publication news

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.

my druthers

In response to my question (a couple posts ago) about what you’d like to see me write next, someone asked what I really want to write, what I would write if marketing and mortgages and tuitions were not an issue.

First, let me try to wrap my head around that idea.

Okay. Here’s the thing. Historicals take a long time to write, and the research — which I love — is a drain. It took me about a year to write Tied to the Tracks and then another year for Pajama Girls, because they are (a) shorter; (b) less research intensive. Note also that I was working on those novels part time while I kept banging away at the historicals.  I don’t remember ever bogging down while I was writing either of the contemporaries.

So for the present, if I didn’t have to think about sales, I would write another contemporary. I have a pretty good outline for one in my head, and it already has a title: The Swing of Things. I do hope to write it, some day, but probably I’ll have to write it without a contract up front.

I’m not done with historicals. I am very enamored of my plot outline for the Rhode Island novel (good thing, too, or why would I write it?). But I’ve been working on these big fat historicals for 10+ years, and I could use a change of pace.