"Maybe, maybe, maybe this will be reprinted? A girl can dream." November 2, 2009 8:54 PM   Subscribe

I, too, have reason to thank MeFi today: Back in January, peep posted to Metafilter about Mel Juffe and Edward Gorey's The Recently Deflowered Girl, which had been long out of print. Through a delightful stroke of luck, I have become the editor responsible for bringing the book back into print, and the mefi thread about the book was pretty darn helpful to that end.

We're publishing it along with two other Gorey books, including my favorite, The West Wing, a wordless exploration of a very strange house. All three books will be available next week in the States.

For an editor like me, who's just getting started in her career, it means so much to me that I'm getting to work on these books by an author I love so much. It's so cool that the internet (and especially, for me, the post on mefi) brought this to light and helped get it back into print. Thanks, mefites!
posted by ocherdraco to MetaFilter-Related at 8:54 PM (54 comments total) 45 users marked this as a favorite

And because someone almost certainly will ask, I did run this post by the mods.
posted by ocherdraco at 8:55 PM on November 2, 2009


i'll take ten, please! this is so exciting.
posted by timory at 9:03 PM on November 2, 2009


Sweet, so complimentary copies mailed out to each and every Mefite? Ja??
posted by mannequito at 9:09 PM on November 2, 2009


DID YOU RUN THIS THREAD BY THE oh.

I'll take three.
posted by Astro Zombie at 9:13 PM on November 2, 2009


Dude, I wish. I don't even have my copy yet.
posted by ocherdraco at 9:13 PM on November 2, 2009


Oh man. Christmas is going to be AWESOME this year. Thanks, ocherdraco!
posted by padraigin at 9:27 PM on November 2, 2009


yay! I know what my sister's getting for xmas. Thank you!
posted by gingerbeer at 9:44 PM on November 2, 2009


Neat! Congrats!
posted by Lutoslawski at 9:46 PM on November 2, 2009


So. Cool.
posted by rtha at 9:47 PM on November 2, 2009


Excellent. I went to the (broken) MeFi link on TRDG this very morning...
posted by darth_tedious at 9:52 PM on November 2, 2009


What does an editor do on a reissued book like this? I'm not being snarky, I realised I don't know and I'm interested. I assume you don't change the text or illustrations (of course I may be wrong), does the layout get changed much? Which bits get, well, edited? I'm guessing it all gets set up somehow for modern printing processes to give a better end product but don't know how or which bits are done by an editor. It could be that I don't know enough about this topic in general to imagine how it works so feel free to tell me to go do some research if it's all obvious.
posted by shelleycat at 9:56 PM on November 2, 2009


Oh yeah. And I hope this gets wider release cos I'd love to give copies for Christmas too but don't want to pay postage and exchange rates and stuff getting it from the US. Of course if last year is anything to go by I'll give in and do it anyway but still.
posted by shelleycat at 10:10 PM on November 2, 2009


From an old editor to a new one: congrats! All our projects should be this exciting, eh?
posted by scody at 10:17 PM on November 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


Oh yay!! I too am curious about the layout, typography, etc. This is so cool!
posted by peep at 10:19 PM on November 2, 2009


Great, I'm asking it for Christmas! Are there any plans for merchandise like calendars?
posted by clearlydemon at 10:39 PM on November 2, 2009


Hah! This is wonderful. I'm also glad the original link is now extinct, since putting it back into print means people will have to buy it now.
posted by crossoverman at 10:39 PM on November 2, 2009


What does an editor do on a reissued book like this?

Heh. Quite a bit.

I assume you don't change the text or illustrations (of course I may be wrong), does the layout get changed much? Which bits get, well, edited? I'm guessing it all gets set up somehow for modern printing processes to give a better end product but don't know how or which bits are done by an editor. (shelleycat)

