• claudiaelangella

Week Three: The Secret Book Project Team Grows

Updated: Jul 9, 2020

We are already in our third week of planning for Toho Publishing’s secret project! Work is really picking up, and I’m learning more each time Andrés (Toho Publishing’s founder) and I meet over Zoom. One huge decision we made this week was to bring in at least two more interns. I have enlisted two of my friends, Rebecca Koestler, a Communications student at Fordham University, and Grace Tinneny, an English and Criminal Justice double major student at Temple University, to hop on this project, and it’s been great getting them started. With more people involved, we’ll be able to make more thoughtful decisions and make the project bigger!

This week, I was in charge of becoming more versed in fiction anthologies. We have to know the ins and outs of every other version of this type of book in order for ours to not only stand out, but to give people what they’re expecting when they pick our edition up in a bookstore.

Speaking of bookstores, I have compiled a great list of independent bookstores in the area for us to distribute our final product to so that everyone in the Greater Philadelphia Area can pick up a copy! During a time of so much civil unrest (both with the Black Lives Matter protests and COVID-19), it is now more important than ever to support local small businesses and writers.

More book specs were decided on this week, and Andrés asked the three of us to get an idea of how big this book is going to actually be. Spoiler: 400 pages is a lot, so we’re now aiming for somewhere between 225 pages and 300. We want there to be thirty to forty Philadelphia-based fiction writers involved, so we are also looking to literary groups and events based in this area. Philadelphia is a diverse city, and we want the voices in this book to reflect the demographics of the city. According to Data USA, forty percent of the city’s population is Black, 34 percent is White, and just over 15 percent are Hispanic. To do that, we need to enlist authors from a number of backgrounds. Philly is rich in culture, and so are the stories its writers like to tell. We want to create a space for diverse group of voices.

Image credit: BruceEmmerling via Pixaby

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