Three out of five people dream of writing a book. Maybe you're one of them. But what does it take to go from dream to launch? Screenwriter John August (Go, Big Fish, Charlie and The Chocolate Factory) sought to find out as he tackled something he’d only ever dreamed of: writing a novel. From Wondery, A Network Of Storytellers, this is a show about putting something out into the world. How will it turn out? You’ll know when we do.
Launch Live from the Los Angeles Festival of Books
Surprise, it's a bonus episode! A couple weeks ago, John and Launch Executive Producer Ben Adair sat down at the Los Angeles Festival of Books to give a behind-the-scenes look into the creation of Launch — from their favorite parts of the show, to the challenges of hosting a narrative podcast — and we thought we'd share the presentation with all of y'all. Plus, John has updates on how Arlo Finch is doing, and how the second book is coming along (there's some controversy between "eldritch" and "Eldritch").
A New Chapter
When you really think about something, the chances of anything happening are so small. But people are planners. We make things happen. Where fate and plans align, that can be something special. Consider just writing and publishing a book, for example. What are the odds that happens?
We'll be seeing what Connie and Jodi think about all of this, how books 2 and 3 of Arlo Finch are coming along, and think about the fact that any of this happened at all.
Questions and Answers
John took Arlo on the road, hitting nine cities in thirteen days. We're absolutely sure that this is what rock stars feel like. These are some of the questions and answers that you sent in via email and asked John on the road.
On The Road
So, this is it. This is the day. After two years of writing and editing, proofreading and obsessing, Arlo Finch is finally out in the world. This book has gone from being an idea to an actual physical thing you can buy at a store.
As a writer, John’s job is done. But as an author, he has a whole new set of responsibilities.
He’s taking Arlo Finch on the road as its ambassador. He has to talk about the book, get other people talking about the book and (hopefully) buying the book.
In this episode, we’ll be digging into how books are sold, how bookstores work, and how schools play a big role in the success of a middle-grade title. Plus we’ll get our first reviews of Arlo Finch.
Paper and Glue
This is the exclusive Inside Hollywood edition of printing and distributing books. Even Connie doesn’t know how it works. Paper factories make logs into pulp and presses make pages into books. The books are shipped out to be put on shelves. The most important shelves for Arlo are school libraries, and we talk to librarians about what they think of Arlo.
But what do the advance reviews say? Did Kirkus and Booklist like it? Will the New York Times write it up? Will it sell? That’s the big question now because all the preparation is over. The book goes on sale today. Like... right now. February 6.
This is it. This is launch.
A Book By Its Cover
In this episode, we’re going to be judging a book by its cover, and we talked to Vivienne To, artist hired to come up with the design for Arlo Finch.
We’ll also be nerding out over fonts and grammar. Plus, we’ll sit down with one of the most important readers of Arlo Finch -- the guy who has to read it aloud.
Eventually, Arlo Finch is here, in our hands, but how? We know where the words come from but the actual book? That’s another mystery worth solving - how do books get made?
John August is once again fantastic. Great podcast!
John August in the excellent minutia
We found the free audiobook on a pre-COVID drive back from a cabin in CO. The whole family was immediately drawn in. We loved it so much that we wanted to learn more about its creation.
Loved every minute!
I binged the whole thing in one day! I was entertained by the humor, educated on the ways of getting published and all the steps from the idea in your mind to holding the physical book in your hands. Very well done and thorough. Also creative with all of the side trips to interview bookstore owners and what they do to help you keep your books selling. I especially enjoyed the printing and bindery portion as I’ve been working in small print shops and watched paper being made etc documentaries and newspapers are printed similarly. I’m more graphic designer (not artist or college training, I helped get through the first moving from physical art to digital, but I digress), it was actually really exciting to hear that portion as I could see exactly what you were describing.
If anything about writing a book interests you then you will enjoy this one!