Okay, to begin with, the key thing to remember here is that an editor's job is much more than just editing. For a given book (let's assume a nonfiction book by a living author that does need editing, these are the things its editor is responsible for:
  1. Finding it in the first place, whether through traditional channels like a literary agent, or on their own initiative.
  2. Presenting it at the editorial meeting and asking permission to offer for the rights to publish it.
  3. Negotiating a deal for the rights to publish.
  4. Paying the author.
  5. Writing tipsheets that describe the book and why you think it will sell.
  6. Pitching the book to the publicity, marketing, and sales departments.
  7. Badgering the author to turn the manuscript in on time, since you've already scheduled it and if they don't it'll throw the whole season off.
  8. Actually editing the book. ←this is the best part
  9. Badgering the author to turn in their revisions.
  10. Making sure the final manuscript and all art is complete and ready to be turned in to production.
  11. Paying the author.
  12. Reviewing the copyedited manuscript.
  13. Consulting with the art department about the book's jacket.
  14. Convincing the author that the jacket is the best one for the book.
  15. Writing catalog copy for the book.
  16. Recording audio presentations about the book for the travelers that go from bookseller to bookseller getting them to buy our books.
  17. Coordinating with the rights department to sell whatever subsidiary rights (translation, first serial, audio, etc.) you have for the book.
  18. Sending out advance copies of the book to prominent people/friends of the author/authors you've published in similar topics with hopes that they'll write a blurb for the book, the importance of which you are dubious about, but do anyway because, sometimes, it really seems to help.
  19. Powwowing with the publicity department about which among the dwindling number of media outlets that cover books we should approach about doing pieces on the book.
  20. Soliciting reviews from folks you know that the publicity department hasn't approached.
  21. When finished books arrive, sending them to the same aforementioned blurbers, thanking them for their help.
  22. Ordering and sending complimentary copies to the author and agent.
  23. Running interference between the author and any departments (publicity, marketing, etc.) he or she may be working with at the moment.
  24. Attending any in-town events for the book at publication.
  25. Paying the author.
  26. Distributing laudatory reviews among your colleagues so they see the impact the book had.
  27. Mailing copies of the book to people who might talk about it.
  28. Hounding the sales director to order the badly needed reprint of your title since it's gone on backorder.
  29. Reading the author's proposal for their next book, on which you have an option.
  30. Arranging for a preface by a well known author to appear in the paperback edition of the book.
  31. Consulting with the art department on the paperback cover of the book.
  32. Convincing the author that the paperback cover is better than the hardback jacket.
  33. Writing catalog copy for the paperback.
  34. Editing jacket copy to fit on the paperback cover and selecting reviews to appear on the cover and the first page of the paperback.
  35. Conveying corrections to production for the paperback.
  36. Sending finished copies of the paperback to the author and agent.
  37. With option proposal in hand, return to Step 1.
So, that's what we do for most books. For these, replace the author with the representatives from the author's estate, get finished pages instead of manuscript (less badgering!), remove the editing and the blurbers and anything else that seems like it would require a living author, and nix the paperback (these are being published in hardcover, and will stay that way). That doesn't trim the list a whole lot, does it?

(I love this work, by the way. It can be exasperating, but I do love it.)

Oh yeah. And I hope this gets wider release cos I'd love to give copies for Christmas too but don't want to pay postage and exchange rates and stuff getting it from the US. Of course if last year is anything to go by I'll give in and do it anyway but still. (shelleycat)

It is being published in other territories as well, but I don't have those dates at hand (sorry, should have checked those before I posted).
posted by ocherdraco at 10:46 PM on November 2, 2009 [66 favorites]


Peep, the only text that is different is the frontmatter and backmatter, which is set in a typeface made from Gorey's own hand-lettering, and the back cover, which no longer exactly mirrors the front cover, but instead has a barcode and a very small amount of text instead of the illustration. The rest is an exact facsimile.
posted by ocherdraco at 10:48 PM on November 2, 2009


Great, I'm asking it for Christmas! Are there any plans for merchandise like calendars? (clearlydemon)

Not from us, as we only do books, but the Estate does many such things, so I wouldn't be surprised. You can find things like that at the store of the Edward Gorey House.
posted by ocherdraco at 10:50 PM on November 2, 2009


Wow, thanks for such an enlightening outline ocherdraco! And you know, that all actually sounds like fun. Having such an amazing set of books to work with makes it all the better.

As for timing, don't fret. If I find it before Christmas I'll give it away, if it's after Christmas I'll have Christmas-present-book-vouchers to buy my own (hee!).
posted by shelleycat at 11:15 PM on November 2, 2009


Badgering the author to turn the manuscript in on time, since you've already scheduled it and if they don't it'll throw the whole season off.

Heh. I would add "Stash liquor in drawer to deal with authors who could give a rat's ass about how blowing their deadline will wreak havoc on your schedule" to your list of things an editor needs to do regularly.
posted by scody at 11:26 PM on November 2, 2009 [2 favorites]


The liquor in my drawer is Laphroaig. What's yours?
posted by ocherdraco at 11:29 PM on November 2, 2009 [2 favorites]


Wow, congratulations, ocherdraco. I am both excited and jealous. Excited about the chance to own copies of those books, and jealous that you got to work on such an amazing project.
posted by Caduceus at 11:42 PM on November 2, 2009


Congratulations, ocherdracho. This is great on many fronts (we book lovers get a re-issue of a very cool book, an esteemed mefi gets a cool gig, I know what to get my sis for x-mas... this news is really just all kinds of win!)
posted by From Bklyn at 2:53 AM on November 3, 2009


