Tuesday, June 5, 2012

What Takes So Long?

My book will be available in November 2013.  I’ll have to wait seventeen months to see my book in print. Why, exactly, is the release date so far away?

As it turns out, there are a lot of steps to publishing a book.

The first consideration is getting the word out to bookbuyers at retail stores and libraries. Bookbuyers have to know about my book to order it.  They’ll most likely learn about my book at book fairs or through catalogs. If my name were Nora Roberts or John Grisham, I wouldn't have to worry so much about this step. As a new author, I must list Whisper Falls in the wholesale catalogs six or more months before its release date.

The next consideration is the editing process.

My editor and I will iterate through four or five drafts before the book will be the best it can be.  For a debut author, each of those drafts could take four weeks—so, another five months.

Now, we’re up to a year. That means, in theory, my book could be ready next summer.  So why don’t we release it then?

The main reason is that my publisher only releases a few books each month—and they have already filled their quota until next September.  So there is no room for Whisper Falls in the summer release schedule.

We chose to hold my book until a November release for a couple of reasons.  1) Early fall is a hectic time for teens, my target market. I don't want them too distracted to overlook my book. 2) November is a good time to buy Christmas gifts.

Seventeen months still seems far away, but at least there is a rationale for the wait.

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