What I learnt while working on the Rabbit Poetry Journal
→ Rachelle Dekker
My first team project in the BSP was Rabbit, a nonfiction poetry journal, with poet series.
The team worked alongside the founder of Rabbit, Jessica Wilkinson, on: Issue 20 Dance, Issue 21 Indigenous, Poet Series 8 P(oe)Ms, and Poet Series 9 In Some Ways Dingo.
We were managing multiple projects at the same time and needed to be on top of our schedules. Good communication and having time to face the unexpected helped! Each book influenced further journals and Rabbit as a series. So here are my memos:
Issue 20: Dance
Communication was our first hurdle as we hit the ground running in our first week with Dance. This included communication around proofreading, typesetting corrections and redesigning the cover.
We started a style guide for future projects, and entered the world of permissions, dpi (the image quality once printed) and communication with designers and printers.
Memo: always keep communication flowing and keep yourself updated.
Poet Series 8: P(oe)Ms by Dave Drayton
P(oe)Ms came to us at an earlier stage in the publishing process. As we received text and images we created a flat plan that helped us organise where on the double-page spreads they should sit. We researched style sheets, editorial and cover briefs, earlier anthologies and poet series so that we knew where all the images and text should be.
Any changes to a flat plan after typesetting means more mark-up and potential introduced errors.
Memo: use a flat plan and know what each double-page spread will look like.
Issue 21: Indigenous
We started our work with referencing and style guides, then took on more of Jess’s workload, transitioning to a subscription list of own with built-in reminders for ourselves and subscribers.
Memo: know what each element in a subscription list references and update regularly.
Poet Series 9: In Some Ways Dingo by Melody Paloma
Three projects were underway and we needed to decide what was possible in thirteen weeks. We needed to make a realistic plan and manage our schedule in such a way that organising another launch so soon after the last was a reality. Gaining momentum but running out of time, we launched our first three projects. The launch’s timing matched this book well in terms of marketing, key dates and attention to detail.
Memo: keep track of each project’s timing and be realistic about what’s possible.
Launches are where you can get to meet people who worked on, contributed to and are excited about seeing your book printed. It makes the whole process feel real in a way that pouring over material, often alone, doesn’t. Thanks to everyone in the team in-house and out. I’ll certainly never forget the great experience.
Memo: websites and marketing go hand-in-hand. You can find out more about Rabbit and see the collection of journals, poet series and artwork at: http://rabbitpoetry.com/