Congratulations! I have a version of "West Wing" from the Amphigory collection, but it is printed in a large soft-back book, with 2 or 4 pages to a sheet! It quite ruins the "eye-fee" of a Gorey book.
posted by muddgirl at 5:31 AM on November 3, 2009


"eye-feel", of course. Also, Amphigorey. Damn.
posted by muddgirl at 5:32 AM on November 3, 2009


Wonderful news ocherdraco.
posted by nola at 5:47 AM on November 3, 2009


Yay! When I saw that thread I tried to buy an old copy of it, but I couldn't find one for less than $400. This'll be much better.
posted by bluishorange at 6:17 AM on November 3, 2009


Eeeee, awesome! I, too, will be purchasing these as Christmas presents. Congrats, ocherdraco!
posted by marginaliana at 6:18 AM on November 3, 2009


Wow, nice work! And thanks for your wonderfully detailed outline on how you made this happen. Congratulations!
posted by foxy_hedgehog at 6:30 AM on November 3, 2009


Cool beans. That thread inspired me to get a copy of the original version of the book - the best I could do was from a merchant in Germany on Abe, for I think about US$40 shipped.
posted by exogenous at 8:30 AM on November 3, 2009


Congratulations! That is pure awesome.

(Now, if only you could get some of Alice Starmore's books republished, as I do not have $200-400 for a copy of this one. Hey, a girl can dream, no?)
posted by bitter-girl.com at 9:04 AM on November 3, 2009


For those not in the US: the UK edition is coming out February 1, 2010. The US and UK editions will be distributed elsewhere in the English-speaking world. I'm figuring out which edition is being distributed where, which should help you figure out when it will be available in your neck of the woods.
posted by ocherdraco at 9:32 AM on November 3, 2009


Congratulations, that's great!
posted by languagehat at 9:38 AM on November 3, 2009


So cool - congrats, ocherdraco!
posted by yarrow at 10:28 AM on November 3, 2009


I love your description of what an editor does. I had no idea.

Is there someplace (on the wiki or someplace) that we can collect cool job descriptions? Sort of like the "how to find a lawyer" description?

And yes, I will be buying multiple copies for Christmas gifts.
posted by small_ruminant at 10:41 AM on November 3, 2009


The liquor in my drawer is Laphroaig. What's yours?

Jameson's, usually (though I currently have a bottle of Ramazzotti Amaro that a colleague brought from Italy).
posted by scody at 10:45 AM on November 3, 2009


Red Breast. Or Jameson 12 year.

It's my way of showing support for mother Ireland.
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:48 AM on November 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


Congratulations and thank you, ocherdraco. I'll be ordering several copies as soon as it becomes available in the UK.

My favourite obscure Gorey book is The Improvable Landscape, and if you could bring that back into print you would make me very happy, as I've never seen a copy for sale for less than $200.
posted by verstegan at 10:57 AM on November 3, 2009


I'm guessing I'm not the only one doing this, so to save others the bother, Amazon links:

The Glorious Nosebleed, The Recently Deflowered Girl, The West Wing.

If you already have Amphigorey, you've got The West Wing; same with Amphigorey Also and The Glorious Nosebleed.
posted by Zed at 11:22 AM on November 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


That is fantastic, congrats!
posted by graventy at 11:45 AM on November 3, 2009


verstegan, I've never heard of that one. I'll inquire about it with the Estate.
posted by ocherdraco at 12:41 PM on November 3, 2009


I'm the photo editor at the campus paper; sitting in my desk drawer is a bottle of Bulleit labelled "IN CASE OF RAGE," as seen here.
posted by heeeraldo at 1:00 PM on November 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


Thank you.
posted by winna at 1:47 PM on November 3, 2009


I have wine in my desk that my boss gave me. Yes, we editors do mostly have alcohol in our desks. But the production guys have a mini-fridge with beer in it.
posted by rmless at 2:26 PM on November 3, 2009


(Oh, and I pre-ordered, thanks for the alert!)
posted by rmless at 2:28 PM on November 3, 2009


happy aiyeee!!! I collect Edward Gorey books, and the Recently... book was one I've wanted but haven't been able to afford. All of his stuff is great, and weird, and weirdly great. hooray!!!!
posted by oldtimey at 5:45 PM on November 3, 2009


I never really post on metafilter and am not certain how much details to include in this story but I took a look at all my old Facebook correspondence and...

