Books books books!

So a man knocks on the door and he’s carrying a big cardboard box. And just for once, the cardboard box is not full of internet shopping for Alex, but full of heavy things for me. And it is from Scholastic. And they are books. My books.

I love this bit.

The Look comes out in the US at the end of the week. I haven’t seen the copy since I sent the last round of changes in last summer, so it’s extra exciting to see how it looks as an actual, bound and typeset book. From the outside at least, it looks like this:

Box of books

Now to see what it looks like inside …

And to sit back and wait for the reviews. They’ve just started to come in online from the US. Always very scary, as American reviewers know exactly what they want from a YA book, and they’re not afraid of saying so if they don’t get it.

As long as the reviews are accurate, I don’t mind that at all. So far, they’ve been pretty kind. There is one person who absolutely hates a character called Silas. She was kept up at night thinking how much she hated him. Which is odd, because I don’t have a character called Silas in the book. I’m not entirely sure who she was thinking of. But she was fine about everything else.

Mostly I’m just grateful that people take the time to talk about the book. It’s fabulous to have such a big blogging community, and so many ways to find out if a particular book is going to be the kind of thing you’re going to enjoy, or not. The one everyone’s talking about at the moment is The Madman’s Daughter, by Megan Shepherd. It’s based on The Island of Doctor Moreau, by HG Wells, and it looks amazing. Fabulous heronie. I may just have to check it out, once I’ve finished stroking my glossy new American covers …


7 thoughts on “Books books books!

  1. Very cool. I’m interested to know how you got to this point. I’m sending out my manuscript (memoir) to agents as of last week. Wondering, from other successful writers, their process of getting published.

    • Hi. The good and the bad news is that it took me ten years to get published, but it happened in the end. Persistence pays! I originally submitted manuscripts to publishers and agents, as recommended. I got encouraging feedback, but no offers. Then I submitted the manuscript of Threads to the Times/Chicken House competition in 2009, and winning that competition was my route into publication.

      I would say that you need to make your manuscript as good as it can possibly be, then make it better. Choose agents in the Writers’ and Artists’ Yearbook who specialise in the kind of thing you write. Pick 7 or 8 and do EXACTLY what they say on their website. Write the best, short cover letter you can, selling both yourelf and the story, and the best synopsis. Get a friend to read them for you. Once they’re sent, sit back and wait.

      It may not happen straight away, but keep trying. Take on any feedback you can. And good luck!

  2. *claps and squeals* How exciting!!! I’m so happy for you, Sophia! You must be absolutely over the moon with these pretties! *reaches out hand to stroke pretty hardback cover*

    I’m so glad The Look is now going to be available in the US because although British readers are awesome, we all know your book deserves a wider audience! Best of luck with the American bloggers – I’m sure they will love it as much as us!

  3. I was fortunate enough to receive an ARC of The Look, to review for Buried Under Books blog ( My review doesn’t do it justice.

    I absolutely adore everything about this story. It is written so well, that I feel as if I actually met the characters. As a reader, I felt proud of their acomplishments and I felt sympathy for the failures. Ted Trout’s journey to self-discovery is one that must be followed.

    Read The Look, you won’t be sorry–I promise.


    • Hi Judy. You are wonderful! Thank you so much for your support, and your review. It’s much appreciated from an author far away. 🙂 And your conclusions about the book are absolutely right. It’s all about self-discovery. I’m so glad you thought so too!

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