world, and very grateful for how well it has been received. It’s lovely that Nina shares our excitement too! There’s nothing like getting a phone call from a debut author who’s just received the first copies of her actual book to make the day to day feel worthwhile!
How has the increased use and influence of social media and bloggers changed how you market a book?
Social media means publishers can speak directly to readers in a way we couldn’t, really, even a few years ago. Everything is more immediate – both good feedback and bad! But with shrinking coverage of books in print media, especially children’s books coverage, it’s so important to have this huge network and proliferation of spaces online where people shout about books they love. It also means even more emphasis on making books look beautiful: I’m always astounded by the creativity of bookstagrammers, who make everything look so shiny! And, so, when you see the book in its natural habitat (the bookshop) you recognise it and pick it up…
Beautiful covers is something that Ink Road definitely has a grasp of; I’ve yet to see one that hasn’t drawn me in immediately!
Finish the sentence: if you loved….. you will love The Year After You.
If you loved We Are Okay by Nina LaCour, you will love The Year After You. Two beautiful books about isolated, grief-stricken girls in frozen landscapes, learning to let their hearts thaw again.
Thank you so so much Sarah for featuring today! To all of you readers, I hope you found that as interesting as I did – Sarah’s mentioned some really good points! Make sure to check back on the 16th for my review!
The Year After You by Nina de Pass is out tomorrow from Ink Road books. Get your copy here:
Thank you so much to Sarah at Ink Road for sending me a copy of The Year After You and for having me on the blog tour!