Beating the Ghost Drum Louder -- by Susan Price


Last month, I wrote about how I finished the rewrites for Ghost Drum, back in 1986, on an Amstrad word-processor, and how it's now being re-published, after nearly forty years, as a Faber Classic.

I was chuffed enough about that. Happy days, I thought.

A few days ago, my Faber editor got in touch to say that, in that month, their entire initial print-run of 2000 had sold, and they were re-printing.

Well, I'll go to the foot of our stairs.

Both Hatchards and Waterstones, I'm told, have asked for 'minor tweaks' to the cover -- and that's the new version above, duly tweaked. It has a darker, more dramatic background than originally.

'Sales', I'm told, have also asked for changes to the cover -- which hardly ever happens in subsequent print runs, says my editor, and so is a clear sign that Sales have confidence in, well, sales.

The new cover is to have-- wait for it-- Embossing! And-- wait some more-- 'spot UV.'

I had no idea at all what 'spot UV' was. I had to go and look it up. In case you're as ignorant as me, it's a varnish finish added to all or part of a cover, and 'cured' with UV light. This produces a highly polished, shiny surface, sometimes with texture.

I can hardly wait for my new author copies to arrive, so I can feast my eyes on the embossing and spot UVing.

Sales, says my editor, think that, with these changes, the book will 'remain core stock for bookshops for many years to come.'

Amen to that.

And that is the end of the story, says the cat. It was all true — I know it was true, because I was at the Czaritsa’s funeral and wet my whiskers in the beer drunk there. They haven’t dried yet.

     Open the windows and let the lies fly out!

     If you thought this story tasty, then serve it to others, says the cat.

     If you thought it sour, then sweeten it with your own telling.

     But whether you liked it, or liked it not, take it away and let it make its own way back to me, riding on another's tongue.

The cat lays herself down among the links of her golden chain and tucks her forepaws beneath her breast.

     Head up, ears pricked, she falls asleep under her oak-tree, and neither sings nor tells stories.

            From 'Ghost Drum'



Fabulous news! I absolutely LOVE that cover, and Faber's care in publishing it proves there is still a viable market for older titles :-) Will they be re-publishing the rest of the Ghost books, too?
Wonderful! And no more than you and the book deserve. Yippee!
Sue Purkiss said…
Fantastic! Well done you - and Faber!
Susan Price said…
Thank you all -- and Faber!
Griselda Heppel said…
So thrilled for you about this. Far too many wonderful, prize winning children's books are allowed to go out of print and get forgotten, when they should be perennials. Once a Carnegie winner, always a Carnegie winner, surely?

Good for Faber waking up and republishing, and the fact Ghost Drum made the precious, single Times Saturday Review slot makes the point! I celebrated this on my Facebook page
Sandra Horn said…
Hooray! My faith in publishers restored...(almost)!

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