The Vagaries of Publishing

I was working away on Deadworld 3 a couple of days ago, bouncing back and forth between my words and tweetdeck, where I was following comments from the RWA conference, when I got an email from my editor. The publisher was looking at shuffling release dates on some titles, and wondered if I would be interested in, and if I was far enough along to turn my ms in earlier than planned. Really? This is generally a good news kind of thing. It happens in publishing, when a title or titles do not meet production schedules and they are forced to fill in and shuffle to make things work. I had a contracted deadline for Sep 15th, which I had scheduled at a fairly comfortable 1k words a day, with time left over for a couple weeks worth of editing. This would make things much tighter. When I asked what their thoughts were, my editor asked to bump things back a month. Tough but doable, hopefully. I said okay.

I took six weeks, once I’d started writing book 3 to get through the first 1/3 of the book, and now I have the same amount of time to get through the other 2/3’s. No more dallying. I need about 12k per week now to get done. For me, this is a pretty hefty workload. Worse, it means I will get done when the book is due. No more two week window to edit. Fortunately, my editor offered to do some editing as we go. I’ll be turning in the book in chunks for some feedback, which I’ll hopefully be able to get through within the week after I turn in the book. Not ideal, but publishing can be fickle at times. It’s important to be flexible when it comes to these things, and gives you some kudos with the publisher. Since my contract is up after book three, showing I can manage this kind of change is helpful. As authors, we must be able to work around issues like this that come up. Not everything flows smoothlyall of the time. This is the first book I’ll have had with a serious time crunch on it, so it’ll be interesting to see how this goes with the pressure on to produce consistently more than I’m used to for six straight weeks. It’s just another one of those vagaries of publishing.

Happy reading/writing everyone!

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