top of page

The Invisible Bits of Publishing

One of the fun parts about being traditionally published is getting to peek behind the curtain in a few ways as Adrift winds its way towards its release date on May 9. I thought I would share some of the bits I’m learning about here…

a hand holding a tiny version of the Adrift cover in front of Pacific Northwest ocean scenery on a ferry
Mini Adrift card goes on a ferry ride

Earlier in February I was invited to Victoria, BC to be one of a handful of authors at the Western Book Reps Association (WBRA) book fair. This is a meeting to connect book reps with indie booksellers, trade, librarians, and gift retailers. As part of their multi-day gathering, they arranged a fun evening event where, over cocktails, a few local authors got to share their upcoming books with rotating small groups of booksellers.

So I happily caught the ferry to Victoria.

It was great fun! Book people seem to be universally lovely and easy to chat with. I particularly appreciated describing Adrift to BC-based booksellers since it’s set here. I got to talk to folks who had been to Haida Gwaii, and to booksellers from Nanaimo!

I also had a chance to meet, in person, with some fabulous folks from Raincoast Books who are distributing Adrift in Canada for my US publisher Sourcebooks. They’re very excited about Adrift and have sales staff across Canada working to get it into stores.

It’s incredible to me how many people have been involved in getting Adrift out to the world over the past few months. From the outside it may seem like we’re just waiting for release day, waiting for the books to be printed and shipped, but actually, stuff has been happening all along.

Interior of a bookstore - housed in a grand space, a former bank. Dark wood bookshelves are filled with books, a chandelier hangs from the centre of the high ceiling.
The famous & beautiful Munro's Books, Victoria BC

Book reps and sales teams have been working for many weeks already to make sure the right stores and booksellers know about Adrift and, hopefully, stock it. They do their best to make it so that on May 9th, it’s in as many bookstores as possible. Sourcebooks reps and sales staff do this in the US, Raincoast Books in Canada, and DK Books in the UK, etc.

So: book reps. One important layer of the publishing/sales world I had no idea about before. They work on behalf of publishers. They develop an understanding of the interests and needs of the booksellers/stores in their area and then highlight items in the massive catalogues of the publishers they represent that are a match. Here’s a good overview. (Edited to add this unglamorous overview of the book sales process.)

Other BC authors at the event also have fabulous fiction books coming out this year - check them out:

A man and woman stand smiling at a table in a dark room with twinkly lights.
Paul Cresey & I catching up. Our debut books both come out in May!

Robin Yeatman, BOOKWORM





Next time? We'll talk trade publication reviews!

Recent Posts

See All


We're one month out from publication of Adrift and so many lovely things have happened - reviews, national newspaper coverage, radio interviews, and incredibly lovely notes from friends and strangers


bottom of page