I met two friends during teacher's college (lets call them Hillary and Patty). One day I noticed Hillary's Facebook profile picture changed to what I interpreted to be her version of a despair / demotivational poster with a picture of a bed (with a spread on it) with the captioning: "The Spread. You slept on it." I jokingly asked about it and Hillary responded with: "I stayed at Patty's last week and got yelled at by her 80-year old landlord because I slept on the bedspread. There was nothing special about this bedspread, and I didn't know any better. Her words (I kid you not) "YOU SLEPT ON THE SPREAD!" It's a running joke now :)" This same landlord used to bake baked goods and give them to Patty on occasion (though Patty only traded me once).

Last January 6th, Hillary posted some pictures on their Facebook profile. I found them hilarious, they were in fact scans of The Recently Deflowered Girl. I asked my friend where she had gotten the book and she told me that when she was over visiting Patty she noticed that the landlord had this hilarious book which she stole, took home and made scans of. I asked my friend to send me the pdfs she had scanned and she said she would though didn't get around to it right away.

I'm not sure when exactly she took them down from Facebook, but at the very end of March I asked Hillary why The Recently Deflowered Girl pictures had disappeared off her Facebook. She responded with:

"ok, I'll tell you since you asked so nicely :)

I scanned that book knowing that it was under copyright, but ignoring it. I thought to myself, this is such an incredible book, it's out of print, the author has passed away, and it's relatively unheard of on the internet. Why not share it with some people? So i put it on FB. Harmless enough. I also posted it to a LiveJournal community. Within 3 days it had over 100 comments to it. After a week, a fellow LiveJournal-er messaged me, mentioning that the copyright is still very much in effect, and that the book had gone "viral" across the internet. I panicked, and took down all connections that I had to that book.

Turns out that it was too late. Someone else had saved the scans and re-posted them. Some heated debates were also going on about the morals and ethics behind posting the book. Most people argued that it should be shared, since it's been collecting dust for so long. There were (and still are) thousands of blog posts across the interweb with people mentioning their theories on why the mysterious LiveJournal user "" removed the images. heh. Well I felt really guilty and freaked out that the internet FBI was going to investigate me and I felt really unethical and bad about what I did... But then BF actually made me feel better about it, and he talked to me about Free Copyright (or something along those lines) and he told me that there was no Internet FBI (lol). And now I have mixed feelings about sharing the book with the world.. Now there are over 50,000 google hits for the book (vs under 10,000 prior to January 8th) and the price of the book had skyrocketed up to over $600 for first editions (vs between $30-$300 before)... ALL BECAUSE OF ME. It's mind-blowing to think about. It gives me a headache. I don't really like talking about it. But now i've made my story public domain once again by posting it to your FB so... maybe I'll make this a private message! lol!

Do you think I'm a horrible person? :S lol"

After she told me this I found the old closed metafilter post on it. Tonight, Hillary posted a link to the amazon link for the book (making me check metafilter and seeing this post).

posted by calgary at 8:58 PM on November 3, 2009 [6 favorites]


Apparently I know nothing about html and in the future apparently I should stay away from less than and greater than brackets and stick with (), [] and {} unless I wish to make the words "edited" magically disappear.
posted by calgary at 9:03 PM on November 3, 2009


Great! I've just (pre-)ordered christmas presents for my sister, who is probably the biggest Gorey fan in Germany and will be absolutely thrilled when she pulls away the giftwrap! Thanks ocherdraco!
posted by The Toad at 1:14 AM on November 4, 2009


Ha! I've had one of those abebooks price alerts up for this for a long time. Every once in a while a copy has dipped into my price range — and then immediately been snapped up by a bigger Gorey fanatic before I could complete the order.

So anyway, about a week ago I finally managed to place an order for one, and for ridiculously cheap too. It was listed as "brand new," but I was racing through the order form too quickly to ask questions, and anyway I told myself it couldn't possibly be true — I figured some unscrupulous jerkwad bookstore owner was fudging the conditions on the books he listed, and I told myself if he didn't realize the value of this one it served him right, actually I was kind of proud of myself for getting one up on the guy....

Yeah, you can see where this is going. Every day since, I've gotten email from abebooks listing a whole shitload of cheap, brand-new copies of the book for pre-order.

I knew something had to be up, but it didn't occur to me that one of Mefi's Own would be behind it. Thanks!
posted by nebulawindphone at 7:34 AM on November 4, 2009


That's a Christmas present for my brother and his wife taken care of.

Thanks for bringing it back into print.
posted by sotonohito at 11:53 AM on November 4, 2009


WHERE IS THE KINDLE EDITION
I am pre-ordering now
BUT SERIOUSLY
posted by grobstein at 12:37 PM on November 5, 2009


I just got my copy from Amazon yesterday!

Yay!
posted by Windigo at 7:14 AM on November 18, 2009


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