Book Publishing: Fast Lanes and Slow Lanes
Well, my seventh book, Grassroots Marketing for Authors and Publishers, is finally done, at the printer, and due to ship back to me shortly. Finally.
My original expectation was that I’d have copies in late July for an official publication date of September. Ha! The universe had other plans in store for me, apparently, and even delaying the official date to March 15, I’m only coming in about a month ahead–far closer than I’d like.
The good news is that much of that delay was involved in making the book better. This was supposed to be an “easy” book that I could spin off quickly from my 2000 publication, Grassroots Marketing: Getting Noticed in a Noisy World. But as soon as I started writing realized it was going to be a whole different book. I simply know too much about book marketing to shoehorn it into an excerpted little box. Still, every aspect of this project kept dragging on–tearing up the cover I thought was done once I got (very negative) peer feedback on it, demanding that the indexer do a far better job on the index than was represented in her irst draft, and on and on in went.
I guess I’m spoiled because book #6, Principled Profit: Marketing That Puts People First–a book that I think could actually change the world–really was on the fast track. Even though I didn’t even have a title until the manuscript was finished, and it took two months to get an appropriate cover, and I lost six weeks having to switch printers unexpectedly, it was still just ten months from the time I wrote the first word (and about six months after I completed the first draft) until I held finished books in my eager hands. Without the delays, it would have been eight and four–phenomenally fast by publishing industry standards (not counting barely-edited “instant books” that surface within weeks of some event like Princess Diana’s death). Yet despite the fast timetable, that book has gone on to win an Apex Award, be sold to foreign publishers in India and Mexico, and gain over 70 endorsements.
The new book has been getting great reviews and endorsements, from some of the top names in the independent publishing world–among them Dan Poynter, John Kremer, Fern Reiss, Marilyn Ross… I’m sure it will do well. But I think I’ll wait a while before I tackle another book–and when I do, I’ll try to be more realistic.