Blogging Life, Book Talk, Guest Post

#OrendaMonth The Team’s Tree: The Trunk + Giveaway Winner @OrendaBooks


I find Orenda Books’ logo to be very inspiring, a tree and a bird… a sort of bird I am too silly to recognize. An eagle?? I am terrible at this but this is not point. I do see Orenda Books’ company as a flamboyant tree which brings the Earth its best products. This is why I imagine the people working at Orenda Books and making it the great adventure it is as part of that red and beautiful tree.

So, I cut the tree into three parts (don’t start yelling at me, it’s an image!! I love that tree, I won’t do it any harm!): the roots, the trunk, and the branches, to make it easier for us to get to know everyone. Their combined work offers us readers some of the best reading experiences book lovers can hope for and I thought it would be nice to gather names and little facts about who they are. Because even though the books are at the center of everything, I am curious about who does what, who thinks what, who did what! Everyone was kind enough to participate and give 5 facts about themselves, and they even provided some insight about what their job at Orenda Books entails. Yes, the books are what we love, but they are created, shaped and put into the world by passionate people who deserve a little light too 🙂orenda-books-logo-little

So today, let’s meet the trunk of the tree! The hands who take care of the stories, the managing, the choosing, and so many other tasks we don’t even think of when we pick a book to read!

ID Anne

I’ve been working with Karen Sullivan for years. When I started blogging, Karen worked for Arcadia and I always knew that any book that she sent to me would be brilliant; quirky, unusual, something a little different.  I kind of bonded with Karen because, like me, she’s usually around on social media late into the night. We had some great Twitter conversations.

When Karen set up Orenda Books I knew that I wanted to support her on Random Things. I knew that the books that she chose to publish would be high-quality, intelligent and a little bit different. I wasn’t wrong. She publishes some of the finest books currently available and she champions her authors tirelessly.

Early last year I took a big life decision, I was approaching fifty, had worked full time for almost thirty-five years, with no break. I was tired of working long days and evenings, coping with funding cuts and it just seemed to be a battle. I took the summer off, with the intention of finding some part-time work.

I talked to Karen and she offered me some work, doing some backroom Admin stuff that could be done remotely.  I jumped at the chance, and have enjoyed it so much, although as Karen says; it’s tricky and fiddly and time consuming, but it’s books and it’s publishing and for me it is completely new.

I have a long long spreadsheet that details all of the Orenda titles, I input as much detail about the book as possible, including which region that Orenda holds the rights, the blurb, the author information. There’s lots of codes and odd looking numbers to learn too – and these all relate to the genre and sub-genre of the book.  I then try to track down as many existing reviews of the title, and link these to the entry.  This all gets uploaded to the IPR Licence website ….

I’ve also been working with Orenda around Blog Tours, and my first full tour for Sealskin by Su Bristow has just finished. Thankfully it was a success!  I’m hoping to organise a couple of tours per month for Karen.

Again, this is a fiddly and long-winded task, especially as Orenda tend to run long Blog Tours. I try to ensure that I ask bloggers that I think will fit with the book, and will check them against a spreadsheet that I’ve compiled that includes which genre they enjoy.  
Arranging the dates is often a nightmare, and working out who wants a print copy, who wants an ecopy and if bloggers want to review, or feature a guest post, or interview.

Again, it’s fiddly and time-consuming but I love it.

Taking that work break was the best thing I did!

Congratulations on the huge success that the Sealskin tour was, Anne! You seem to have a lot on your plate and I love that Twitter played a part in your relation to Karen 🙂 Twitter is indeed a place where so many great things can happen! The Orenda Month is an example that even inexperienced but willing shy bloggers can make fun projects happen when they meet people ready to work with them! They say some decisions are the best of your life, well that break did well for you! We’re happy to have you taking care of us bloggers for the tours!!

ID Mark

Jacket covers, or love at first sight! I love how every cover suits the story hidden behind! I’m so guilty of cover buys, and Orenda Books have some fabulous ones in store.

ID Liz.png

I love being part of Orenda – occasionally I help organise blog tours but my main “job” (I put it that way as I love doing it so much it’s hardly a chore!) is reading through the submissions pile and hoping to find the next beautiful book for our list. It should be pointed out that I am just the first stop on a long journey, with Orenda it is about beautiful quality writing and wonderfully engaging and often quirky stories.

