Publication dates

Kate asked a question:

Do you mean Dec 2008 or is it really Dec 2009 when book six will be for sale.

My goal is to have the finished novel to the publisher by the end of this month; that is, by 30. November 2008. There’s no reason for you to be familiar with the technicalities of publishing, so let me explain (briefly):

Once the book gets to the editor, she sits down with it and reads it. There will most likely be some changes needed (plot points clarified, for example). After that, the book is typeset and they send me the first page proofs — basically the entire book on normal typing paper, on one side. Generally a pile of papger at least a foot high. I have to proof read that, and at the same time it’s being proof read by others. The copyeditor’s questions and suggestions get incorporated on the second pass.

All of this takes about four months, at the very minimum.

The the advanced reader copies are printed and the marketing people start to get involved. Reviews are solicited, and the sales people start talking to book buyers.

In the meantime, the cover art is being hashed out.

So it’s at least six months — more usually nine or ten — before the book is printed, reviewed, and ready to go.

Publishers schedule books at least a year, and often longer in advance.  They put The Endless Forest on the schedule for December 2009 — about a year from now — for reasons having to do with marketing and sales and a dozen other reasons I know nothing about.

I’m sorry it won’t be sooner. I hope you’ll find it worth the wait.

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3 Replies to “Publication dates”

  1. @asdfg:

    I used to have a lot of beta readers, but now I make due with two or three. One of them is my agent, one is another published novelist whose judgment I trust, and the third is a reader-not-writer who I’ve known for a good while. It’s a delicate business, working with a beta reader, and when I across one who’s on the same wavelength, i tend to stick with that person unless they have other obligations that conflict.

    What works best for me from a beta reader is feedback on story flow, character inconsistencies, anachronisms, scene construction. Somebody who can tell me truthfully what works and what doesn’t. I don’t need a list of typos — that will only distract me from writing, and typos can be taken care of later — but I do need a sense of how a scene is working, or not working.

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