Last time The Einstein Girl appeared here, we learned how its cover was created; today, Rodney Troubridge (the Fiction Marketing Planner at Waterstone’s) reveals how he makes his decisions; and next time, a key account manager at Random House will discuss selling this sort of literary fiction to booksellers.
As a lucky retailer who gets sent a lot of proofs to read it is always enjoyable to think, 'what shall I read next?'
Looking back I think what interested me about The Einstein Girl was that it had been recommended by the publisher at a highlights presentation of their titles a few months before. I didn't know any thing about the author other than vaguely remembering his previous novel but I liked the plot line and so I gave it a go.
I have always liked reading books set in the interwar period in Germany and/or Central Europe and admired the way the doomed Weimar Republic is portrayed and the frightening spectre of the Nazi takeover beginning its terrible influence. I was also intrigued to see how the author would handle the giant figure of Einstein and how he would fit into the overall story.
Luckily my colleagues on the buying team felt equally enthusiastic and we will be promoting the title in branches of Waterstone's from publication.
Philip's editor at Harvill Secker has kindly squirrelled away five copies of The Einstein Girl for us. If you'd like to be in the running for one of them, all you have to do is answer the following question: where did the designers find the photograph which appears on the cover of The Einstein Girl? Send your answers to "competition at philipsington dot com": a week after the third article in this series appears, Philip will select the five winners at random and I'll announce them here.