I work around my other job (with Tesco) a typical Orenda day for me means sitting down with coffee (and often cake) and diving into some manuscripts to see what is what. It is both a huge responsibility and an honour, every story I look at gets my full attention so I suppose you could say that an Orenda work day simply involves doing that which I love  – reading.

Liz is mostly in charge of the slush pile! The idea to be the first to read a hidden gem, to find THE story, is so exciting! Liz, you do have our dream job!

ID Cole.png

On a weekly basis, my job at Orenda involves organising Karen’s schedule for upcoming events, such as the Frankfurt and London book fairs. I communicate with the distributors is USA & Australia about book updates, cover changes, and any queries they have about the books. On the weekend, I round up all of the press and reviews that have been released on Twitter and the internet about Orenda’s Books and compile them into a neat weekly update that is sent out to a large recipient list. I update the website with these quotes, and cover changes, and make changes to the general look of the site, and add exciting new features when they come available. I also fill in nomination spreadsheets that nominate Orenda’s books to be involved in price promotions such as the Kindle Daily Deals. 
Working at Orenda has really given me an amazing insight into the behind the scenes work that goes to publishing books, and just how much work is involved in running a publishing company.
I always see “contact intern” in Karen’s emails when she’s away and I was wondering who was behind the title! Cole sounds like a very busy guy and I love that Orenda Books is a family company. Now if any of you ever need a holiday, I can totally fly over there and fill in :p What? A girl can dream, haha!

Here we are, now you know a little more about who puts their hands on the manuscripts, who handles the details, who replies to your emails, who puts so much time and effort into Orenda Books to publish some of the most beautiful and original masterpieces.
This post has to be a favorite of mine because all I can see is passion. Thank you Anne, Liz, Mark, and Cole for taking part in the Orenda Month!!

And now, it is time to reveal who the winner of the Orenda Month Twitter Giveaway is!

Orenda Month twitter giveaway

The winner was picked after midnight on Sunday 12th because I am a devoted blogger with insomnia and I stayed up way past my bed time to make sure I’d be doing this right!

Congratulations to @TracyShephard (!


You won the Orenda Books eBook of your choice!! Please email me within 72 hours so we can deliver your prize!

Thank you to everyone who participated in this giveaway! I had nightmares no one would enter but then I remembered we were talking about Orenda Books and let’s be honest, we all want those stories!!

47 thoughts on “#OrendaMonth The Team’s Tree: The Trunk + Giveaway Winner @OrendaBooks”

    1. I know, I was so curious about the behind the scenes! This post is a favorite of mine! Haha, yep, I can be crowned Silly Girl for the day! I’m so happy it was successful!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. What an interesting post (again). I had no idea really how things work behind the scene, I see the books, see the tours and just assume it all happens by fairies 😉 I love Anne’s story, what a great decision she made and sounds like a lot of fun. Where is Orenda based?


    1. Thanks a lot 🙂 This is one of my favorite posts about the behind the scenes of Orenda Books because we always think of the authors and translators, but there’s so much more going on, and it all sounds exciting! Anne’s story is fantastic, such a big but brilliant decision! I think they’re based in London 🙂 xx

      Liked by 1 person

    1. So happy you enjoyed this post! 🙂 I was very curious to know how things were working and everyone was lovely to participate to help have a better idea of what’s behind the scenes 🙂 xx


  2. Loved this post.. I had no idea about who was in team Orenda! I secretly dream of a job in a publishing company (is there anyone who doesn’t?). I often see pub companies asking for an assistant on Twitter and every time I think damn, that would be so amazing. I know it would still be hard work but it’s books and contacts with authors and other countries and things.. I wouldn’t even mind moving to the UK.. A girl can still dream right :-).


    1. I’m really happy you enjoyed this! I’m learning a lot with these posts and it’s really fun to discover how everything works 🙂 Karen and her team are doing such a great job!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks for this wonderful post Donna. Its nice to know what goes on behind the scenes. All these jobs sound interesting although a bit tough but definitely interesting. I like what you’ve been doing with Orenda. Thanks to you, now I know them and their books.


    1. Thank you so much! I really wanted more people to know them and offer another side of the company through different posts, I am so happy to know it’s working 🙂 The jobs described here are all I’m dreaming about! x


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.